An active group of quilters and sewers make it possible for Hospice of the Northwest to give out hundreds of blankets, pillows, and other handmade items to hospice patients each year. Right now, about five volunteers are active sewers, and many more donations come from groups of quilters and sewers in the area.
Lap quilts are among the most popular items. In addition, our sewers make lap afghans, butterfly pillows, catheter carry bags, hospital gowns, knitted/crocheted hats, busy mats, and scarves. These lovingly crafted gifts bring warmth, comfort, and a splash of color to our patients.
A Barn Tale
Sometimes these gifts evoke cherished memories. Karuna Duval, a spiritual counselor with Hospice of the Northwest, shared this story:
“I often give a quilt or afghan on my first visit with new patients. I always keep a few in my car. When I present them to patients, they will often say ‘Oh! That’s my favorite color’ or ‘This goes so well with the colors in my room’ without me knowing these details before presenting them with the quilt.
The other day, I presented a quilt to a new patient. I chose it because it had brown and green colors, and I thought it would be good for a gentleman. When I presented the quilt, I explained it was made by a volunteer and referred to it as a ‘comfort quilt.’
What I hadn’t noticed until I unfolded the quilt was that it featured a farm theme—barns, farm animals, and a windmill. The patient and his wife loved it! They explained that they had been farmers for 30 years. They shared some wonderful experiences with their local Mennonite community. One of their happiest memories was a community-led “barn raising” the helped them build a new barn after one of their barns burned down.
After that conversation, we all agreed there was a ‘divine’ loving energy involved at this visit, and that feeling lingered. Each time I visited them, they both said how special the quilt is to them.”
Gifts of Love
Hospice can always use new handmade items. Blankets are especially important. Hospice of the Northwest includes a donated blanket at each of our Veteran pinning ceremonies.
If you have questions or would like to volunteer, please contact Erin Long, our volunteer services manager, at email@example.com.