Sew Beautiful

Post by Georgia Bedford

Butterfly is the new Sands Queensland memory bag for newly bereaved parents. Volunteer Lyndell Price launched Butterfly on the 12th October 2013 at the annual Brisbane Sands Walk to Remember.

Memory boxes are not a new idea, Sands has pushed the envelope and created the new generation of memory box. Liaising closely with hospitals and bereaved parents the new memory box is a bag, which means it can fold flat, this is key with storage at a premium in hospitals. The memory bag has staple items of a blanket, ‘Precious Memories of Our Baby’ book and pen, Certificate of Life, Inkless Print Kit and Sand resources including a ‘Moments’ brochure with suggestion for parents to create memories. Being a bag it is easy for the nurses to add specific items as needed.

Lyndell is busy creating a network of bereaved mums who make and distribute Butterfly to their local hospital. This project enables bereaved mums to actively support the bereaved community, and puts sewing skills to good work.

Sadly the number of miscarriage, stillbirths and neonatal deaths is still too high, and Butterfly is in demand. So to help the Butterfly network, bereaved parents, grandparents, family and friends have been called upon to learn how to create these beautiful bags. The first sewing tutorial was held on the 8th February 2014 at the Uniting Church behind the Sands Brisbane office. Judie, Leonie and Nicky from Sunshine Linus, the ladies who created the pattern for the bag, showed Luana, Sandra, Anna, Kim and her mother-in-law Edna, Georgia and her mother, Colleen, how to create the beautiful Butterfly bags.

Many hands make light work

Many hands make light work

A demonstration on how to cut the material, irons at the ready, and then into the sewing. Matching panels, ironing on wadding, stitching in feet, lining up handles. After a very productive morning, we paused for a bite, cup of tea and a chat, we then returned to the machines for the tricky part … sewing in the zipper. At the end of the day we all ended up with a little tote bag to carry home our sewing supplies and the know-how to create many Butterfly bags for our own community.

Showing the finished bags

Showing off our bags to Kay

Kay McGrath from Channel 7’s Making a Difference joined us on the day, to interview Judy Clarkson, one of Sands founding members, Lyndell, Luana and Kim. Utilising the day to promote Sands Queensland to the broader community and to demonstrate the positive power of grief.

Kim being interviewed by the Channel 7 crew

Kim being interviewed by the Channel 7 crew

A special thank you goes out to Sunshine Linus and the wonderful Judie, Nicky and Leonie, for sharing their skills with us on the day. Sunshine Linus has also made over 40 bags for Sands to distribute to newly bereaved parents. Thank you ladies!

How can you help?

Become a Butterfly Coordinator for your area.

Make it

Request the memory bag pattern and make a sample bag. Once your sample has been approved we can send you material to make memory bags for Sands Queensland.

Check out our patterns and see what you can make.

All donated items can be sent to: PO Box 373, Rural View Qld, 4740.

Buy it

Follow our material guidelines and donate appropriate material.

Donate small white washcloths for the memory bag.
Sponsor a memory bag in memory of your baby at www. sandsqld.org.au

Support it

Follow one of our Butterfly Coordinators to find out what is specifically needed.

Share the project with your crafty friends and family, get together, make a sewing circle, encourage others to help out.
If you would like further information please contact Lyndell at events@sandsqld.com

 

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