Stitch-by-Stitch Tuesday, Jun 17 2014 

Erin's Quilt

Jog, read, watch TV, garden.

What do you do to unwind? At the end of the day, what activity helps you relax?

I quilt. The top layer is pieced on the machine, and then I do the actual quilting the old-fashioned way—by hand. The methodical in and out stitching is very relaxing, meditative. While sewing, I pray, ponder, and contemplate. I think about the person I’m making the quilt for and send them love and prayers in hope that they will feel wrapped in all of that when under the soft, cozy blanket.

When my children were young, I made them quilts they still have, although my son’s is now worn through and beyond repair. And then I stopped quilting for decades.

I picked it up once again the last few years. It’s been a good activity while I sit with my husband in the evenings. Because of his Alzheimer’s, conversation is limited but we enjoy being in each other’s presence. He also enjoys watching the quilts come to life stitch-by-stitch.

I’ve been making quilts for my grandchildren, nieces, and nephews starting with the youngest. Each child (or parent) puts in their order when I’m close to working on one for them. Their themes and colors aren’t of my choosing, but they are happy with their choices. My 13 year-old nephew, Jimmy, asked for a Chicago Bears theme for his, and as it is coming along better than expected.

Here are some of the quilts I’ve recently completed:


Johnny’s Quilt


Kaylee’s Quilt

Lisa's Baby Quilt.1

Daniel’s Quilt


Molly’s Quilt


Samantha’s Quilt


Ziva’s Quilt


(Top Photo: Tyler in his quilt)

©2014, Mary K. Doyle

Where is Everyone? Friday, Jun 8 2012 

My husband and I walk nearly every day. Weather permitting, we walk outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air. It’s our time alone together, and we get a bit of exercise in the process. But one thing is noticeably lacking on our walks – people. We see beautiful homes but few, if anyone, are outside. Where are all our neighbors, we wonder?

When my children were young they played outdoors every possible moment. They rode bikes, played tagged, shot hoops, sold lemonade, and put on little puppet and dance shows. The street was noisy with children’s voices, balls bouncing, swings swinging, and the wheels of bicycles spinning. If I walked out with a box of popsicles, children swarmed to me like bees to a hive.

There were stay-at-home moms out with the kids too. We watched and played with our children. We pushed them in strollers and pulled them in wagons. It’s how we met our neighbors. The children played together while the moms shared dreams, troubles, and joys. We formed bonds and memories that continue to this day.

My guess is that today in our neighborhood children are booked solid with structured activities. They are competing in organized sports, attending dance classes, or practicing their music lessons. Parents are working extra hours or on the tread mill at the health club. Neither child nor parent has free time to just be.

©Mary K. Doyle

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