Last Friday I delivered another pile of 34 quilts to the NICU at the IWK Children's Hospital. Quilters primarily from the Mayflower Quilters Guild and the Mahone Bay Quilters Guild have been supporting this project for almost 5 years. I haven't kept track of the numbers of quilts we have made and donated but it must be well over 400 now.
As soon as I came into the NICU, I was approached by a Dad who saw the bag of quilts that I had and he asked how much they cost, he wanted to buy one, a pink one for his baby daughter, he told me that she weighed 1lb 4 oz when she was born on New Year's Eve. I explained that they weren't for sale but were for the babies in the NICU to be used while they were there and that if they wanted one, a quilt could go home with them. He asked if I did commissions, he wanted a pink one, just a pink one for his tiny daughter. The nurses explained that they had to be labelled and washed and then he could have one, he was happy with that and thanked us for our support. He wanted a pink one, he reminded us. He told me several times his baby was the smallest one there. My heart ached for him and his tiny daughter.
I remember that when we spent over 2 months there with our twin grandsons how we always talked to other families, sharing news of our babies, their progress, their milestones big or small. We were important to each other, the support was huge and needed, no matter how small or brief.
I couldn't get this Dad out of my mind and his tiny baby. Our grandsons were 2lb and 2lb 10oz when they were born and it is hard to imagine a smaller baby. I kept thinking about this baby girl and the struggles that lay ahead. So Saturday morning I went to work, pulled out all the pink scraps leftover from Molly's quilt and made a small 32" square quilt for "the smallest baby" and her Dad. There are 9 - 9" squares plus a narrow border and a 2" border with a soft flannel back, perfect size for a tiny baby to grow into.
I pieced it and mostly quilted on Saturday, finished the quilting and binding on Sunday and today I am going to deliver it.
The quilt is machine pieced, simple off centre log cabin blocks and it is machine quilted.
I just hope and pray that they are still there.
An update - yes, baby is doing ok, holding her own. Her Dad wasn't there but I did give the quilt to the baby's primary care nurse so I know they will get it. I think I will make another one, I still have scraps left and I know there will be another little girl who will need a pink quilt.