Tag Archives: foster teens

Foster Teen Quilts, Part 2

As promised, here’s part 2 of the Foster Teen Quilt Project!  If you missed Part 1- here you go!

I wanted to take this time to share some facts about kids in the foster system while I share the four feminine quilts we made.

On any given day, there are approximately 402,000 children in the foster system in the United States.

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
The City of Alexandria on average has about 100 children in foster care. About half of the children are a part of large sibling groups, almost half are middle –school age or older.

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
The amount of time a child stays in foster care can vary from as little as a few days to a number of years.

The average time and Alexandria child spends in foster care is one  year.

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Youth who age out of the foster care system are more likely than their non–foster care peers to be involved with the criminal justice system, have low educational attainment, become pregnant, and experience homelessness.

Foster children attend an average of seven to nine different schools by age 18—80% are held back in school by the third grade. Less than half of foster youth in the nation will graduate from high school and only 2% graduate from college or higher.

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts
 Thank you for sharing in this journey.  It was a wonderful experience for our moms group & an incredible joy for us to give quilts so freely to these teens.

Lastly, I want to invite you to think about how you can help foster children in your town.  Get in touch with a local social worker & chat about how your skills, whatever they are, can help foster kids.

Many thanks to Kathryn Coneway for helping me photograph the quilts & Krystal Fenwick, social worker for the City of Alexandria who provided these facts.  And of course, to my mom’s group for coming along on this crazy adventure with me!

Foster Teen Quilts

About three months ago I came across an email asking for donations for graduating foster teens.  It was more than your typical monetary solicitation, this woman was asking for umbrellas & wastebaskets for these teens.

See, when teens age out of the foster system, one day they in the custody of the state, the next they are on their own.  They leave with mostly the clothes they are wearing & that’s it folks.  They don’t get to go shopping to decorate their new apartment paid for courtesy of their parents, they don’t even get a set a sheets.

In Alexandria however a social worker is trying her hardest to give them a start.  She has arranged a graduation ceremony to recognize this huge milestone in their lives & is working with the community to give them a wastebasket of basic items.

I read the initial email & immediately knew I wanted to give them quilts.  But truly I had no idea how I would pull it off.  Granted it was only seven quilts, so it seemed possible in theory, but Teapot was in between crawling & walking, & I wasn’t getting much sleep.

I knew several women in my mom’s group quilted & I was familiar with the string quilt project Quilts from the Bluffs runs where the blocks can be sewn by many different quilters.  I took this idea to the women & to my surprise they were excited & anxious to start!

We sewed & sewed & sewed.  Those who didn’t know how to sew contributed by cutting & pressing strips as we sewed.  We sewed during nap times, after bedtime, while babies crawled around our legs, together at meetups, alone in our homes.  I longarmed all the quilts & then led a class in machine binding for the women.

There are seven graduating foster teens this year, three men & four women.  These are the masculine quilts.

On the red quilt I used a freehand square meander pattern that I love for men’s quilts!
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

On the blue quilt I used the “Square Spiral” pantograph that works up nice & quickly while adding interest.
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

On the green quilt I used “Zebra” which is fast becoming a favorite.
Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

Foster Teen quilts by Ormond Beach Quilts

It was an empowering project for the moms.  We all have babies under two years old & the most surprising realization for me this first year of Teapot’s life is how all your life becomes this child & much of what you used to do is impossible to do anymore.  Through all of us working together & supporting each other, we were able to make seven quilts in ten weeks with babies.   This was no small feat, but our love for these teens they’ve never met gave us the determination to finish.

In my next post I’ll share pictures of the feminine quilts & also share some data about foster children.

*also thank you to Kathryn Coneway who help me photograph these quilts!  I learned a lot about photography from watching her work those two mornings as we documented these quilts!

Raindrops for do.good stitches

Hey there!

Just a quick post to show you a project I just contributed to.

I recently was invited to join a do.good stitches group (I was on the waiting list for a few months & didn’t expect to get the invite in the middle of the Foster Teen project, but it’s all good!)  I’m now part of the BELIEVE circle which makes quilts for kids in the foster system.  (see a trend here, I swear I was randomly picked for this circle, I did nothing to influence it, but it does make one wonder….)

It’s a monthly bee where someone posts directions & guidelines & everyone submits a block or two by the end of the month.

This month we were instructed to improv piece at least 4 raindrops.

raindrops for do.good stitches

(Another bad photo, I know you’re shocked!)

I can’t wait to see what the end result looks like!

Bloggers’ Quilt Festival, Spring 2015

It’s time for the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival again!

This year I’m submitting a special quilt that’s part of a larger project I’m working on. This is one of seven quilts I’m making with my Mom’s group for graduating foster teens in the City of Alexandria.

String Quilts for Foster Teens
These teens leave the foster system only with the items given to them by a proactive community member who works tirelessly on their behalf.

String Quilts for Foster Teens

Nationwide 1/3 of them do not have a high school diploma
.

Due to limited work histories, many find it difficult to obtain employment.  Those who do typically work in positions where they can easily be exploited or find it difficult to increase their independence.

One day they are considered a child by the state, and the next day they are on their own responsible for everything.

String Quilts for Foster Teens
I was drawn to help these teens and I was thrilled when my mom’s group wanted to help!  We are sewing string blocks during nap times, in the evenings, anytime we can grab a few minutes together.  These women have newborns & twins, but all of us have babies under two.  Once or twice a week we get together at my house & we work while the babies play (ok, & sometimes we play more than work!)  I love this project because the string quilts don’t require advanced quilting skills & there’s plenty of work for non-sewers to do!  In fact, we can assembly line these blocks easily where one person sews & another presses.

String Quilts for Foster Teens
It means a lot to me that these teens receive the quilts.  I worked with foster kids at the Boys & Girls Club of Alaska & this is what I know about them:
– These are the easily forgotten.
– They are talented at making themselves invisible.
– They have had their hearts broken numerous times.
– They are beautiful lives that deserve to be made whole again.

These quilts for them.  To give them something that will keep them warm- no matter where they are sleeping.  To give them something from moms in their community to let them know they are cared about.  To give them a reminder that someone has not forgotten about them.

DSCN0952
If you’re interested in how to make a difference for foster teens graduating out of your local area- the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative can help you!

Linking up with the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival at Amy’s Creative Side

Blogger's Quilt Festival