First Quilt Square

I have making a quilt on my “bucket list” (posted originally here, I probably should update it actually) and have been doing bits of sewing and crafting since then.

I’ve even been acquiring fabric for my imaginary someday quilt but never made the time to get started until now.  On twitter, Libby, who blogs at The Allergic Kid, pointed people following the #foodallergy hashtag over to the Arizona Food Allergy Alliance’s “Squares of Friendship” page and the story of Arizona teen Adrianna Aguirre.  AFAA writes:

Adrianna accidentally ingested peanut while at a friends house in Spring of 2011. She was without oxygen for several minutes. She then was in a coma for over a month. Today Adrianna is slowly improving and able to communicate by blinking her eyes. We have hope for Adrianna and would like to show her our love and support. 

Together we will create a quilt through AFAA’s Squares of Friendship. AFAA will collect donated squares and sew a quilt to be given as a gift to Adrianna. Submissions need to arrive by May 31, 2013. Details below. If you know of someone in the community that is in need of an AFAA Squares of Friendship Quilt, please emailinfo@arizonafoodallergy.org, they need not reside in Arizona. We support those in need of this program, worldwide. Thank you!

My first thought was for Adrianna’s family and friends as well as the young lady herself.  I can’t imagine what they must all be going through.  The idea of a quilt made up of well wishes resonated with me and I told my mother in law (she and my sister in law are my quilting Jedi Masters, Yoda and Obi-Wan to my Luke Skywalker – and yes I probably whine as much as he did too!) that I was ready for her to teach me the ways of the force quilt.

“Cut even squares” and “right sides together,” were her initial guidelines.  Okay, I could do that (or so I thought).  I used my rotary cutter (I’d been stocking up on supplies for three or four years) and it looked okay to me.  I was using flannel I had been using to make memory bean bags, an idea for E when she was small that used the concept of the game “Memory” where you flip over squares to try to find matching images but each square was also a bean bag you could toss or play with in another way.  I believe I made four bean bags before getting sidetracked (also, it is not easy to sew with a baby in your lap) but here were some bright colors that seemed to match a “hot” green recommended by AFAA.  The deadline to mail out the square is May 31, 2013 so I didn’t want to lose time by trying to get to the fabric store for other options.

Squares cut, I was ready to piece them “right sides together.”  This involves making a sandwich of two squares with their patterns facing inward on one another.  Done and done.  Now I had to take the square pairs and sew them to make the 2 x 2 quilt square I envisioned.  I messed up and sewed along the wrong line so that the squares were all together like butterfly wings.  My mother in law set about using the seam ripper to undo my over-enthusiastic creation while I tried again with some other squares.

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I was so proud!  Now to cut the sides so that they fit into the 7.5″ x 7.5″ requirement on the instruction sheet.  I measured twice, cut once, and… had managed to cut the wrong side so that my square was now too small.  Time to add some fabric, right?  I measured twice, cut once, and had a strip of grey flannel ready to go on the sides that came up short.  Sew, sew, sew, and… I managed to sew the strips onto the wrong ends of the square.  Now I had a rectangle and not a square by any stretch of the imagination.  Some more adjustment, more grey flannel, and…

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Success!  I think AFAA can just use a little of the extra seam allowance I gave them.  I’m too scared to cut this square for fear of messing up again.  It actually looks a little more finished with the grey, don’t you think?  I am putting it in the mail with a letter for Adrianna per AFAA’s instructions.

It is a small act, I know, but I will tell her how she impacted my life as I am ready now to do something I’ve been putting off, that my children sat in my lap as I made this, and that I hope she is well soon.

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5 thoughts on “First Quilt Square

  1. GREAT job Homa! I actually made my first quilt for Cyrus when my daughter was born. My friend insisted I do something very special for him. I was clueless and love it. Although, my daughter is 10 now, so I haven’t touched a sewing machine for a long time, but it too is on my bucket list for the next year! Back to sewing!

    It’s inspiring to see the good work taking place in AZ and the love that has poured from our communities. All food allergic children seem to belong to all of us in our food allergy community.

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