Child abuse, whether it is physical, emotional or sexual, breaks the hearts and damages the spirits of children across our nation and across the world. Because April is National Child Abuse Prevention month, I have chosen to make a "Liberated Heartstrings" quilt. I wanted this little quilt to be full of life, energy and movement, and one which would nurture a little spirit to feel hopeful, playful and free.
Here in Salem, Oregon, we have a wonderful center called Liberty House that does caring work with children who have been neglected and abused. It is one of those special places that combines doctors and nurses with mental health and child care professional to serve abused children. Pre-school Caucasian children, under the age of 5 make up 45% of its clients and 3 out of 4 of these is a young girl.
Knowing these facts, and knowing the pain and trauma that these precious children go through in their young lives, has created a huge heartstring of caring that I wish to acknowledge. So, this month, all of my new charity quilting projects have been for children. When a child is brought into Salem's Liberty House center, they are given a small stuffed animal, or if available, a small quilt, to comfort them. My hope is that this quilt, and many more like it, will go out from my heart, into their hands and comfort, soothe and warm them with love.
I made this little quilt, with the Heartstrings Quilting Project in mind, and will donate it, and eventually, others similar to it to Liberty House. I named this quilt "Crazy Day-sy O's", referring to the daisy-like flowers and little circles...which I added not only as anchors for the crazy days these children have, but for the quilting and anchoring of the strings in the quilts. The O's could be seen as the bouncing back and forth that these children go through, but I am seeing them as rolling little balls, full of life and energy that have the ability to create momentum of their own and when they finally do come to rest, will center and ground them.
My dream for all of these children is a world free of pain , free of fear, and one in which their own little spirits are set free by love... to finally be liberated and soar!