Thursday, June 12, 2014

How Paying It Forward Keeps Me Sane

Today I'm in a bad mood.  I messed up and put the wrong address into my phone first thing this morning and ended up missing a vet's appointment for both my dogs, and then I had to go to the post office and stand in line.  A LONG line.  Because one woman was a moron and couldn't be bothered to actually read the questions that she was answering on her passport application, so the postal clerk had to go over every. single. question. with. her.  She was obviously well-educated and doing okay financially based on her pattern of speech, number of excuses she made for herself, and type of clothes she was wearing.  It made it very hard for me to feel any sympathy for her as she made an ass of herself repeatedly, as we all got to hear the questions that she'd answered wrong the first time around.

Now I'm trying to remind myself that the world at large isn't such a great place, and that while I was inconvenienced, I was standing in an air conditioned room to mail a funny card to my father-in-law for Father's Day (another thing that put me in a bad mood:  I had to be the one in line when it wasn't my card to send, but that's a different story).  Besides, I had a full belly from a great lunch at one of my favorite cafes, and I got to spend time with mah man (said in my best southern belle accent) in a peaceful garden located on Vandy's campus.  And did I mention that I'm cancer-free?  Yeah, I know.  I've got a lot to be grateful for.

Miranda has become my assistant.  I volunteered her. ;) For all of these pictures, we went to a park across from Vanderbilt's main campus, where there is this awesome sea dragon covered in tile mosaics.  I call this quilt Happy Skies.
Despite all that good fortune, I'm still kind of grumpy, so I'm going to talk about a topic that I hope will help boost my brain's production of endorphins and put a smile back on my face.  I should have written this post last week, but things were busy and I didn't get to it.

Happy Skies, close up.  These are blocks made for me via various quilt bees on flickr.
Many of you may know Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and how she organizes the Hands to Help charity event every year.  H2H continues to grow each year, with more participants and donations each time.  This year, Sarah chose three charities that were collecting quilts.

Close up of one of the Happy Skies blocks.  This color scheme is one of my favorites!
One of these, Happy Chemo!, is near and dear to my heart, so I made two quilts for them and mailed them off on Monday.  Although I was not a recipient of a quilt through this charity when I was going through chemo, I can definitely see the benefits.  I consider myself extremely lucky that I was able to undergo chemo at Vanderbilt, where they have two different infusion facilities for patient convenience along with the luxury of private rooms so I could always bring someone with me to offer moral support.

This is my take on the Marcelle Medallion quilt.  I loved making this quilt, and will probably make another for myself - it was a little hard to let this one go.
Although I had a lot going for me, sadly that's not the case for everyone undergoing treatment.  Lots of places still have the communal chemo room, where patients have the "pleasure" of sharing the company of a bunch of strangers who are also getting infusions.  Not exactly ideal when the medicine you're taking makes you feel like leftover dog poo.

Marcelle Medallion center block.  Since I love paper-piecing, I altered the pattern so that I could PP this block and some of the borders.  Don't you love the Liberty prints used in that star? Yum!
And that's where Happy Chemo! comes in.  Amongst other things, the founder, Ginger Johnson, collects donated quilts and passes them out to folks who might need a little special love.  I hope that the two quilts I donated will make someone's day a little brighter.  It's amazing the amount of loving kindness that you can receive from strangers when you need it most.

The last two borders were a lot of fun.  I thoroughly enjoyed making the plus border, and who can resist pink flamingos??
I experienced it first hand.  I have my very own quilt from all my quilting flickr friends hanging right here beside my computer so I can see it constantly, and it never fails to bring a smile to my face.

Marcelle Medallion, all rolled up and ready to go to a new home.  If you are dealing with cancer, and need a little love, don't hesitate to click on the link above for Happy Chemo!
So here's me, trying to share a little of that love in my own effort to pay it forward to some of my brothers and sisters undergoing cancer treatment.  Can you tell that I had fun taking photos?  :)


Reene@Nellie's Niceties said...

Hooray for being cancer free! Xx

the running hare said...

What great news! Your quilts are lovely and won't fail to cheer the recipients up no end

Annie said...

Good for you, Maria! Your quilts are so full of pay it forward love. And they look beautiful. I think some people are very good at playing dumb just to get others to wait on them and give them some much needed attention.

Yvonne@Nellie's Niceties said...

Such beautiful quilts, no doubt the recipients will feel the love that has gone into them. So pleased to hear you are now cancer free.

Michelle said...

Congrats on cancer free!! How wonderful.

And those quilts are A M A Z I N G

zoe said...

both these quilts are lovely, lovely, and i agree about the patch with the clock, it has wonderful colors. i am terribly sorry about chemo and very pleased that it's over for you! the marcelle medallion is certain to fulfill its intentions (or rather, yours) in every way!