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Thread: Need Help

  1. #1
    Senior Member LLWinston44's Avatar
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    Well, one of my best friends just shared yesterday, that her breast biopsy came back with malignant breast cancer. I'm really shocked. I thought for sure it was a fibroid.
    I'm so sad for her. I mean, I know that it's highly treatable, and that the outcomes are very positive these days, but still....... what a crappy journey she's about to embark on.

    I would like to make her a quilt. I am still very very new to quilting, and some of the things I've seen are just so beautiful.... I don't want to throw together something just for the sake of throwing something together.

    I also don't know what to do for a theme. Being new, I have ZIP stash built up, so am going to just have to go and shop. But do I do a breast cancer theme? I was kind of thinking of something in pink and white?

    UGH! I always put SO much pressure on myself because I want it to be SO perfect a gift. My heart is totally in this so it's even worse.

  2. #2
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I am so sorry for you and for your friend. You can use Pink and white, or if I knew what her favorite colors were I would use those.

  3. #3
    Senior Member familyfun's Avatar
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    I totally know how you feel. My best friend at work had breast cancer 3 years ago. She was only 43 and had a double masectomy. I praise her courage for what she went thru. I did not quilt back then but did put together a very nice package of gifts from everyone in our dept at work. I personally think a pink and white quilt would be lovely. I know that my friend appreciated all the breast cancer awarness gifts she got. I think you friend will love whatever you make. I am sending a hug and prayers.

  4. #4
    Super Member Vanuatu Jill's Avatar
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    So sorry about your good friend, but it is such a nice gesture to lovingly make her a quilt. Just my opinion, but I wouldn't do a "pink ribbon" quilt - only because once this is behind her, that quilt might remind her of her terrible journey during this time. But that is just how I would feel-I would want to make it in her favorite colors, or maybe with a theme that might mean someting to her - like if she has a special hobby, "collects" shoes, loves food, gardening, the rugges outdoors, etc. If she is a "girlie girl", lovely floral fabrics in rich colors might be nice. There are a ton of free patterns available on the internet which would be easy and quick to make, letting the fabric choices be the focal. Let us know what you decide and post pics when you can. We are here to help if you need anyting!

    A thought, a rag quilt is cozy and warm with winter coming, and it doesn't need separate backing or binding!! Flannels would be lovely. They are simple squares sewn together with the front and back seams connecting the squares and rows all on the front, then cut in to fringe. When it is washed, it gets all soft and fuzzy and cuddly. At the top, do a search on "rag quilts" and several come up so you can see if you aren't familiar. These are very good for beginners and quick-plus are quilt-as-you-go, meaning you quilt each square before joining them.

  5. #5
    Super Member Rose L's Avatar
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    I'm sorry for your friend's sad diagnosis. I'm sure she'll do well with treatment. Were it me...I'd use some other lovely colors. Pink and white may just be too much of a reminder for her right now. At least that is how I would feel about it.

  6. #6
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    Power Poster QM's Avatar
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    go with her colors, maybe images she likes. I just made a kittens lap quilt starting from nice panels. Several people who saw it werewild about it. IMHO having it done and delivered is what matters.

    I had only one already made quilt when a dear friend was diagnosed. I called my DH to bring it right then. Later I offered to swap for a more complex one. She said, "This is the quilt that healed me." Feelings matter greatly.

  7. #7
    Senior Member LLWinston44's Avatar
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    Okay, so no on the pink and white. I agree. I can save that for the "after" quilt.
    I did think maybe a rag quilt, but what kind of pattern would I do? I see they are I spy style, how could I make it more.... Pretty?? I'll search around. Is flannel more expensive than cotton?? Not trying to be miserly, but we are (like everyone else) on a super tight budget. I usually buy from the sale wall at the LQS and I don't remember seeing flannel. Maybe I'll go check it out tomorrow.

