|“A quilt is a hug you can keep”|
One day last month both Quilting Groups got together for a very special visitor. Jenny Strong, King’s College Hospital Linus Rep, had agreed to come to Weald and talk to the Groups about a project to provide incubator quilts for King’s College Hospital. A chance meeting with one of the morning group who was visiting an Exhibition in Dulwich had revealed that they were looking for people to supplement the groups contributing to making these quilts.
We had worked with Project Linus UK before – they aim to provide a sense of security and comfort to sick and traumatised babies, children and teenagers through the provision of new home-made patchwork quilts and knitted blankets.
Some of us had gone along to the talk with a pre-conceived idea of what an incubator quilt would be – just a tiny quilt. We couldn’t have been more wrong. Jenny described the environment at King’s Neonatal Unit, where around 40 incubators are provided to care for premature babies. The lights are bright, and the area can be noisy. When parents come in to visit their babies, they are not always in the same place and so they have to find where they are. By covering the whole incubator with a quilt, this provides a darker, quieter environment for the baby, and also a means of easy identification for the parents. Each baby is given the 3ft. quilt to use as a playmat when they go home. For parents who sadly don’t get to do this, they have an opportunity to take the quilt as a keepsake.
We were provided with full instructions, backing and wadding fabric, Velcro and binding. The backings were all dark plain fabric. The choice of colours and design for the top was left to us. Each quilt has a door cut out at one end to allow the tubes etc. to go through and this then has a quilted flap that covers the hole and can be velcro’d up for easy access. A label is added by Linus saying “Made with tender loving care for Project Linus UK”. Jenny told us how she had been approached by a businessman who was willing to donate 500 pre-cut backing, wadding and flap kits. This of course was a huge boost for the Project – so we had all better get sewing – the most prolific quilter of our group has already completed two quilts.
“When life gives you scraps, make a quilt”