Newsletter – June 2012

Total donations: 209,878
This year to date: 6,700

Around the Country
Lyn Antill (Warrington Crazy Quilters)
In May, I had the pleasure of visiting a show and fundraising event by the Crazy Quilters for Linus in Warrington. They are a splendid example of the benefits of teamwork. They have a very active committee who share the work. This means that, between them, they get a great deal done and obviously have a lot of fun doing it. They had a cake stall, plant stall, book stall and tombola, ‘Linus had lost his blanket’ treasure hunt and goodness knows what else. They meet in their local Methodist church hall which was packed and they raised a lot of money. But what really blew me away was the display of quilts in the church. Every place in every pew had a quilt draped over it. there was a pile of baby blankets in front of the altar and there was a crib, well actually a mock-up of an incubator, with a quilted cover. The colours of the quilts complemented the colours of the stained glass windows and all the quilts seemed to be joining in the worship. Their committee and all the helpers were wearing their Linus tshirts.

Christine Rush (Manchester)
I want to say a big thank you to Barbara Droop for setting up the Manchester Project Linus and doing the coordination for seven years. As a result of her work, there are many groups and individuals making Linus quilts all over the area, and thousands of quilts have been donated to children via the area’s hospitals and childrens’ prokects. That’s a lot of hugs! I am taking over a thriving area, and only hope I can do half as well as Barbara has done.

Carol Scott (North Dorset)
Once a month I go to Little Giants special needs youth club in Shaftesbury, Dorset to give quilts to any new child. Ella is a lovely happy little girl who recently received one of our quilts. She suffers with San Filippo Type B Syndrome. To find out more about Ella and her condition visit her website.

Joan Lambert (South Dorset)
We had a wonderful day at the Wimbourne Folk Festival, raising money and awareness for Project Linus. it is the first time we had done a fundraiser at the festival but I somehow don’t think it will be the last. I made a quilt for the festival which was based on photographs taken at last years festival. Linus ladies voted on 25 photos and I was quite pleased with the results and the quilt proved a great hit among the folk dancers. We had two other quilts which had been donated by Gundry quilters (a local group who support Project Linus). The folk festival quilt was won by the Purbeck View School, which is a residential school for severely autistic children ranging from 9 to 17. We are currently working on providing a quilt for each child, we all felt the quilt had gone to a wonderful home where it will make an interesting wall-hanging for children, families and staff.

We had all worked very hard making items for the sales table ranging from cot quilts, bags, placemats etc. One idea I had was to make and decorate felt hearts and we sold these for £1 as ‘buy a heart for Linus’ with a table of how many hearts it would take to make a large quilt, 2 medium quilts or 4 small quilts. These proved very popular and we sold almost all we made, although I suspect that my very pretty niece with a basketful of hearts may have helped!

Jacquie Cranfield (Hounslow, Richmond & North Surrey)
Last year I was contacted by a Guide leader in Isleworth and went along to talk to both Guides and Brownies about Project Linus. I went back recently and was amazed at what they had achieved. I expected half a dozen quilts, but was shown 40! The troop are going to present 12 to the special care baby unit at their local hospital (sewing on the Linus labels themselves), and I have the rest. I was particularly impressed by the quilt made by the Rainbows. They are only aged 5 to 7 and have put a lot of thought into their quilt which features (naturally) a rainbow. Well done to the leaders that inspired them, and well done to all the girls for producing such beautiful. high-quality quilts.

Lynne Adams (Worcester)
Six year old Lara recently received a Linus quilt during a hospital stay to receive treatment for leukaemia. I gave her Gran the quilt on Thursday and three days later she was able to have her quilt by her side as she came round from a lumbar puncture.

Pat Thompson (SW Essex)
Recently, I once again visited the inspiring Sunshine Quilters of Harlow to collect 23 quilts and two knitted baby blankets. They are a very enterprising group, raising funds for wadding and backing by taking a table in boot sales. The church where a member of the group attends has kindly offered the use of the church hall for one afternoon a month which means they can spread out, take their sewing machines and sandwich quilts together very easily on the large tables available.On the afternoon I visited, they were all very busy ‘auditioning’ fabric for their next batch of quilts, sewing and comparing their work. The group is a shining example of the concept of cooperation. They all contribute, meeting weekly in each others homes and there is always something interesting they are working on. From Linus quilts, quilts for older people or for the Help for Heroes charity.

Lyn Hillier (Cheshire)
Our annual Linus sew-in took place at the Chester Patchworkers and Quilters May meeting. The lovely ladies gave of their time, material and energy to cutting and sewing many Linus quilts; even better many were taken home for completion. We used strips of material to make up nine patches and will take time over the coming months to piece and quilt them. Project Linus is well supported locally with quilts and donations from talks to WI, church groups and others helping to fund the materials needed to boost donated materials.

The Cheshire group is helping parents to make their own children’s quilts. Save the Family is a charity which gives homes to families at risk of being split with children going into care. The nurturing environment provides many things including; financial management, cookery and parenting skills. We always provide quilts for Christmas presents, and decided that we could give some of the parents the opportunity to learn how to sew a quilt and aid them to achieve this. As you might expecting we are getting lots of fun from the venture, making new friends and learning much about colour and design that pleases the children – definitely brighter than we would choose. It is early days with just three families enrolled so far, but we expect this to grow in the coming months. The plan is for each family to have a volunteer allocated to help create their quilts. The workload is likely to be great but the rewards are already apparent in the pride one little girl has in her Mum for sewing her a quilt.

Mary Ann Caranza and Julie Wyer (Derby)
We met at Shipley Community Rooms on 4th February and 26th May for two full-day workshops. Both days were very well attended and we had a wonderful time assembling the ready made-up kits I had prepared. Julie had a pile of Laura Ashley vintage squares which had been donated so a group worked on putting them together in nine patch blocks with sashing (this is still a work in progress). Soup, sandwiches, salad and yummy cakes were provided to everyone. Many quilts were started and brought back to finish on our second meeting. In all we have collected 26 lap to single bed size, 20 cot and 38 neonatal quilts, 16 baby and 11 neonatal blankets plus many small hats. We even had 3 quilts from Cornwall and 2 tops from Arizona! With funding from UKCoal for projects in the community it has been possible to hold these events and to purchase fabric and wadding for the quilts. The great outcome is that it has made it possible for local ladies to come along and work together, make new friends in the community and help make all these beautiful quilts and blankets for children in our community.

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.