Quilt ADD in therapy

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Colorado, United States
Other than my family, the passion of my life is quilting. An eclectic, I love a wide variety of styles and techniques encompassing both machine and hand work. I am a longarm quilter who can work for you. I enjoy any style, from pantographs to all-over to full custom, ranging from traditional to modern. I love bringing vintage tops to life and am willing to work with a challenging quilt top. Instagram: lyncc_quilts

Friday, May 3, 2013

Finish Report - Marissa's Restore Innocence Civics Project

In our school district, Civics is a required class for graduation, and to pass that class, you must do a minimal number of hours of an approved community service. Marissa got permission to make a quilt under the auspices of the Front Range Modern Quilt Guild, and her targeted organization was Restore Innocence. Before moving out here to Colorado and coming into contact with people who work with rescued girls and women, I had no clue about the extent of human trafficking in the United States. It's truly appalling.

The best way for us to journal this for me to insert her report, so I'm just going to do that.  :)  Hope you enjoy, and may you be inspired to include a little community service sewing each month in your lives - be that making quilts for Restore Innocence, Quilts of Valor, firehouses or police stations, or battered women and children's center, Christmas stockings for children's centers, bibs for Alzheimer's patients, fetal demise pouches for stillborns, wheel chair lap quilts for nursing homes, or individual blocks for any variety of gifts of love to people near and far. 

Here are Marissa's words:


For my Civics project, I made a quilt for Restore Innocence. This included piecing the top, basting all the layers together, and quilting it. The quilt I made used a rainbow of colors on a white background. The entire quilt is 165 separate pieces. This part took about six and a half hours.

Finding a layout I like

I went to the April meeting of my mom’s quilt guild to show them the top. It took my mom and I about an hour and a half to pin-baste the layers. I quilted it in a grid-work style that’s popular with modern quilting. My mom did about a third of the quilting to get it finished on time, and it took us each about four hours to quilt the entire thing. Once the quilt was finished it was washed, so it would be clean and ready for its future owner. On the third Saturday of May, I will show the guild the finished quilt, and then turn it in to Restore Innocence.

Sewing rows together

At the guild meeting I learned that my work making a quilt helps them at the same time that it helps the charity I chose. This is because the guild is a non-profit organization and keeps track of its community service hours to help determine its tax-free status. But the real beneficiary will be a girl, probably very close to my age, at the Cinderella House in Colorado Springs. “Restore Innocence is a faith-based, 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping victims of child trafficking. Because of the lack of aftercare facilities specific to victims of domestic minor sex trafficking in the United States, Restore Innocence operates The Cinderella House, a safe house where victims can find true restoration.”

Showing the top at the guild meeting

What new skills did I learn? I learned more about color theory, such as how the traditional R-B-Y color wheel is all wrong. I learned how to use an advanced sewing machine, and also how to pin-baste a quilt. You need to tape the layers down on a flat surface. You can’t let the pins be too far apart, or else the quilt will have ugly creases in the back.

Pin-basting the layers

I would say it was a positive experience because nothing really happened that was negative. I scraped up my finger pulling pins when the quilt was done, but overall, it went well.

Learning to use the safety-pin tool

I have grown personally working on this project, because I learned that there’s so much more to community service than volunteering. The guild my mom goes to now does things like fetal demise bags, so mothers who have stillbirths don’t need to take their baby home in a brown paper bag. They also do firehouse quilts, so that if a child’s home burns down, the fire station can give the child a quilt. The Flying Needles quilt guild focuses on quilts of valor for military people who are injured on deployment, wheelchair lap quilts for nursing homes, quilted bibs for Alzheimer’s patients, and quilted stockings for children’s centers. And my mother told me about opportunities for community sewing that are organized in the blog world; for example, in the past year, she has answered calls for cheerful pillowcases for the surviving elementary students at Sandy Hook, quilt blocks for a woman whose husband died of a brain tumor, quilt blocks for a young bride whose husband was killed in Afghanistan, and most recently, blocks for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

Showing the finished quilt to Mrs. Richie, my Guild supervisor

I never realized how much community service you can do from your own home. It’d be great for someone who’s very introverted, or has just moved to somewhere new and doesn't know anyone.

