Monday, January 28, 2013

Quilts for Mom's Home

My mom taught me to sew when I was 4 years old. She was a fantastic seamstress but never a quilter! When I tried to teach her to quilt over 10 years ago, she was already affected by Alzheimer's and couldn't sew any more.

Mom lives in an Alzheimer's home where there are only 24 residents with a fantastic, loving, caring staff. Last November the assistant director and I were talking and she said they would like the residents to make a quilt. Because of Mom's beautiful quilts, she assumed I knew someone who quilted - guess I'd never shared that I was a quilter!

Anyway, together we devised a plan. The residents would paint on fabric and I would put the squares together into a quilt. It sounded so simple!

I washed white Kona Cotton and ironed each square onto freezer paper. Then the residents, some with help, painted on each square. The acrylic paint was mixed with fabric medium.

Note: when fabric painting, somehow block off the seam allowances. Maybe tape an inch around the outside of the block with painter's tape. Wonder why I didn't think of that!

I got the blocks in late December and then had to decide the layout. I had many ideas since I'd been thinking about this for awhile. As I put the squares on the design wall, it quickly became clear that with the busyness of the quilt blocks, the setting had to be very simple. I also had size limitations since the quilts(s) would be hung in a certain area. So I decided on a simple 3 by 4 arrangement for two 'identical' quilts.
There is a tiny heart quilted in Dorathy's block.

The staff at Mom's home often wear green polo shirts. When deciding on the color for the sashing and border, I realized I had this green in my stash that would be perfect. It was bright and matched the green in those shirts.
My very first attempt at thread painting!
Of course I had never quilted anything painted. I decided to use Dream Poly - it only had to be quilted every 12". That meant I would not have to do any quilting in the painted squares. The machine quilting went well. I had some quilting paper so I drew a little heart pattern in the sashing. The borders are done in my favorite Paisley - I hope the residents like the texture.
I really need to talk with that Packer fan - we are Bear's fan in this house!
These quilts will be hanging in an Alzheimer's home; they have to be washable. I was nervous to put these into the washing machine. The blocks were painted with acrylic paint with textile medium added. I set each block with my iron not once, but three times!  It took me forever to hand stitch the binding on the first quilt because I was procrastinating - I was afraid to wash the quilts. I finally put the first quilt in the machine with a little prayer and it came out fine! The second binding was finished and that quilt laundered the same day! 
Paisley quilting - I'm improving!
The quilts are ready to be delivered. It was my honor to share in this activity. I learned lots! I know some of the residents will be able to pick out their blocks; it will be fun to share the quilts with them tomorrow.


  1. What an awesome project! Such a blessing for you and them! Quilting is a "giving art" and this just exemplifies what that means!! Many blessings and hugs, Doreen

    1. Thanks Doreen! This project was a little out of my comfort zone but fun and quite a learning experience.And I know that no one will complain! ~Jeanne

  2. What a wonderful project and beautiful quilts. They will make everyone smile when they see them.

  3. What a beautiful project ... those quilts turned out so nicely. Well done!

  4. How completely awesome Jeanne! I love not only the idea but the finished product. blessings, marlene



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