Festival of Quilts Challenge 2018

Our theme for 2018 is rail fence. This is a very effective design which is quick and easy to make. We’ll accept any size you’d like to donate.

The finished quilt, or top, can be given to your local coordinator or handed over at the Festival of Quilts 2018.

Take a look at our Pinterest board for rail fence inspiration – use up your scraps, go for simple brights, crazy patterns, and then have fun with the different rail fence layouts.

Festival of Quilts Challenge 2017

For the first few days of their life babies can only see in black and white, so we are making this our theme for 2017.

We’d like you to make a 30” square quilt in a geometric design, using only black and white fabrics. The finished quilt, or top, can be given to your local coordinator or, if preferred, handed over at the Festival of Quilts 2017.

Take a look at our Pinterest board for inspiration, and remember that many of your favourite patterns can easily be adapted to suit a monochrome theme.

Thank you so much to all those who have sent in blocks and quilts, and to those who delivered such beautiful blocks to our stand at the Festival of Quilts this August.

Raffle 2016

Project Linus Raffle 2016

3 raffle prizes are available. Each prize contains:

  • a King size wadding pack
  • 2 Queen size wadding packs
  • a roll of Lite SteamASeam
  • 6 packs of SteamASeam tape
  •  Layer Cake
  • Charm pack
  • Jelly Roll
  • and a bundle of fat quarters

All prizes have been kindly donated by the Warm Company and Lewis&Irene

Tickets are £1 and available from your local co-ordinator or the Project Linus stand at the British Quilt & Stitch show in Uttoxeter and Festival of Quilts at the NEC.

Newsletter – January 2016

Lyn | News from HQ

Congratulations and thanks to all our coordinators and their supporters across the UK. With numbers still coming in we are already up to a record 28,758 quilts and blankets donated in 2015. This is over 1,000 more than last year. There were also countless premature baby hats, teddies, cushions, baby clothes, and other knitted or sewn items.

Several coordinators ran fundraising efforts (raffles, coffee mornings, stands at local show, talks to WI, Rotary groups etc). We also received money from Waitrose, a few local councils, and other grant making bodies. Some of this money was used locally and some came back to the centre. With that, we bought lots of fabric for local workshops, particularly fleece and backing. We do spend a bit on admin (postage, flyers etc) and also getting our accounts audited. However, almost all our work is done by volunteers at their own expense.


Jacki | Gloucestershire

Incubator cover being delivered

We have been making incubator covers for St Michaels Hospital in Bristol. This is the last of the 20 covers being delivered. Little Patrick was born in Southmead Hospital and quickly transferred to the special baby unit at St Michaels Hospital due to various problems. He’s now a very bonny eight month old and we all got a cuddle when his Mum brought him in for a visit. Gromit always gets in on the act around here!

We were asked recently for some sensory quilts with ‘feely bits’ that didn’t meet with our usual specification for no embellishments etc. We compromised with some ‘supervision only’ quilts which enabled more knobbly bits to be included. A workshop in North Nibley run by Ruth Kirkup provided many varied sensory quilts for Sense, Bristol. Some of final quilts were masterpieces, including an audio quilt made by Margaret Davie in Swindon. There are 10 animal sounds sewn into the quilt, and tabs to allow the quilt to be displayed on the wall when not in use.


Margaret | Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich

We’ve had a very successful year. In total we have donated 143 quilts. Some of these have been given to us by other local quilters as word of our presence is getting around! Several weeks ago we received a message from one of the other London coordinators about a young lady with a lot of fabric for us. Travelling by train and bus (and not sure what ‘a lot’ might be) Margaret took a not-too-big wheelie suitcase and a bag which ended up being stuffed to overflowing. Unpacking for the ladies in our group was like being in fabric heaven – we were all planning in our heads what we would be making and we won’t be shopping for a while!

Daryl recently gave a talk to the members of the Emmanuel Quilters in Dartford. it went well despite the lack of heating and we were set home with 19 quilts and the proceeds of their entry charge, sale of goods, and raffle.

Lately we’ve been experimenting with preprinted panels. Kim contacted an eBay seller to see if we could get some more and mentioned what we’re doing. The outcome was that they are putting another panel in for free and are going to look into sending any scraps that we can use. They are very willing to help as they said it’s nice to know that we’re out there volunteering to try to make children’s lives more comfortable.

The most moving request we’ve had was for a quilt for a stillborn baby. The mother was going to order one from the US but heard about our group so were able to get one to her within a few days. We also made a tiny matching square for the mother to keep with her.

