Preemie Quilt Program
Since the beginning of 1990 when we started the program, we have given well over 10,000 quilts, an average of over 500 quilts per year.
We were just just blown away by the donations of 55 beautiful little quilts during the May day meeting and another 6 at the evening meeting. What a day! Thank you, thank you to everyone that has contributed to a bonus year of Preemie quilts for the B.C. Woman's NICU. Everyone of these little quilts is so much appreciated, but Wendy and I wanted to acknowledge two very prolific preemie quilters in our midst. Wendy Thomson and Ana Wilson. While we don't have exact numbers we do know that they have contributed so many over the past many years and we wonder if they ever sleep. Both of you ladies are a big reason that this program is so successful and we thank you.
Wendy and I attended the evening meeting on May 12th to draw for the 100.00 contest and Donna Stuart is the lucky winner. That should help with a shopping trip to her favourite quilt store. We are going to change up the contest for next year. We will give everyone that brings in a preemie quilt a ticket to be eligible for the 100.00 draw. The artistry and beauty of each quilt deserves to be eligible and we don't want to narrow our focus anymore on one style. I hope that everyone agrees.
Wendy took 42 quilts to the NICU last week and we expect to be called within the the next few weeks to provide more. They are going through a huge building and expansion of the whole hospital, including the NICU and are limited as to how many they can store at a time. We are making smaller but more frequent trips to the hospital for now.
Chairperson - Wendy Whiting and Cathy Waddle
Evening - Marion Cardenas and Iris Zeller
What are Preemie Quilts?
These are small quilts which the Guild donates to the Special Care Nursery of the Children's & Women's Health Centre of BC, Vancouver BC.
The quilt accompanies the baby when it is time to leave the hospital. Sadly, some babies do not make it, but the parents get to keep their quilt - sometimes it is the only memento they have, and they are treasured.
Why do we make them?
The Guild is a non-profit association, and as such is required to meet certain conditions, one of which is to participate in a community or charity project. Some years ago the Guild chose to support the program for the NICU. This is not an option - it is an obligation.
Some 60 babies, on average pass through the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) each month, making a total of about 600 quilts needed per year. As we have often stressed, if every member of the Guild made just two quilts a year, it would bring us close to our commitment. We deliver to the hospital 12 months of the year, so need a bit of a "stash" to keep us going over the summer when we are not meeting.
Preemie Quilt Specifications
- Preemie quilts should be 36 inches square (approximately)
- They can be appliquéd or pieced by hand or machine in any pattern of your choice. There are some very nice cheater panels with very cute pictures on them that are suitable.
- Fabrics should be prewashed 100% cotton for the tops -- do not use fabric with glitter or harsh metallic threads.
- Backing must be prewashed flannelette.
- Batting can be polyester or cotton.
- Use 100% cotton thread
- Quilting can be done by hand or machine, but PLEASE put enough stitching on the quilt to hold it securely together. Use at least 1/4 inch seam allowances so the patchwork is going to stay together.
- Do not use any monofilament or metallic thread as it is too harsh for the fragile skin of the preemie babies. Also do not tie the quilts.
- A label is attached to the back of the quilt. These labels are available at the preemie table or you can create your own label. It must contain your name and the mailing address and email address of the Guild. The date is optional.
Remember -- These quilts do not have to be elaborate. A simple nine patch, or four patch quilt can be lovely!
November 22nd, Saturday - Preemie quilt class with the Preemie Committee
March 21st, 2015, Saturday
April 11th, 2015, Saturday
Our Preemie Workshop that was held on April 11th was very well attended with 19 members there. It is such a fun day but a lot of work gets done. We had over 60 kits ready for piecing and quilting. At the end of the day we had about 6 kits not taken so we brought them to the Tuesday meeting and they were gone by the end of the morning. Thank you so much to all of you for making this such a successful program.
We will be running more preemie workshops in the coming year and will be letting you know the dates in following newsletters. Come out for a day or even an hour or two. Every little bit of time that you can contribute helps. It's a really good way to get to know each other and to learn from each other. We look forward to seeing you.
One Member – One Preemie Quilt Contest
We are going to change up the contest for next year. We will give everyone that brings in a preemie quilt a ticket to be eligible for the 100.00 draw. The artistry and beauty of each quilt deserves to be eligible and we don't want to narrow our focus anymore on one style. I hope that everyone agrees.
This year we will agin be selling a booklet of preemie patterns for just a toonie. There are 9 patterns in the booklet (including the Disappearing 9 Patch), and we plan on adding more by next year. Just stop by the Preemie Table and get yours.
Come and visit us at the Preemie table for ideas, patterns, encouragement and to look at the little quilts that have been donated that day. We would love to talk to you.