Newsletter – September 2018

NEC Quilt Show | The Directors
Many thanks to everyone who gave us a quilt, top or block. Over the 4 days we received a total of 178 and these were distributed among our coordinators who came to the show. We would also like to thank you for your support through the purchase of the various items and raffle tickets we had on sale.

The Sewing Place had a challenge and some of the ladies who took part donated their quilts to Project Linus UK. There were 9 in all.

Linus stand at the NEC Sewing Place Challenge

Pip | Edinburgh East &  Midlothian
Our East Lothian coordinator Beth regularly holds Linus workshops. Here’s a photo of the attractive strip quilts made at a workshop at Dunbar library recently which was well attended (although Beth thinks some people come for the cheese scones!)
The October workshop in Edinburgh is full with a waiting list!

Strip quilts

We have a Project Linus display at a shop Be Green in Dunbar High Street for 2 weeks. The organisation gave us a grant for £240 recently and asked if we’d like to use their window. We’ve had quite a lot of interest. People are going into the shop to ask if the quilts are for sale, the answer is no, but you can have one of our leaflets or help us make them.

Be green shopfront

We’re delighted to announce that Edinburgh Linus Group have been awarded £1,500 by Foundation Scotland. This is to contribute towards the purchase of fabrics, fleeces and wadding for quilts.

“I just wanted to say thank you for the lovely quilt that was given to me when I was in the Sick Kids in Edinburgh last week. It really made my Mummy smile when she came to pick me up from recovery after my operation. Unfortunately, due to this warm weather and being in a Spica cast I’m a bit too hot to get much use out of it at the moment, but I look forward to snuggling into it when the weather cools down a bit. Thank you again. Harris”

Elspeth | Lanarkshire and Glasgow East
“I just received three beautiful quilts from my social worker and the craftsmanship is exemplary. I am forever grateful and would like to thank everyone involved in your incredible organisation…once again, thank you ever so much.”

Caroline | Liverpool
A knit and natter group meet weekly at The Brain Charity in Liverpool and knit squares for blankets which they donate to Project Linus. Amanda who set up the group says making squares is ideal for people who have difficulty following patterns and that if people are not well enough to come to the group they can knit at home and still feel involved. She has watched people blossom in confidence and is now teaching people to knit – she loves it when you can see it just click!

Knit and natter Liverpool

Betty | Northern Ireland
I just wanted to share a story with you for the newsletter to show that all our work is appreciated. I broke my arm 9 weeks ago on the first day of my holidays by falling out of my brother-in-law’s campervan. While I was on holiday last week in Scotland I received a beautiful bouquet of flowers via Interflora. They were sent from the Trustees of the Children’s Cancer Unit Charity because I send quilts to the unit. I thought it was so lovely of them to think of me.

Diane | Calderdale
The lovely people at Jubilee Quilters in Ossett, West Yorkshire, have made 30 quilts and 2 blankets for Project Linus. They have been quilting and stitching together for many years supporting local hospitals and charities with their beautiful work.

I was invited to join them for lunch to collect the quilts. They always have a buffet, which was delicious. We spent the afternoon together labelling and cataloguing everything. The quilts will be given to a local children’s hospital as well as the St Augustine’s Centre in Halifax who support refugee families in Calderdale.

Jubilee Quilters

Barbara | Allerdale and Copeland
The results of a recent workshop at Handmade by You, Maryport, with owner Lisa Harrison and members of the Thursday quilting group. The ladies hand pieced the blocks which I then machine stitched together and quilted.

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day and we are looking forward to another workshop before Christmas. Thanks to all involved.

Maryport quilters


Newsletter – May 2018

Jacki | Gloucestershire, Bristol, West Wiltshire

Together with Yate and Sodbury District U3A Quilters, we attend the Craft4Crafters event at Shepton Mallet promoting PLUK and selling oddments of fabrics unsuitable for our quilts. This year we ‘inherited’ the Exeter show as well which, whilst a long way away, was a fabulous event. We met Loren whose Mum had ‘missed the Linus lady’ at her most recent hospital visit so we took this quilt from the display. Loren refused to let anyone straighten the quilt for the photograph and held it tightly. It was an absolute joy to see her so happy with the quilt. As Mary, my helper on the day, said ‘That’s what it’s all about’.

Elspeth | Lanarkshire

Hello Elspeth
I wanted to thank you for the beautiful blankets that you and your friends made for some of the children I currently support. I visited one family today (two brothers aged 7yrs and 9yrs) and handed over the blankets to their parent’s. Both mum and dad were delighted and are very excited to see their boys’ reaction when they come home from school. Both boys have complex needs and require 24-hour care. The younger boy is struggling at the moment. He is profoundly autistic. When mum opened up the bag with the Spiderman blanket she was in tears.

Both parents asked me to contact you and pass on their thanks. Both boys will get so much out of their blankets that will go far beyond keeping them warm. I am sure it will provide them with a lot of fun, joy and security. So, thank you Elspeth and all your friends. I will remember you all in my Prayers.
Mary, Social Worker

Pip | Edinburgh, East and Midlothian

Knee blanket

Dear all
Thank you very much for the quilt for our son. This was given to us last week at the Sick Kids hospital here in Edinburgh where he had emergency treatment on the neurological ward for a brain tumour. The gift really brightened our hospital day and as you can see still provides comfort now that we are home. It’s useful as a knee blanket, and when he is well enough to go out, it will be useful as a wheelchair blanket.

He will spend much of 2018 in treatment so the gift will be useful for a long time to come.

