Updated: Oct 17, 2021
Quilts have been a significant part of my life. This seems strange to say, as I am neither a skilled crafter nor the owner of any particularly noteworthy blankets. Nonetheless, I do have many quilt-centered memories. I have fond memories of learning to tie quilts as a young child. Sometimes my sweet mother would bring me along to quilt-tying parties with her circle of lady friends. Other times she would undertake a project in our living room and the beautiful fabric, stretched taut on wooden frames, would become a magical fort to play beneath. As a young mother, I recruited my own children in the task of tying quilts on a handful of occasions. I even once assisted my elementary students in creating a solar system quilt for a school fundraising auction. Though none of the resulting blankets were masterpieces, in all situations, hands were busy creating, mouths were busy visiting, and hearts were busy sharing love.
Today, I find myself tying (pun intended) even greater significance to quilts, afghans, and blankets in general. Just as small, simple pieces of fabric or yarn can be brought together to create a functional and often beautiful item that brings warmth and comfort, so have I become a small part of an exceptional group of souls that provide warmth and comfort to others.
When I began the transformative journey of having children come out as LGBTQIA+, I was lost and felt very alone. My heart was full of love for my children, but I was unprepared to meet their needs and ignorant of the world that they were a part of. Joining with others who had walked the path was like having a warm blanket thrown over me. It didn’t change anything around me, but it gave me comfort and safety as I commenced the journey. Mama Dragons has been such a blessing to me! Time has passed and though I’m not entirely certain of the final destination, I am now at peace with the journey and confident that I have been walking in the right direction.
Now, I want to help others on their journey. A few months ago, a friend shared on her Facebook feed a story about a person that had purchased an unfinished quilt project at an estate sale and, through social media, recruited volunteers to help her finish it. Reading the story sparked an idea. What if we, as Mama Dragons, each did just a little bit to create blankets for our LGBTQIA+ kiddos who need extra assurance that they are loved and needed? I imagined that we could each make a quilt square or two and then piece them together. I pitched the idea and it exploded! I was blessed to have several Mamas volunteer to help on a committee and “Wrapped in Hugs” was born.
Though my original idea of crafting quilts from squares from many Mamas is still a goal, the project has evolved to also embrace individual creations from Mamas all over. They have shared pictures of afghans, fleece throws, and quilts of many different colors and styles. Each is unique and beautiful. The project officially launched on January 22, 2020. To date we have matched more than a dozen precious LGBTQIA+ kiddos to blankets made by Mama Dragons and infused with our collective love. What a thrill it has been each time I have looked at a picture of a blanket and known it was perfect for a certain kiddo!! When our first blanket was delivered earlier this month my heart was filled to bursting! The momentum of this exceptional group of love warriors continues to build! It is amazing!
Participating in this project has helped ease the worry I have for my children and other LGBTQIA+ people. Our kids struggle. Though progress is happening and, in some ways, things are getting better, there is still much misunderstanding and judgment. I know that they are loved by an army of Mama Dragons, and that makes a world of difference. It is the deepest desire of my heart that we can continue to comfort and embrace our kids as they make their journey, that they will feel wrapped warmly in our love. I hope we, as those who care for them, can continue to feel that our hearts are “knit together in unity and love,” as a favorite scripture suggests.
The Mama Dragons “Wrapped in Hugs” blanket project Facebook group is open to Mama Dragons who have been vetted through our main Facebook group. We recognize that many others would love to add their support to this endeavor. We encourage those who want to help, but who are not Mama Dragons to collaborate with Mama Dragons they know to do projects together. If you would like more information, or if you finish a blanket, you can email us at WrappedInHugs@mamadragons.org. We will coordinate getting blankets around the shoulders of kiddos in need!
If you know of a kiddo who would benefit from a Mama Dragons-made blanket, you can nominate them by sending an email with the subject line “Hug Nomination” to WrappedInHugs@mamadragons.org. You will receive an auto-reply with an electronic form to fill out. Kids experiencing immediate and severe mental health crises will have priority.
To make a tax-deductible donation to support this program, click here.