The sewing machine has been a familiar item in Pat Adams’ life since she was a little girl. In the middle of the last century, her father worked for the downtown Paducah shops, repairing and altering men’s suits in the middle part of the last century. She learned a thing or two from him and went on to sew clothes for each of her four children as they grew up. However, her true passion came at the age of 18 when she learned how to quilt.
Pat’s husband went off with the armed services and while he was away she lived with her in-laws. Mrs. Adams made quilts and insisted on teaching her daughter-in-law how to quilt in a frame, something Pat had not done before. It turned out that Pat enjoyed quilting and from that moment on she was hooked.
Today, Pat is 81 years old. Her love of sewing and quilting has not waned. She spends much of her time stitching baby quilts for infants in need. She began serving in this capacity several years ago after reading an ad in a newspaper for a non-profit organization called Hearts 4 Babies.
“The ad said to bring your sewing machine and a crib quilt you’re working on. I did that and joined,” Pat says.
Hearts 4 Babies donates layettes filled with handmade baby clothes, burb cloths, baby quilts and toiletries appropriate for newborns. The layettes are then donated to families with financial need or who have had a baby prematurely. These simple gifts go a long way to help parents provide a healthy, happy life for their infants.
There is no end to the talent and creativity of the members of this charitable organization.
“These ladies crochet the cutest sweaters for boys or girls with matching hats. They crochet little afghans to fit a baby, and make onesies and little jackets for the babies to wear,” Pat says.
No scrap of fabric goes to waste, says Hearts 4 Babies president Susan Marlier. She says it’s cheaper to spend money on materials than to buy them ready-made.
“Out of one yard of fabric we can make a receiving blanket, burp cloth and a bib. Or we can make four gowns, or four to five onesies,” Susan says. “We take anything that is donated to us. If we cannot use the fabric or yarn, or whatever may have been donated, then we try to find another organization that might be able to use it.”
Each month a member of Hearts 4 Babies contacts area hospitals and health clinics to determine the needs that exist for families in need who are having babies. The organization then distributes between 20 to 25 layettes each month to the various facilities in Western Kentucky and Southern Illinois.
“We do this for the love of these babies,” Susan says. “We’re just grateful that we can help someone. I think everyone feels that way or they wouldn’t be doing it.”
Each member of the group has a special talent.
“Everyone makes what they like. Some who don’t sew are really good with yarn,” Susan says.
Although Pat has mastered the art of sewing, making baby quilts continues to be her personal passion and interest. Sewing alongside the other members of the group is an added bonus.
“We enjoy being together,” Pat says. “We enjoy sewing and we have a good time.”
While the labor of the organization is centered on sewing baby items, each member of the group also prays for the infants who will receive these gifts.
“We pray that the babies who receive the layettes will be healthy. If their families are out of work, then we pray that they get jobs,” Pat says.
Hearts 4 Babies began in 2004. Their love for the children who are born into local communities drives group members to continue sewing each month.
“I can just picture these babies not having anything to wear,” Pat says. “This is a way for us to give them a beginning anyway.”
Hearts 4 Babies meets on the first Wednesday of each month, at Lone Oak First Baptist Church from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 270.554.1441.
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