Here you can see the back

When I took the finished quilt to Mrs. Richie’s house, she told me how I probably won’t be able to give my quilt directly to a girl because after the FBI bring them in, their identities and locations are kept secret for their protection. I’m glad I made a quilt though, because for a lot of them, this will be their first personal item, as they don’t even have the clothes off their back because they’ve been taken for evidence.


I just love the giant smile on her face when she was showing her quilt to Melissa.  This quilt is 65" x 72", has a scrumptious batiste backing with a very thin poly batt, which made for a super-scrunchable feel that just begs you to squish it in a hug. 

You gotta love the rainbow ice cream fabric that called to her!

The feature squares are the Mirror Ball Dot Michael Miller fabric. I let Marissa use up the set of 18 colors in fat-sixteenths that I got in my swag bag at the Crazy Old Ladies retreat in February, along with a bunch of my Kona snow yardage. Scott sponsored her for buying backing fabric since we couldn't find anything in my stash that looked really great for it, and it was going out as a special gift from the heart. 

I did put the binding on for her since she was out of time, way over the required hours, and had never done that before. Whenever her next quilt-making time is, I'll teach her that skill, too.  


Linking up at


  1. Marvelous on every level . . . congratulations to your daughter (and how wise of the schools to require community service as part of each student's education).

  2. What a great achievement for your daughter, and a wonderful quilt for a girl who will really need it!

  3. Great daughter, great quilt, and fabulous story. I think her life lessons here will stay with her, just as much as the new skills she learned. Congrats to you as a proud Mom, too!

  4. I love the observations of first time quilters. They see it all with a fresh outlook. Your daughter's quilt is beautiful. It will be cherished.

  5. What a wonderful achievement, great job Marissa! Sounds like she really understands the value of making a quilt and that it does make a difference in the lives of others who are in need of comfort.
    Hope this means she will be making more quilts!

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  7. maybe you have a new quilting partner?? wonderful job marissa!

  8. Super cute quilt and great story.

  9. I think your daughter and her quilt are pretty amazing!

  10. She did a great job on a really great project!

  11. Great quilt! The girl who receives this quilt will love it.

  12. Dear Marissa,
    This was a very special story and I'm so happy you shared it with us. This was a heartwarming Civics Project that deserves an A+. You learned so much more than how to construct a quilt. Your generosity may help construct a new life for a young women. Well done!

  13. The quilt is beautiful even without the story behind it, but the "heart" that went into it makes it absolutely spectacular. I'm glad Marissa was able to experience the very best part of quilting - creating something of emotional value.

  14. WOW! What an amazing story! I loved reading about this! And the final quilt is so lovely too. I love that it will be headed to the Cinderella House.

  15. Lyn, give Marissa a HUGE WHOOP WHOOP from me! Not only is her quilt fabulous, she has obviously grown so much through this experience. Wonderful story - she ought to link it up for the Blogger's Quilt Festival!!

  16. Wow!!! That totally gave me goosebumps!! I loved her story and what a great way to show support!! Great job!

  17. WOW. Your daughter did a great job on this quilt. I can't wait to see it in person at the May meeting. Good job!

  18. This was such a great story of love for quilting and the heartfelt reverence your daughter has for those that are suffering and need a smile and LOVE! Thanks for sharing.

    The quilt is gorgeous!!

  19. Kudos to your daughter for her civics project, her community spirit and her quilt. Thanks for sharing this story ... :) Pat

  20. Wow, Marissa, it's a stunning quilt. What a beautiful gift for an unknown recipient. Thank you for doing this and sharing with your peers that community service is more than volunteering!


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