A riot of color

Picking up quilts for Wrap-A-Smile is a happy excuse to venture out and break up the routine of our stay-at-home days.  Last week I was in Unity, Maine, where friend Polly (see blog post of Nov 18, 2019) gave me 27 quilts,  all made by her - start to finish - since I last saw her in February.  It's a good thing we're not a competitive group as her 6-month total is now 56 quilts for WAS!!  That would be hard to beat.  Go, Polly, go!!
Polly often works in pairs, making two of a design, but never identical.  A sampling of her bounty is posted here.
Even though medical missions are still on hold due to COVID-19 I am happily storing these quilts until we can send them off to comfort the children who have so inspired Polly. 
Yesterday took me to a favorite quilt shop in Nobleboro, Maine, where I met new friend Sue to receive her  2 beautiful quilts for WAS.  A new friend, more quilts, and time in a fabric store.....who could ask for more?!
            Thank you Polly and Sue for your ge…

Service Above Self

As I continue to think about Terry's legacy, I also need to mention her love for Rotary which was as important to her as her quilting.

Terry was a second-generation Rotarian, becoming a member in 1987, just a month after women were first invited to join the organization.  She held every office in her club, including club president. Being a "people person", she always sought out Rotarians when she traveled, often staying with them through Rotary's host exchange program. Her gregarious nature, and commitment to Rotary networking, were instrumental in building the reach of Wrap-A-Smile.

Back in 2013, Terry was honored with Rotary International's Service Above Self Award, which is the highest honor an individual Rotarian may receive. It is given to those who demonstrate exemplary humanitarian service with an emphasis on personal volunteer efforts and active involvement in helping others through Rotary. Terry was only the eighth Rotarian in our District to ever rece…

A tribute

Today I am sadly sharing the news that our beloved founder of Wrap-A-Smile, Terry (Hodskins) Fullam, has passed away.  Conversations during her final days centered on the joys she experienced through her love of quilting: the friends she made and the lives that were comforted through Wrap-A-Smile quilts that have been shared around the world.

It was Terry's inspiration nearly 20 years ago that led to the founding of our project.  Seeing children wrapped in paper drapes after their Rotaplast surgeries to repair cleft lip and cleft palate, she said "we can do better".  She went home and immediately finished the first quilt to be donated.  Terry quickly developed a network and the next volunteer mission to Venezuela carried 100 quilts, enough for every child treated. Current total is over 26,000 quilts that have been created by hundreds of quilters and shared in over 28 countries. Quite a story, and quite a legacy!

Forever humble, Terry always gave the credit to others who …

Mendota revisited

Quilts started at last June's Sunshine Online Quilt Guild's retreat in Mendota Heights, MN, are still flying around the country!  This week Wrap-A-Smile received a generous box of 6 Mendota quilts finished by Bev H in Eugene, OR.  And what a display of bold, fun colors!!  We are all anxious for the Rotary medical teams to resume their volunteer surgeries so these quilts can be put to work. The kids are really going to love these!

Retreat organizers Carol and Beth chose this block for its simplicity, and yet it has resulted in an infinite variety of creative possibilities. And it was a great scrap buster to boot. For those who aren't familiar with this story, over 3000 blocks were sent in ahead of the retreat, and somewhat sorted by color. Then 15 of us showed up in person to spend 4 days piecing together tops for Wrap-A-Smile and Quilts Beyond Borders.  Over 140 tops were created, with half destined to eventually come to WAS. Some of the tops came home with each of us, to …

She farms, she bakes, she sews (and sews)

Greetings from the quiet coast of Maine.  You are probably aware that international humanitarian medical missions are currently on hold until governments deem that it is safe to travel.  However, the need for this volunteer care still exists and the organizations we support are working hard to maintain their fundraising and to plan for the future.  Rotaplast hopes to return to Guatemala in September and Alliance for Smiles is still scheduled to return to Myanmar in October. And we are making sure that they will have a full supply of quilts for their missions.

In the meantime, there seems to be a silver lining for quilters!  Forced to stay home? Relegated to the sewing studio? Need I say more?

Today I want to reintroduce my friend Kim from West Walworth, NY. The post on November 29, 2018 tells how Kim and her group, Quilts for Kids, got involved with Wrap-A-Smile. Or you may remember her, wearing her surgical boot as she delivered a trunk full of quilts to us last summer.

The story I …

The Kits Project

A generous grant from the Rotary Club of Winchester, MA, is funding a new endeavor to grow our network of quilters for Wrap-A-Smile.  When Winchester Rotarians heard about our plan to provide starter kits to promote an outreach program for new quilters they jumped onboard with their support.

Fabrics were acquired, kits were started but then, like many of our activities these days, the brakes were applied when social distancing became the norm.  Fortunately, while we could still get out, a few kits were shared locally in Maine, and at The Villages in Florida.

Today I received a package from The Villages with a quilt beautifully constructed from one of the kits.  A kit contains fabric pieces cut for just the top of a quilt but this one arrived in completed form.  For you non-quilters that means layered, stitched and bound, ready to hug a child when the medical missions are able to resume their good works.

Simple design, bright colors, made with love, ready for cuddling. 
Thank you Jean …

Belated, but sincere

Shortly before our daily lives turned upside down, Wrap-A-Smile hosted a collaborative day of sewing together at the Boothbay Harbor Rotary clubhouse.  It's a large room so there was plenty of space to spread out with our machines, ironing stations and various projects.

Quilts were started, some were finished, and a good time was had by all.  I want to personally thank everyone who made it such a special day. We probably did not totally appreciate at the time how special it can be to share a group experience.  I suspect all of us who participated are still sewing at home, but I for one am missing the in-person camaraderie.  Thank you all for your generosity in continuing to create quilts for the children and others helped by the medical missions. And thank you for the friendships created through this joint effort.