Our guild members have always enjoyed helping others and to formalize this generosity a group, called "The Comfort Quilts Committee” was established to provide assistance to our generous quilters and to organize the delivery of their work to others.
Where do the Quilts Go?
We deliver quilts to: Haven Transition House and Nanaimo Regional General Hospital (NICU, Maternity, and Cancer Clinic) in Nanaimo; SOS (Meals on Wheels and Haven Home), Arrowsmith Lodge, Trillium Lodge, and Stanford Place in Parksville; Oceanside Hospice Society, Eagle Park Care Home, The Gardens, and Qualicum Manor in Qualicum Beach; and Echo Village, Westhaven, Heritage Place, and Abbeyfield Care Homes, plus Ty Watson Hospice, and West Coast Regional Hospital (Maternity) in Port Alberni.
As a guild member, we hope you will make one quilted item (a preemie quilt, a lap quilt, a wall hanging, or place mats) each year for charity. Make a top, bring it to a meeting, and we will give you the batting, backing, and label to complete your work.
Comfort Quilt Guidelines
Comfort quilts are best made from 100% cotton fabric. They can be made with a “flat” cotton backing or a flannel backing. The size usually determines which is better. Cotton or cotton blend batting is preferred. The Comfort Quilt Committee will provide batting and backing to finish tops made by our members. Flannel and batting are purchased with Guild funds and distributed on request. Donations of fabrics make up a nice stash for members to draw on for Comfort projects. There will be some available at all meetings. We have patterns, too. If a custom size is needed, it can be requested ahead of time and made available at the next Guild meeting. Quilting: quilts may be hand or machine quilted, preferably no more than 4" apart. No tying, please. Do not use invisible thread, buttons, or other embellishments that might be harmful to babies or seniors. The Committee makes up kits, both for tops and for what are called numbered kits, which include a sewn top, batting, backing, and a Guild label. A member can “sign” out a numbered kit, and when it's completed, return it with the numbered bag for record keeping. This is important for our non-profit status records. Members are encouraged to make their own complete quilts to donate as well
Label: the committee has Guild labels available for each quilt; please be sure to sew a label onto your quilt.
Here are the most useful sizes:
Preemie quilts: These are usually made 36” x 36”. They can be other sizes, but not too much smaller than this. Please use juvenile fabrics for these. They should have flannel backing, and can be made with or without batting. Ones without batting are used to cover incubators to cut the light to the babies. Baby quilts can be made up to 44” x 48”.
Lap quilts: These are useful starting at 42” x 48”, and slightly larger sizes up to about 50” x 60” are good as well. These are good sizes for flannel backings.
Larger lap quilts: These are sizes larger than above, but smaller than bed sized. These are great for patients under treatment, and are sometimes backed with “flat” fabric for the lighter weight.
Larger-sized quilts: Large throw quilts, at approximately 60” x 72” are nice for Haven House and some care homes like them as well. They can be backed with flat or flannel.
Bed- sized quilts: These quilt sizes are can be a little harder to place, but there's a use for them all. Please use flat backing.
Preemie wraps: These are used in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Nanaimo Hospital. They are double-sided flannel “ blankets” made pillowcase style in any size starting at 14” square. The one the nurses like would be about 10” x 20”, just a little snuggle around the baby. They would appreciate any size up to 36” square. Another little thing they'd like are what they call puke cloths, single-sided flannel about 8” x 10” with serged edges. These cloths are given to a mother to tuck against her skin to leave her scent with her baby at the hospital. They are tucked under the baby's face. All of these things make good use of short cuts of flannel.
Placemats: Meals on Wheels loves to use placemats for their clients. The clients really like them, too. They are part of the SOS, the Society of Organized Services. Placemats should be approx. 12” x 18”. Check the Guild stash for good fabrics. Holiday ones are appropriate, too. Ask for patterns on Guild day.
All materials used should be washed in scent-free laundry products. Please don't wash the quilt batting on its own. Whole quilts made from unwashed cloth can be washed when complete. Please no embellishments or buttons.
Comfort Quilts Day
Once a year the Guild holds a Comfort Quilt Day, when members get together and sew, sew, sew to make lots of quilts to distribute. Usually held in February, it's a great time to make progress while enjoying the company. There are lots of materials onsite to draw from and batting and flannel cutting goes on all day. Plan to attend for the fun and comradery!
Please ask any questions you may have online or at meetings! Cheers!
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