By Carolyn Marnon – David Carpenter started quilting fifteen years ago. His first quilt, a log cabin quilt with animals on muslin was on display outside the Home Economics department at Wayne Memorial High School at one time. It now graces the back of the couch in his home.
David and his wife, Lynn, started going to The Quilting Season, a quilting shop in Saline, about four years ago. That is when they met up with a group that made baby quilts for premature infants at Beaumont Hospital Wayne. Some people cut out pieces for the quilts, others assembled the pieces, some used the long arm quilters available at the shop and others just sewed pieces together. David thought this was a wonderful idea and started making the preemie quilts too.
Many people think of quilts as just the way the fabric is placed in a pattern. A quilt consists of a top and a back with a filler of some sort in between and then edged with binding. Quilting is actually the process of sewing two or more layers of fabric together. David says different people do different things, but they all make quilt tops.
Although he lives in Canton and works in Westland, David belongs to the Wayne Rotary. The Carpenters were given a $4000 district grant from the Rotary to use in purchasing materials. Batting is purchased by the bolt, while the fabrics can be bought in smaller quantities. David likes to find fabric with themes pertaining to fishing, the woods and the outdoors. So many fabrics tend to be “girly” and he likes to add the masculine touch. All the baby quilts are made of cotton materials. In addition to baby quilts, he and his wife also make felt and flannel scent pads. These are pieces of felt or flannel about 4 ½ x 4 inches that the mother of a preemie can put her milk on. This pad is then put in with the baby to help them bond to mom. Often the baby can’t be with the mom because the skin is tender. 4-8 scent pads are given to the mother to use since they need to be washed regularly. The staff at Beaumont Hospital put the quilted blankets over the incubators to cut down on the light and sounds that can be overwhelming to a premature infant. The average size of the quilts is 36 inches by 42 inches.