Monday, August 20, 2012

F... CANCER - Quilt #7

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fuck cancer quilt made for a friend with hodgkins lymphomaCancer sucks!  A friend was recently diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma.  He's had lymph nodes removed, had his lungs drained of fluid a few times already, and is now going through chemo.  Hearing of his diagnosis really hit us hard.  Being thousands of miles away, there isn't much we can do for the family.  Even though it's very hot where he lives right now - everytime I see a picture of him in the hospital I think, 'he needs to have a custom blanket', because that is something I can do to let him, and his family, know that we are thinking of him.  So, the search for fabric began.

My husband (Daryl) even got interested in this blanket so we made it a collaborative project.  He made suggestions for fabrics and had veto rights for the stuff I picked out.  Our friend has participated in many Ironman races, both half and full.  His favorite part of the race is biking.  He loves watching sports, he's a chef and he loves his wine.  I scoured the internet and every quilt/fabric store I went into to find a bunch of fabrics I could use for a mash up quilt.

fuck cancer quilt with livestrong hand embroideryIn case my friend, or any of you out there reading, are wondering my thoughts behind the fabrics: here we go. In addition to the interests listed above, I found out his favorite colors are yellow and black because of Lance Armstrong's LIVESTRONG Cancer Charity.  Those fabrics (with LIVESTRONG hand embroidered on them) speak for themselves.  Since an Ironman consists of a bike race, swim race and running race I found fabrics representing each (there were slim pickin's though - thank goodness for the Summer Olympics the stores had sports fabrics in stock).  Then there's the food, chef and wine fabrics.  My favorite find was the print of chef's on bikes with wine and/or bread.  I wanted the blanket to be full of everything that my friend enjoys.  I wanted him to see something new or have it look different everytime he uses it. 

fuck cancer quilt features fabrics representing what the recipient likesOnce all the fabrics were picked out, I brought my friend Dionne into the collaboration.  I needed something that would go together fairly quick because I didn't want it to be a month before I could send this off.  I shared with her Daryl's thoughts on how he wanted the fabrics to go together and we formulated a plan based on a scrappy quilt.  Scrappy quilts are generally small strips sewn together in order to reduce the size of our scrap fabric pile.  I wanted the blanket to be about the size of my couch snuggler, which is 42" x 60", and since we wanted to see enough of each fabric pattern, we decided on the finished strips at 4" x 9".  Since I was staggering each row I'd also need some 4" x 5" pieces to fill in on the ends. 

I found that doing hand embroidery in the car on a long trip really helped to pass the time.  When I got home, I also discovered my writing isn't very good when trying to stitch in a moving vehicle.  In addition to the LIVESTRONG hand embroidery, I added 140.6 in a few places - which is the number of miles in a full Ironman race.  There's one little secret message to cancer inconspicuosly stitched into the blanket.  Since it contains a bad word (hint: look at the title of this post) I won't repeat it here.  I wonder when my friend will find it.  :)

I heard from a friend who's mother had Hodgkins Lymphoma that she was always cold and her skin was very sensitive from the chemo treatments.  So, keeping that in mind I used a soft, cuddly flannel for the back.

To make this blanket:
(68)  4.5" x 9.5" strips
(7)    4.5" x 5" strips
Backing and batting: at least 46" x 66"  (You want a couple inches on all sides)
(5) pieces into a strip 8 times
(4) pieces into a strip 7 times
the 4.5" x 5" pieces onto each end of the 4 piece strip so it's the same length as the 5 piece strip
All the rows together
Create your quilt sandwich of quilt top, batting and backing.  Baste.  Stitch in the ditch following the quilting width instructions of the batting you are using

Get well soon Rob!  We love you!

~ Enjoy ~

p.s. - for anyone wondering about the post for quilt #6, you haven't missed it - I can't post that for another week or two.  I need to wait until the recipient has seen the blanket first.  But - it's a cute one, and I can't wait to share it with you!


  1. what a wonderful gift for your friend-my too was always cold when she was having her chemo and radiation treatments. May he feel the love in this quilt-
    loved the story on how you decided the fabics and all that went into it.

  2. Thank you Cheryl for the comment/feedback and for reading this post. It's near and dear to my heart. :)

  3. Tina
    You continue to astound me! You are such a smart, articulate woman! And so very talented! You inspire me to be a thinker, smarter, and a better person!
    Love this blanket! The sentiment about cancer and all the fabrics you found!

  4. Judi, wow - thank you. Do you know how much you inspire me? You do so much for so many. I've learned a lot from you - and more than just sewing. I'm VERY grateful to have you as my friend. xoxo