Every quilter has scraps. Right?? Here's a great way to use them up, feel good about yourself and "pay it forward" to someone in need. All you need is a few scraps of fabric, some Velcro, fiberfill and a little time to share.
My dad has stage 3 throat cancer which means he can no longer eat or drink. (He gets fed through a feeding tube that was surgically implanted in his stomach.) Happy to say that he’s finishing up the last round of radiation and chemo today.
That's my dad. Unfortunately, the port isn't as visible as I'd hoped for; but didn't want to make him start the treatment all over again just to get the shot! On the bright side, you can see the Rockport Carryall being made while we waited for the 4-hour treatment each week :)
We had to stop in and see the oncologist (big word for chemo doctor) today and I saw these cute little goodies.
They are called chemo port covers or chemo pillows.
A port is a device that is surgically implanted into the upper part of your chest. So that chemo patients don’t have to get stabbed with a needle each time an IV needs to be put in for the treatment, the port is used instead.
Unfortunately, the port is positioned right where the car seatbelt goes.
The area gets very sore if the seatbelt rubs against it. This little port cover uses Velcro to hold it in place around the seatbelt and gives a bit of comfort and cushioning to the area.
So here’s the scoop on how to make these little goodies:
- Cut two pieces of fabric approximately 4” x 6”.
- Cut a piece of Velcro 3 ½” long.
- Separate the Velcro pieces.
- On the right side of one of the fabrics, place a Velcro on each edge about 2” down.
- Place the second 4” x 6” piece on top (with right sides together).
- Pin through all layers making sure to hold the Velcro pieces in place.
- Sew around 3 of the 4 sides making sure to only catch one side of the Velcro in a seam. (Otherwise if both ends of a Velcro piece are sewn in the seam you won’t be able to open the Velcro-ask me how I know!!)
I sewed mine in red so that you can see the stitching. I suggest using a nuetral or matching thread color.
- Clip the two bottom corners to reduce bulk. I had to gently pull the two Velcro pieces apart to be able to turn the project inside out.
- Stuff with the fiberfill. The fuller the better; but leave room for the next step.
(This looks like a primitive rag doll to me. Maybe a future blog post??)
- Turn the raw edges of the 4th side in and top-stitch the edge closed. Hint: I put fingers on both sides at the seams and pull outward. This forces the seam allowance to turn inward. Here there's only the one hand because the other was holding the camera. (I can't seem to find any helpers in my household around midnight-which is when these blogs usually get written. So if you ever see a typo or something that just doesn't quite make sense now you know why! Feel free to let me know about it so that I can correct the error. hehe) I always thought God should have given crafters a third hand for times like these!
You’re done! I think the hardest part is to pull the Velcro pieces apart to be able to turn the project inside out in step 8,
These little pillows had a note attached to each one for “newbies” that wouldn’t know what they were for or how to use them. (Ah, we were at that stage about 6 weeks ago.) The note says:
Port pillows help cover your chemo port and protects it from the seatbelt when riding in a car. Simply use the Velcro tabs to attach it to your seatbelt and enjoy the comfort of this Port Pillow
I know these are little acts of kindness that go out into the world. They don’t use up much in the way of quilt supplies and if you’re like me, you usually have all the supplies readily available. They don’t take much time to make but they give so much comfort to someone in need.
You can drop them off at any oncologist office or infusion (another big word for "place where the chemo gets input) department at a hospital and I bet they won’t be turned away.
I know there are other ways to help cancer patients such as hats, head scarves, and mastectomy pillows.
It doesn’t have to be fabric but maybe yarn or other craft supplies. After all March is not only National Quilt Month but also National Craft Month. What better way to enjoy a craft and pass on a little sunshine in the process?
If there are other hand-made items related to helping people with cancer, please let me know about them. If you have a picture of the item, please send it to me and I will update the blog (with your permission of course).
Quilty quote of the day:
Well that's my 2 cents worth and I'm sticking to it
Until next time,
Happy Quilting, Jackie
Jackie, Thanks so much for sharing this! My mother had to also go through this in1998, wish this project had been around then. I will definitely use this to help others!