Patients will use the quilts while they are in the hospital and then be sent home with them upon discharge.
Quilts will be for males, females, teens, ages 20s and 30s. Ideal quilt size is about 44 x 57 but they can be smaller. If you aim for 42 x 54, they can be backed with a 1.5 yard solid piece of fabric. The quilts aren't meant to cover and keep warm. Patients already have blankets and the quilts will lay on top of their bed covers to brighten the rooms (and maybe warm a bit).
Quilts should be washed and ready to give to patients. Batting used should be soft and drape nicely (all cotton or 80/20 is always good). Labels will be available for you to sew on the back. You are also welcome to make your own label or sign the quilt with your first name and Friendship Knot Quilters' Guild
Cheryl Szynkowski has volunteered to quilt the tops on her long-arm machine. When preparing the quilt for Cheryl, she asks that you allow 4 inches of batting and backing on all four sides so she can load it on her machine. Please contact Cheryl directly (Quiltingheirlooms@gmail.com, 772-828-0462) to make arrangements for her to get the quilt.
Cass Bowen or Mary Nissen will be at the meeting every month to take the quilts and make sure they get to the hospital.
Every preemie born in Sarasota County and four surrounding countires are sent to the NICU at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. More than 850 preemies are sent there each year. We provide many quilts for use in the NICU as preemies must be kept warm. During the past decade KiDZQuilts has donated more than 7,000 baby quilts!
DESIGN - Cheerful and colorful quilts are best. Traditional pinks and blues are popular. But many folks love bright colors, children's themes and even pre-printed panels that are incorporated into the quilt. Quilts can be a simple design such as a nine patch, or practice advanced techniques. Scrappy quilts are fun. At KiDZQuilts meetings we occasionally have "mini classes" when interesting designs are shown.
CONSTRUCTION - If you make a quilt that you would be pleased to give to a good friend's baby or grandchild, then you are creating the right quilt. Please carefully check for pins and untied threads. Do not use embellishments such as buttons, lace, bows or invisible thread. The quilts can be machine or hand quilted. No tied quilts, please. Please machine stich bindings (although hand finishing in places is fine). An envelope-style quilt is fine - just remember to machine stitch it together. Quality should preempt quantity!
SIZES - The quilts should be no smaller the 17 x 25 inches (a good size for NICU use; NICU has other groups that make tiny mattress covers, etc.) Some of our quilts are about 28 x 40 inches, 36 inches square or even larger. Babies become toddlers! Many larger quilts are used for antepartum women, who often have long stays in the hospital. We make many, many sizes and they are all fine.
FABRIC - Use good quality fabric - 100% cotton is best but a blend with some polyester is OK. To remove sizing, to prevent shrinkage and to keep colors from running, wash and dry at home prior to construction. Flannel should be washed and dried four times, as this fabric has progressive shrinkage. In the NICU, quilts are washed in a laundry machine with a heat booster; they are too hot to touch at the end of the wash cycle. We always have fabric exchanges at KiDZQuilts meetings.
BATTING - Durability is important. Space quilting following instructions for the kind of batting you are using. A low loft batting is best.
Labels are available at KIDZQuilts & Guild Meetings.
For additional information contact Jo Wieczynski at firstname.lastname@example.org.