Members of Piece Arch Quilters’ have different life experiences, but our uniting feature is that we all love quilting. Our Wee Care program consists of making quilts for babies as they leave the neo natal unit of Surrey Memorial. In all 95 quilts have been collected since November 2021 and donated to SMH.
Before Covid many of my quilting friends would complain they didn’t have enough time at home to sew. Well careful what you wish for! Our group paused in the spring of 2020 but started back with Zoom meetings in the fall of that year. Zoom was a great way to connect. Social isolation was a real thing and continues to be for many members. They are older, many live alone or with a partner/parent in ill health. They are apart from their children and grandchildren. It’s been hard.
Many have turned to making Wee Care quilts as a small way of giving back to the community.
Group members having been making quilts at home, but the feedback has been for a while that they would like to connect with each other in person. Zoom is great! You can stay in your bubble and it’s fine. Bubbles are fun. Bursting bubbles is even more fun! It was great to get together (masked and vax pass recorded) and sew together. We were able to share tricks and tips. See what the others were doing. Exchange ideas. Learn new things. Energized the group. It was great to be together again to support one another. Both quilting related and even more so on a personal level. Bonus to all of that was that we were making quilts for babes that were struggling at birth. It was a great day!!!
My lesson learned came after the event preparing the end report. I asked the question Why do you make Wee Care quilts?
I love making donation quilts and the chance to make cute little baby quilts makes me very joyful. I have no grandchildren, so this is my opportunity to pull all the stops and get creative!”
Forty years ago, my daughter was born at 31 weeks. She spent the first 28 days of her life in the hospital. The hardest thing for me was having to go home without her- but she did come home and grew up to be an amazing woman. My heart goes out to young families who are facing similar challenges. I am happy to help in a small way by making baby quilts
I like to feel that I have a purpose to each day. With Covid over the past two years, I’ve never had a day that I have struggled to know how to fill my time thanks to Wee Care.
New member Sheila writes:
I am a retired RN, having worked at BC Women’s Hospital for 14 years….among other places. While it is primarily a happy place to work, I will always remember the angst that parents experienced when they had to leave their little one behind in the care of the NICU. I really feel that a nice cozy baby quilt is such a kind gesture, a lasting gift that these families will cherish forever.
Quilting during the pandemic reminds me that I must be mindful of what I ask for…”if only I had more time to quilt”!! Now I have an abundance of time to quilt and enjoy every minute of it!!! I also say a prayer for the recipient of each quilt as I stitch away.
In the end I found our day stitching Wee Care quilts to be a circle of support. I looked around the room seeing some people I’ve known for a long time; some I’m meeting for the first time and all points in between. In the room was chronic illness, worries about aging parents, coping with being the full-time caregiver to a spouse and more. Everyone with their own story and struggles helping and supporting each other.
The donation of the quilts to the hospital was the purpose of the day but the bonus was companionship and support the participants gave each other.
What’s next for the Wee Care Program?
Our plan is to continue crafting quilts for the NICU at Surrey Memorial Hospital. That is the lifeblood of our program. We are also working together as a group to make quilts for the survivors of the Residential School System. We plan to have 10 lap sized quilts made before the summer. More information of the project can be found at https://www.quiltsforsurvivors.ca