Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Fly Merel Fly

Once again, the generous and supporting quilting community, of which I am priveleged to be a member, has rallied around one of our own to make a quilt. Merel van Looi has lost the use of her legs due to bleeding around the spinal cord. Praying that this is temporary and while she is recouperating this quilt will give her comfort to know that we are all hoping for the best for Merel.
My friend, Hillary, has put together a plan to make Merel a quilt inspired by the little bird blocks made so popular by  Kajsa Wikman in her book Scandinavian Stitches.
These blocks are raw edge appliqued and couldn't be faster or more fun to make. Finishing at 8" square they are perfect for those little scraps of bright and fun prints that I can't seem to throw away. 
These are the blocks I have made and will be popping in the post this week.
Hillary has engaged the help of her friend Rachel Dorr to longarm quilt the project once she gets all the blocks sewn together.

Make 8 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch appliquéd blocks inspired by Kajsa’s birds and get them to Hillary by May 23rd (that gives 8 weeks for blocks to be made and delivered to my doorstep).  The hope is to assemble them and get them then to Rachael to quilt by June 1st.
-8 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch blocks (be sure to leave a quarter inch appliqué free around all sides to allow for seam allowance) The blocks will be 8 x 8 inches finished.
-White fabric background (Kona white if possible)
-Cheery prints to be used for the appliquéd birds (this is a perfect project for scraps).  I would love to have birds that are simple and FLYING like Kajsa’s but I am also happy for you to make them your own, and even add encouraging stitched words for Merel if you like.  An example of Kajsa’s birds is below and they also can be found at her flickr page (
-Use black thread for your appliqué and shorten your stitch length
-Use fusible webbing like steam a seam to initially attach your appliqué bits before stitching
-if you feel compelled to use stabilizer on the back, please use tear away or cut away so that it is only around the appliqué
-so as to prevent stray black threads from appearing in the back, please tie off and bury loose ends in the appliqué (see pic)
If you are interested in contributing, please email me at and I will send you my address and add you to the list.  Tag your pieces with the hashtag #flymerelfly on IG so everyone can see what you are up to
If you feel like you want to do more for this sweet girl, I am sure she would love cards or small gifts of encouragement.  The address at the rehab hospital she is at is:
Reade locatie Overtoom / Merel van Looi /113-B1 / Postbus 58271 /1040HG Amsterdam
Thank you so much everyone!!
“Fly Merel Fly”


mascanlon said...

I emailed Hillary. We r off to Mt View on Sunday and then a crazy 2 weeks but I went off to M & L and got Kona white...I know I have some stashed but of course couldn't lay my hands on it! Looking forward to making this block. Yours came out so very cute and they are full of personality.