Sunday, December 7, 2014

Quilt Project Wrap Up!

The total number of quilts donated to the Gift of Life Transplant House in Rochester, Minnesota, came to 70....far surpassing my goal of 30 in honor of their 30 years of service to transplant patients! This was a result of the generosity of quilting and non-quilting friends and even strangers from a total of 8 states all across the country.

In the very last few weeks before our trip to Rochester for my husbands two year check up AND the quilt delivery, a neighbor and quilter who shared my enthusiasm for the project from the beginning, and who quilted some of the quilts on her long-arm machine, decided to tell KARE 11 television here in the Twin Cities about this project. They were interested in covering it and the whirlwind finale and publicity of the project was a really unexpected and wonderful experience.

It resulted in this  'Extra' feature aired on the 10 p.m. news on December 2. Take a look.

Reporter, Lindsey Seavert did a superb job covering all aspects of the project with excellent video footage by  photographer Deb Lyngdal.

What a talented duo! In just over 3 minutes, they told the story better than I ever could! (literally editing 4+ hours of videotaping overnight !)

The Rochester newspaper also covered it a few days later. A link to that article can be found HERE.

I sewed a label to each quilt; personalizing the donor/maker information. I think the residents will get comfort from these quilts knowing that someone who doesn't even know them cares about them during a stressful time away from home.

A slideshow of all the quilts can be found on Flickr.

As I finished up that last quilt, sewing on the binding and applying the label, Deb was filming. When I finished she asked, "How does that feel?". My first response was, '"Happy". The project had become more than I'd ever imagined. Her question made me realize that making the quilts and collecting quilts and quilt tops, making backings and bindings, doing the labels and photography, meeting new people and seeing their eagerness to participate, all of it made me realize that it had become a real highlight of my 30+ years of quilting!  So I was happy but also sad in a way to see it come to an end. The delivery of the quilts was a joyful conclusion that will always be a great memory.
Updated Resident Room!

I have taken great pleasure in all things quilt related for years and years ....making and giving and collecting quilts, doing appraisals, lectures, trunk shows, studying vintage quilts...all of it has been great but this project was something different.
Perhaps along the way, while busy sewing and finishing it all up, I forgot about the gift that started it all. The selfless gift to my husband of a kidney from a long time friend - a true Gift of Life.

Organ Donation Saves Lives!


  1. Congrats on a more than successful effort, Jean! Very cool story!

  2. What a heart warming story!! Quilters are generous people. I am so glad your husband was able to find a donor and is doing well. Now all the new patients will be wrapped in love before going to sleep.

  3. What a journey, so glad for so many happy endings. I watched the Kare 11 piece a couple times.

  4. Oh how wonderful. What a difference you have made for people who need comfort. I think you have also raised awareness of how important it is to be an organ donor. Thank you for your efforts and I am glad all went well with your husband.


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