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a quilt for henry

A Quilt for Henry

Sometimes things happen that we can't understand. And there's nothing we can really do to fix it, but we want to do something.

Last week, Vanessa of Survival Organs & Mixed Martial Arts and Crafts passed away. And it hit me hard.

We didn't know each other well, but I like to think that we had bonded over our love of putting cute faces on things that normally have faces. She on lungs, livers, and lymph nodes, and I on just about everything else.

Vanessa was a cancer survivor, and I would say that most of her crafting work was about bringing comfort and encouragement to those battling like she had. This is where I realize that putting a cute face on something unusual can truly be important work.

It's tragic for the world to lose someone so young, and to make matters worse, she leaves behind a husband and a 2-month-old son, Henry.

I can't understand and I can't fix it. But I want to do something. And if you knew Vanessa (or @MMAAC as she was known on Twitter and @survival_organs on Instagram) maybe you'd like to help.

So, a quilt. For Henry. He's so little, that he won't understand any of this, or appreciate what this quilt is now, but maybe one day. And I hope Vanessa's family will know that this online community supports them in this horrible time.

I'm going to be making and collecting quilt blocks, and I'll handle the assembly, quilting, and binding. If you would like to contribute a block, here are the details:

A Quilt for Henry

The Block: Ninja Star (also called Friendship Star), finishing at 9 inches.

If you are not a quilter, here are the details for this (although a search will turn up complete instructions):

Make four half square triangle blocks that measure 3.5 inches. They should be the background and main color fabric.(I started with 4-inch squares and used this HST method, then trimmed them down to 3.5 inches)

Cut four 3.5-inch squares from the background for the four corners, and cut one 3.5-inch square from the main color for the center.

When the pieces go together, it should make a 9.5-inch square, which will become 9 inches when the blocks together.

It doesn't matter which direction the stars are going, so if yours comes out different than mine, don't worry about it. Just so it's a star like this!

A Quilt For Henry

Fabrics: low volume prints + turquoise blue, grassy green, and sunny yellow.

Using all of the same print for the star and background is good, but making it more scrappy is also fine.

I will be embroidering faces on a few of the blocks. And we'll make sure that Henry and his dad know who all helped make this quilt.

If you will be contributing a block, please let me know by sending me an email.
molliejohanson at gmail dot com

I will reply and send you my address to mail the block. Please plan to mail your block by the end of next week, March 12, 2016. They are quick to put together, I promise!

The important thing is that we can send some love and support. Thank you so much for considering this project!


  1. You are such a dear hearted soul! Prayers for Henry and his family.

  2. Such a terrible loss to this family. The Stars will make a lovely quilt.

  3. Such a sweet and thoughtful thing to do Mollie. I'm sending prayers and love to little Henry and his family.

  4. Mollie, I love your tender heart!

  5. Sending hugs across the miles to Henry and his daddy, and to you as well Mollie!

  6. So sorry to hear about your loss. I'm late in reading this and can't submit a quilt piece, but I hope that it comes together and you're able to bless Henry and his dad too.

  7. I just saw this, if you still need blocks I will be happy to make one or more tonight and mail tomorrow. lisamcgriff @ hotmail.com

    1. I think I'm going to have enough, but thank you!

  8. Updates on this project? Thank you.

    1. Hi Cindy, a variety of life things put me embarrassingly behind on this. I hope to get an official update up soon. A friend is going to do the quilting for me, and then I'll get the binding on and mail them out.


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