Could I sew a baby quilt to donate to a good cause, my son texted – in two weeks?
At the beginning of February, my son Carlos sent me a text message asking if I happened to have made an extra baby quilt that he could purchase. He and some friends were organizing a benefit for a young couple who were adopting, and he wanted to donate a quilt to the silent auction.
More than 20 years ago, my husband, John, and I adopted Carlos and his older brother, Matthew, from Colombia. The fact that Carlos wanted to help others adopt a child pleased me. I wanted to affirm his generous spirit, but I didn't have any spare quilts lying around the house because usually I create quilts for the arrival of a specific child.
"Let me see what I can do," I texted back. If the woman who machine quilts my tops could squeeze another one in, maybe I could make this work. "When do you need the quilt?"
"By the 24th," Carlos texted back.
Only two weeks until the benefit! In the midst of reviewing galleys for a book and knowing that any day we would tap our maples and start boiling syrup, where would I find time to sew a quilt top? I put down my phone and started cutting out nine Ohio Star blocks in primary colors.
The machine quilter had once suggested that if I sent two small quilt tops that were the same size, she could baste them onto one long piece of backing and quilt them as though they were a single quilt. Because I had just finished sewing a top for another baby quilt, I figured my quilter could follow her proposed plan if I sneaked in another top for Carlos.
A week later, I sent both tops to the blessed lady. We conferred about the quilting pattern and thread color. She began to stitch, and within four days, a box arrived with the completed tops. My treadle sewing machine whirred as I added the binding to the benefit quilt.