  8. #8
    Super Member Vanuatu Jill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLWinston44
    Okay, so no on the pink and white. I agree. I can save that for the "after" quilt.
    I did think maybe a rag quilt, but what kind of pattern would I do? I see they are I spy style, how could I make it more.... Pretty?? I'll search around. Is flannel more expensive than cotton?? Not trying to be miserly, but we are (like everyone else) on a super tight budget. I usually buy from the sale wall at the LQS and I don't remember seeing flannel. Maybe I'll go check it out tomorrow.
    You can do your rag quilt without a pattern! It is really easy. I just did my first without a pattern, though I did ask for help a little late-things I discovered : decide on a size of square. I used 8" flannel, with two matching squares per block (one is the backing, so the back design will be the same as the front, only the front has all the fringe, and the back are straight seams. I used Warm and Natural batting, which I wouldn't use again unless I wanted a REALLY warm quilt. I would stick to a low-loft poly, or just another layer of flannel in between. If using batting, make sure you cut it smaller than the flannel, so when you make your seams (mine were 3/4"), the batting isn't caught in the seam. Check the tutorial on the board, and go from there. Flannel isn't any more than fabric-is is usually less expensive. They say do not pre-wash your flannel, but wash it after it is done to make the fringe soft and fluffy. I pre-washed mine with color catchers anyway, then washed again with 2 color catchers, and the purple ran on the white, but the fringe fluffed just fine. You might find a lovely print, then pull a color or two from that print and make it simple on yourself. Even a variety of one color looks nice. Or you can go scrappy, making it with a variety of flannels in no particular order. You will find a wide variety of solids or mottled to go with most prints.

  9. #9
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    How about rainbow colors if you don't know her favorite color. Or make something with hearts. Some have made log cabins into a heart or make a postage stamp type quilt which form a great big heart. You could always put flannel on the back for softness. Good luck and I hope all goes well for her.

  10. #10
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    Sorry about your friend's health....but, she is very luckily to have a friend like you. I am sure whatever you piece together willl make a lovely quilt and she will cherish it.

  11. #11
    Super Member sandyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by margoee
    Sorry about your friend's health....but, she is very luckily to have a friend like you. I am sure whatever you piece together willl make a lovely quilt and she will cherish it.
    She will love whatever you make for her. You are a wonderful friend.

  12. #12
    Super Member orangeroom's Avatar
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    I understand your will to make her something that will keep her warm and show her what she means to you.

    That being said, I don't think a rag quilt is the way to go. They shed unbelievably in the first few months. Or rather all the flannel (with batting) ones that I've made, do. I don't think you want to create a mess for her to clean up while going through this.

    There are plenty other easier quilts to do. Check out this post for other ideas. Good luck.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-41091-1.htm

  13. #13
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    She will love that ever u make! What about a 9 patch? Good luck to you both!

  14. #14
    Super Member Grace MooreLinker's Avatar
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    the rag fannel quilt is a good one, soft cozzy,warm and easy to laundry. find her favorite colors..
    May God hold her in His arms and give her what she needs to get through her treatment and healing. Prayer

  15. #15
    Junior Member rainbow quilter's Avatar
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    I'm sorry for what your friend is going through.

    Just my opinion, but you may want to consider something other than a breast cancer theme. As a cancer survivor, cancer and its treatment takes over your life. I can't think of a single area of my life, from food to hobbies to work to bathroom habits. The one thing that I longed for most during 8 months of chemo and radiation was NORMAL. My vote is for something in bright, happy colors if you don't know her favorites.

  16. #16
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rainbow quilter
    I'm sorry for what your friend is going through.

    Just my opinion, but you may want to consider something other than a breast cancer theme. As a cancer survivor, cancer and its treatment takes over your life. I can't think of a single area of my life, from food to hobbies to work to bathroom habits. The one thing that I longed for most during 8 months of chemo and radiation was NORMAL. My vote is for something in bright, happy colors if you don't know her favorites.
    Ditto to Rainbow Quilter's sentiments. And so sorry about your friend's diagnosis.

    While I have not endured cancer personally, I have been down the road with others. "Normal" no longer exists in their lives, so a quilt reflecting their old normal would be loved immensely and help them to anchor to that past, that they want to return to in the future.

    What colours does your friend adore? What are her interests? hobbies? passions? What are some of the special times the two of you have shared together?

    There are so many specialized fabrics that can reflect those ... have fun looking for them and creating a unique quilt for your friend to enjoy ... and yourself too!

