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HST Quilt for a Kidney Donor (My Mom)


HST Quilt for a kidney donor

I’m finally getting around to blogging about a special surprise quilt that I made over the holidays!

For the past several years, my mom’s husband has been dealing with declining kidney function. The doctors had been keeping an eye on it for some time, but unfortunately there isn’t much that can be done for people whose kidneys are failing, apart from dialysis or kidney donation.

Long story short, he eventually got to the point that he needed a kidney transplant, and upon investigation, they learned that my mom was a match and could donate one of hers. The transplant was a few weeks before Christmas, and things are going well for both patients! But going into it, my mom (who had never had surgery before and never even spent a night in the hospital apart from when my sister and I were born) had a request. “Could you please bring me a quilt?” she asked. “Just any quilt you have sitting around will be fine.”

HST quilt for a kidney donor

I don’t know, it didn’t feel right to bring her just ANY old quilt. LOL. I felt like this was an occasion that called for one made especially for her! So I got out my bundle of Essex Yarn-Dyed Linen (the Pond color coordinates), and this was what came out of it. The background is all Kona Snow and Kona Ivory.

HST quilt for a kidney donor

After years of working in bright colors, I have to say I’m really feeling the softer, more subdued neutrals in this quilt! Some of the Essex Linen I used was the metallic linen, which has a little bit of a sparkle to it, so that jazzed things up in a really good way. I love how it all turned out.

HST quilt for a kidney donor

I played around with the color placement a lot on this quilt. I liked the idea of not making it a straight graduation of color—I threw in some of the neutral half-square triangles at strategic spots in order to give the design a little more depth. (Also making it a little trippier for when she was on pain meds. LOL.)

HST quilt for a kidney donor

As you can see, the entire quilt is made out of 4″ half-square triangles, set on point. Making all those HSTs actually wasn’t AS painful as it could have been—I made some templates for fast HST stitching that worked great! No marking diagonal lines on the backs of the squares and no squaring up afterwards. In fact, my next project is to make up a PDF with the templates I used, for any of you who are interested in making HSTs the same way.

HST quilt for a kidney donor

Here are the blocks, slowly coming together on my design wall. I was working from a digital mock-up that was on my computer screen. This quilt took major forethought and planning to put it together correctly!

HST quilt for a kidney donor

I finished it off with my go-to quilting method recently: Straight diagonal lines about an inch apart. I’m loving straight-line quilting lately! I use masking tape to mark off the first line somewhere close to the center of the quilt, then just set the quilting guide on my Bernina 770 and go. As a bonus, because the blocks were on point, the seam lines on this quilt helped guide me and keep me from getting off track as I worked my way along.

My mom is now enjoying this quilt as she and her husband make their recoveries.

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  1. Ginny Fisher
    Ginny Fisher says:

    It is beautiful and I love the soft look to it Glad to hear they are both recovering. Will look forward to your HST method!

  2. Robby H.
    Robby H. says:

    This is a gorgeous quilt. You can count me among the HST interested, too.

    My best wishes for a speedy recovery and healthy life for both the patients.

  3. Margaret
    Margaret says:

    What a beautiful quilt, and what a beautiful gift your mother gave her husband. I hope they continue to mend and find 2018 to be the best year yet! (P.s. I love the placement of the colors on the quilt!)

  4. Jenni
    Jenni says:

    What a beautiful act of love from your sweet mother! And the perfect quilt for recovery! I would love to see your templates! Maybe a pattern?


    What a lovely gift (both of you!)~beautiful design. Well done, both of you! I wish gentle healing for both of them~

  6. Marlene
    Marlene says:

    Looove this quilt Lee. What a wonderful reason to gift it to your mum. Wishing both her and her husband a speedy recovery and every success for their future health.

  7. Robin
    Robin says:

    Your quilt is AMAZING. I love the colors. Please let me know the names of each color. I am also interested in your HST method. By just looking at this quilt I can tell you love your mother very much. 🙂

  8. Miss Daisy
    Miss Daisy says:

    I just know that your mom loves the quilt , the colors are so soothing, very calm. Glad they are both doing well, will add them to my prayer list. You are such a wonderful person to realize the situation called for something Special.

  9. Juanita Sellers
    Juanita Sellers says:

    Absolutely stunning! I love the color combinations. Could you share the pattern and the wonderful choice of colors? Also the HST info? Thanks so much. I have stopped quilting but this may inspire me to get back into it again. Thank you and the best to your Mom and Dad.

  10. Joanne King
    Joanne King says:

    The photograph of your design wall was really helpful. I have more understanding of how to put together a challenging design.

  11. aquilterstable
    aquilterstable says:

    Beautiful! I love your addition of neutrals mixed in with the colors – inspired! 😉 Glad your mom and her husband are doing well!

  12. Deborah Munis
    Deborah Munis says:

    Love the pattern and the way your eye starts off center. Really adds a lot of interest when combined with the color placement. Love it! I would like to see the templates as well.

  13. Lisa Throneberry
    Lisa Throneberry says:

    This is just a lovely quilt, girl!!!! You know your Mom is all warm and feeling the love when she is snuggled up under it!!! I love your setting. Those odd neutral blocks just step it up a notch!!!! Nice job!! Glad everyone is healing and ready to get on with life with a little more perk in their steps!!!

  14. Linda Garber
    Linda Garber says:

    A beautiful quilt and more importantly, a beautiful way to honor your mother. Best wishes for a complete recovery to your mother and her husband.

  15. Maria del Carmen
    Maria del Carmen says:

    Preciosa la colcha, y un gran reconocimiento para la extraordinaria actitud que ha tenido tu madre!
    Un regalo, merecido para quien ha regalado, parte de sí misma!
    Felicitaciones, las admiro a las dos!!!!

  16. Christine Cook
    Christine Cook says:

    What a wonderful way to help her feel comfortable and safe. I too am a kidney patient and I think it was a great gift your mom gave her husband. I look forward to seeing the PDF soon. God bless you and your family in the New Year!

  17. Jeannie Zimmerman
    Jeannie Zimmerman says:

    I love working with HSTs, too. Your fabric choices were perfect, and I know your Mom not only loved it but will treasure it because you made it for her. That is a win-win-win for her. What a wonderful dedication your Mom and her husband have. Happy New Year.

  18. Deb F
    Deb F says:

    This is a stunning quilt and the softness of the colors seems perfect for your mom’s recovery. very soothing. It is so apparent that it was made with much thought and love. thank you for sharing.

    • Lee Heinrich
      Lee Heinrich says:

      Hi Nancy! Do you mean the corners of the quilt itself? The bottom two corners are more or less in the photos, especially in the third photo down, although there does appear to be a little snow over them! What exactly is it you’re looking at on the corners of the quilt?

    • Lee Heinrich
      Lee Heinrich says:

      Hi Mo! Thank you! : ) I actually use Adobe Illustrator to create my quilt designs. I have a graphic design background so that’s the software I know and love. lol. But software like EQ 7 would probably work well too.

  19. Julie J Vogel
    Julie J Vogel says:

    I LOVE this quilt! I also love how you have holes cut our of your design wall for the vents!

    I am so glad your mother and husband are doing well. I am sure your quilt is a wonderful comfort!

  20. Ben
    Ben says:

    What a lovely quilt. I like the variations in the color placement, and the soft colors. I’ll bet the texture of the linen makes it even better in person.

  21. annette ellis
    annette ellis says:

    Your quilt is absolutely stunning. What a wonderful gift for a person that gave the gift of life to her love one. Great job!!! I would love to hear more about how you did your HST. Thanks for sharing.

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