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
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.
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