HILLSBORO — Stacks of quilts sitting in Lana Hauschel’s living room are destined to be given to children in hospital rooms.
Hauschel has quilted 64 blankets in the past month in honor of her mother, Donna Lyman of McPherson. Lyman pieced together the quilts before her passing in 2016.
“She made them out of her scraps,” Hauschel said.
Lyman was born in Chalk, Kansas on July 4, 1932 and attended Eskridge Rural High School. She married her husband, John, at Council Grove and the couple moved to Alta Vista before moving in 1961 to New Gottland and working at Alumax as a production assistant.
“Mom was a warehouse worker,” Hauschel said. “She worked with metal, carrying it from machine to machine.”
After her retirement, Lyman gave full rein to her sewing hobby, making quilt tops and backs for Project Linus, an organization that gives blankets to children who are in the hospital.
“They come to (foster) homes from the hospital and a lot of times, that’s all they have — the blanket,” Hauschel said.
The organization’s mission touched Lyman’s heart.
“When she was told about Project Linus, she just took off with it,” Hauschel said.
Lyman donated more than 200 quilts to Project Linus. Each blanket is unique, whether pieced from fabric with an animal theme, storybook panels or brightly colored scraps depicting cartoon characters.
“She had retired and this was her passion,” Hauschel said. “...She re-did one of her spare bedrooms into her sewing room and away she went.”
Lyman also donated hand-embroidered quilts, using coloring book pages as outlines the shapes she stitched.
“The Project Linus lady told us mom’s hand-stitched quilts are on the LifeWatch helicopters,” Hauschel said.
Hauschel visited her mother several times a week, and each time Lyman would send her home with four or five blankets to quilt.
Overwhelmed, Hauschel stopped quilting for a while, but after her mother died, she reopened her totes filled with blankets ready for sewing.
Hauschel adds batting to the layers Lyman made and quilts them together with free-motion stitching.
“I use the stipple pattern because not only is it fast, it uses less thread,” Hauschel said. “When you’re doing this many quilts, the budget is an issue.”
Hauschel said she can quilt between 10 and 14 blankets per day.
“I work so much better under pressure,” Hauschel laughed. “...I can do about three an hour. It takes me longer to pin them in than to quilt them.”
Hauschel plans to finish the hand-embroidered quilts she has left and give them to Lyman’s granddaughters, but will also keep on quilting and donating blankets to Project Linus.
“I have totes of fabric, so it’s going to keep me going for a while,” Hauschel said.
For more information about Project Linus, visit https://www.projectlinus.org.
Contact Patricia Middleton by email at email@example.com or follow her stories on Twitter at @MacSentinel.