Friday, December 18, 2015

8 Quilts from Bonnie P.

On Monday, Bonnie P. stopped by with eight beautiful new quilts to donate. Bonnie is a talented creator of intricate quilts, and she even dyes some of her own fabric! I persuaded her to sit for a few photos with her gorgeous handiwork:
(please ignore the holiday-preparation  chaos behind her)

Thank you, Bonnie, for your faithful support of, and membership in our guild!

Animal Prints!

Linda K-H sent a message to let us know that she had delivered three new quilts to our local, independent bookstore, Liberty Bay Books. I went to pick them up and was delighted to find these bright and cheery animal prints:

Thank you so much, Linda (for the gifts of time, talent and treasure), and Liberty Bay Books for being such a welcoming hub in our town!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Fabric Traditions of NYC

Out of the blue last week, I had an email exchange with Annette S., whom I'd never met before. She said:
"I work for Fabric Traditions in New York and was wondering if you could use cotton [major-league baseball-themed] fabric. I would UPS it, so if you would like it, please send me an address...It is so wonderful what you and all your volunteers do."

Oh, yes, we would LOVE to use Fabric Traditions' MLB fabric, Annette! 

The box arrived, containing these bold, fun prints:
 ...and a letter which said:
"Enclosed is a variety of fabric donated to you by Fabric Traditions. We are happy to contribute to such a wonderful cause and hope this fabric will bring joy to those you help.
"The only thing we ask of [you] in return is to please send us photos of what you create with the fabric. We'd love to share with others the work that you do so they too can be inspired. You can email any photos to 
"Best of luck with your endeavor.
The Fabric Traditions Team"
Would YOU like to make quilts with this fabric? Are you willing to share what you have made (through photographs) with Fabric Traditions? If so, please contact me and we will coordinate a delivery to you.

Many thanks to Annette and Fabric Traditions of New York!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Mickie and Owen Deliver Comfort

Dedicated Guild members Mickie and her son, Owen (Owen is a junior member) went out of their way to help Katie's Comforters by picking up and delivering 14 quilts made by friends - nine were made by Margie (in Lynden) and five were made by 12-year old Helena!
Owen with quilts at the hospital's entrance

Katie's Comforters Guild is able to deliver comfort to patients only because of the generosity and dedication of all of our guild members and friends, like Mickie and Owen. From sewing to delivering, from volunteering to help behind the scenes to donations of fabric or funds, in spreading the word by mouth and media, every single contribution helps - and we are GRATEFUL!

Thank you, Mickie, Owen, Luke, Margie and Helena!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Sue H. and Friends

Sue H. and her friends came over several months ago to help us by going through donated fabric and taking it with them. She has since turned some of it into truly beautiful works of quilted art.

This week, I met Sue for a delivery. She has made some holiday-themed quilts, and others with year-round themes, and donated 17 in all. It was such a gift to see the fabric, which had been sitting idly in storage boxes, transformed into joyful, comforting quilts for patients.
There are 19 quilts pictured, and 17 of them were donated this week!
Quilting is a magical art: you select fabric which appeals to your eye, combine it through creativity and craftsmanship, and voila! The finished work is not only beautiful, but durable and practical, and can be enjoyed for generations to come.

Thank you, Sue! We are deeply grateful to you for your dedication to Katie's Comforters Guild's mission of bringing comfort to patients!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Fleece from April

We received the following photo from April:
She has created these five cozy quilts out of fleece, rather than cotton. Aren't they cute? They are going to delight their recipients.

Many thanks for thinking of  - and donating to - Katie's Comforters Guild, April! 
We are grateful for your donation of time, talent and materials to bring comfort to patients!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Free Fabric!

Our dear friend and guild member, Lucile, is sorting through her sewing stash, and has offered us 10+ bags of  
 If you - or someone you know - is interested in sewing quilts for Katie's Comforters Guild, please leave a comment here or on our Facebook page, or email me at KARENLBOREN at yahoo dot com.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Jaimee & Ethan M.

Jaimee M. sent these two photos with the following note:
"Sending these 4 quilts and 1 blanket today. 
Ethan wanted to make a quilt for the kids, too, so the rag quilt is his first quilt. 
He was very excited to make it, and has already started on a second one!"

As we've said, you are never too young (or too old) to be needed and helpful to others. And you're never too far away, either - Jamiee and her family live in another state!

