Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Made It: The MCC Comforter

In this post  from February I mentioned that in honor of my late mother and her massive pile of flannel scraps, I was going to make a comforter. The finished product would be given to Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) to pass along to someone in need. 

I was happy to find a worthy cause for my mom's fabric, especially since I started this project during a very cold, very snowy month. After all, I have my own house to keep me warm, whereas MCC distributes comforters to those who have lost their dwellings due to natural disasters or the ravages of war. Reflecting on this as I worked on the comforter made the bitter weather outside more bearable.

The making of this comforter also happened to coincide nicely with the duration of Lent. It didn't take me quite the proverbial 40 days from start to finish - I took a day off here and there if I was tired from shoveling mountains of snow, and I took a week off while we were out of town last month.

Anyway, Lent is almost over, so it was time to hand my comforter over to MCC. Here's how it looked before I sent it off:

As per MCC suggestions, the comforter filler is a blanket, and I used a sheet (twin size) for the backing. The layers were tied together where the corners of the squares met (again, the tying was part of the instructions). 

Close-up of some of the flannel squares:

MCC had requested that colorful fabrics be used, a reminder that these comforters are meant to warm the souls as well as the bodies of the recipients. I think that my mom's flannel stash fit the bill. 

I will readily admit that the finished comforter has several - uh - irregularities. The squares above line up together perfectly, which they're supposed to do, but this wasn't quite the case in other parts of the quilt. No, it's not like the squares are way out of alignment, but I'm sure a more skilled quilter would have had every corner of every square in perfect order. 

And let's just say that the blanket I used for the filler seemed to have a mind of its own, which caused some issues when it came time to sew the comforter layers together. I did my best, but the design of the comforter top became a little skewed on the top and bottom rows.

When I mailed the comforter off to the MCC Great Lakes regional office (Goshen, IN), I enclosed a note saying the irregularities were a reflection of my own inexperience, not a reflection of lack of concern for the recipient on my part. Surely the MCC folks have gotten better comforters - but maybe they've gotten worse ones as well. 

I think I still have enough of my mom's flannel to make another comforter, so that can be next winter's project. I think I've learned from my mistakes, though, and round 2 should go better!

Still, I'm glad I did it, and I think my mom would be glad too. 

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