How We Design: Good Wishes

Good Wishes image

While we normally do all our own fabric designs, one day we were presented with an opportunity to use artwork from a very special source. We were shown a group of drawings done by 7 year olds in Mrs. Nevins' Westchester, New York elementary school class. The children had been asked to draw pictures of things they would want for a fellow class mate who might be hospitalized. "Something that might make them happy". Their pictures would be turned into a fabric that would be sent to hospitalized kids, hoping to cheer them up. While the words in the drawings at first seemed meant for another child, the messages of Love, Hope, Joy and Faith touch a person of any age. And who wouldn't smile at the thought of Vacation, Pizza and Ice Cream?

Quilts for Kids, Inc, a Nation-wide non-profit charity, headquartered in Yardley, PA, was the conduit between the school kids and the hospitalized children. Founded in 2000 by Linda Arye, this "Green" organization uses discontinued washable cotton fabric samples and other unwanted fabrics, that would have otherwise been discarded into landfills, and pairs them with volunteer quilters throughout North America. These quilts are gifted to children in need globally.

Quilters may use their own fabric or contact Linda at Headquarters to obtain pre-cut kits that can be sewn into quilts that comfort children with life threatening illnesses as well as children of abuse. As of 2008, Millions of pounds of once discarded fabrics have been saved from landfill and an estimated 50,000 quilts have been made and distributed by Quilts for Kids. Tens of thousands of wheelchair bags and hospital bed rail bags have been created and gifted from the heavier weight fabrics. It is just another way to keep this unwanted fabric from landfill and help children in need in the process.

Inspired not only by the children, but by the good works of the remarkable founder of Quilts for Kids, we decided to produce Good Wishes, a collection of two Crypton patterns: Good Things and Wish, and donate 10% of the sales to Quilts for Kids. The monies help with shipping costs so that more quilters can participate and create gifts of love to children in need.

We were given over 75 drawings, and selected 28 to be put into a 36" vertical x 27" horizontal repeat. We included kid's favorites, such as Candy and Ice Cream, as well as Love, Smile and Try. Kathleen had spelled out the word Holidays and the 'l' was made with a row of stars. We cut them apart and randomly set them on a solid color, to make the coordinating fabric 'Wish'.
Good Wishes image
Good Wishes image Good Wishes image
We received the blankets and selected a palette of bright, happy colors. The final production trials arrived so we could check for repeat marks.
Good Wishes image Good Wishes image
We invited Linda to come and see the fabrics we had created. The collection's colors reflected the cheerful colors found in any of the quilts.
Good Wishes image Our friend Randy Rubin, of Crypton fame, became aware of our collection and was inspired to make and sell from her web site bags using Good Things and Wish. Now available from www.crypton.com or www.quiltsforkids.org, the bags are useful for carrying everything from laptops to use as book bags and beach totes as well as can be used as diaper bags. Best of all is that ALL profits from the sales go to www.QuiltsforKids.org.
Good Wishes image
The final collection is a tribute to all those 7 year olds who knew the perfect words to say, 'I wish for you happiness and love'.

For more information about Linda's remarkable charity and good works, visit www.quiltsforkids.org, 215-295-5484.