Newsletter – September 2017

Elspeth | Lanarkshire & Glasgow East

After I posted my Summer Newsletter, I received the following from a support worker at Quarriers’ Charity in the east end of Glasgow:

“Hi Elspeth – That is a wonderful newsletter. I know just how important the quilts are. When we gave them to the children in our Seasons Group (a group that supports children who have experienced loss) – they absolutely loved them. They immediately wrapped themselves in the quilts and the children I am still in touch with tell me they take their quilts to bed with them at night and one little boy talks to his quilt and tells it all his worries. I also gave a quilt to a mum who lost her 12-year-old daughter to suicide – she finds that by wrapping herself in the quilt and sitting in her daughter’s room it gives her great comfort.

As the lady doctor stated – Never underestimate the importance of what you do.
Kind Regards,
Rhonda”


Beryl | Easingwold & York

HambletonThis is a photo of some of the quilts made by the Hambleton Quilters group.


Pat | South-West Essex & East London

Shirley Dudeney from St Martins Church, Chipping Ongar, Essex coordinated and donated the delivery of knitted blankets which started off as a Lent Project but others in the town joined in and Jill Bowtle was kind enough to display some of the blankets in her shop window (Ongar Wools). Also residents at Frank Breton House and Weighbridge Court were encouraged to use their traditional skills to knit further blankets.

Warley and Childerditch quilters have donated 33 handmade quilts to Basildon University Hospital’s children’s wards as part of the Linus Project. It is the second donation from the Warley and Childerditch Quilters Club, whose 30 members spent a couple of Saturday workshops creating the quilts. Lesley Punter, a member of the club who also works in The Essex Cardiothoracic Centre booking office, handed over the donation on behalf of the quilters. She said: “A simple small quilt for a baby only takes a day to make. You just have to stitch the front, put the backing on and then use a machine to quilt it. “It’s so nice to hear that they are serving the purpose they were made for – a bit of comfort and security in hospital and at home.”

Sally Bennett, play assistant, said: “There are several patients, one of who has now moved into our adult services, who still use their quilts. It really does bring comfort and the patient and their families are always so grateful. Thank you so much to the Warley and Childerditch Quilters.”

Jane Nairn, who runs St Peter’s Sewing group in Roydon, Essex have made a number of knitted blankets for Project Linus particularly for new- born babies. Some of the group’s knitters are very keen to use their well-honed skills to create knitted garments for the tiny babies and these and the blankets have been donated to the neo-natal unit of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London. The items have to be washed at 600 so the ward is very grateful to receive a continuing supply as the items do not last too long at the required washing temperature. The sewing Group have some terrific knitters who also knit for Operation Christmas Child and make and donate a quilt to raffle for their Flower Festival. Reenie Dalton interpreted the 2017 challenge in such an innovative way and here is a photo of Reenie and her lovely quilt which was taken to the Festival of Quilts in August 2017.

Roding Quilters have been very busy making quilts from shirt fabric generously donated by Charles Tyrwhitt, the well-known men’s tailor in London. The stripes, spots and checks are perfect for children’s quilts and the cotton fabric is superb to work with. We are very grateful to the company for their continuing support of Project Linus. Thanks must also go to Janet Howells, FredaPrice, Val Ayris and Maureen Levene to name but a few of the small army of regulars who consistently support Project Linus. They do a brilliant job using their skills for the benefit of all of the children who receive their donations.


Jean | Fife

I thought that you might be interested in this small group of children. Throughout the year the sewing group of Primary 6 and 7 of Masterton Primary School sew quilts for Project Linus. They have two old Singer sewing machines which they love using to put the blocks together.

School

Fiona Campbell has organised this group for a few years within the school and is helped by other members of staff helping the children to produce the wonderful quilts for the children who are less fortunate than themselves. Craftwork is sold at the school fairs to fund the purchase of the fabric and some ladies from a local group the Dunfermline Quilters donate pieces of fabric to help the production line. This year I collected 15 beautiful quilts and was able to hand them over to a representative for Barnardo’s.


