Old friends, and a community at work

I recently had the opportunity to attend a community quilting workshop in Lexington, MA, hosted by the Northeast region of Quilters Connection.  The venue was the auditorium at Brookhaven Retirement Community.  My friend Jane Norberg of QC frequently gives me quilts for Wrap-A-Smile and I knew it would be fun to see her group in action. What I didn't anticipate was a group of 65 (!) busily cutting, sewing, quilting and binding quilts, not to mention the teddy bears being stuffed and the pillowcases being assembled.  It was a real beehive of activity.

A bonus was running into several of my former patients from the days when I was a dentist in Lexington. The part I miss most about my former life is the contact with my patients, so the hugs with Ann H, Mary P, Bernice M, Selma E, Sylvia F and Kathy P were extra special.  It was definitely more fun to connect through sewing than with a dental drill in my hand!

Through my engagement with Wrap-A-Smile and the larger universe of charity …

Fabulous picture from India!

Here's another wonderful posting from the Rotaplast team in India.  Amar in his quilt truly affirms why we do what we do.  I hope the creator of this quilt will get to see this picture.  For those of you who haven't seen one of your quilts in action yet, I can assure you that every quilt given to WAS will be wrapping someone, somewhere.  Enjoy this post!

Quilts at work in Narnaul, India

I hope you enjoy this link to the current Rotaplast team activity in Narnaul, India.  The blog postings by Pam Meehan-Moulton are beautifully written and full of emotion.  You will feel like you are right there with the team, along with our Wrap-A-Smile quilts, as lives are transformed. Thank you to all our quilters who add this special comforting touch to the surgical missions.

A quilter's story

Our quilt ministry began in 2004 when I read an article in Family Circle magazine about babies being wrapped in paper and plastic during cleft palate surgeries because of a shortage of blankets.  Wrap-A-Smile was asking for baby quilts and I felt called to help.  While I knew how to sew, I had never made a quilt before.  I enlisted the help of my friend Linda Saxton who had made two quilts.  We had enthusiastic members of church join us who learned to quilt along with us. Over the last 14 years many community members have joined us as well:  friends, people we met while selling items, etc.  We have taught teenagers how to use a sewing machine, and many adults have made their first quilts as part of our ministry.  A Girl Scout even used our group to inspire her Gold Project where she and her friends made baby quilts for Wrap-A-Smile.

For our first year, we received donations from local businesses.  Since then, to raise funds, we have sold table runners, hot pads, tree skirts, and other …

When small things become a big thing...

As someone who was raised to not waste, and as a committed recycler today, I have a particular fondness for scrappy quilts.

My friend Rebecca from Edgecomb, Maine, made this tumbler quilt for Wrap-A-Smile using a variety of fabrics that might otherwise have been tossed. She claimed it didn’t take long as she used an Accuquilt cutter, but I see many hours of generous labor to create a gift of love for a child she will never meet. And yes, she has made multiples of these! Thank you Rebecca for being part of our Wrap-A-Smile community.
And string quilts can be endlessly creative. Here is one gifted to Wrap-A-Smile from Calico Quilt Guild in Yarmouth, Maine. Another bright and cheerful creation that will wrap a child in comfort both before and after their surgery. I’m so glad all these little “leftovers” found their way into a quilt.

Our first Quiltathon! And a milestone!

Last Saturday an enthusiastic group of quilters from three local guilds joined Rotarians at the Rotary Clubhouse in Boothbay Harbor to produce hand made quilts for Wrap-A-Smile.  It was a day of shared purpose, friendship and community collaboration to create quilts for children undergoing cleft lip and cleft palate repair. 

Many of the quilters also brought finished quilts to donate to Wrap-A-Smile.

With the number of quilts produced from the Quiltathon, and another 15 quilts donated by quilters from the Boothbay Community Center, Wrap-A-Smile has now shared over 25,000 (yes, twenty five thousand!) quilts worldwide.  As a visual, 25,000 quilts would cover 7 football fields, quite an amazing statement by the many generous quilters from all over the country who donate to Wrap-A-Smile. 

But wait, there's more.....

These additional pictures from the Bangladesh Rotaplast mission were just shared by team member Aileen.  A few images may be repeats, but we can never get enough of seeing our quilts in action, can we??  Thank you again to the makers of these quilts.  If you haven't seen one of your quilts yet, please trust that all quilts sent to Wrap-A-Smile will be hugging someone....somewhere!  Enjoy~