LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2018) – Once a month, a group of women from all over Central Kentucky meet at the Clark County Extension Center to sew. But this isn't the average sewing circle. This is the Bluegrass Chapter of Quilts for Kids, part of a national organization that brings volunteers together to make quilts for children in hospitals.
Using donated materials or fabric from their personal stashes, the volunteers produce quilts in a variety of color schemes, patterns and themes. More than 50 volunteers have contributed since the group's formation in 2010. Some sew at the monthly meetings, others sew at home and send the quilts to Rosemary Campbell, chapter leader of Bluegrass Quilts for Kids.
"In January 2011, we made our first delivery to Kentucky Children's Hospital," said Campbell. "Seventeen whole quilts."
"I like making quilts, and you can only give so many quilts away to your family," said volunteer Nancy Hanna. "And I wanted do something to help other people."
In December 2017, the chapter celebrated their 2,000th quilt. They have also delivered 523 pillowcases, 451 NICU sheets, 126 flannel receiving blankets, 109 fleece throws, 460 hospital gowns for dolls, 257 superhero capes, 153 knitted hats, 77 mermaid and shark tail blankets and 76 sets of loveys for pediatric oncology. The group also sends quilts to Green House 17, a domestic violence shelter that serves 17 Kentucky counties.
The national chapter of Quilts for Kids, founded in 2000, established guidelines for the donated quilts. They must be made of new, high quality fabric and machine quilted to withstand hospital laundering. The quilts are designed to be lap quilts, rather than full bed quilts, so that they can be tucked in wheelchairs and around medical equipment. All quilts are washed and inspected for quality before being delivered to KCH.
"It's a wonderful feeling," said Campbell. "I don't know any quilters who don't have a generous heart, who love to use their skills to make people smile. We've gotten some thank you notes from parents and grandparents, and it really touches your heart. We like to feel that we're wrapping the kids in hugs and kisses because a lot of love and prayers go into these quilts."
For more information about Quilts for Kids, or if you would like to be involved, email Rosemary Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org
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