A few months ago, Andrea, a nursing student and KC guild member, approached the leadership team with an idea for a service project. After a maternity rotation at St. Luke's, Andrea learned of the need for fetal demise pouches. A fetal demise pouch is a small fabric pouch used to hold the smallest infants that die prematurely and who are too small or too fragile for clothing. The pouch provides a place for these smallest of babies so that their parents can hold them and say goodbye. The guild enthusiastically embraced this project and a team of guild members worked with Andrea and her nursing supervisor to sew samples and test fabrics and designs. Alex designed a new version of the pouch which looks like a small sleeping bag. Andrea and the team worked with the hospital on choosing fabrics appropriate for the pouches. It just happened that the hospital fell in love with many of Anna Maria Horner's fabrics. After contacting Anna Maria, who generously put us in touch with Westminster Fabrics, the guild received a beautiful set of fabrics donated by Westminster. We can't thank them both enough for their generosity and support of our project.
After the fabric arrived, several guild members met at Jacquie's studio to cut and prepare kits with all the fabric and ribbon needed to make the pouches. They cut and put together over 100 pouch kits that afternoon. The kits were distributed to members at the April guild meeting.
In May, we collected 52 completed pouches and Brea, a nurse at St Luke's, was able to attend and receive the pouches. Word has it that the staff at St. Luke's are thrilled with how beautiful and how well made the pouches are. They are proud to be able to offer these to the moms and dads who find themselves in this difficult situation.
Guild members are continuing to make pouches and we are cutting and distributing additional kits at the June meeting. The Guild is working with the hospital to expand the project to other hospitals in the metro area.
The project has struck a chord with folks outside the guild as well. The KC Modern Quilt Guild Pouch Project will be part of an article in the next issue of Quilter's Home magazine. We're happy that others are interested in the project.
We feel strongly about maintaining the integrity of the project, so we are in the process of writing a set of guidelines for other guilds and groups that might be interested in taking on this project. Stay tuned to this blog to find out more about the project and how to access the project guidelines and pattern. They will be ready soon!
Thanks to all our members who are part of this project. Amazing how a little sewing can make a big difference in someone's life.