Thank you, Jaimee and Ethan!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Scrabble Quilt

We received a fantastic new donation: a Scrabble quilt.
If you've ever spent a lot of time in a hospital - either as a patient or a visitor - you'll know how the hours can drag on and on. Having a favorite book, hobby or game with you provides a relief, and it can bring a great deal of simple joy.

One of our wonderful donors just combined our mission - bringing comfort through quilts and blankets - with the inspiration of a favorite game, and voila! Just like that, smiles all around. Here is the finished product:
A usable game board, built right into the quilt!
Note the brilliant colors of fabric and trim, suitable for all ages and tastes.

Thank you, Mary Ryan, 
for facilitating delivery of this fabulous gift!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Guild Association Initiatives and Important Dates

We are part of a unique and wonderful organization, Seattle Children's Hospital's Guild Association. Established by the hospital's founder, Anna Clise, the Guild Association supports the hospital in a variety of ways through gathering the talent, time and treasure of community members in service of the hospital's mission. If you're not a member, you are missing out; please consider joining us!

Here are recent updates from the Guild Association about this year's initiatives.
 You can see in the timeline above that yesterday was the day that annual membership dues were due. (Doo-bee-doo-bee-doo...) If you missed the deadline, no need to worry; simply send your renewal in as soon as you are able!

* If you are a new member, please note the new member brunch date: February 13, 2016

Please mark you calendar and join us on May 6th at the Annual Meeting and Luncheon Celebration - it's a blast!
Do you know a guild, or guild member, who you especially admire? Nominate them by following the instructions above. Nominations are due on March 20, 2016.
 Would you like to donate to meet specific needs? The information above shows you exactly what NEW toys are needed for Project Playtime.
Want to support the hospital's research departments? Join Research Champions (see above). If you have any questions about any of this information, please contact me here, or Melissa Cardenas at the Guild Association office: 206-987-6806.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Liberty Bay Books Supports Katie's Comforters Guild

I stopped into our local "Indie" (independent) bookstore, Liberty Bay Books, and the owner, Suzanne said that she had a donation for us. Suzanne's bookstore is a hub of activity in our little town (I just typed "hug of activity" - it feels like that in the store: warm, inviting and enriching). Suzanne and her staff host book signings, book clubs (cookbook groups even get to sample recipes), game nights and a knitting group, among other things. The Liberty Bay Books Knitters have kindly donated a fleece and two knitted/crocheted blankets, which you can see here:
Something for everyone here - variety of color, material, design and texture
Thank you, Suzanne, 
and Liberty Bay Books Knitters! 
Katie's Comforters Guild 
appreciates your support!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Lucile Does it Again - 12 Blankets!

We had a chance to visit with Lucile in her home last week, to drop off some of the fleece left over from #AWSL2015 for her to make into blankets, and to pick up some blankets that she had made to donate. Lucile's latest batch included 11 fleece (one here, and the others in the bag), and a beautifully knitted cotton blanket:
Thank you so much for your continuing support and generosity to Katie's Comforters Guild, Lucile! 
We appreciate and love you!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Gratitidue for Friends, Near and Far

It's always good to hear from friends, near and far away. We have received two generous donations from two far-away friends: one from Cami, who has been living in China, and one from Dorothy, who lives in Idaho.

Dorothy (Dottie) makes fleece blankets with a sewn binding, and finishes them with her own labels, which say, "A Kiss from Katie." Dottie donated this group of eight soft fleece blankets, in colors sure to delight both boys and girls:
Thank you, Dottie!

Cami was back at home for a visit from China, and during her visit (between looking after family members east of the mountains, and traveling out of state for a wedding), she took the time to cut fringe into 23 fleece blankets to donate to Katie's Comforters Guild. That is true dedication! Here is Cami's donation:
As she originally hails from Eastern Washington, Cami represented Washington State University well with her choice of fleece (red blankets), yet was also fair enough to include the University of Washington Huskies (purple blankets) as well as the Seattle Seahawks (blue). Patients who are sports fans will be very happy with these team colors!
Thank you, Cami!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Have You Seen the GUILD NEWS, Fall 2015 Issue?

Guild News, Fall 2015:
Have you received your copy of the Guild News, Fall 2015 issue, online or in your USPS mailbox?
If you are a member of a guild, you are automatically entitled to receive this publication; if you're not a guild member, we invite you to join us!

