Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Quilts for Oncology

Our hospital has a full-time oncologist for the first time and a nice chemo office so oncology patients can get treatment here instead of having to travel outside the San Luis Valley for treatment. Within the last year I have been touched by cancer through three different people, my mom and two quilt guild members. One of the guild members is getting her treatment here and told us that they are using quilts donated by our guild members in the chemo office. These quilts stay at the hospital.

We got to talking at our recent retreat and decided to see if the oncology department could use more quilts. The answer was yes and no. The office itself has all the quilts it store/use at the moment, but they are interested in having quilts to give to patients to bring with them since most patients use more than one quilt at a time. They anticipate having more patients now that they have a full-time oncologist, like 5 to 10 new patients a month. So ... could we possibly provide them with 5 to 10 quilts a month?! And they would like to have a nice bag to put the quilts in along with some other things they give new patients (water bottle, chapstick, lotion, sunscreen, ....). The idea being that patients could carry their quilt plus some other stuff to and from their treatments.

I took it upon myself to come up with a size range for the quilts along with making up a bag pattern. After talking with some of the hospital staff as well as a chemo patient I determined that 40" to 50" wide and 50" to 60" long is the best size range. My Scrap Basket Churn Dash is 45" by 54". I finished it up last week.

It is simply quilted with an all-over loop pattern. For the back I used up the last of a tea cup print I really like.

The pattern for the Scrap Basket Churn Dash is from the Happy Zombie blog. Click here for the pattern.

For the bag I used some duck canvas and scraps from the front. Full disclosure, I had some yardage left over that I saved thinking I might use it for binding. I didn't use it for binding, but it worked out perfectly for the bag.

The tote is 16" by 16" by 5" deep and has two pockets. A good size for carrying a quilt plus a book, lunch, water bottle, wallet, etc.

I need to write up the pattern for the bag to pass out to guild members.

One quilt down! I have another finished quilt too. It needs a bag. I plan to take pictures while making the second bag to use for a tutorial that will complement the written pattern. I'll share the tutorial with you too in case you'd like to make a bag for yourself.


West Michigan Quilter said...

I love your quilt. Great way to use scraps. The backing is adorable! Love you bag too. Very clever! What a great idea for your group to donate to this worthy cause.

Tanya Quilts in CO said...

I am thrilled your guild is donating. It would be great if you could share the bag pattern. I am currently making a charity quilt for an organization called Happy Chemo. They give quilts to chemo patients too.

Mama Pea said...

What a great quilt and what a wonderful project. You are always so thoughtful. The bag is a really neat idea!