Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Preemie Quilts

One of the great pleasures of making quilts is giving them away. I imagine the recipient all curled up on the couch watching t.v. or drinking a cup of tea. If I make wall hangings, table runners, postcards or basket/bowls I dream of these objects being appreciated and finding a place in someone's home and heart.

In the past I've made charity quilts with both of my guilds. Sometimes these quilts are given to people in need and sometimes they are given to groups to auction off in a fundraiser. With this type of gift I somehow feel removed from the act of giving the quilt since it is given by the guild to an organization for them to choose how to distribute.

I've been starting to make preemie and baby quilts. These quilts are quick and easy to make, don't take a lot of fabric and are a great way to try out new patterns or design your own. Sandy Lindal was kind enough to quilt my first one pro bono. I got it back from her last night and I have to say "Quilting really does make the quilt"! Thank you so much Sandy!

Unfortunately I started making my preemie quilts before looking at the terrific information available on the web. Now I know I need to use a flannel backing, no batting and use minimal quilting.

I'll take a few of them to a local hospital with a NICU. I feel a direct connection with any Mom who has to visit her newborn child in the NICU, having had my twins there for just five days after being born four weeks early. I remember a kind nurse telling me "Nothing hurts more than having your child in the NICU". But as I think about it I'm not sure I would have wanted someone to make my baby a quilt. I did not feel "needy". I had my friends and family looking after me and I was just focused on getting my babies home safe and sound.

No, I think it would be better to direct my gifts to a local shelter. With the cold winter coming and the downturn in the economy there are going to be far too many people in need of a warm hug and a warm blanket.

To Do List Update:

1.The first preemie quilt is finished - ready for a label and to be given away!

2. The Kaffe Fassett is at the quilter. I did not purchase one new piece of fabric or batting to make this quilt!! Even the back is pieced together from scraps I had on hand.

3. I purchased two metres of purple fabric on sale at Sew Sisters to back the Laurel Burch mermaid panel and kaleidoscope. Sandy is going to quilt it and get it back to me in time for me to work on it at the beading workshop with Pam Woodward in January.

And the projects I've added to my list:

1. Blue and white baby quilts like Benjamin's quilt to give away or sell on Etsy.

2. Choose a project to make with the gorgeous stack of about 100 lights, medium and darks I pulled from my stash.

3. More baby and preemie quilts in time for the Holidays.

Onward and upward!

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