Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sewing for A Cause

I sewed late into the night last night. The KCMQG is taking on its next service project and I was doing some sewing to test fabric combinations for the fetal demise pouch project. I spent a day last week shopping for some additional materials...solids and ribbons so that we can put the kits together to distribute at the April meeting. Anna Maria Horner and Free Spirit/Westminster have been so supportive of our project by providing some of the fabrics which the hospital chose for the pouches. I will tell you it's some of the most difficult, but rewarding sewing I've ever done.

Having had a child born prematurely, it's not easy to make or hold one of these pouches. The pouches are offered to mothers who have miscarriages and lose babies very early in their pregnancy, in the more technical term, fetal demise. These babies are too tiny and fragile for clothing. The pouches are only about 4" x 7". I made 3 out of muslin before I made one that was perfect. Then I made them with the selected fabrics. It had to be perfect.

Andrea, one of our guild members and a nursing student, saw a need and suggested the project. Until Andrea shared with me I didn't know there was such a thing. They exist and something beautiful was needed. I'm so proud of our guild for tackling this. I'm excited to get the kits made and distributed so our talented group can start sewing.

30 comments:

Di~ said...

Sounds like a good cause. What are the pouches used for? Your work is wonderful.

Dawn S. said...

That fabric is lovely! Please explain what the pouches are used for. Worthy projects are so rewarding. (I love your new banner!)

Carol said...

This is such a rewarding project. I have sewn demise layettes for the Newborns In Need chapter here locally. We make a soft batiste gown with matching bonnet (sizes 1 pound to 6 pounds), matching blanket and memory bag for the parents to take home anything from the hospital. We also make the demise pouches with the ribbon for the babies too tiny and fragile to dress after birth. I am prayerful as I sew each one, for the parents likely do not know their child will be wearing the very outfit I am making. These babies are so precious and loved even by strangers! So thankful you are also doing this much needed project.

Leila said...

I want to say something meaningful but I have no words. It's a beautiful thing you and your guild are doing.

Carla said...

Thank you for sharing, Jackie. I'll certainly be helping with this project. I love your new blog look by the way....so you!

Marny said...

Such a caring project. I have never heard of this and would be very interested in pursuing it in our area. Would you be willing to share the pattern/pattern source? Thank you.

jacquie said...

Marny,
Drop me an email and I'd be happy to communicate with you about the project. Your comment is no reply so I can't contact you.

Lisa said...

That is such an awesome project. I just wish my local hospital had something like this when my sister needed it. I would be interested in a pattern.
Thanks for all you do,
Lisa

Amber H. said...

Dawn, the pouches are when mothers go into premature labor and their babies are stillborn. Because these babies are super tiny, there's no clothing that will possibly fit their small, fragile bodies. These pouches are put on the babies so their families can hold them and spend time with them without them being naked or uncovered.

I think this is a wonderful project. My aunt did a service project like this when I was a teenager; and unfortunately one of the ladies who sewed the pouches was not very careful when placing the velcro closures, so she had the tremendous task of resewing the velcro back onto the pouches. I was spending the weekend over at her house, and I spent most of my free time helping her resew the velcro. My heart was breaking having to do this, because some of these pouches were maybe 6 or 7 inches long.

I think it's a wonderful cause, but heartbreaking at the same time.

Diane said...

This is wonderful. I asked my daughter about this as she is doing an internship at our local hospital in bereavement on the Maternity and Neonatal ward. She will receive her Masters Degree in Social Work in May 2011. I am interested in starting to making these to donate to that hospital. Would you be willing to share the pattern? Google search provided knitted and crocheted patterns but yours is the most precious! Thank you for all you do!

Carol said...

Just for another resource, there are Newborns In Need chapters all across the US, mainly in larger cities I think. They have all the patterns for various items the hospitals have a need for. You can do a Google search for Newborns In Need and find a location/contact near you. Or maybe your local hospital might have a group they can give you contact information for what they need. All sources are invaluable and needed for these precious little ones.

greetingarts said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes. I lost my first in a miscarriage and never felt so alone in my life though my husband was right by my side. Something like this would have meant so much to me, knowing that a complete stranger could empathize and cared about me and my poor little one. I'd love to know more about the pouches, too. Please let your quilting guild know their work will touch people in a very powerful way. Hugs!

Angela said...

That is such a beautiful thing to do for families. I too lost my first and I can't imagine sewing for the tiny infants because of the heartache. So I'm so happy that there are people like you all out there who can help provide a little comfort.

Suzanne said...

Over and over you demonstrate what a big heart you have.

mamadevlin said...

Love the look of your new blog! What a wonderful and thoughtful project. Your guild's kindness amazes me.

Jill said...

I would love to have the pattern too. I work as an RN in the womens area and already use my scraps to make blankets for newborns who need them. Having lost a baby at birth and caring for women who have also lost babies, I would love to make something for them too.

Barb said...

beautiful idea for something so sad.
The fabric is pretty, but subdued, perfect.

WendyLou said...

I would also be interested in having a pattern to make these for our local hospitals.

The Rx quilter said...

