The day has finally come! As of this morning, I finished the last two blankets!!! Teri and I headed out to ODU and laid out all the blankets on the lawn in front of Webb Center to take pictures. Teri and I created the Patchworks of Love project in April. We asked for donations from students, faculty, and staff at ODU, as well as through my work, to donate used clothing and sheets which we then turned into patchwork quilts. I will be taking these quilts and remaining donations with me to South Africa in a few weeks. I will be working at the Khayelitsha Maternity Clinic as a birth doula for 3 weeks and these patchworks will be given to the babies born during my stay. In total 72 patchwork quilts were made!!! A friend also donated 5 gently used baby blankets making a grand total of 77 blankets to be donated! We caused quite a stir has we laid out the blankets. Several people asked us about the project and it gave us a great opportunity to raise awareness.
This project has taught me so many things. Each of these patchworks is completely unique in their fabrics, patterns, and size. While looking at all the blankets laid out, I could recall a memory made with almost every blanket. This project was not possible with out the help of about 15 different people. Each one of you have donated your clothing, money, time, and love to make this a reality. These patchworks are a manifestation of your commitment to others and your desire to help those less fortunate than yourself.
I want to say thank you to everyone who donated clothing for the cause, without you this could not have happened!
Thank you to Cathleen Rhodes, Justin Sprague, and David for donating clothing, batting, and your time!
Thank you to Kelly Varner and Barbara Howard for shipping fabric all the way from California! You guys are awesome!
Thank you to Vaughan Frederick and Katie Anderson for cutting and pinning squares for us!
Thank you to Rachel Crockett Hunter for letting me borrow your sewing machine for the past 1 1/2 months and donating thread!! The machine and I have truly bonded but I am glad to see it go!!!
Thank you to my awesome mother-in-law and Mamo-in-law for making 5 blankets and shipping them from Texas!! I love you both so much!
Thank you to Poema Community Church for donating money to purchase space bags to ensure all the items fit in our suitcases and make it on the plane!
Thank you to my aunt Mimi Brown and baby cousin Hannah for coming through in the last few
days to help me finish sewing 47 blankets!!! You guys are powerhouses and I could not have done it with out you!!
Thank you to my mother, Debbie Eakes, who pinned and sewed tirelessly by my side for the last month! I love you mama!
Thank you to Erika Tolive who almost single-handedly cut all the fabric used in these blankets. I would estimate that Erika cut ATLEAST 1300 six inch x six inch squares. She has donated her time probably more than any one else to this cause. She also helped me this past weekend to push through and finish the last 50 blankets!! She has been a constant source of inspiration, always telling me when I was tired or didn't feel like working, "It's for the babies!" Kikamoy, you are truly an inspiration. It has been wonderful to spend time with you and the baby every week and deepen our friendship. I love you so much and cannot thank you enough!!
Lastly, I wanted to thank Teri Sheffield. Teri, you have been my rock these past few months. Every time I thought we wouldn't have enough donations, batting, thread, machines, time, or energy, you always came through with a word of encouragement or a spelunking adventure. Your pure heart and positive energy kept me going. It has been so amazing to get to know you better and to share our stories about life and love. I know you will be with me in spirit during this trip. Know that with each blanket given out, those babies will be receiving a little piece of your love and heart. I cannot wait to see what our next journey together will entail!! Love you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So without delay, here are the long awaited pictures showcasing your dedication, hard work, and creativity to the cause. Enjoy!
The lovely Katie Anderson, Dr. Fish, Teri and myself!
Trying not to cry!!
Teri and I