All posts by Sonja Hakala

I am a professional writer, book coach, and quilter. From newspapers such as the BOSTON GLOBE to magazines such as the OLD FARMER'S ALMANAC to books such as YOUR BOOK, YOUR WAY and AMERICAN PATCHWORK, my 26-year career as a writer spans the gamut of print media. In addition to writing, I have worked as an editor, designer, and project manager on an array of book projects. I wrote YOUR BOOK, YOUR WAY based on my experience in the publishing field, and now teach other writers how to publish high quality books themselves. I am also a professional quilter, and the founder of the Parkinson's Comfort Quilt Project to provide lap quilts to people with Parkinson's disease.

6 Years, 500 Quilts

Dear folks,

One of my favorite sayings comes from a song called “Beautiful Boy” by John Lennon. “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”

Well, life has been happening at the Parkinson’s Comfort Project and the members of the board of directors and I have come to the conclusion that it is time to fold our organization.

Over the past six years, we have given away so many incredibly beautiful quilts in three ways: Through symposiums on Parkinson’s disease presented in Vermont and New Hampshire, through support groups in those states, and through online requests on our website.

Over the past year, the board and I have realized that our local gifting in Vermont and New Hampshire had reached its natural limit because most of the folks who attend the symposiums and support groups have already received quilts from us.

This meant that we either had to expand our outreach to other states or cherish what we have accomplished in our local region, and call it a day.

The first option requires a lot more time, more travel, more expense and more fundraising. Given that we are an all-volunteer organization of folks with limited time, we had to accept the idea that closing the Project was our best choice.

At this point, we have one more symposium to attend in Keene, New Hampshire in June, and we plan to distribute the remainder of our quilt inventory through Parkinson’s support groups until they are all gone.

We will not be accepting any more quilts as of May 1, 2017.

We would like to encourage quilters who are looking for places to give quilts to seek out Parkinson’s support groups in their local areas.

Thank you all for what you have done for us. You are all wonderful.

Sonja Hakala

Coming This Saturday

We will have a host of volunteers ready to share the warmth, comfort and beauty of quilts at the Parkinson’s symposium at the Quechee Country Club in Quechee, Vermont this Saturday.

Guaranteed to be a lot of smiling.

pcq-recipients

Hi folks,

Just a quick note to let you know that the Parkinson’s Comfort Project will be taking a short hiatus from filling online quilt requests until April 23. We will resume our regularly scheduled gifting at that time.

Thank you!
Sonja Hakala, founder of the Parkinson’s Comfort Project

Coming to Quechee

The Parkinson’s Comfort Project will be distributing quilts at a symposium at the Quechee Country Club on Saturday, April 22. If you or a loved has Parkinson’s disease, consider attending this great event sponsored by the American Parkinson’s Disease Association and the University of Vermont Medical Center’s Department of Neurology.

The information is vital, the camaraderie supportive, and the quilts are colorful!!

 pcq-multiple-quilts

Hi folks,

Just a quick note to let you know that the Parkinson’s Comfort Project will be taking a short hiatus from filling online quilt requests until April 23. We will resume our regularly scheduled gifting at that time.

Thank you!
Sonja Hakala, founder of the Parkinson’s Comfort Project

Sharing the Gift of a Quilt

pcq-becky-lucyApril is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, designated in honor of Dr. James Parkinson, a British doctor who first diagnosed what was then known as “shaking palsy.”

We share the gift of quilts all year round by fulfilling requests on our website. But we also attend local Parkinson’s events to give quilts away, and we have such an event coming up on April 22.

This Parkinson’s Symposium is organized by the University of Vermont Medical Center’s Department of Neurology and the American Parkinson’s Disease Association.

This annual event is held in a different location in the state every year. This year, it will be at the Quechee Country Club in Quechee, Vermont.

The Vermont APDA provides us with space to show off the colorful quilts we bring. As soon as the first person with Parkinson’s selects a quilt, the rush is on and for the next 90 minutes, we will be very busy gifting folks with our treasures. Before the first speaker is introduced, we will have distributed about 30 quilts, sometimes more.

As we wrap smiling people up in these incredible gifts, we all remember why we do this.

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Hi folks,

Just a quick note to let you know that the Parkinson’s Comfort Project will be taking a short hiatus from filling online quilt requests until April 23. We will resume our regularly scheduled gifting at that time.

Thank you!
Sonja Hakala, founder of the Parkinson’s Comfort Project

The Coming of Spring

Hi folks,

Just a quick note to let you know that the Parkinson’s Comfort Project will be taking a short hiatus from filling online quilt requests until April 23. We will resume our regularly scheduled gifting at that time.

Thank you!
Sonja Hakala, founder of the Parkinson’s Comfort Project

pcq-nevers-quilt

Fence Rail Variation

Hi folks,

Just a quick note to let you know that the Parkinson’s Comfort Project will be taking a short hiatus from filling online quilt requests until April 23. We will resume our regularly scheduled gifting at that time.

Thank you!
Sonja Hakala, founder of the Parkinson’s Comfort Project

pcq-flowers-quilt

Zing! Pop!

Hi folks,

Just a quick note to let you know that the Parkinson’s Comfort Project will be taking a short hiatus from filling online quilt requests until April 23. We will resume our regularly scheduled gifting at that time.

Thank you!
Sonja Hakala, founder of the Parkinson’s Comfort Project

pcq-bohi-quilt

Rootbeer Float

Hi folks,

Just a quick note to let you know that the Parkinson’s Comfort Project will be taking a short hiatus from filling online quilt requests until April 23. We will resume our regularly scheduled gifting at that time.

Thank you!
Sonja Hakala, founder of the Parkinson’s Comfort Project

pcq-kotch-quilt

Bright Delight

Hi folks,

Just a quick note to let you know that the Parkinson’s Comfort Project will be taking a short hiatus from filling online quilt requests until April 23. We will resume our regularly scheduled gifting at that time.

Thank you!
Sonja Hakala, founder of the Parkinson’s Comfort Project

pcq-moburg-quilt

Blue and Yellow

Hi folks,

Just a quick note to let you know that the Parkinson’s Comfort Project will be taking a short hiatus from filling online quilt requests until April 23. We will resume our regularly scheduled gifting at that time.

Thank you!
Sonja Hakala, founder of the Parkinson’s Comfort Project

pcq-dalrymple-quilt