Blankets for Babies

The fabric was really flying at Hip Stitch fabric boutique and sewing lounge in Albuquerque, New Mexico, this past weekend! Saturday, March 19, was National Quilting Day, of course, and stitchers from Project Linus Albuquerque and the Albuquerque Modern Quilt Guild came together in the back room at Hip Stitch to sew blankets for Project Linus. (A worthy way to observe the q-holiday, I think. And because the staff at Quilter's Home magazine is sprinkled throughout four different time zones, we all had to find our own way to celebrate. I decided to throw my thread in with the gang assembling at Hip Stitch.) The morning crew at this daylong event numbered about 8 to 10, as people came and went, donating whatever time they had. These sewing machine warriors were churning out flannel-backed toddler quilts like nobody's business, using a well-honed system that was built for speed as they made comfort (to obliterate a well-known phrase). 

Hip Stitch owner Suzanne Kelly, who kindly hosts the Albuquerque Modern Quilt Guild AND the Albuquerque Modern Sewing Guild monthly meetings in her shop, was pleased to turn her workroom over to the cause. Hip Stitch is also a Project Linus drop site. Project Linus-Abq coordinator Ami Peterson says the group started the day with a total of 20 pre-cut "sandwiches," and that's about how many got finished, with more pre-cuts going home with people at the end of the sew-in to be finished later.

Abq Modern Quilt Guild member Bralia Mease

Project LInus Albuquerque "blanketeer" Carol Driscoll

Now, yours truly took a slightly offbeat approach to this day of charity sewing. Awhile back I had been gifted some random quilt blocks by a friend who did some de-stashing. (And her stash included some de-stashed stuff from one of her friends, so we're talking blocks with miles on them.) So I re-purposed these orphan blocks into a toddler-sized quilt top which will eventually go to Project Linus. It took some hacking and finessing to get these blocks–many made for classes, I think–into a reasonable conglomerate before I had to head home to make lunch for my husband, who is mending a broken leg.

Hmm, I have to say it looks better in person than it does laying on the rug. (Oh, well.) But with some batt, backing and a few lines of stitching, this re-purposed patchy baby will go off to cuddle some other deserving baby and it'll all be good.

Meanwhile, high fives to all the stitchers who turned out for this charity sit-and-sew!

– Melissa Thompson Maher

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