Cath – Ceredigion/Carmarthenshire

I have a wonderful group of quilting ladies who always come up trumps when I suggest a Linus Day. I was lucky enough to spend 2 months in New Zealand at the beginning of the year and I thought I would have to plunge straight back into sewing quilts when I got back – but my ladies came up trumps again. I received so many quilts – more than 35 – that I was able to have a bit of breathing space to get myself sorted out. When I suggested a Linus Day in June I was able to offer to make it a little different, because I had bought enough fabric to fill a suitcase while in NZ – so we had a Kiwi Linus Day, just using my NZ fabric. Here are some of the results.

Kiwi quilts

Thank you to all my lovely ladies.


Pip | Edinburgh Mid & East Lothian

Had a very nice phone call from the boy’s grandfather, a clergyman, obviously very grateful and appreciative of all the work done by Linus. They had quite a long chat and it transpired that although he was taken ill very suddenly, his prognosis seems to be very good.

“I wanted to convey my sincere appreciation for the gift of a quilt, that was given to my grandson (11). He was diagnosed with Leukaemia on the 22nd May, and has been in the Royal Sick Children’s Hospital in Edinburgh, though now home and under the care of Ninewells hospital in Dundee. The quilt is beautiful and their thoughtfulness behind this provision is very moving. Thank you to you and all your friends who give time, great skill and real compassion. It is greatly appreciated. May you have great support and encouragement in all you do. Many thanks”


News about PLUK President Lyn Antill

It was lovely to see Lyn at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham when she spent the day there. She was able to catch up with both Coordinators and Quilters Guild members and we were all pleased to see how relaxed and well she was. Lyn will be standing down as a Director and President of Project Linus UK later this year.

So…. Heather and Helen will be continuing as Directors of Project Linus UK. However, to guarantee that Project Linus UK continues to flourish in the future we need to appoint at least one more – and preferably two more Directors. It is not essential that both new Directors are PLUK Coordinators – although we would prefer one to be – as long as they have an interest in the organisation. Directors do need to be prepared to help us with some paperwork but the more it can be shared out, the less each person needs to do. We will not be appointing a new President as now that we are a Community Interest Company the Directors are responsible for running the Company. Please contact Helen Scales or Heather Russell is you would like more information about becoming a Director.


Lyn Antil | My time with Project Linus UK

Project Linus was started in the UK by Anne Salisbury-Jones in the year 2000 and I first learnt about it at the first Festival of Quilts in 2003. As part of publicising the Festival of Quilts articles were placed in a variety of magazines, general women’s as well as stitching, with patterns given for 61⁄2“ blocks. Linus had a large stand at the show with lots of people sewing the blocks together – I heard quite a bit of muttering about different interpretations of 61⁄2 “! I just wanted to leap in and help, although I doubted my quilting ability, but did resolve to find out what was required and see what I could do.

I made some scrap quilts and took them to my nearest coordinator in Nottinghamshire, where I was living at the time. By 2005/6, she had retired and I had become coordinator for Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire as I lived on the border and went to quilt groups in both counties. During this time Irene Heathcote took over from Anne Salisbury-Jones to become the second President of Project Linus UK. In 2007, I offered to help Ann Fordham, the third President, at the Festival of Quilts as I still remembered the excitement of that first show. Ann told me that, because of changing family circumstances she was retiring and asked me if I would take over. I became the fourth President of Project Linus UK in 2007.

Lyn Antill

In those days, it was a fairly simple job. We were still building up the network and spent most of our time telling people about Linus. A simple website had been set up on which we published information about our activities, the list of coordinators and some suggested patterns. I kept a count of quilts / blankets delivered, sent out occasional newsletters, and organised the stand at FoQ. We didn’t ‘do money’, but we did get a lot of interest and a lot of people with ideas.

Being from an IT background, one of the early things I did was to get a small commercial company to set up a new website for us. GoFour was a startup company and gave us a good rate for the work. I could specify what we wanted, even though the technology was beyond me (when I started, computers had valves!). GoFour still look after the site to make sure it is properly registered etc. With rather a lot of banging my head against the manuals, I managed to keep the site updated with new coordinators and ideas for patterns and so on for quite a while, but was over the moon when Sarah Grier (a young woman working with websites) agreed to carry out the updates. Despite
now having a family, she is still doing the technical work for us.

