Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bereavement Quilts


Often, when babies are born far too soon, and don't survive their transition, they are either wrapped in a tiny quilt, or the family is given the opportunity to choose one to bring home with them. ...they become precious mementos of caring and love, extended by a stranger, expressing connection and caring. And if you include plain or very simple fabrics, their precious, names and birth date or messages of love and caring can also be written in by family members showing their own love and support.

Bereavement quilts are usually about 14"-18" and can be simply made from orphan blocks, a simple nine patch quilt or appliqued with a place for messages to be handwritten by the family. Looking barely large enough for any use, they still serve and a fulfill a far deeper purpose and in spite of their tender size, are filled with so many more invisible stitches of love.

Our hospital, here in Salem, has an on-going needs for such tiny quilts, and while that need is not advertised, most hospitals gratefully accept donations of quilts for preemies, babies, or for burial cloths. There are also wonderful patterns available for tiny clothing/wraps that can be made for the littlest ones, either for burial or as a precious memento.

shown above:
Making baby bereavement quilts for the tiniest of the tiniest, meant for the the neo-natal nursery or as blessings for little ones we send off with love and mourn, forever. These two are ready to be donated, and I have three more in progress for next week. Note: many hospitals suggest no batting be used. It makes it so much easier to fold up such a tiny quilt, especially the 12" ones.

links:
Memorial & Mourning Quilts Throughout American History
It's My Heart ( a mother's story of loss)
Blankets of Love
Bereavement Quiltlet
Angel Wrap
Lay on Dress
Lay on Vest and Pants
Fetal Demise Robe

See my very latest post with newest links at:



Michele Bilyeu Quilts With Heart and Hands for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) Join in my Liberated Quilting Challenge...and buy or donate a quilt, today!! We are changing the world...one little quilt at a time.Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey through her life in Salem, Oregon and Douglas, Alaska. Sharing thousands of links to Free Quilt and Quilt Block Patterns and encouraging others to join in the Liberated Quilting Challenge and make or donate small art quilts to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) Help us change the world, one little quilt at a time!

8 comments:

  1. Although such a sad time, isn't it neat that they get a little quilt to be wrapped in. Another great post for all us quilters!!

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  2. I love this post because I'm a SAHM wow posted yesterday about my difficult job when I should sometimes just be thankful for my two healthy kids.

    I was a preemie born two months early!

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  3. I'll be checking out those links. Maybe it's time to start sending out my own boxes of little quiltlets instead of relying on others to collect and deliver them.

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  4. What a sweet and touching post. Our oldest daughter was a premmie, born about a month early. We are very greatful that she is here with us today. A wonderful, thriving adult about to be married!

    I lost a baby at six weeks to a tubal pregnancy and Compassionate Friends, A nationwide agency that supports grieving parents really helped me.

    These quilts are a beautiful gift to grieving parents and to these precious little souls who came but for a moment . . .

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  5. What a wonderful expression of love and sympathy. Thanks for posting

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  6. Hi Michele,
    My good friend Terry & I made a few of these tiny quilts for the bereavement group St. Philip's. They take them to local hospitals when needed. It only takes an hour or so to make a couple and I'm sure it means everything to the families who have lost a little one.

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  7. Hi Michele, I just stopped by from another blog and so glad I did. I'm a quilter and when my sister was battling cancer made her chemo quilts to take with her. It is so touching to give to others. I love this post; my daughter is now making quilts for our neo-natal intensive care at our local hospital. I plan to come visit again.
    Hugs, Noreen

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  8. You are such a blessing. I found a stack of orphan blocks (12.5") and did not know what I was going to do with them....now I do..thank you so much.

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.