Katie's Comforters Guild was mentioned in the "Round of Applause" on page 9 - here is a direct link to the page in the online version.

A hearty "thank you" to all who made these donations possible!

Free fabric is available! 
In addition to the 396 fleece blankets made by the #AWSL2015 Fall Leadership Conference attendees, left-over fleece was donated to our guild. If you are hoping to make blankets, but don't have any fleece, please contact us!

We have also received the offer of a large amount of brand-new, top-quality quilting fabric from a donor in the Redmond, WA area. If you need fabric to make quilts for Katie's Comforters Guild, please contact us - it's waiting for you in Redmond!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Service Project Yields 396 Blankets - #AWSL2015

Coach Jamie, the chairmen of #AWSL2015 and results of their service project
On Saturday, Gregg and I traveled to Puyallup (in case you're not local, that's pronounced pyew-all-up) High School, through a driving rainstorm the likes of which we rarely see, even here in Western Washington. I had been invited, through a message sent to Katie's Comforters Guild's Facebook page, to address the 2015 Fall Leadership Conference of the Association of Washington Student Leaders. This wonderful group of high school students and advisors from all around the state gathers annually to learn and grow, and then take what they have gained back to enrich their local school communities through their skills and passion for student leadership.

The theme of the conference this year was "We Over ME," modeled on some of the motivational concepts of the Seattle Seahawks (#WhyNotUs, #AllIn, #MakeThemNotice). They asked me to speak to them on Day Two of the three-day conference (theme: "Why Not You?"), before they began their annual service project. The service project they chose was making blankets for Katie's Comforters Guild at Seattle Children's Hospital! Each school represented had collected fleece for the project, and sent it along with its delegates to the conference. Coach Jamie, advisor to the conference's hosting team, wanted to help all of the students really connect with, and understand, the power and purpose of what they were about to do (which is why she asked me to speak).

As the name AWSL suggests, their programs include a huge emphasis on developing leadership skills; what may not be apparent (until you attend the conference) is the joy, fun, energy and freedom-within-structure that is part of the organization. I felt it as soon as the students began to gather in the gymnasium; it was like a pep rally for human potential.

I had prepared a short speech and sent photographs of the Guild's work to Coach Jamie. I packed two of Katie's own comforters to bring along with me. I prayed and listened, wrote what came naturally, and felt that everything was ready to go when I went to bed the night before the event.

I awoke early Saturday morning with an inner knowing that I needed to re-write the speech.

In the wake of recent school shootings, I felt moved to speak to the group about the power of simple presence, of helping others to know that they are not alone, of knowing that we are not helpless in the face of tragedy. I sat down at my laptop and the words poured out of me, just as they needed to do, by Grace.

When we arrived in Puyallup, we were warmly welcomed. The "Varsity Team" (conference chairs Kelty, Nicholas and Kenton) introduced me to the crowd: hundreds of energetic students who were sitting on bleachers in the gym. Then the lights were turned down and a spotlight focused on me, so I could see only my notes. After sharing my message, there was a huge outpouring of love and gratitude from the students. They stood and clapped, lined up to hug me and offer their personal "thanks," briefly told me their stories of connection to Seattle Children's Hospital or to someone with cancer, and then they departed to make blankets in teams.

Gregg and I were taken on a tour of the school by the conference chairs, meeting and taking photographs with some of the teams as they worked. Classrooms, hallways, cafeteria tables - there were students cutting and tying fleece everywhere we went. It was a thrill to see.
This is what love-made-visible looks like
After an hour had passed, we were called back into the gym so that the results could be reviewed and tallied. Again, the bleachers filled with student-energy. Imagine our surprise when the total came in at  
396 blankets!

