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Happy Community Quilts

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Happy Community Quilts is an ongoing collection of community partners coming together to provide patients of Detroit Children's Hospital with one of a kind, handmade quilts.

Jeanne's Story

In late fall of 2006, 49-year-old project manager and quilt hobbyist Jeanne Nicholson was the victim of a catastrophic car accident due to a drunk driver. The accident left her with a traumatic head injury and she was given a 7% percent chance to live and a 1% chance to be out of a vegetative state. Defying the odds and surviving months of hospital stays, surgeries, evaluations and years of therapy that continues on to today, Jeanne is a miracle---our miracle! In addition to other setbacks Jeanne continues to suffer from long-term effects including memory loss and global aphasia, a condition that makes both expressive and receptive communication challenging. However, where her quilting is concerned she excels!

Brightly Twisted

In the fall of 2018, Corktown apparel company Brightly Twisted launched both their grand opening in Detroit and a tie-dye class program in which participants hand-dye two pieces to take home. They start the class by dyeing two practice squares that Jeanne turns into beautiful, colorful quilts that are donated to a children's hospital. This is how Brightly Twisted owners Tammy & Greg and quilter Jeanne came together to create the Happy Community. Within months the feedback from the hospital was positive: "All the quilts have found new homes... A good majority of them have been used as a source of comfort for children that have experienced severe trauma. Please tell Jeanne I have never seen smiles bigger than those of the children that are wrapped in her labor of love" - Elise Bennet @childrensdmc . With encouragement like this, we continue to create a space for Happy Community Quilts to thrive.

Our Process

Brightly Twisted provides hand-dyed jersey-knit squares which Jeanne mounts to playfully patterned polar fleece. Fabric and materials are purchased to create a colorful textile quilt top which pulls it all together to create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. Jeanne generates approximately seven to ten quilts a month and finds great purpose in providing patients of Detroit Children's Hospital some comfort during their time there and beyond. When our project began, no one knew how invested Jeanne would be or that her yield would be so high, in fact her sewing machine broke in January prompting her to buy not one but two machines "just in case" - JMN. So here we are a year later, loving our purpose and wanting nothing more than for it to continue. To do that we need your help. Jeanne purchases the lion's share of materials from Joanne Fabrics and can often spend more then 4 hours a day dedicating time to the project. She shows no signs of letting up!!! Batting, polar, fleece, thread, machine maintenance, and of course a range of fabrics with which to create (if anyone has a lead on a wholesale partnership we are all ears!) are all needed to continue.


$3 - one spool of thread
$5 - one yard of unbleached muslin
$12 - one yard of patterned polar fleece
$25 - 2 yards of batting
$75 - sewing machine tune-up
$90 - sponsor an entire quilt!
$450-a quilt all your own..for a donation of $450 you can have your own happy community quilt.

Your Help

With donations from you, our $7000 goal should secure us another seven+ months and 70+ happy community quilts for Detroit Children's Hospital and give us some time enough to work towards non profit status. Your donation is contributing to the well-being of a child at Detroit Children's Hospital. Thank you for becoming a part of this brilliant process joining our Happy Community. --Lillian Bishop (Jeanne's daughter) Our story has recently been told by PBS program "Detroit Performs " as well as by Mitch Albom's "Heart of Detroit "  . . Do take a look!


Lilli Bishop
Ferndale, MI

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