Quilters Give Newborns A Warm Welcome

COOS BAY – Thirteen lucky newborns will go home with handmade quilts, courtesy of the Bandon Quilt Guild.

As they have done for more than a decade, Guild members donated the quilts to Bay Area Hospital’s Family Birth Center and MOMS program. Carolyn Jacobson, the hospital’s supervisor of perinatal services, said the quilts will go home with babies who otherwise might not experience the treasure of a traditional hand-made quilt.

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From left, registered nurse Sarah Miller, obstetrics technician Jenny Smith and MOMS secretary Michelle Nicolaus show off some of the baby quilts donated by Bandon Quilt Guild.

“It means a lot – not just the gift, but the thought behind it,” Jacobson said.

The guild donates about 100 quilts a year to various organizations, including the Roseburg veterans hospital and the Women’s Safety and Resource Center in North Bend. The ones donated to Bay Area Hospital are “challenge quilts,” created in an annual competition among club members.

Guild member Caroline Halfwassen of Bandon said the guild chooses a specific fabric each year and distributes pieces to each challenge competitor. The competitors must include the fabric in each quilt. Visitors to the guild’s annual show, held during the Bandon Cranberry Festival, vote on their favorite quilts.

This year’s challenge fabric, featuring tropical birds on a yellow background, inspired several entries with jungle and animal themes.

Jacobson noted that these baby quilts are intentionally flat, not fluffy. As part of the Safe Sleep Campaign, the MOMS program teaches new parents to avoid putting fluffy items in cribs.

The MOMS program gives expectant mothers education, counseling and help connecting with community services. The program is a frequent beneficiary of generous crafters and donors, who provide a steady flow of knitted caps, receiving blankets and baby clothes. Along with the quilt guild, Bandon Presbyterian Women is a steady supplier.

“We’re pretty blessed,” Jacobson said.

The Bandon Quilt Guild is open to all quilters. It meets at 10 a.m. the first and third Wednesdays of each month at the Bandon Oddfellows Hall. Newcomers are welcome, regardless of experience.

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