Legacy Programs

ABC Quilts

ABC Quilts (At Risk Babies & Children’s Quilts) was founded in 1988 by Ellen Ahlgren, to give love and comfort to at-risk babies in the form of handmade quilts, and to use this process to promote awareness, community service and prevention education. “At-risk” was defined as those babies born HIV-positive, affected by their mother’s drug or alcohol abuse while pregnant, or abandoned. The international network of volunteers has delivered over half a million quilts since ABC Quilts was founded. American Mothers became involved with ABC Quilts in 1992, when its founder, Ellen Ahlgren was named the New Hampshire Mother of the year. In 2006, American Mothers adopted ABC Quilts as a National Project. Quilts are made and donated by people of all ages, and all skill levels. The completed quilts are distributed to local hospitals and agencies that deal with babies and children at risk. If you would like more information about ABC Quilts, please contact us. We can also accept knitted and crocheted baby blankets for distribution.

Quilt Guidelines:
The most important thing to keep in mind is that an ABC Quilt is washed frequently and used by infants and children. The guidelines were established accordingly.

Use your favorite patchwork or appliqué pattern, or use pre-printed panels or fabric. If using markers or fabric paints, make sure they are indelible and non-toxic. Do not us “puff” paint; it can be picked off and swallowed.

Approximately 36″ by 36″ or 40″ by 44″

Do not use knits. Cotton and polyester blends are the most durable. Please do not use recycled material, such as used bedspreads, etc. Please pre-wash materials before quilting and check for stains.

Use at least a 1/4 inch seam allowance for all piecing. If using appliqué, stitch the pieces down by hand or machine. Heat bonded fabric will come off the face of the quilt unless it is stitched.

Quilt by hand or machine. DO NOT embellish the quilt with buttons, beads, or anything else.

Carefully check for pins and loose threads. All pieces should be sewn down. Sign it with a permanent marker. You can also add the words “With Love and Comfort from AMI.” Make sure that the quilt is clean.

Have fun making an ABC Quilt. Maybe it will be the one your state brings to the Convention!

Books for Beginners

Books for Beginners is a national literacy program that acquaints young children with a love of reading. American Mothers collects books for children under five on a state and national level and they are donated to underserved libraries, schools or child care facilities annually.