Product profile – NeoNatal Quilts

Yesterday I had a great catch up with my friend Diane, who is a quilt maker from way back. We talked at length about Crafty Volunteers, and brainstormed loads of ideas. I’ve got so much going on in my head as to what to do to make this “community” effective and awesome, that I need to take a minute to focus on where we can make the best impact.

So while all of this info gathering and project planning is taking place, I thought I’d show you a few “product profiles” to whet your appetite for the crafting that people are already doing.

This quilt still needs its edge binding, so a work in progress.
This quilt still needs its edge binding, so a work in progress.

Diane is involved with a quilting group that makes quilts for the NeoNatal Unit at Wellington Hospital, and she brought a couple along to show me. They were gorgeous! I was blown away by how creative these wonderful people are. I’m not a sewer, so I’m completely in awe of the skill and time that goes to create these stunning looking pieces.

Another lovely wee quilt.
Another lovely wee quilt.

She said that there are a couple of rules around the NeoNatal Quilts – they need to be made in 100% cotton (some synthetics can carry charge/static which isn’t good around the medical equipment); they are not to have “red” fabric (in case the nurses either think there is blood, or they mistake the red as being the quilt); preferably the colours are not too bright, preferably pastel (so it’s more relaxing for the babies).

Advanced and expert quilters like this group are making some amazing designs, as shown here. However if you’re a keen sewer, but not comfortable attempting to quilt, then you can simply put an entire piece of fabric on either side of the batting, and snake your way around the fabric (like the one shown), before putting the binding around the edge.

A single piece of fabric made into a quilt for the NeoNates.
A single piece of fabric made into a quilt for the NeoNates.

What happens with these beautiful creations, once they are donated to the hospital? They are put over the incubators to keep the harsh lighting away from the wee babies; they are used as covers around the edge of the cribs; and as snuggling blankets when the babies are being fed/cuddled once they are a little older. Now because they are laundered once or twice a day (by the big commercial machines in the hospital laundry) they don’t have a very long life span in the NeoNatal Ward, and therefore the hospitals need a continuous supply for their linen cupboard.

Like most of the craft items that all of us are making, these are basically consumables. This means we are always kept busy, and always on the look out for more people to help with the supply.

If you’re a quilter, feel free to share pics of your volunteer quilts, and tell us where you’re donating yours to.

I’ll show you another quilt, that is made for a different purpose another time…

Yours – with love, compassion and hope

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