Friday, October 31, 2014

Mary's Gifts of Time, Talent and Blankets

Our Vice President, Mary, is always generous in sharing her time and talent with Katie's Comforters Guild. Mary is our "Gratitude Ambassadress" - the one who writes "thank you" notes for each contribution, and keeps records (via spreadsheet) of all donations made to the guild.

Mary also gives blankets to our guild, quietly and without fanfare. This week, she donated two bright, cheerful movie-themed fleece blankets to our guild.
Thank you, Mary! 
These blankets are going to be a great thrill to patients at 
Seattle Children's Hospital!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Why We Do It

Over the weekend, we received the most wonderful, affirming letter...
"Hello! I am writing to thank your organization, and specifically Lucille Nilsen (as referenced on my daughter's blanket tag) for the beautiful blanket we received during our stay at Seattle's Children's Hospital. We had a stressful morning in the ER at children's as our 9 month old, Olia struggled to maintain adequate oxygen levels and worked hard to breath as a result of contracting RSV. The decision was made by the team to admit her for observation and to continue to keep her on oxygen until she was more stable. My husband and I were exhausted, stressed, and worried by the time we finally arrived at our room. The first thing that I saw was this sweet blanket all made up for Olia in her hospital crib, just waiting for her. It brought a smile to our faces in an otherwise very stressful and trying time as parents. Olia immediately kicked her legs with excitement when we got her settled onto her colorful and soft blanket. We were fortunate to have a relatively uneventful stay, and only needed to stay for one full day and overnight as they took her off of the oxygen and her conditions made fairly rapid improvement.

"I just want to share our deepest gratitude with you, for all that you did for our family and continue to do all of the other families at Seattle Children's. That blanket, hand made with love and care, provided such comfort to our whole family. It was such a thoughtful touch that made our stressful experience a little bit easier to handle. Here are some pictures of Olia as she began feeling better at the hospital, and one of her sleeping in her portable crib at our parents house, we are visiting for the morning. This blanket will be a part of her entire childhood, a memory of someone who took the time to make our family's experience a little brighter. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. - Laura, Matt, and Olia S."
Included with the letter were these adorable photos of baby Olia with her quilt in the hospital:
and this one, after she was discharged, and doing well:
This letter illustrates why Katie's Comforters Guild exists, and why we do what we do. It also shows the power of comfort in each and every stitch of each and every quilt and blanket. It shows how important every donor and guild member is, and how much good Lucile and Noble do for our guild and the families we serve.

(That quilt is the same one which we picked up from Lucile & Noble just a week ago! You can see it at the top of the stack below.)
Thanks to Laura, Matt and Olia S.
 for permission to post their letter and photos, 
and to Lucile & Noble 
for their wonderful work!

Friday, October 24, 2014

A Visit to Lucile & Noble: 30 New Quilts & Fleece

On Monday, Mary (our fearless Vice President) and I took a little road trip across the Hood Canal Bridge to see Lucile and Noble. Lucile had made 30 new quilts and fleece blankets for Katie's Comforters Guild, and we had some lovely new fabric (donated by Kris via Cindy and David W.) to give to her.

Lucile & Noble gave Mary a tour of their cozy home, showcasing examples of Lucile's many talents in needlework and crafts. She has mastered embroidery, cross stitch and mixed media over the years.

Here is a photo showing some of her latest batch of quilts:
Upon returning to our hometown, I went straight over to Tracie's house (Tracie is a Seattle Children's Hospital R.N.), and she loaded all 30 quilts and blankets into her car. She delivered them that very evening on her way to her shift in the ICU. Tracie often provides this selfless service for our guild.

Thank you, Lucile & Noble,
and Tracie!
Your time and talent bring comfort and healing to patients and families at Seattle Children's Hospital, 
and we appreciate you!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

St. Olaf's Youth Group

On Sunday, I had the privilege of visiting St. Olaf's Catholic Church to make a presentation to the youth group. St. Olaf's is in Poulsbo, our hometown, and they have been supporting Katie's Comforters Guild for a few years now, making and donating warm fleece blankets for patients through the inspiration of one of their members: Briana. Briana is our one junior guild member - and we'd love to have more like her!