We kept the format at FoQ the same for several years with a block challenge and information for potential volunteer quilt makers and coordinators. At the same time, we did more shows. Elspeth Russell, our Scottish Regional Coordinator, was busy in Scotland. I went to Uttoxeter and several other people did the shows in their areas. One big event we got involved with was at the V&A which wanted the Quilters Guild to provide hands on experience for their visitors alongside an exhibition of quilts that they were collating. I worked with Jane Steward of the Guild to design simple blocks that we could instruct people how to make and then put together to create a top. The V&A provided the fabric and fleece backing. These were then donated as Linus quilts. The V&A invited lots of Girl Guides to come along for a day to hear about Linus quilts and to make a block. We had nowhere to work except sitting on the floor in one of the galleries! It was clear that many of the girls had never been taught to sew – but they did think my thimble was cool. This idea was later used at the Knitting and Stitching show at Olympia where Jane and I designed another block. Guild member volunteers cut packs and helped visitors to make blocks and lay them out on a design board to show the different effects that could be achieved as we turned them into Linus quilts. I went down to help for several years before handing it over.

In the past few years, the Guild has provided space and a couple of sewing machines at their AGM for us to make patchwork tops. I have been to most Quilters Guild AGM’s since becoming President of Project Linus UK so that I can spread the word. Initially I took left over packs from the V&A and in some areas local coordinators were also able to provide packs and helpers. Most Guild members love doing a bit of sewing at the AGM as they complain of withdrawal symptoms sitting in the talks. A Facebook page was set up for us and Jacquie Cranfield took over monitoring it and answering queries. I split the newsletter into two – one contains ‘business’ items from ‘Head Office’ for coordinators and the other – Stitching Together – which is for all our volunteer supporters to read has news about quilts and blankets delivered, workshops and general information. (Christine Rush edited the latter for a while and then Ann Smith took over.)

Meanwhile we were recruiting more volunteer coordinators who were giving out quilts and blankets – over 317,000 items so far with some coordinators having achieved huge totals of 10,000 to 15,000. Coordinators were also finding new ways of raising funds and getting donations towards purchasing fabric and wadding by asking local companies or councils for support, organising sales of work or raffles etc. In some cases, generous organisations have provided quite significant amounts (well, significant by our modest standards). I couldn’t believe Heather Russell when she started selling 50p scrap bags but they sell amazingly well at shows.

About five years ago I realised that we had £10,000 a year going through the Project Linus UK account which was set up with just my signature and I started thinking about what would happen if I went under a bus, or if someone started asking questions about whether the money was properly accounted for. I made several attempts to set up the sort of ‘club’ structure that I was familiar with where there was a committee to take responsibility for decisions, but with everyone spread across the country this was a non-starter.

Helen Scales (a Midlands Coordinator and also a Quilters Guild member) who had assisted me at the FoQ was persuaded to become a second signatory and she suggested I ask Heather Russell (another Midlands coordinator) who had lots of good ideas and suggestions, to help us. We talked to a local solicitor who suggested that we form a Community Interest Company (CIC). Project Linus UK CIC was registered with Companies House in February 2013. Helen, Heather and I were registered as Directors. At the 2016 Guild AGM I met Jackie Anderson, a retired book-keeper, who agreed to become the Project Linus UK CIC Treasurer.

So, we had everything more or less sorted out. And just as well we did, because I got carried away with the exercise machines at the gym (well, I still felt as though I was only 40) and had a stroke at the end of December 2016. For a while I could barely speak or move. Thanks to Heather, Helen and Jackie they have been able to keep the show on the road and they have plainly got lots of ideas of how to move us forward. This effectively put an end to my Presidency, but not my involvement with Linus as I will still be making quilts with the machine donated to PLUK by APQS. We are looking for one, or preferably two, people to join the Directors of Project Linus CIC to share the work and I am sure they would find it is rewarding as I have done.

 

 

Newsletter – January 2017

Heather | News from HQ

Once again, we have surpassed our previous year’s total of quilts delivered throughout the United Kingdom. This year we have delivered just over 36,000 quilts compared to 30,000 last year. This is all down to the commitment of our co-ordinators and their volunteer quilters who want to give as many children as they can a hug they can keep.


