About ABC Quilts...

Who would believe that an international organization would be born when two grandmothers, Ellen Ahlgren and Ann White, of Northwood NH, took up a challenge from Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross to "do something" about AIDS-afflected infants abandoned to the care of hospitals? Their "something" was to make and donate quilts to these babies, a way to provide them with the love and comfort they did not have from a mother or grandmother.

Another objective was to remove the stigma attached to AIDS. No one would adopt the babies because of the fear of the disease. Our founders felt that if the babies received a token of unconditional love, others could overcome prejudice and take these babies into their lives.

Quilt-making and Community Service...

In the years that followed, Ellen and Ann created an organization called ABC Quilts (At-risk Babies Crib Quilts). They were dedicated to making crib quilts for these abandoned babies, and have widened the scope to include babies born "wounded in the womb" with fetal alcohol syndrome or sharing their mothers' addiction to heroin or crack cocaine. It became an international community service effort that quickly spread across the world as people heard about the effort and began making and distributing quilts in their own cities, states and countries.

Our quilts are made to specifications developed through working with nurses in hospitals. (see our Guidelines page)

Prevention Education...

As more and more children and teenagers made quilts, they began asking questions like "How does a baby get AIDS?" or "Why does a baby get born so sick just because its mother drank while she was pregnant?" Ellen Ahlgren had been a teacher, and she saw the wonderful opportunity through quilt-making to deliver a strong message about better choices concerning sex, drugs and alcohol.

Ellen, with help from her family and health educators, wrote a how-to quilt guide called "Kids Making Quilts for Kids" with a small section in the back with Frequently Asked Questions. Two videos were produced, one for general information about the organization and its work, the second narrated by kids, for kids, explaining the program and encouraging kids to get involved. We will soon have a complete prevention education package available that will include ideas incorporating quilting, community service and prevention education.