Bringing Hope To Hospital Stays

. April 1, 2019.
Dolls ready to be delivered to young patients at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital donated by The Quilting Season in Saline

A hospital stay can be a frightening experience for a child, and unfamiliar surroundings add to their anxiety. One Saline business has partnered with C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital to bring comfort and hope to little patients.

Mary Lindquist, the owner of The Quilting Season in Saline, understands the difficult circumstances that families face when a child is hospitalized. Lindquist, a former nurse with Arbor Hospice, saw these challenges first hand and, after retiring from nursing, opened the shop to help families in need.

Every month, individuals from around the community gather to sew pillowcases, quilts and dolls for these children. “Mott’s is a tertiary hospital, where patients are flown in from all over, without a support system here in town. I think this means a lot to them,” Lindquist explains.

Pillowcase day

The fourth Wednesday of each month, sewers gather at the shop to make brightly colored pillowcases for Mott’s patients. To date, The Quilting Season has donated 27,500 pillow cases to Mott’s patients. Children can pick from a wide variety of pillow cases, with differing themes, colors, or cartoon characters. After their hospital stay, the child can take their pillowcase home. If the child is readmitted, they will get a new pillowcase to enjoy and add to their collection.

Preemie quilt days

Premature babies in the neonatal unit are given quilts, which are draped over incubators to provide darker, quieter times in often noisy and brightly lit nurseries. Last year, the shop donated more than one thousand baby quilts. “Some weeks are just so special here at the store. This past week, we had Preemie Day, Pillowcase Day, and Doll Day all in the same week,” Lindquist said.

Doll days

When a child is scheduled for surgery or a procedure, it is often difficult for the hospital staff to explain what will happen to the child in a way that is not frightening or overwhelming. Volunteers at The Quilting Season gather together for Doll Days on the first Friday of every month, to make dolls dressed in colorful clothing. Doctors and nurses use the dolls to illustrate medical procedures to young patients. The dolls have no faces, allowing the child to draw a face on their doll.

Recently, a grandmother from the western side of Michigan reached out to Lindquist. Her grandchild, while being treated at Mott, had received one of the dolls. She was so moved by the offering that she asked if she, too, could make dolls and pillowcases for other patients.

Lindquist commends the volunteers for their generosity, time and energy. “All of these items bring joy and feelings of caring to the children and their families.”

Mary Lindquist, owner of The Quilting Season in Saline.

Mary Lindquist, owner of The Quilting Season in Saline.

Meet Mary Lindquist

Family: Husband George, three daughters (Meg, Lisa, and Katrina), along with seven grandchildren and two great-granddaughters.

Favorite part about being a shop owner: Lindquist loves that the shop always fills a need for the right person and the right family at just the right time. “I love the people, and I love watching God’s miracles.”

Favorite local restaurant: Paesano’s

What do you like to do when you are not in the shop? Each Tuesday, Lindquist and her husband host a dinner for college students.

“Tuesday night dinners are a very important thing, with an average of 50 college students every week. I serve whatever is on sale at Meijer. We have quite a lot of international students who are delighted to be in an American home. I call them my kids. They are always happy to help in the shop, and I put them to work.”

Future plans? The shop will soon be supplying Ypsilanti Fire Department trucks with quilts. “There is nothing like being wrapped in a quilt,” Lindquist said.

For more information on Pillowcase Days,
Doll Days, and Preemie Quilt Days, contact
The Quilting Season at 734-429-2900 or
visit thequiltingseason.org