Ann | Chesterfield and South Sheffield

Hi – My name is Denise and I am a very very proud mummy to Theo. He is an amazing little boy and has fought all his short life to stay alive. He has recently had his 37th operation and we met a little girl with one of your Linus quilts at Bluebell Woods Hospice – I thought it was amazing and thought that I would love Theo to be the proud owner of a quilt!

Theo-January-2017

Theo was born 4 month early and had 5 strokes in the first week of life. He has lost his stomach, is fed into his bowel which is now failing. Two years ago, meningitis took his sight but he still keeps fighting to be here. We are under Bluebell wood children’s hospice as Theo is palliative. He’s back in the hospital tomorrow – but want to send you this picture of him with his blanket. He’s taking the blankie with him. You must be a very special people and we really appreciate everything you do. Bless you all.

Thank you so much


Angela | West Dorset

I started as Coordinator in December 2010 and the Dorchester & District Angling Society (DDAS) have supported Project Linus in West Dorset every year. (The link is my father who was a very keen angler). When collecting membership fees every year they ask members to include an extra sum as a charitable donation and we have had the benefit of this. They have also had a duck race with the proceeds being divided between Project Linus and Julia’s House, the local hospice for children. This year they also had a fishing competition – guess the total weight of carp caught in a 24-hour period. A very cold 24-hour period with fish not biting I am told! Biting or not, it resulted in a massive cheque for £625 being presented to us.

I have totalled up all the donations from DDAS over the last years – £2604. They have been superb – so thank you lads!


Elspeth | Lanarkshire and Glasgow East

Jax January 2017

Hi there, My little boy has just received a lovely blanket from yourselves. I just wanted to message and say what a lovely thoughtful idea this is. Just as we were beginning to feel a little down in the dumps after being in ward 19 at Wishaw for 2 days the beautiful blanket we received has perked us up. This is my son Jax enjoying his blanket. Keep up the great work!

Maria x


Pip | Edinburgh Mid and East Lothian

Women’s Aid for East and Midlothian sent us this:

Hello to all you wonderfully skilled and generous women. I’m writing to tell you a little about the impact your quilts make in our service. I work for Women’s Aid East and Midlothian; I currently manage the children’s services. I’ve been around for 9 years. Our organisation supports Women, children and young people who have experienced domestic abuse. At times this can mean that a family comes to live in our accommodation with little more than what they carry in plastic bags. They have left all their possessions, friends, pets, toys and familiar things. Very often children are the last to know what is happening and are bundled up without any explanation or time to gather their most important things. They move into a new house, with lots of new rules about keeping safe. “Don’t tell anyone your address” “You can’t have your cousins over for a sleep over” At a sad and confusing time, we work hard to make things as best they can be. This is where your quilts come in. We believe that every child and woman should have something that belongs just to them (unfortunately our funders won’t pay for these things).

The quilts we receive from you go a massive way to providing way more than warmth. They are bright and cheerful, when all looks gloomy. They are handmade- a massive signal to a family that someone has spent time and care for them- a message of love. They are unique, like each of the family members who receive them. They are security as they are wrapped around a body. They are a story telling blanket, a magical carpet and a tent to hide in. The quilts you make and give to our service users, may be the first thing they have that no one will take from them, threaten to destroy or laugh at their connection with. Your hard work means so much to us, but more than, so much to our service users. So please accept our warmest gratitude and thanks for your effort, care, love and attention. It goes a long way to helping those on a journey of recovery and healing. Keep doing what you do so brilliantly

Fiona McCabe


Jane | Perth and Kinross

I recently held a Linus Workshop Day with Perth Quilting Group “Piece Partners”. A total of 14 quilts were made on the day and great fun was had by all.

Quilting day 1-17-news


Catherine | Carmarthenshire/Ceredigion

I would like to tell you about the Sew Saturday that was hosted on 15th September by our wonderful Kate Barnes, the owner of Calico Kate fabric shop in Lampeter, here in West Wales. Kate has always been a huge supporter of Project Linus, donating large quantities of fabric and completed quilts that have been on display in her shop. Her shop is an Aladdin’s cave of fabric spread over 8 rooms and two floors which brings quilters from many miles around. She decided to host a Sew Saturday to support Project Linus, Pyjama Fairies and the Air Ambulance and invited us to the shop to demonstrate our work and talk to those who were interested.

