The Busy Bean

Christmas Quilt for Mom


I’m just not sure, until you’ve met her, if you can understand how awesome my mom is. You’ll just have to trust me. She’s brave and strong and (almost always) nice and genuinely a good person.  So for Christmas, we wanted to do something really special for her. See, my mom also has Multiple Myeloma, a form of blood cancer. Just over a week from now, she will be checking in to the hospital for a nice long stay to have her 2nd stem cell transplant. She won’t be able to spend as much time with us as she normally does, so my sister came up with the idea of making her a quilt. Which means, I got to make her a quilt.

We started off with some kind of handprint idea, like our hands were helping her through it. All of her children and their spouses and her grandchildren used fabric paint and signed our names. This turned into a great label for the quilt, to show her who it was from.

I thought it would be fun to have everyone make a square for her. Since I’m the only one who quilts, and almost the only one who sews at all, I knew coloring was the way to go. I gave everyone a square of cream fabric and told them to draw her a picture with Crayola crayons. We got a great variety that really represents the members of our family.

Debbie played with words that describe my mom, and since we are all Words With Friends junkies (though neither mom nor I has been able to beat Debbie) it was quite appropriate to put them in this format.


Of course, the kids’ were the best, mostly scribbles, but they are very representative of the fact that they are all under four years old.


Sister taught all the kids to say I love you in sign language (she learned ASL to serve a mission for our church). She thought mom should always know how much we all love her.

And of course, there are the geeks. Like, all the boys. This is my husband’s cell phone geekery. My oldest brother had the vulcan “Live long and prosper” sign traced out with his hand, and other brother turned Grandma Glo into a super hero.

And this is the one we made mom color herself. Yeah, we are just that sneaky. On mom’s birthday all the girls got together for brunch and scrapbooking at sister’s house. I needed three extra squares to make an easy layout, so we gave the little girls some crayons and told them to color. Then we asked my mom to show them the bunnies she used to make. See, while my mom is an amazing painter, sketching isn’t really her strong point. Growing up, I remember these bunnies she used to draw all the time. I think it’s the only thing she can really draw besides basic shapes. I love those bunnies.


So, here’s the whole thing. I framed all of our colored blocks with a scrappy log cabin style and added the handprints at the bottom. Sister came over one night and cut all the strips for it from my scraps. I’ve got to say, piecing the top was so much faster since I didn’t have to do any of the cutting myself!

Now, I think mom’s only downfall (and it’s only a downfall as far as quilting is concerned) is that her favorite color is red. We wanted this to be soft and snuggly, so I backed it in red flannel. I washed the flannel several times before quilting it. I used color catchers, and Retayne and Synthrapol. I was not taking chances of this thing bleeding. But it bled anyway. I pulled it out of the washing machine just a few days before Christmas and everything was pink. And I cried. Like, sitting on my kitchen floor (next to the laundry room) just in tears because I ruined Christmas. Yeah, I may have been a little bit exhausted.

Thankfully, I have great friends that I can always count on. I called Kati and begged her to tell me it was ok and that the pink would come out. She was awesome, as always. She talked me down from my crazy and said that my mom was going to love it no matter what. She looked up when Lee had a similar problem and told me just what to try. So, I washed it several times with oxyclean, and the pink faded quite a bit. It’s still much more pink than cream, but I feel a lot better about it. I am truly blessed to have such great friends through this little quilting hobby.

And of course, mom did love it. She opened it on Christmas at my house and cried.

I think we did good.

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9 Thoughts on “Christmas Quilt for Mom

  1. jkRibbit on December 29, 2011 at 4:25 pm said:

    Oh. My. Goodness. That is an amazing gift. Such a fantastic idea with all of the personal touches. I’m not surprised Mom cried – I’m crying just reading about it! It’s just beautiful, Colleen. Thank you for sharing!! 🙂

  2. Oh that looks absolutely fabulous! Love all the different blocks, and the handprint idea is awesome! Plus, it looks pretty much cream from here, so all is good with the world :o) Hope your mum has a successful stay in hospital and that the quilt brings her much comfort while she’s there.

  3. Colleen–this turned out amazing. I’m so glad everything turned out well. Tell your mom good luck next week for me. I’m thinking of you guys.

  4. The quilt squares could have been bright pink and I still would have loved it. I know it will bring me much comfort during my hospital stay. I love my family and their thoughfulness. I am so blessed to have such wonderful and talented children.

  5. What a special, thoughtful gift! She will love it.

  6. i am so sorry to hear about your mom’s cancer but what a beautiful beautiful gift for her to have this quilt. all of the little extra’s you put into it will make it such a special treasure for her. beautiful!

  7. Good luck Gloria! You have such a beautiful daughter and I am so happy to call her my friend. I hope this amazing quilt brings you lots of comfort during you hospital stay.
    Fathead, you are amazing! I love you!

  8. Debbie on January 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm said:

    It turned out beautiful!! Thanks to you and Steph for doing all the work.

  9. What a wonderful quilt! You really do have the best mom, she is such an example to me and I’m sure that quilt is going to help keep her strong!

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