Minimising Waste: Quilts for ICU
We are lucky to work with this beautiful Liberty fabric day in day out. We have rolls and rolls, piles and piles, boxes and bags full of it. As we make so many pieces of varying shapes and sizes we are often let with scraps and remnants in sizes that are unsuitable for us but are very useful to others.
We wanted to find a use for these fabric pieces as we can not bear to throw any away.
A family friend Ibi Edwards, is an avid quilter, we gave her and her quilting group a smallish bag of scraps to use in their class and the response we received was overwhelming. Upon opening the bag in the class some of the ladies were reduced to tears at the thought of working with this beautiful cloth. When we heard what they made with the scraps we then sent over a bin liner full for them to use.
Traditionally quilters tore up things such as old dresses, skirts and clothing to make them into quilts and blankets. Materials that have an emotional aspect are often made into things that they hadn't been before. One of the ladies in the quilting group is widowed and has made a quilt using her husbands shirts and edged it with his ties.
There are hundreds of different squares you can create that have different meanings and in the very early days the quilts would be made to help people learn the alphabet.
The ladies who get together to quilt work on individual projects and group projects. One of the main group projects is making quilts for the babies in the ICU at Bristol Children's Hospital - it is for this project that our fabric has been used.
The quilters make a batch of quilts and give them to parents in the ICU unit so they have something to take home that smells like their baby, something that is special to their baby whether they are lucky enough to bring their baby home or not. The parents are able to choose a quilt that they would like for their baby. The quilts are carefully made with rounded corners in soft colours, no yellows or dark tones. The quilts are little at just 24cm in width so they can be used as a blanket for the babies or to lay over the incubator. "They are emotional things, made with love, a small act of kindness and knowing that you are doing something for a mum gives you a warm feeling".
We are very lucky that Ibi has allowed us to take a photograph of her quilting as if they are being entered into a competition no one is allowed to photograph them.
I can not tell you how beautiful these patchwork quilts are. Ibi claims to not be a sewer but having seen her quilts close up, in work and finished she most certainly has a skill. The way she has mixed the prints and made the colours work with each other is just so special.
There are quilting classes all over the UK for adults and children.
If you are local to Somerset there are classes at the moment in Bristol, Westbury-on-Trim and Winscombe. To find out more about quilting classes please contact Jenny.firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Facebook.
If you work on a project that needs fabric donations please do get in touch.
We feel incredibly proud that our fabric is being used for such a special project and that every single piece of fabric we bring into the studio is being used for something.