Quilts for Kids

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Thursday afternoons at 4 - 6 PM at the Grandstaff Library, Bldg 2109.

Call 253-967-5889 for more info.  Please click on images to see large photo. Quilts for Kids Info

Comfort Quilts: Helping Children Cope with Parent's Deployments - (portions of the following article were excerpted from - Fort Lewis MWR Spotlight, Fall 2003)

quilt quilt

Marty Alexander

I wanted to do something special for the kids," said Marty Alexander, retired library technician at Grandstaff Library. With the encouragement of her sister Barbara Rhodes, Alexander decided to start the quilting club.  "I was watching Home & Garden TV and saw Kaye Wood make her six-hour quilt. I promised Kaye that I’d give her credit for the pattern, and she has been very generous to let us use it.

After I made a quilt in four hours, I thought we could make several in the same amount of time by assembly line and give them to kids in crises. I knew some of the kids in the children's library, Book Patch, were behaving differently since their parent(s) had been deployed. I wasn't sure if I could get the quilts to the kids who needed them most so I contacted Mary Herrera at Army Community Service family services. She assured me that she could use all the quilts we could make."

Click here to read the Quilts for Kids Poem.

quilt sewing quilt

The six-hour quilt is made in such a way that it doesn't need to be layered in the traditional way, explained Alexander. "Some of the material came from my 'stash' (of fabric), ACS donated enough material to make about 25 quilts and almost everyone who came to the first quilt session brought some material."
Sewing machines and quilting supplies are brought in each week by Alexander, ACS family services staff member Donna Arias and "quilt experts" Valerie Valentine and Ute Jarasitis. "All of us pass around tips and hints, showing others how to put the project together quickly and easily," Alexander said. 

Materials for the project have been donated by individuals and a few businesses in the local community, but supplies are always needed, said Alexander. "As for cost, one yard of 100 percent cotton material varies in price from 'on sale' for $1 a yard up to $8-$10 a yard for quilter's cotton. Low loft batting is usually about $7 for queen size," she added.
Volunteers do not need sewing experience, said Alexander. Cutting the 6-inch strips of material and batting and pinning is one way to help.
The Quilts for Kids project has made 1,149 quilts since it started in 2003, and 1,136 of those quilts have been given to kids having problems.