Special Needs Humor: Crazy Heart Block Quilt?

This is a quick post from the bedside, where I am starting a quilt for June as she prepares for her second extubation trial soon.  (I finished hand quilting around the appliqué dinosaurs on Rowan’s quilt and I left it at home to machine bind.)  June’s first extubation on Tuesday ultimately failed due to her  breathing not being efficient enough to properly remove enough CO2, causing a condition called acidosis, and a surprise reappearance of her ectopic atrial tachycardia, which was alarming.  (The acidosis probably triggered the tachycardia, and both are well controlled now.) The second extubation will hopefully take place tomorrow.

I wasn’t consciously thinking about June’s cardiac events when I settled on a heart pattern for her new quilt.  That is until I wrote on my planning page, “Heart Block Quilt,” and I had to laugh because “heart block” is the name of a cardiac complication- though not the one June has.  In addition, I love the irregular patchwork style of quilting often called a “crazy quilt,” so I decided to do the hearts in this style.  So, the technical name for the design I’ve planned is a “crazy heart block quilt.”  This makes me giggle in the way that special needs parents can thoroughly appreciate odd humor in the midst of their unusual circumstances.  I think a “crazy heart block quilt” is an apt souvenir for our hospital stay this time around.  

A bit about the quilt, and please excuse the strange way that my WordPress mobile app handles photos: 

This quilt/Halloween costume/cape features alternating portions done in a crazy quilt style.  (I was a quilting bee….get it?)



Not only do I love the look of the crazy quilt style, it eliminates the need to measure my fabric peices precisely, or at all.  Last time I made a quilt at June’s bedside when she was an infant, I fashioned a fabric cutting pattern from the cardboard back of my spiral notebook, and it worked reasonably well.  But cutting my fabric into dozens of random peices this time around has been a lot more fun.  

No ruler or cutting mat needed.


Because I can’t cut precisely at the hospital, I’m sewing irregularly shaped blobs which I plan to present as hearts using the background of the block as a negative space overlay.  Below, this lovely notebook paper guide represents how the “background” of the quilt block (which in this technique is more of a foreground) will lay over the crazy heart blob peices.  

Crazy Heart Block

I’m excited to see how this project turns out!  Also, having my hands busy helps pass the time in the hospital, where it’s difficult to tell what day it is, much less what hour.  And here’s to hoping that the only crazy heart blocks in our room are the ones in my sewing bag!


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