We used to keep an album of photos of our quilts but Chris has now set up a Pinterest board to act as online storage. Our New Year’s resolution is to finish off some UFOs we have sitting in the cupboard – with all the donation of fabric and unfinished patchwork pieces we need to make some space!


Joan | Dumfries and Galloway

A while back the local branch of MIND contacted me. Their therapeutic craft group has made quilts for Alzheimers and had heard about Project Linus and wanted me to visit. Their work was good; they had had a good tutor. One problem – our council had slashed their craft budget severely – however I was able to let them have fabric, fleece, and wadding from donations made to me. I didn’t hear from them for a while as their tutor had moved, but this month they presented me with six lovely quilts.

I feel this is a real circle of care, donations to our group being put to good use, the ladies making quilts benefit and the quilts are produced for various outlets.


Get in touch

Please send any articles or photographs for inclusion in the next newsletter to Ann.

 

Festival of Quilts 2016

Thank you so much to everyone who came over to say hello during the Festival. It was wonderful to meet so many of you, and we received a fantastic number of seaside quilt blocks along with many completed quilts and blankets. Don’t worry if you haven’t got round to making any challenge blocks yet, just send your completed blocks to the address below or pass them to your local coordinator – there’s no deadline!

The theme for 2016 is “Seaside“. There are two simple patterns available (a beach hut and a sailing boat) but let your imaginations run wild. The only constraints are that all blocks need to be 12.5 inches unfinished.

Download our PDF containing two simple patterns (To view PDFs you’ll need to install a free copy of Adobe Reader).

For more patterns and inspiration take a look at our seaside inspired Pinterest board.

Newsletter – July 2015

Lyn | News from HQ

The early summer is a relatively quiet time for me. The year starts with the Linus annual accounts. March is the Guild stand at Olympia where we show beginners how to make a simple block and how it gets turned into a Linus quilt. April is the Guild AGM and the Linus stand at Uttoxeter. Now I can actually do some sewing. The current project is to make 18 larger quilts to go on the bunks at an adventure camp for inner city kids who would not otherwise get a holiday. I am privileged to live in the beautiful South Shropshire hills at the bottom of the Long Mynd. This is prime country for schools in the West Midlands and Birmingham to send pupils to do their Duke of Edinburgh awards. Pontesbuy Deanery, based near us, has been organising these holidays for many years and I was delighted to get involved because I know from my own children how important it is for City children to be able to run around in open country.

Now that I have the Lucey long arm quilter, donated by APQS, it is really easy to make a top into a quilt. I made two tops, each approx 42inches square. The Warm company have donated quite a few rolls of wadding 90″ so I put both tops on one piece of wadding with a length of 60″ lightweight cotton for the backing. It took less than one hour to do the quilting on the two tops using a random meandering pattern. This is worked from the needle side of the machine so you can see what you are doing which makes it much easier than trying to follow a pantograph. How many of you took part in ‘Knit in Public’ day? We had a little group knitting in our local library and chatting – libraries have changed since my youth. It was just as well that we met indoors as it rained all day. It’s good to show people what we do. Apparently the NHS is even considering prescribing knitting as therapy for depression and dementia. How boring life would be if we didn’t keep making things.

Happy quilting – and knitting too


Ann | Chesterfield & South Sheffield

Hilary Jackson and Sarah Humphreys are a Mum and Daughter team who have recently started to organise quilting retreats in Kegworth, Derbyshire. The first retreat, in October 2014, proved so popular that in May of this year they held two retreats – attended by a total of 52 ladies from all over the country. Hilary and Sarah have been supporters of Project Linus UK for many years, having made and donated several quilts through their local quilt groups. They were sure that many of the quilters attending the retreat would love to support Project Linus as well so set a little ‘preretreat challenge’. They circulated the instructions for a simple 10” quilt block and asked each quilter to make one block in bright colours, suitable for a child, and bring it with them to the retreat.

The response to the challenge was fantastic. In all, 160 blocks were donated – enough for ten quilts. During the retreat weekend, Sarah and Hilary sorted and stitched the blocks. Hilary then took them away to quilt and bind. Everyone was delighted with how the quilts turned out and commented on how – with the same instructions – quilters can end up making such diverse blocks. It is amazing though that the blocks still go together so easily to make a wide range of quilts which will hopefully appeal to children of different ages. These quilts have now been given to Home Start in Sheffield for the families to enjoy A big thank you from Sarah and Hilary to everyone who donated a block. They’ll certainly have another challenge ready for quilters at the next retreat!