I made up 20 packs for tiny quilts to go to our local Special Baby Unit in Glan Gwili hospital and was able to hand out 14 of them – so far so good. I also handed out information sheets about Linus. Since that day my phone has been red hot with ladies wanting to tell me they had finished their quilts and could they have more packs, and I have given out another 10 packs with many more on order! Most delightfully of all, one lady runs a children’s club allied to her local church and they raised £180 via their Harvest festival which they are going to use to buy fabric and the children are going to have a go at making the quilts.


Pip | Edinburgh Mid and East Lothian

Poldrate Quilters, who meet in Haddington, East Lothian, have been staunch supporters of Project Linus for many years. They set themselves a challenge to make 100 quilts for Linus during 2016 and achieved this in December. Many congratulations and thanks to the group for this remarkable effort.

Newsletter – May 2016

Lyn | News from HQ

April is a busy month for me.

The Quilters’ Guild have made a space for us to have a sew-in at their AGM in Llandudno 15-17 April. They also had their Beginners workshop at Olympia Knitting and Stitching Show which was very successful with lots of people learning how to make a block and seeing how it is turned into a quilt for Linus. April 22-24 we will have a stand at Uttoxeter Quilt Village selling scraps and raffle tickets to raise funds. Ani Catt will be running a Quiltathon making Linus Quilts out of donated patchwork tops and showing visitors how the APQS long arm quilter works. Do come and see us if you can. A number of other Linus ladies have been taking stands at shows around the country so, wherever you are, look out for us.

It is not only quilts and blankets that are made by Linus groups around the country, although that is our official mission. There are quite a few specialised items for the hospitals as well as the usual teddies and premature baby clothes. Some of the other things we are asked to make are featured in this month’s newsletter.


Helen | East Staffordshire

The volunteers in East Staffordshire have been providing incubator covers and small quilts to a local special care baby unit for several years. The SCBU ward was very plain and the staff wanted to brighten it up to make it a more friendly and welcoming area.

Incubator covers in use

The incubator covers are made to the requirements of the unit. (They do not have any wadding, flaps or curved edges.) The size required was given to us by the SCBU. Two rectangles of fabric are stitched together, the underneath fabrics being either dark navy or dark green cotton and the tops are made with cotton curtain fabric in bright colours. The dark backing is necessary to protect the babies’ eyes from the bright ward lighting. The small incubator quilts are generally used for the babies to lie on in the incubators.

Ed: Many hospitals have their own specification for incubator covers. A few patterns are available here but please do check with your local coordinator on which pattern is preferred in your area.


Susan | Norfolk

We run a sewing group, in Norfolk, called Bezalel (a man in the bible gifted in all crafts). At the end of last year, we were offered some material by a lady called Jeanne who was going back to the States, little did we know it was a LARGE curvier box FULL of beautiful big pieces of material.

In December, I got in touch with Heather, a Project Linus coordinator, and she offered us some free wadding from The Warm Company, which we were delighted to receive. We are given a lot of lovely girlie quilts, but we get fewer quilts which are really suitable for boys, so a decision was made to go with a black, grey, white theme and make as many as we could in larger sizes for older boys and brighten them with a few music notes. Some are finished and some are in the making.

We are also having fun making the Sun Bonnet Sue and animal appliqué quilts. We make little kits so that the members of our group can do a simple single block and when we have enough they are put together and the quilts are soon made. The quilts we are making will go to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for the children’s ward.


Pip | Edinburgh, Mid & East Lothian

Here are two lovely thank you letters:

“My baby boy received one of your wonderful quilts on his arrival at Sick Kids. It’s a fabulous blue with yellow trim and the material is tractors on one side and diggers on the other. He along with his identical twin brother were born at the Royal Edinburgh at 25 weeks on 4th November. They were transferred for ongoing care to SK at around their due date 17 February.

In amongst all the drama and upheaval of moving hospitals the quilt let us hang onto normal love and kindness as opposed to medical, sterile intervention. The simplest things are often the best. Thank you so much it will always be treasured.”

“I wish to pass on my thanks to the person who made the safari blanket which was given to my 2 year old, Jamie.

