Our March Employee Spotlight shines on Carmen Solomon, Senior Tech Support Specialist, and talented crafter, who makes beautiful quilts and donates them to warm the hearts and bodies of others. Pictured here are some of the quilts and other items she has made to give to nonprofit organizations as well as individuals:
Of the more than 200 quilts Carmen has made, almost all have been donated or given to someone in need. “To me a quilt is just a hug from somebody,” she says. “I like to give people something that gives them comfort and that makes them feel like they are loved.”
Carmen began quilting about 15 years ago when a co-worker helped her and another colleague learn the craft by creating a block together each month. At the end of the year, Carmen had 12 blocks—enough to make her first quilt. “That started the addiction,” she laughs.
She created several University of Tennessee-themed quilts to raise funds for the American Diabetes Association. The ‘big orange’ quilts which incorporated squares autographed by a UT coach were coveted raffle items. In five years, Carmen singlehandedly raised $25,000 for the cause.
Carmen has created dozens of quilts to give to patients undergoing cancer treatment at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and UT Medical Center. She’s donated quilts to many other nonprofit organizations and designed several personalized prayer quilts to give to family members and friends going through difficult times. “That’s just what is in my heart,” she explains.
This year Carmen is focused on Project Linus, a nonprofit that seeks to comfort children who are seriously ill, traumatized or otherwise in need. She has already made and donated 24 pillowcases.
Carmen’s creations are comforting as well as beautiful works of art. One of her creations is featured on the cover of Quilting with Stash or Cash, a new book by Linda J. Hahn and Deborah G. Stanley. Carmen was one of a dozen quilters who accepted the author’s challenge to make a quilt using only scraps of materials in their home supply (stash). A UT fan, Carmen’s stash included a wide variety of orange fabric which she pieced together for an eye-catching, colorful quilt. Carmen designed her own border adding a unique twist to the design.
“It’s harder than you would think,” Carmen says about the challenge, but she would do it again in a heartbeat. Quilting is her passion. One wonders how many hours does Carmen spend each week sewing and crafting quilts? “Not enough,” Carmen says with a big grin.
Do you know an LHP employee who is making a difference for our communities? Someone who’s dedicated and serving the community after hours? Please send an email to our HR inbox firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know about the individual you believe is deserving of the Employee Spotlight recognition and provide as much detail as possible so we can appropriately highlight your nominee. One employee is selected each month, and they receive $100 and the well-deserved recognition.