Friday, May 14, 2010

Welcome New 8th Ward Presidency

Last night we were happy to get to know the new RS Presidency in the 8th Ward.

Here they are (from left to right...) Jill Petersen (president), Kathy Eskelson (1st counselor), Paula Hardy (2nd counselor), and Barbara Mitchell (secretary). They have been in just a short time, but already have several things planned.

One in particular that sounded fun was a "Sisters In Zion Picnic" - which is essentially a mother/daughter activity. The name has been changed to be more inclusive for all sisters in their ward. (What a great idea!)

The theme they are using this year is "The Empowered Woman" - which was instituted by the recently released presidency.

Their ward has always had the most success in their RS Meetings when sisters are given the opportunity to work on humanitarian projects.

They currently have a humanitarian committee where 3 sisters decide on projects that would be beneficial and of interest to the sisters of their ward to help with. Their bishopric often states that the 'humanitarian fund' in their ward is always generously contributed to - and they often have to come up with projects to use those donations.

One recent project they shared with us last night - which was making burial clothing for stillborn and very premature infants.

There is a real need for these items, as parents are most often not prepared for finding appropriate clothing to dress these very tiny infants in prior to their burial. It is common practice now to turn these very tiny deceased babies over to their parents - even at 16 weeks gestation. What a difficult time for parents (most often young and struggling financially), and what a relief to be offered lovingly handcrafted items as a service to them.

Shown below is the basket where sisters can bring their finished items and place them during Sunday RS Meetings.

To give you an idea of how small these are, here are some photos.

These are burial shrouds - often the infants are so small that clothing them is impossible.

These are like tiny sleeping bags or buntings where only the little face is showing

These are small gowns which are much easier to dress such a tiny baby.
The ward RS provided small doll-sized patterns.

The caps are made from ribbing, cut to length and tied with ribbon at the top.

Hard to imagine how hard it would be to prepare such a small infant for burial.

These are small pads to place beneath the baby, with a pouch to enclose absorbent material.

Lovingly crocheted afghans that are 12" square.

Items such as these can rarely be found or purchased, and if they are available - they are often expensive and costly to ship quickly enough to be used in time for a burial.

The sweet thing about this is the fact that the hands that touched these donated items before the parents, did so with much love and compassion - so different than mass production from a business.

*Update to this post (added Sept 10, 2016)

So many have requested patterns and sources for these gowns, I have added a new post with that information.  See the link to this post here:


  1. I LOVE this idea. Thanks for sharing it. Could I get a copy of the patterns they are using?
    Heather G River 5th Ward

  2. So glad to read the article. I also would like the patterns for the outfits. My heirloom sewing guild in Tulsa, Ok make fetal demise gowns for 2-3 pound babies but would also like different patterns. Each member makes 2 identical gowns and bonnets. The baby is buried in one gown and the other is placed in a memorial box for the parents to keep.

  3. I just sat in the hospital all day yesterday with a friend, crocheting an angel baby set like lightening, while she waited to deliver her baby, who was born sleeping at 22 weeks gestation. I'm a beginning intermediate crocheter and a beginner in sewing. I felt called to create and donate about a month ago (which is when the doctor's believe the baby -a full month behind in development- stopped growing) My call has strengthened since this happened. If you or anyone else has any patterns or links to free patterns for my skill level, I would appreciate receiving an email. God bless!

  4. The woman who was in charge of this project has relocated and I cannot contact her any longer. I am in the process of trying to come up with a pattern - most links out there are old and do not work. As soon as I can create an adequate pattern, I will post the link here. Thanks to all of you who are so interested in being involved in something so sweet as this.

    1. Have you created the pattern yet? We sure could use that here in Arizona!
      Please let me know!

  5. I would also like to get a pattern... Thank you

  6. I would love a pattern. Our grandson was born 15 weeks early and lasted 4 days before getting his angel wings. I would love to honor him in some way. Thank you! Thank you, Karen Wall.

  7. I will love the pattern. Thanks

  8. I would love a pattern,too. Thank you. Donna.

  9. Have you created a pattern yet?
    I would love a pattern. We sure could use this in Arizona!
    Please let me know! Rachael

  10. I have (FINALLY) finished the post with the information you have requested. Please see the link at the bottom of this post. Hopefully this helps those who have requested patterns and ideas! Best wishes to all of you for your consideration of those in need of this service.

  11. Replies
    1. This is the link for ideas for both boy and girl versions:

    2. You all are amazing God Bless