Janet | Caithness

We had a very productive day’s workshop at Caithness Quilters and made enough blocks for about 5 quilts. This idea came about as some of the ladies had heard that they could make a foundation pieced house block for the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham in August which would go to make Linus Quilts.


Jacki | Gloucester

I have been asked to provide 20 incubator covers – quite a task! The first of these have now been delivered to SCBU at St Michaels Hospital Bristol. The only stipulation was that they should have dark backs to minimise the light. Apparently the babies are then able to open their eyes without the glare of the lights and the mothers say that bonding begins properly at this point. I have been able to use up ‘ugly’ on the back and also light damaged dark fabrics so it is proving quite useful. Only the centre is quilted – 40 x 20 – which I do free motion quilting to ensure it can’t come adrift anywhere. When folded back it folds exactly on the wadding line so stays put.


Pip | Edinburgh, Mid & East Lothian

A few of the Thank You letters received:

“I’ve attached some pictures of your beautiful handmade quilts. Feedback from the families has been great and they all are so thankful of the gift. In one picture the little boy is unwell and is lying in bed with his quilt on top. Another child voiced her excitement of receiving the princess quilt as princesses are her favourite thing. I just want to thank you for you continued support and donations of the quilts; they really mean so much to our families living in our refuge.” Family Support Worker

“We received a beautiful quilt last week when our little boy was in the sick children’s hospital in Edinburgh. I don’t know if it is possible to thank the person who made it. It has a cockerel weather vane in the middle and is edged in deep red and green and is fleece backed. The background colour is yellow. It kept Finn, 16 months, warm and reassured during his time in intensive care and recuperating on the wards after a terrifying episode of septicaemia and toxic shock. We are very grateful for your kindness.”

“Our son has just recently come out of the Sick Kids hospital. The day we were leaving we were giving a beautiful blue/cream teddy bear and balloons patchwork quilt which is now keeping our 1 year old very cosy. Thanks so much for giving us such a lovely gift. It put a smile on our faces after having such a worrying time in hospital with our son. We really appreciate it and it will take pride and place in our son’s bedroom”.


 

Get in touch

Please send any articles or photographs for inclusion in the next newsletter to Ann.

Festival of Quilts 2015

Every year at the Festival of Quilts we set a challenge. How many blocks can our visitors make on a given theme? These blocks are then made into packs to give to our volunteers across the UK who make them into quilts for sick, disabled or disadvantaged children to provide cheer and comfort. Our theme this year is Homes and Gardens.

Houses, trees, flowers, gardens, beach huts, anything you’d like. Any style of patchwork or just squares of fabric. Blocks should be 12 1/2″ square and unquilted ready to be pieced together.

Download our PDF containing a simple house block (To view PDFs you’ll need to install a free copy of Adobe Reader).

For more patterns and inspiration take a look at our latest Pinterest board.

Bring them along to our stand at the NEC in August (6th-9th) or send them to:
FoQ Blocks, 18 Alison Road, Church Stretton, Shropshire SY6 7AT.

Easy Fundraising

Do you shop online? If so, you could be raising funds for Project Linus with many of your purchases.

By registering for the free Easy Fundraising website and selecting Project Linus as your nominated charity, each time you shop online with any of the 2,000 Easy Fundraising retailers (including Amazon, John Lewis and M&S) a small donation will be made to the charity. It doesn’t cost you (or the charity) a single penny.

While the amounts are only small, they quickly add up and help us to create more blankets and quilts for young people and vulnerable adults in the UK. Your donations keep the charity going and contribute towards buying fabric, wadding and other sewing and quilting supplies.

It’s quick and easy to register if you take a look at http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/projectlinus

Festival of Quilts 2014

Every year at the Festival of Quilts we set a challenge. How many blocks can our visitors make on a given theme? These blocks are then made into packs to give to our volunteers across the UK who make them into quilts for sick, disabled or disadvantaged children to provide cheer and comfort. 2014’s theme is “In the Jungle”

Exotic animals and birds, foliage and flowers or characters from cartoons. Any style of patchwork or just squares of fabric. Blocks should be 8 1/2″ square and unquilted ready to be pieced together.