It was hard to hold back the tears as the students admired the immediate results of their teamwork: nearly 400 blankets of all shapes, sizes, and colors of the rainbow. They asked me to sit for photos and continued to thank me, with applause and chanting, but I want to thank them, because they made this idea of a miracle become a reality. {If you are a user of Instagram, go to #AWSL2015 to see the student delegates' postings.}

To Jamie, Kelty, Kenton and Nicholas, 
to every student member and advisor of AWSL, 
to every school which sent delegates,  
Thank you! 
I am overwhelmed by your generosity of spirit, and inspired by each one of you! 
Our schools, state and country will be in good hands under your leadership.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Long-Distance Love from Jaimee

We received a message on Facebook from Jaimee M., letting us know that she is sending this batch of love from far away -
Three blankets and a quilt
Thank you, Jaimee, for caring and sending comfort to our hospital's patients from across the miles! We are grateful to you!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Fran and the Ginkgo Foundation

I received a comment on my personal blog a few weeks ago from Fran. She said,
"Nine ladies and I formed a small foundation 18 years ago. This month we made fleece blankets to donate to Katie's Comforter Guild. When my daughter was 11 - 12, she spent a year going back and forth to Seattle Children's and when I told her about Katie's Comforter Guild, she thought that was a terrific idea. I also purchased a copy of your book, 'Because of Katie'..." 
Fran and the other members of the Ginkgo Foundation are donating 18 fleece blankets to Katie's Comforters Guild. Here they are:
Thank you, Fran, and 
thank you, Ginkgo Foundation!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Quilts from Nana Dee

I received a note from Dee, who is a dedicated quilter affiliated with our friends, the Fearless Quilters of Rolling Bay. Dee doesn't live locally, however; she is a ferry ride and a bridge-crossing away, on the other side of Puget Sound and Lake Washington. She doesn't let that distance deter her, though; she supports our guild with her quilting. That is what I call dedication!

Here are Dee's latest creations, sure to delight the patients who receive them:
Dee called this one, "Bug Jars"
This is named "Charley Harper Birds"
Thank you for sharing your quilts with our guild, Nana Dee!
Katie's Comforters (and patients at Seattle Children's Hospital) are blessed by your time and talent!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Guild Association News

Seattle Children's Hospital's Guild Association has shared news with us which I want to pass along to you. 

Your gifts of time, talent and treasure make all the difference to patients and their families. 

The Uncompensated Care Activities and Achievements Report shows how your gifts make this impact. 

$120.5 million in medical costs were covered by uncompensated care in 2014, and guilds contributed $6,943,600 of that total!

The Guild Association Annual Report is up online for you information at

"Project Playtime" collects toys for the Child Life Department and Autism Center at the hospital. We welcome your participation in this project. The list of toys needed can be found here:
You may also donate funds, if you prefer.

Thanks for all you do for Katie's Comforters Guild and Seattle Children's Hospital!

Friday, August 28, 2015

A Stash of Fleece, Transformed

It's a thrill to share with you another story of fabric which is turned into comfort. You might recall this posting from January, 2015, in which a kind-hearted donor (Kim) offered and delivered to us her generous stash of polar fleece.

This week, I received a letter from our guild member, Bethany (of Yelm Middle School), telling me that she, her students and a colleague have turned that fleece into 12 blankets - and added two quilts to the mix. Bethany wrote:
...[I] delivered 12 fleece blankets and 2 quilts to Children's yesterday via my sister. The fleece blankets were made by YMS students and were a combination of fabric that you provided and also donated by Jen Nelson.  The greener quilt was made with some of the fabric you provided me...[please add] our gratitude to those who donated the fleece and fabric that made it possible to make the blankets.
 When you donate whatever you have - time, talent, treasure or materials - you become part of the "economy of grace" in which we operate. We'd love to have you join us! Kim's fleece and Bethany's community came together - though they haven't met - through Katie's Comforters Guild. Now, their gifts are on the way to comforting 12 patients at Seattle Children's Hospital!

Thank you, Kim, Bethany, Jen and 
Yelm Middle School students!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pay It Forward

Last month, I received this bracelet from a friend, inscribed with the message:
...yesterday, I had the opportunity to do just that, for Katie's Comforters Guild.

For months, I have been storing many boxes of beautiful, donated fabric in our home for the Guild. It sits here, just waiting for quilters who need it. I love sharing the gifts which we receive with quilters, but there are often time lags between fabric donations and need for fabric. The "stash" became an impediment to the appropriate use of a room in our house, yet I had no place to give the fabric.

Then I thought of Sue H.; a few months ago, Sue told me that she had some quilting friends who might be interested in sewing for Katie's Comforters Guild. I emailed he,r and offered them the pick of all that we had here. Yesterday, Sue and three of her friends (two friends and one friend's dear granddaughter) came to the house to sort through the fabric, and it was like Christmas morning. The exclamations of joy, excitement and appreciation of the donors' taste was so much fun to witness, like watching kids open presents!

