Thursday, December 31, 2020

Red Crosses



When I first started piecing this quilt, I didn't have a plan beyond wanting to try the pattern. It was in an older issue of a magazine and I cut it out and tucked it away in my files. A few months ago, I found the pattern again. The large squares were supposed to be single pieces of fabric, cut 8.5" on a side. 

I've been making crumb blocks in that size for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for the last two years, and thought it would be fun to use some of those blocks for the squares. I had a ton of blue blocks, and a recent purchase of red fabric was sitting on my cutting mat. Red, white and blue always look jaunty, so I pieced it up.

In the pattern drawing, the squares take center stage, but as I stitched those red pieces in, the cross shapes are what really stood out. The quilt became Red Crosses, and whispered to me that it wanted to comfort one of my friends who is a nurse. While I've known T for many years, we aren't super close, so I kept thinking, "It's kinda weird to give a quilt to someone you haven't seen in so many years. And R/W/B is kinda rah-rah patriotic, right?" But the quilt whispered, "I think you should send me to T."


T is part of our group of motorcycle friends who live in California, and they keep in touch via Facebook. I'm not on FB, so Sean fills me in when there's news in the group. As Covid cases get worse and worse in the West, he's been telling me about how T is so tired and stressed and overworked and frustrated. She lives up in the mountains where it snows and is getting cold and dark. It sounds like 2020 is grinding away at her! The quilt stopped whispering and said out loud, "Hello? When are you going to send me there to do my work of keeping her warm and comforted?" 

So last week, I did. I shipped out Red Crosses, wondering if T would think it was really strange to get a quilt out of the blue. What if it clashes with her home? But I shouldn't have worried, because quilts just know where they are needed. T says she loves her quilt and it made her teary. And that's the very best thing for a quilter to hear!

21 comments:

Katie said...

It's a beautiful quilt and I agree completely that quilts tell us where they need to be. Or sometimes even that they need to be made! I'm so glad this made your friend so happy and I hope she realizes just how many of us are incredibly grateful of all she does. Have a wonderful new year!

djquilting said...

Beautiful quilt and story Louise. I love it when this happens. It reinforces why we make quilts. Smooth sailing for 2021.

Debbie said...

What a beautiful story to end and begin the new year! It reveals so much about your heart too. The quilt turned out so pretty and I love the creative use of those crumb blocks! You are always an inspiration. Have a safe and healthy new year.

piecefulwendy said...

I'm so glad you sent this beauty to T. I cannot imagine being on the front lines and seeing all the tough situations from Covid. I am thankful for all the T's out there, who are doing that difficult work. The quilt is wonderful, Louise. Well done!

The Colorful Fabriholic said...

It's a lovely quilt, and I'm sure it makes you feel good to know that it's bringing comfort to someone who needs it. That's why we do this, right?

Vicki in MN said...

I think that was very thoughtful of you to send her a quilt. After all she needed a pick me up. Happy New Year!

Linda said...

Love this! Pretty quilt and a heart-warming story that reminds me that reaching out to old friends is never a bad idea. :)

Nicki said...

I just bet that T felt as good receiving the quilt as you felt by making it for her & sending it "out of the blue" during a time when she could use some comfort & love. This is not a strange thing that you did....this is an act of kindness & love for someone in need. This is sharing your heart, talent & love to a friend who is sad & hurting. This is exactly what makes quilters so special...they all have hearts of gold. Thank you for sending T that beautiful Red Crosses quilt & thanks to T for being there on the front lines during this very trying time in history. Happy New Year to you & Sean!

JanineMarie said...

Oh, yes! Quilts do know where they are needed. I love how those red crosses stand out— perfect for a weary healthcare worker. Unexpected gifts are the best, for both the receiver and the giver, and I think this quilt warmed two hearts at the end of a difficult year. Have a healthy, happy New Year, Louise! And keep quilting as we face all the unknowns with hope.

MissPat said...

What a wonderful gift to send someone who could use a hug. And if you really just sent it a week ago, I'm amazed it made all the way across the country already. We're still waiting for a package that is lost in the disaster that is the regional mail distribution center. Hope you are settled in your winter resting place and making more delightful orphan quilts. Happy New Year.
Pat

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

That's a beautiful quilt, Louise, and what a great way to use some crumb blocks! It sounds like the perfect quilt for your friend. I was curious to find out where you guys had traveled to recently, so went over and read Sean's post about your adventures finding the right spot in Florida. What a year 2020 was! Welcome 2021!

Anne / Springleaf Studios said...

It's beautiful. I see the red crosses (so perfect for a nurse) conquering the "blues" we've all felt with Covid. I'm sure it's keeping her warm and cozy. A feeling we all need right now. Happy New Year!

Steph said...

What a wonderful gift for T :)

Nancy @ Grace and Peace Quilting said...

Awesome!!! What a fun, talking quilt!

Liz said...

What a great story! It's a beautiful quilt, I love the effect of the red crosses, and how nice that you made your friend so happy!

Mystic Quilter said...

No surprise that the gift your surprise gift of the quilt had T thrilled to bits Louise!
Happy New Year!!

Cathy said...

Sounds to me like the quilt knew where it was meant to be. Beautiful finish, Louise, and a very thoughtful gift!

Sandra Walker said...

Thank you Louise, for such a good story, and great quilt, and a reminder for me to make crumb blocks, though they may be string blocks since those are exploding... and I'm already doing two string RSC projects! Thank you for this beautiful quilt, and for sending it to clearly a deserving person. We truly are not respectful and caring of our healthcare professionals in this pandemic, from government officials vacationing, swanning off out of the country, to snowbirds and regular peeps doing the same.

Fiona said...

Happy New Year... your adaption is wonderful with the crumb blocks and it has gone to a well deserved home.... lovely story (made me teary too!)
Hugz

grammajudyb said...

I’ve been MIA for awhile checking in. What a great way to use up crumb blocks! That quilt is fabulous! Good for you for listening to where it “needed” to go!

Kate said...

That fabric combination really gives the quilt some depth. Congrats on a beautiful finish. It's always fun when a quilt tells you it's for a specific someone, especially when someone needs a boost.