Quilting Heals: Giving Back to One's Community

Sep 5, 2022 9:30:00 AM / by Alyssa Nordmeyer

While several of our blogs have discussed a quilting expert’s quilting journey, there are also countless stories from AccuQuilters. AccuQuilt had the pleasure of interviewing one of them, who has expanded her quilting journey to include her family. To protect their identities, everyone’s name has been changed for anonymity.

 

 

From Quilters to AccuQuilters

 

 

AccuQuilt Live Event Introduction Image

 

Quilting has become a shared passion for the Mason family. Dee Mason has been sewing for 25 years and eventually began quilting on her own. Once her children, son Max and daughter Leah, were interested and old enough, she taught them how to quilt, though Max quilts more often than his sister. For them, quilting is a great family activity as well as a distraction from their daily struggles.

 

Max has various medical afflictions, including cancer and developmental limitations, while Leah has autism. Dee is kept busy travelling to various doctors’ appointments for her children, especially for Max.

 

“Every day for Max is borrowed time,” Dee explained. “Quilting gets Max’s mind off of his illnesses and going to doctors’ appointments. Picking out fabric, talking about fabric, thinking about the project, how it’s gonna turn out, and how the recipient will react to it makes life easier to work on projects together. I don’t think about ‘When’s his next appointment? Is he feeling okay? What’s tomorrow gonna bring?’ Being in the moment is the gift AccuQuilt has given us.”

 

Luckily, the Mason family's quilting process starts early on with choosing fabrics to buy.

 

“Max loves to make things. He loves fabric,” Dee began. “He doesn’t have any favorite fabric types and only likes whatever catches his eye. He loves to spend a lot of money on fabric, so we try to stick to the remnant bins and sales. We shop online a lot because Max shouldn’t be in crowds.”

 

 

GO! Outside the Box Pattern Book by Eleanor Burns
GO! Qube Mix & Match Blocks and Quilts Pattern Book by Eleanor Burns-2nd Edition

 

 

One day, Dee was looking for fabric online for the family’s next Quilt in a Day project when she stumbled across AccuQuilt’s website. She explored various pages before discovering the various tutorials and livestream events videos. After watching a few, Dee registered for her first livestream event and the Mason family have been dedicated members of the AccuQuilt community ever since.

 

Dee’s membership as an AccuQuilter became even more personal with the AccuQuilt team when she called Customer Service and happened to be greeted by Emily Kerr, who was an AccuQuilt Customer Experience Advocate before transitioning to AccuQuilt’s Community Engagement Specialist.

 

 

Emily Kerr, AccuQuilts Community Engagement Specialist

 

 

During their conversation, Dee discovered Emily co-hosts AccuQuilt Live Events and was delighted to be talking to the one and only “Miss Emily,” a nickname from co-host and AccuQuilt Cutting Expert Pam Heller. Dee and Max always tune in for AccuQuilt Live because Max thought Emily’s hair was “super fun” and that she was fun (author’s note: she is!).

 

“Max loves [when Pam advises to] ‘Give it some love,’ ‘Slide, don’t lift,’ and ‘Label to the navel,’” Dee laughed. “And I love the education that AccuQuilt offers. You can go back and watch tutorials and past shows on YouTube as well as get free patterns on the website.”

 

 

Pam Heller, AccuQuilts Cutting Expert

 

 

The Masons use many of these tutorials and patterns to make presents for others. Max has a team of 75 nurses and doctors who care for him, and, although they monitor the health of other patients, Max stands out to them.

 

“People like Max,” Dee stated. “He’s very outgoing. When he laughs, he lights up a room.” Besides his radiant personality, Max’s care team remembers him because of his dedication to creating personalized gifts and decor.

 

“Max loves personalizing things and spelling things out for gifts,” Dee continued. “He was saving up his own money to buy the Carefree Alphabet and Numbers Dies because he wanted to make bags with the Pennants Die and personalized thank you gifts for his nurses and doctors. Max understands that you have to save for things that you want, and he saved his money until he had enough to buy the Deer Head Die to make one of his doctors a gift.”

 

 

GO! Dies AccuQuilt Sent to the Mason Family

 

 

To help Max expedite making these thoughtful presents, AccuQuilt gifted Max this die and Fuse ‘N Stick as well as the GO! Flamingo and GO! Summer Medley Dies for Leah. Once they received everything, they got to work.

 

“Max can’t use scissors well, so the fabric cutters are awesome for him,” Dee explained. “His physical therapist says that Max using the GO! Me has been great to help him with hand and motor strength. Rubbing the cutting mat and lifting it also helps a lot too. The physical therapist wants a fabric cutter for her office for other patients to use to help them, too!”

 

 

GO! Me Fabric Cutter Starter Set

 

 

In addition, fusible works best for Max: “Max was burning himself with the shovel iron, so we use Fuse ‘N Stick for putting the letters on the projects because it doesn’t gum up your needle,” Dee said. “Max uses felt for each nurse’s and doctor’s name with the alphabet dies. He makes ‘Smile, don’t cry’ banners for staff to hang up everywhere because doctors’ offices and hospitals are scary, and he wants others to smile. One of his favorite dies is the Emoji one and he wants to create an Emojis pain chart to put on popsicle sticks for other patients to use to tell their nurses and doctors how they’re feeling using an Emoji.”

 

The only part of the quilting process that Max is tentative with is sewing everything together because, as Dee described, “Max loves the sound of the sewing machine, but is afraid of the needle.”

 

With holiday season quickly approaching, they began making holiday presents. “We already started on ornaments with gingerbread men,” Dee stated. “We’re going to make more with gnomes, too. And Max wants to do placemats for his doctors using snowmen and turkeys.”

 

 

Close Up of the GO! Lets Talk Turkey Placemats Pattern

 

 

The Masons certainly keep busy with quilting, and Dee passionately declared, “Everyone should quilt! My favorite quilting project I have completed is a very colorful and crooked five-inch square quilt that Max helped make.” It was made using AccuQuilt products because, as the Mason family quickly discovered with the system, quilting is so much faster and easier when using AccuQuilt.

 

Dee concluded our interview with a heartwarming statement: “You will never know how much you guys [the AccuQuilt team and system] bring to our lives.”

 

 

Maxs Note to Emily and AccuQuilt

 

 

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Topics: Quilting Stories

Alyssa Nordmeyer

Written by Alyssa Nordmeyer