Did you know that you can’t just make quilts for kids in need? Quilts for Kids helps well-meaning crafters create hospital-friendly quilts.
Did you know that you can’t just sew a quilt and then donate it to a hospital?
Nope, there are rules.
Does your quilt contain anything that might possibly aggravate an allergy? Can’t have it.
Does it have ties or fringe? That’s not safe around tubing.
Will it pill up when washed? Sick kids could aspirate lint.
Can it stand up to industrial-strength washing and sanitizing? It would have to, in a hospital.
However, kids in hospitals NEED homemade quilts! They often can’t bring their favorite lovies with them, and even the most caring children’s hospital can be… sterile-looking. Cold. In need of something colorful and pretty and warm to look at and wrap around a little body and hold in little hands.
That’s why I want you to check out Quilts for Kids, a non-profit dedicated to putting homemade quilts in the hands of the kids who need them. They organize with the hospitals and handle all the admin and paperwork behind the donation, so that all that you have to concentrate on is sewing something lovely.
If you have high-quality fabrics in your stash and can sew them up to these specific guidelines, then Quilts for Kids can take your stash donation (I like the idea of sewing doubles of a quilt–one for my own child and one to donate), but if you’re nervous about your choices and have $7 to cover the shipping, Quilts for Kids will also send you a quilt kit that contains all the fabric required to sew the quilt. Even if you have plenty of stash, this is a great way to see exactly what is required for a quilt that’s acceptable for donation. And since the fabric is also donated, this is also a chance to work with some really cute patterns!
On a personal note, some of you know that I gave birth to my own younger daughter six weeks prematurely, while on a quick weekend road trip to visit a declining relative before I could no longer “safely travel.” Oop, right? Biggest mistake of my life. Our family, including our toddler, spent three weeks in a strange town, hours from home, only enough luggage with us for a weekend trip, while our baby struggled to grow stronger in the NICU. I didn’t have any non-maternity clothes with me. My toddler didn’t have any toys. And my sweet little baby didn’t have any clothes, blankets, or lovies–not a single special thing to welcome her arrival or make her incubator look bright.
So I’ll just tell you right now, flat out: I would have freakin’ LOVED a homemade quilt to lay on top of my baby’s incubator, to snuggle her in when I finally got to hold her, to lay her on when she was finally released from the NICU after three weeks and she finally got to be a regular baby again. I would have loved it.
And so now I’m going to go and make one for someone else’s momma to love having for her kid, too.
Photo Credit: Q is for quilt image, via Shutterstock