Other than family, HeartStrings has been my major focus for the last 7 years. As I quilted this top today and as we begin our 8th year, I though about how my attitudes have changed. There will always be more need for quilts than can be met and there were years that I felt overwhelmed by the task of meeting as many of those needs as I could but a couple years ago, on the edge of burning out, I took a small step back. I stopped accepting non HeartStrings tops to quilt and donate and I allowed myself more time for my own quilting. In spite of that last year I quilted, tied, and donated more quilts than ever yet I felt less stressed about it. It just happened to work out that way.

Here’s the HeartStrings top quilted today – it’s one I brought home to finish from the last WI/MN sew-in. Quilted with my more linear variation of the Pajama Quilter’s Fern Ziggle. This is #2 of 9 HeartStrings donation tops that are on my list to be quilted by the end of February. A very doable goal even with the amount of travel planned.


A little closer …


Before I left for GA, I sent out one of my donation quilts to someone in need, a complete stranger. Most of the time I never know where my quilts end up but I had a lovely thank you email – with photos of the recipient – that showed me once again how much a quilt can comfort someone going through difficult times.

My life is full right now with family, travel, other volunteer opportunities, and my obsession with knitting to the point that sometimes quilting takes a back seat both in my life and here on the blog. I’m OK with that but don’t worry, I’ll continue to make and donate quilts – it’s how I personally make a difference in people’s lives.

11 thoughts on “HeartStrings

  1. Penny G

    You do so much and ask for so little! How is the work on the condo progressing or is it in insurance limbo?

  2. Nancy

    I want my hobbies to be just that. I do knit for several charities and make and donate Quilts of Valor, but I do it on my time schedule. I want these activities to be enjoyable and not a drudgery or have a feeling of obligation, so I understand where you are saying.

  3. San

    Another lovely finish Mary. I’m sure all the quilts you finish are greatly appreciated. And I’m very glad you are safe at home and missed this terrible storm.

  4. Nancy Mahan

    I think that the balance you have found is necessary – without it is only a matter of time before anyone would burn out. I love to see all that you do.

  5. SaraF

    the quilting design on this is very pretty.

    I’m glad to hear that you received a thank you – it does help one realize how much the recipient appreciated the quilt. Affirmation that you do make a difference in someone’s life. I’m sure all of the quilts are welcome comforts – but it is great to know for sure occasionally.

  6. Pat

    I really enjoy your photos, especially the close-ups you take of your quilting. They are always so inspiring.

    Thank you for taking the time out of your busy life to blog. You are appreciated probably more than you’ll ever know.

  7. Kathie L

    glad you took a step back and slowed down a bit. Yes you are making a difference but have to be un-stressed about it to enjoy the whole process.

  8. Lynne

    Lovely quilting. I’m sure we all have different interests at different times! Fifteen years ago, for me, it was painting, first with acrylics then with pastels. Before that it was counted cross stitch embroidery. Then came scrap booking, then a resurgence of knitting. During that time, I started my blog (as Too Hot to Knit? Never!) and joined the Knitters Guild of NSW. Four years ago I was introduced to quilting but my interest didn’t become serious till I found a good teacher three years ago. Knitting is still my go-to craft, especially when I need some quiet, non-thinking activity but I love my hand-piecing and my machine piecing too.

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