  17. #17
    Super Member CoriAmD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose L
    I'm sorry for your friend's sad diagnosis. I'm sure she'll do well with treatment. Were it me...I'd use some other lovely colors. Pink and white may just be too much of a reminder for her right now. At least that is how I would feel about it.
    Ditto that from me. Were I going thru this - I would not want any more reminders at this stage of the journey. See if you can find out what her favorite colors are and do a simple square in a square - goes together quickly but looks more difficult than it really is to make. Hugs and prayers for her speedy recovery and for you to be strong for her.

  18. #18
    Super Member fireworkslover's Avatar
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    Yes, if you knew what her favorite colors were, that would be wonderful. If you knew and could find a print with those colors in it and make her a OBW. Those are the quickest patterns to make in my experience.

  19. #19
    Member mcpatches's Avatar
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    Having just finished 9 months of chemo, a lap sized quilt she can take with her to treatment is a great idea. The treatment rooms are usually kept at a comfortable temp for the staff, but lying in a recliner with IV's running into you can chill anyone and the blankets they have just didn't cut it with me. I recommend a cotton pieced top and flannel backing with a warm batting in the middle. This will keep it fairly light to carry. Rag quilts can get extremely heavy to carry. I was tired and weak after each treatment and don't know if I could have managed a tote bag with a heavy quilt in it. Thankfully hubby accompanied me each week and carried my tote bag for me.

    I second using either her favorite colors, or cheerful colors. There are lots of free patterns. Warm Wishes makes up quickly and you can use a beautiful focus fabric for the square. Using a quick pattern will let her be able to use it during and after treatment.

    I wish your friend good luck. Caught early, breast cancer is very treatable and with the tests and technology now days, they can pinpoint the best treatment for a successful outcome. I had a stage 1 breast cancer 29 years ago before genetic testing and just finished treatment for stage 4 ovarian cancer. Yes, I am one of the lucky ones who have the BRAC-1 gene mutation and got both types. In remission now and celebrate each day that comes along.

  20. #20
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    Sorry to hear of your friends DX. My son went thru Chemo and he took a warm quilt with him everytime. It was made with a flannel back to keep him warm. I make quilts with Angels on them (appliqued) and give them away to some one with this kind of DX. If you would like the pattern let me know and I will send it to you.

  21. #21
    Senior Member LLWinston44's Avatar
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    Wow. It's so nice to have this board to come to for advice and support. Thank you everyone p, for both!!!!!

    I think I had decided on a rag quilt, but now am worried about the weight. Was planning to do 3 layers of flannel, but can see how that might get heavy. Maybe the top layer with cotton and the bottom two with flannel????

  22. #22
    Junior Member Quiltinvaca's Avatar
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    I volunteer in the chemo unit of my local hospital so I see lots of lovely quilts and blankets. In my opinion -- do not use pink & white simply because it would get dirty too fast. Patients do eat & drink while undergoing chemo and stuff gets dropped onto the blankets; plus there is the problem of fluids/blood from an IV.

    Other than that, I suggest bright, cheerful colors. Make any pattern you feel comfortable with but do make it extra long. My patients recline in a reclining chair and they need to be covered from their neck down to their toes (wrap around the feet). Chemo (actually any IV) makes patients chilly so these quilts/blankets are truly used and loved.

    One last suggestion, make the backing from flannel so that it won't slip off your lap easily.

    Good luck and I can guarantee that whatever you make, your friend will feel your love every time she uses the quilt.

  23. #23
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Sooo ...... if it's a take-to-chemo quilt .... from the posts it looks like the best "sandwich" would be flannelette backing, poly batting, and cotton front, with mindfulness to the colour choices.

    Provides non-slip, squishy, light, fluffy and easy to carry.



    On another thought ... is this quilt to be an at-home quilt? Then that may change your thoughts as to the overall structure and colours!

  24. #24
    Super Member Ann912's Avatar
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    Just sent you a PM.

  25. #25
    Junior Member crazy_quilter's Avatar
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    I agree with what a lot of others have posted. Make something out of colors she enjoys, colors that make her feel good, and it doesn't have to be anything fancy, it will be the thought and the love you put into it that will make it most special for her.

    Prayers for your friend and all she will have to go through

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