In 2007, my very close, quilting friend, Rena, died of cancer. Her husband, very generously, gave me all of her fabric stash. Intermixing all of her fabric collection with mine did not feel right to me. I knew too well how much thought and care she put into acquiring all that fabric. I spent many a day with her searching through bolts, caressing the cottons, considering our budgets and then finally coming to a decision. How could I just shove her beautiful fabrics into my wall of leftovers? No. I needed to give her fabrics a special purpose.
Since Rena enjoyed making baby quilts, and she shared a birthday with my baby who
died in 1985, using her fabrics to make quilts for special babies was an easy decision to come to. I put together coordinating fabrics to create a baby quilt kit, called “Rena-Bean Baby” kits after the nick name some of us would affectionately use. As is so often the case, my grandiose ideas cannot come to fruition without the help of others. I sought out volunteers among my many talented friends to take a kit and make a quilt. Rena was so loved, there has been no shortage of volunteers. The quilts are then donated to a special baby place around the date of her birthday in November.
2009 – University of Connecticut, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Farmington, CT
2010 – St. Gerard’s Center for Life, Hartford, CT
2012 and 2013 – Two Hearts Pregnancy Crisis, 116 Grove Street, Torrington, CT
On November 20, 2013, we held a Blessing of Baby Quilts Celebration. Fr. Tim O’Brien, pastor of Immaculate Conception Church, New Hartford, CT, and Lynn Reynolds, Executive Director of Two Hearts, Torrington, were able to attend. Here are some pictures!