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Snuggle Up in Memories – a T-shirt Quilt

My cousin Lisa has been best friends with Rochelle since grade school. They both met their husbands working at McDonalds during high school and have remained very close. In October Rochelle’s husband Rich lost his life in a motorcycle accident. It was a traumatic loss for so many. Lisa and her family wanted to do something to comfort Rochelle as Christmas neared and they came up with the idea of a t-shirt quilt. Trouble was, they had no idea how to make one. I was so grateful to be asked to be a part of this important project.

Lisa, her daughters Kirstin and Carly, and her mom – my Aunt Lois brought over a large bag of t-shirts one Saturday afternoon and we had a lovely time cutting up shirts, fusing on the interfacing, cutting the squares and laying them out on the living room floor. They all caught on fast and we enjoyed the time together.

That week I sewed the blocks together and the following Saturday they returned (Aunt Lois couldn’t make it) to layer the quilt top with polar fleece and tie it. I thought it would be a breeze – I’ve tied many comforters – but I had never tried to get a yarn-threaded needle through a t-shirt/interfacing/fleece sandwich before! It was arduous and not for the faint of heart. I found my free motion quilting gloves helped to grab the needle, and a twisting/pulling action worked the best, but it was still hard work. I was very impressed with how well these ladies persevered.  We got it done and I was able to turn the fleece over the edge to the front, and top stitch it in place before they had to leave.

I wish I had taken a few step-by-step pictures along the way, but I’m sure you can imagine it.

Here’s a picture Kirsten recently posted on Facebook after they presented Rochelle and her daughters with the quilt.

Christmas will be hard for Rochelle and her family, but I’m hopeful our efforts will help to ease her grief and bring her pleasant memories in the years to come.

I’ve found over the years that when I focus on the greatest Christmas gift – our Savior, and worshipping Him – even when my life is overwhelming or out of focus, I can have His joy and peace. May you have that joy and peace this Christmas!

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2017, Friendship Quilts
Birthday Quilt Block Surprise

This past week I celebrated a rather “landmark” birthday. I was overjoyed to discover the thoughtful, and sneaky, plan of my dear friend and co-travel leader, Wendy Rieves. She invited quilting friends to send me black and white 4-patch signature blocks (she sent me a copy of this after the fact).


Woo Hoo! Sommer and I have had a lot of fun getting the mail each day!


You may remember I recently posted about a new lecture I’m putting together called “Friendship Quilts: Then and Now” (click here for that post). How clever of Wendy to think of combining that idea with birthday blocks. It was so thoughtful of her to organize this, and I especially appreciated her requesting a favorite prayer, Scripture or note of encouragement to be written on each block.

This past Thursday my Open Lab class held a lovely surprise birthday party, complete with cupcakes, singing, and more blocks. What a blessing! Then, last night, my dear husband threw me a lovely surprise party – family, friends, food, fun and another block!birthday-blocks

I have received this beautiful pile of blocks so far – and Wendy was kind enough to suggest the “block party” last all month! It is a joy to read each one and think about the dear quilter/friend who took the time to make it for me. I can’t wait to see the friendship quilt they will become.

I want to send a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who sent a block and made this birthday a very special one for me. And my BIGGEST THANK YOU to Wendy. We’ve had so many wonderful times together and I look forward to many more. I thank the Lord for you!

Just a reminder!


Wendy and I will be taking a group of quilters on a cruise from Quebec to Boston in September of next year aboard the Norwegian Dawn! We’ll not only explore these 2 beautiful cities, but we have stops in Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and the Bay of Fundy. We’re planning many special events and projects to thrill quilters of every level, plus – non-quilters are also welcome!

quilt cruise Quebec Boston

The sign up is going great! We still have a few cabins available. To read all about it click here!

PS We have a few travelers who are looking for a roommate. If you are interested please contact Kristi at (262)786-6763  or

October 9, 2016, Friendship Quilts