As these lovely ladies sorted the stash into color-coordinated piles, it gradually became apparent that they liked all of it...and they wanted to take all of it, to make quilts for Seattle Children's Hospital's patients. I am thrilled! No more boxes filling the room (just a basket of seasonal and holiday fabric leftover, along with a few quilt tops which need finishing); new friends and supporters of Katie's Comforters Guild, excited to start quilting, and beautiful materials - so lovingly donated - about to be turned into comfort for sick children. It reminds me of a fairy tale (Rumpelstiltskin), in which straw was turned into gold...I can hardly wait to see the treasures these women will make using this fabric!

We have received an offer of more fabric from a generous donor in the Bonney Lake area, so if you would like to join us in our mission, and would like to use free fabric to do so, please let me know! We can connect you with the donor.

Thank you, Sue, Dawn, Becky and Grace!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Generous Heart

Gregg and I stopped by to see Lucile this weekend. She continues to organize her home, organizing, sorting and accomplishing other important tasks which must be done after Noble's passing. We went for a visit, but Lucile's thoughtful generosity never stops; she handed us a bag of five new fleece blankets for Seattle Children's Hospital!

Thank you so much, Lucile!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Gratitude, To and From

Gratitude. It is a great thing to feel, acknowledge and receive. We feel it every day for our guild members and supporters, and we receive it from patients and their families.

I met with Ka and Rich this week, to take delivery of 3 large tubs full of cotton and flannel fabric.
If you or your quilting group need fabric to make quilts for Katie's Comforters Guild, we can supply it, thanks to Ka and Rich's generosity!

We also received the gift of a letter, written by the grandmother of two patients at Seattle Children's Hospital. She said:
"My daughter S. has been at Children's since May with her twin boys...with still weeks if not months before she can bring them home. Both born with many problems. But my daughter was given blankets for their beds that make [her] happy and the babies' beds colorful - so beautiful at such a stressful time. So on behalf of S. and I (Grandma) and the twins
Thank You so much for the happiness you gave her and her baby boys."
You and your precious family are very welcome, Grandma H.!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Lucile & Mickie: 28 New Blankets and Quilts

I went up north to visit Lucile this week. You may recall that her beloved husband, Noble, passed away recently. Lucile has been busy in her home, as well as organizing Noble's workshop. A family of raccoons had made made their nest in the workshop's attic, and had to be dealt with, but none of that stopped our Lucile from donating 10 new fleece blankets! She had them waiting by the front door for me. She is a woman to admire.  
Thank you, Lucile - we are grateful to you!

We received a note on facebook from our friend Michelle Farris, with photographs, letting us know that she and a group of quilters in Seattle and Lynden had made 18 gorgeous new quilts and delivered them to Seattle Children's Hospital for our guild. The photos below were taken by Michelle:

Note the awesome skateboard design in the middle photograph!

Thank you, Michelle, for continuing to inspire and organize quilting groups to wrap patients in comfort! We appreciate you!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Pieces By Polly: "I Spy" Quilt

We were tagged in a facebook posting by Polly of Pieces by Polly. She shared a photo of this super-fun "I Spy" quilt, with the following caption:
"It's been a while since I finished a quilt for Katie's Comforters at #SeattleChildrensHospital. Love to make #ispy #ispyswap quilts for them to give sick kiddos something entertaining. This one is headed out soon @karengberger Katie's Comforters Guild at Seattle Children's Hospital"
Thank you, Polly, for bringing so much comfort and  cheer to patients with your fabric artistry! Your creativity, originality, love and diligence always inspire us!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Sad News

Katie's Comforters Guild is sad to have to say "goodbye" to a beloved member of our community: Noble Nilsen. Noble has been the devoted husband to our dear Lucile for many decades, and a dedicated supporter of our guild. He has made countless car trips, ferrying fabric, quilts, yarn and blankets between their house and our little town. He has been a supporter of Lucile's love of quilting, and her devotion to our mission, patiently carrying bags of quilts from his car to mine, and warmly welcoming us into their lives.
To get an idea of his character, please read this and this.
We send our deepest, most heartfelt condolences and love to Lucile, Marv, YuMae and all of their family and friends at this difficult time. We'll miss Noble; he will always be in our hearts!