Jamie absolutely loves animals so to receive this after 3 days of being in hospital, he was one very happy little boy. Thank you once again”


Ann | Chesterfield & South Sheffield

At sew4others we were asked by Beryl (who works for P.A.C.T. at the Children’s Hospital in Sheffield) if we could make Beads of Courage bags as well as quilts. These drawstring bags with a lining are used for storing the beads patients receive after undergoing treatments. A few months ago we were asked if we could make some larger sized bags as some patients have so many treatments that the normal sized bead bags were not large enough.

There are obviously a lot of courageous youngsters out there who bravely undergo lots and lots of treatments – and for us to make a bag for their beads is the very least we can do.

Kas with a Project Linus bead bag

We make ‘wiggly bags’ for them too – and no, the bag isn’t wiggly! The ‘wiggly’ is the tube, usually, with two clips on the end. The tubes are used to give medicines and to take blood from children who are having treatments – instead of endless needles. These tubes are stored in the bags and tied around the neck of the patient using the tape – and as you can imagine the bags become contaminated fairly quickly, so they need lots! The bags may become a child’s best friend as it means an end to endless needles – and these bags only take a few minutes to make.


Sue | Buckinghamshire

I recently held a sewing day for Project Linus at a friend’s house in St Albans. I provided ready-cut packs of disappearing 4 patches and 9 patches, so everybody could start sewing straight away. Between breaks for coffee, lunch and tea, all generously supplied by the hostess, we completed 11 quilts with several more having been taken home to be finished.


Anne | Rye

I have had various health problems since Christmas and not been able to attend my embroidery group Rye Creative Stitchers. When I got there yesterday evening they presented me with a ‘Linusometer’ wall hanging which a few of them had made for me. It shows that we have reached nearly 600 quilts (we are quite a small group in a country area) and has its own bag with some extra red tape for me to add for future donations. I was so amazed at their kindness.


Caroline | Liverpool

A Ward Sister on the Intensive care unit at Alder Hey Hospital sent a letter to the Liverpool Echo asking for bright coloured sheets for the cots and incubators, saying it makes a big difference for families to see their seriously ill child on these rather than stark white sheets. The letter was posted on the Project Linus Facebook page asking if the Liverpool branch could help – and of course we could!

Sew-in for Project Linus

A great local charity – Team Tree – that raises funds for Alder Hey got in touch and offered to pay for the fabric, and Abakhan Fabrics, Liverpool agreed to us using their workshop for a sew-in. We had a productive day with 12 sewing machines in constant use and other people cutting and ironing fabrics, and produced 226 sheets for the Unit. We also donated quilts and blankets and received a thank you letter stating “you have no idea how appreciative we are with these donations that transform the place.” One of the quilts was given to a 7 year old girl who had been in the Unit for 50 days – when shown a daisy quilt she put her thumbs up and this then went with her when she transferred to Newcastle for a heart transplant.


Get in touch

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

Project Linus Blankets

Handmade blankets are useful for coordinators to give to many organisations and make a lovely gift for babies, children and teenagers ‘in need of a hug’.

Check with your local coordinator whether they distribute blankets and, if so, for the sizes they find most useful. Don’t forget that we need as many made in colours suitable for boys as we do for girls! Many of the patterns can be adapted to use for any size of blanket. You may use our patterns – or make us one using your own favourite pattern. We love variety!

Pile of knitted blankets

Baby blankets
Use soft DK baby yarn in white or pastel colours. Please ensure there are no holes, hard ridges or anything to catch tiny fingers and that all ends are sewn in securely. Blankets made in one piece are ideally suited for giving to premature babies.

Children’s blankets
Children up to around 5 years of age get comfort from having a blanket to cuddle. These blankets can be made in lovely bright colours or even use the colours of your local football teams!

Teenager’s blankets
Large blankets are great for teenagers and again bright colours go down well.

Man made yarns are the most suitable as there is less risk of a child being allergic to these. Aran weight yarn can be used for a larger, thicker blanket. It is impossible to give an accurate quantity of yarn required as the yardage varies between brands. However, lots of the patterns look good made using remnants of yarn in a variety of colours. Charity shops often have yarn they cannot sell – the balls may have missing labels or be part used. They usually send it to the textile skip so it’s worth asking.

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”.


 

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