Bring them to our stand next year or send them to:

FoQ Blocks, 18 Alison Road, Church Stretton, Shropshire SY6 7AT

We will also be having a quilt raffle and a sale of fabric remnants. Last year our ‘pot luck’ scrap bags were amazingly popular. These funds enable us to buy fabric, wadding and fleece for our volunteers to use

Newsletter – April 2012

Total donations: 213,578
This year to date: 3,550

Around the Country
Richard Armitage quilt
Apologies for not including in the last issue the splendid eBay auction of the Richard Armitage quilt donated by American quilter Carol Jehu. Jacquie Cranfield organised the auction on eBay with the support of the Richard Armitage UK Fan Club and raised the amazing sum of £650. The second quilt Carol so kindly donated is going to be raffled at the AGM. Please contact me if you are willing to sell tickets. The quilt won second prize two years ago at the Hannah Dustin Quilt Show in New Hampshire – the first time Carol had ever entered a pieced quilt. Carol is delighted it is going to be raffled and hopes it makes lots of money for Project Linus.

Jan Jones (South East Wales)
We had a very enjoyable day at our Quiltathon at Llantarnam Church Hall with lots achieved including donations to the project along with 34 quilts. The quilts donated and made on the day will be part of a package to be taken to the new Crown Bridge School for special needs children opening after Easter. This replaces an older building and hopefully we will be able to supply each class in turn. There are roughly 80 children ranging in age from 3 to 19 years. There are also quite a few knitted quilts which hopefully will be taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital for the stillborn children, to help and support bereaved parents.

It was a very jolly day with people coming from a wide area, with lots of tea drunk and quite a bit of cake and biscuits eaten which all added to the atmosphere. Quilter love cake! We’re now planning another Quiltathon for the future.

Sue Wilson (Ceredigion)
The last three months have been busy for the area – we have had two craft fairs (both at our local woollen mill) and have made items to sell as well as having a raffle. The fairs have raised money and also the profile of Project Linus in the area. We now have regular contact with two women’s refuges as well as finding many sick children in the community. Our main base is the West Wales Hospital where we supply quilts to the children’s ward and SCBU. Liz Coles and myself visited SCBU to present 6 incubator covers, 12 small bags and 21 quilts making a total of 300 quilts donated to the unit since we took over in January 2007.

Helen Scales (East Staffs)
Our Linus Day in March was a great success. There were 20 of us working hard all day – sewing and eating cake! Kim and I had put together about 40 packs to make quilts between 24 and 42 inches square. Several quilts were finished on the day and many volunteers took extra packs to make quilts at home. The finished quilts will go to the local women’s refuge, the children’s hospice and a school for children with multiple health problems.

Val Lillie (Surrey)
I have a wonderful supporting group called Prospect Quilters whose leader Mary is now 94. They have made more than 400 quilts since 2007, and in fact she has just written an article about Project Linus for her local Parish magazine,
Ed – One of our coordinators has confessed she will be 90 this year, but doesn’t want to own up in public! Jackie Molloy says one of her knitters, Madge, is 91. Is needlework good for you?

Ann Smith (North Derbyshire)
Quilt Time, Stannington, Sheffield, have a special day every year to make quilts for Project Linus and this year it was held on Saturday 5th February. It was a hive of activity with lots of fabric and wadding being cut alongside the whirr of sewing machines. There was a lot of chatter (mostly about patterns and techniques) and a lot of hard work, as well as lunch and tasty cakes. There was a ‘show and tell’ of all the quilts given to Project Linus (lots of oohs and ahhs – and ‘how did they do that’). The result was over 20 quilts being donated and the promise of more when the quilts from teh day are finished. The quilts donated were a veritable collection of bright colours, patterns and patchwork shapes, all beautifully quilted by the ladies of Quilt Time.

Quilters’ Guild AGM
Alison Drayson (Tayside) organised a Project Linus activity at this years AGM in Dundee. She had been left a stash of fabric by Dorothy Bell from Dundee who was one of the early quilters in Scotland and a stalwart of the Quilters Guild. The bits from this were cut into angled strips, joined, then cut and cross-joined. A number of volunteers at the AGM came and helped sew – claiming that they were suffering from withdrawal symptoms while listening to the speakers.

The Quilters’ Guild gave us a stand (and provided sewing machines). It went very well and we had lots of donations of fabric and quilts, and our helpers made enough scrap blocks for 5 quilts.

The Guild is struggling with the cost of running St Anthony’s Hall in York. They are hoping to renegotiate the rent in the short term and to run a lot more workshops and other events to make the place pay for itself in the longer term. Otherwise they will have to close the museum.
Ed – The speakers were amazing as always but I can’t imagine being able to produce that sort of quilt. I’m happy making jolly Project Linus quilts!

Do you have any stories or photographs for the next edition of the newsletter? Please do send these in to share with other volunteers.

Happy Quilting.