I belong to the Threads of Love at my church, Oak Hills Church in San Antonio. The group makes many different items for preemies to be donated to local hospitals. I don't think we are currenty making these fetal demise pouches. I am interested in providing this information to our chapter to add this to our offerings. Do you have other suggestions for obtaining fabric designer support? When our gifts are made with beautiful quilting cottons, voiles etc. it makes them even more lovely. I delivered twins at 28 weeks and the gifts they received in the NICU from volunteers touched me so deeply that someone, whom I didn't know also cared about me and my babies. Blessings to you and the guild for lightening a heavy load. Lisa in Texas

Melissa said...

Thank you for all of the work you are doing preparing these, Jacquie. I look forward to helping with this project. It's something very close to my heart.

Joanna said...

This is just wonderful. I had 4 miscarriages and your mind is just not right when it happens, and these would be just a lovely thing to help the mother know that someone cares. The fabrics are beautiful, and I love that you said it had to be perfect. These little babies and mommas deserve the best:)

Alisa said...

This is a wonderful idea. I just lost my baby at 15 weeks pregnancy and we were so torn about what to do with the body. We received no direction so we wrapped our baby in some white cotton, tied a ribbon around it and buried it in a wooden memory box.

If we had received something like this at the hospital it would have been so comforting and make the memory of our baby a little more tangible. (If that makes sense.)

quiltygal said...

Can you please tell me where I can get the pattern for this I make Litte quilts of love for the stillborn banies in the birthing unit at work but these arent suitable for Fetal loss as you said I googled patterns on the net but they all looked lacy & much too "funereal" for me to make these look fantastic modern & sweet I would love to make some ...

Lori said...

I am sat here, awed, and totally moved by your guild's generosity and decision to share its talent and skill to help soften the blow of the milestone event of losing a fetus. I also appreciate your comments and attention to get it just right. Tearing up...

I did a search in the hopes of finding a pattern. I thought I might attempt a prototype and take it along to the maternity ward of my local hospital and ask if this is something that might help them in their work. I'm an American living in the UK. Here people are generally less open about 'personal' and 'uncomfortable' issues. All the more reason, as I see it, that organizations respond to events such as FD humanely, and with as much sensitivity and dignity and care and love as possible. If a little pouch that I make might be able to support this big task, sign me up.

In my search for a pattern I discovered a posting from another KCMQG member containing a link to the pouch pattern. I'll post these links below because it appears I'm not the only one who has been moved by your guild's action. (I do hope this is okay...I wanted to email you first before doing this but I just don't see any other way to contact you.)

Another blog post about the project:
http://teaginnydesigns.blogspot.com/2011/02/best-guild-ever.html

Pattern:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/48643638/FD-Wrap-Pouch-Tutorial

Thank you for what you are doing. But thank you also for this post; it has prompted me to ask myself, "What can I do?"

Sending all good wishes.

MightyMom said...

you are an AWESOME LADY!!

I love the pouches and the love put into them.

harleywife57 said...

thanks ; I came over here to see what was going on about the quilt bashing (yes , being nosey) but found this post . My friend's daughter started a local chapter of THREADS OF LOVE after her son was born an angel at 37 weeks , and I have done some sewing for her . I sent her the link with the pouch pattern . God works in mysterious ways ; I'm glad I found this pattern . Her website is : http://sites.google.com/site/isaiahsthreadsoflove/home

Stitchbird said...

So moving - I had tears in my eyes reading your post. I realised it happens but I had never heard of the pouches before now. Makes me wonder whether anyone is doing anything like that here in New Zealand. Something to do some research on.

Nanci Byers said...

I would like the pattern for this project. Can you send it to me?

Thanks very much,

Nanci Byers
ndbyers23@gmail.com
http://connectingtonature.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Hi, my daughter Faith died at 36 wks due to a true knot in her umbilical cord, which stoppe her from receiving vital nutrients and oxygen. Stillbirth is said to be rare, but the community I am a part of knows different. In the US alone, and from Stillbirth(death 20 wks and after)alone, 30,000 babies die each year. In Faith's memory,I started donating Faith's Healing Baskets to her birth hospital, which happens to be where most births take place in my area. Unfortunately, our ministry has grown, but thankfully we are able to provide baskets to the other two hospitals in my area. This is when I realized the need for smaller blankets and outfits. One of the hospitals mostly cares for parents that have lost their babies during the 2nd trimester. I have been searching for a perfect "outfit" for their tiny babies. This pouch is great. I am not a sewer, but have become very frustrated trying to depend on friends that sew to complete anything I ask of them. ;) If you would, please email me the pattern for this pouch. I will bravely attempt this creation as my first sewing task.lol Thank you for this post and in turn providing awareness to something that society tends to ignore. God bless!!
Cynthia
faithhope5@bellsouth.net

Anonymous said...

My husband and I lost our twin sons at 22 weeks last June. I can't express how grateful we are that someone took the time, love and effort to make the gowns, the blankets, the caps and the memory bag that we have hugged and held on to over the past year. I managed to crochet some preemie caps and blankets and donated them to the hospitals that took care of us around Christmas time. I love these pouches and have started to make them so I could give them to the hospitals on what would have been their 1st birthday. As heartbreaking as it is to make them, I'm hoping the love and sympathy labored in to them help parents like my husband and I. They really are wonderful remembrances of someone taken so soon. God Bless you and all that take the time to make these precious gifts. I can't tell you how much ours mean to us, there are no words to describe it!