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.
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.
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!
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.