I made a tri-fold presentation board and mounted photo collage pages on it (mentioned in a previous posting). I included information about guild membership, as well as about Katie's endowment and the progress in cancer research and treatment since her passing. I brought Katie's own comforter with me so that they could see how much love a blanket gets in the hospital.
We took photos together, and then they got to work, making another batch of fleece blankets to donate.
Photos courtesy of Mary Ryan, with permission from St. Olaf's Youth Group
Photos courtesy of Mary Ryan, with permission from St. Olaf's Youth Group
Photos courtesy of Mary Ryan, with permission from St. Olaf's Youth Group
Photos courtesy of Mary Ryan, with permission from St. Olaf's Youth Group
Photos courtesy of Mary Ryan, with permission from St. Olaf's Youth Group
The finished product! Photos courtesy of Mary Ryan, with permission from St. Olaf's Youth Group
Thank you, 
St. Olaf's Youth Group and leadership! 
Your spirit of giving and 
your helping hands 
will bring great comfort to patients.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Thanks for a Gift from Patti

Our Vice President, Mary, recently received a donation to Katie's Comforters Guild from her friend, Patti: this soft, cheerful, beautifully-sewn quilt.
Look at those brightly-colored fabrics, and that adorable center square!
This precious gift will bring warmth and comfort to a patient and family.
Thank you, Patti!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Kris's Gifts via Cindy and David

On Saturday, we had the privilege of accepting a gift from two families who reached out in their own grief to bring comfort to others. This kind of gift is deeply honored, and we want to tell you about the donors.

Cindy contacted me a while ago about her talented and creative friend, Kris. Kris had a beautiful eye for design, and had a collection of fabric which reflected it. Sadly, Kris had a very advanced cancer; however, in her own time of need, she was thinking of others. She and Cindy sought a new home for her fabric, and in their search, they found Katie's Comforters Guild.

We hoped to meet one day to make the transfer of fabric, but Kris's health declined too rapidly to allow for that. She passed away a few weeks after our initial contact, and later, Cindy contacted me. On Saturday, Cindy and her husband, David, came to Poulsbo deliver the fabric to us.

We agreed to meet at Katie's memorial bench.
They brought two baskets and two boxes of gorgeous, vibrantly-colored fabric. Kris clearly had exquisite taste in fabric - and in friends.
If you would like to make a quilt (or quilts) for Katie's Comforters Guild to donate to patients at Seattle Children's Hospital, and are in need of new fabric, please leave a message for me here, or on our facebook page. It will be a privilege to work with Kris' stash and turn it into comfort for sick children!

Thank you, Cindy and David, and thank you, Alexa! 
Though we never met her, we honor Kris's memory, her generosity of spirit and her creative talents.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A New Way to Share, Thanks to Kay

My blogging friend, Kay, recently posted about an app which she uses to make scrapbooking easy. If you know me well, you know that I gave up scrapbooking and never looked back. I do enjoy taking and looking at photos, but I got very tired of the "racket" that is the scrapbooking-accessory business, as well as the cost, mess and fuss of gathering, organizing and storing all of the accessories. Kay has found a solution to all of that!
It's an app called Project Life, and it is available for the iPhone and iPad (I think). {By the way, this is not a sponsored post.}
Using the app, I was able to make these pages right on my iPhone! Thay are going to come in handy when I make a presentation to a youth group about our guild, later this month. I printed the pages and will put them on a tri-fold display board. No need for a computer, power cords or slideshow presentation, and the group can borrow the board to share with their community, if they wish.
 Thank you, Kay, for the inspiration!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fun Fall Fleece from Cami

We received a festive fall donation today from our friend, Camille: eight fleece blankets in warm colors and themes - and perfectly timed for the patients who are college football fans.
You can see that she took care to be scrupulously fair between the University of Washington Huskies and the Washington State University Cougars, donating two blankets featuring each team - in addition to themes that will be fun for younger children.
Thank you, Cami! 
Your donation will brighten the day of eight children and their families!