It has been made with great care and attention and he enjoys looking at the different pictures on the fabrics. It is even orange-y, his favourite colour! Best wishes and grateful thanks from our son (age 10) and his mum and dad (age not disclosed!)

Dean Patchwork, Edinburgh are one of a number of generous quilting groups in this area which regularly supply us with quilts. Some give them in ones or twos as they are finished and others save them up or have a workshop day and then can give us 20- 50 at a time – As long as they don’t all choose the same month to hand them over we can cope!

Barbara, Beth and Pip | Edinburgh, East and Midlothian

This is a rather special quilt. Some time ago we were asked by staff in the Family Support Unit of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh if it would be possible to involve children receiving palliative care in the making their own Linus quilt. This was a challenge we were very keen to become involved with, and this quilt is the first one finished. Everyone is delighted with the result which has been a real joint effort. A number of other quilts are in the process of being made, with lots of different designs chosen by the children concerned.

Palliative care quilt

This young girl requested hearts and princesses, so we drew outlines of hearts and a princess on white pure cotton fabric squares backed with iron on Vilene. The palliative care nurses took the squares and some fabric paints to the child who completed her own design. The finished blocks were then returned to one of our quilters who fixed the dyes, cut out the shapes and appliqued them as a central panel on the quilt. She was so happy to do this she made an extra mini quilt so that teddy could have one too! The Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity has been very supportive of this scheme and awarded £750 to cover the extra costs involved.

Ann | Chesterfield & South Sheffield

I just want to say a huge thank-you for the quilts, knitted baby blankets and baby cardigans. They are a huge help to the children and families we work with here at Rotherham Council.

Within my team we work with vulnerable children who are subject to child protection planning and, in some cases, have been removed from their parents and are “looked-after” children.

So far, we have used some of the quilts to give to “looked-after” children who have recently been placed in care, as a comfort blanket and something of their own to keep. One little boy was so enthusiastic about his new Batman quilt he was running around pretending it was a superhero cape. I have also provided some baby knitted blankets and a cardigan to an expectant mother who was really appreciative of them. One of the young children I work with is autistic and really shy but gave a big smile when he saw his quilt and described it as “cool”. I have passed some of the quilts to our contact team who were extremely pleased to be able to use them in our contact rooms. This has made our contact rooms more colourful and they are used as play mats for babies when they are having contact with their parents. The work you do is much needed and is helping vulnerable young children, providing them with comfort and a sense of happiness and excitement.

Stephanie, Social Worker

Rotherham blankets

Baby Basics in Chesterfield held an Open Day recently which Pam and I went to – just as they were handing over one of their Moses baskets to a Health Worker who was taking it out to a young Mum.

These baskets are filled with essentials for a new-born and some of our Linus baby quilts and knitted blankets, cardigans and hats go in them. What a lovely group of ladies they are!

Jacki | Gloucestershire

These quilts were made by a number of different people but were sent off to Five Valley Quilters in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire where they ‘pimp’ the quilts. This involves adding three dimensional flowers, textured fabrics, embedding buttons under the top fabrics and adding a squeak or a bell. All these ‘extras’ turn the quilts into sensory quilts for blind and partially sighted children. Everything is secured down to within an inch of its life to ensure safety. These latest ones have clearly been influenced by the weather!

Weather quilts

Heather | Shropshire

Uttoxeter show

Heather Russell and Helen Scales manning the Project Linus UK stand at the British Quilt and Stitch show in Uttoxeter.

We would like to thank Mary Ann Caranza and Norma Stolsworthy for helping out on Friday so that we could take a break. It was also nice to put faces to names of the Co-ordinators who stopped by to say hello.

Some visitors and Co-ordinators dropped off fabric and thread for us to sell on the stall. We also received 16 quilts. All in all, a very successful 3 days.

Penny | South Wiltshire

I started as a Project Linus Co-ordinator a couple of months ago. Since starting I have been given some very beautiful quilts made by one of the members of our local quilting group as a donation to this very worthwhile charity. These are the first quilts that I have received. I also made a couple of quilts myself to add to the pile! I have today delivered these quilts to two homes. Both these homes are near to Devizes, namely Cannon House and Julia’s House.

Canon House is a seven-bedroom home that provides breaks for young children who have a severe learning disability and whose physical disabilities necessitate extensive use of equipment, require extensive medical needs and require significant attention at night time. They were overjoyed with the quilts when I presented the quilts to them this afternoon (14th March) and they could not wait to show the children and put them into their own bedrooms. I first met Louise upon arrival but within a few minutes of being there, the Manager and several other care workers who work at the home came into the office and absolutely fell in love with the quilts. I was very kindly shown around the home albeit that they were very busy people and very kindly gave me some insight as to what they are able to achieve at this home.

Julia’s House is the first children’s hospice to open in Wiltshire and was officially opened by the charity’s Patron Martin Clunes on Saturday 6th May 2017. This new hospice gives families the chance to choose where they receive respite sessions and as well as offering access to top class facilities with specialist end of life care and social opportunities. I met Alice who very thankfully took the quilts to distribute amongst the home again giving me their precious time.

Jean | Aberdeen & N.E.Scotland

The St. James’s Craft Group, Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire handed over a magnificent collection of knitted blankets, quilts – some handmade; jackets, hats & bootees and bonding hearts for premature babies. Fay & myself, who are co-coordinators for N.E. Scotland, were warmly welcomed by Jan Blakey and all the other Group Members and were treated to tea and home-made cakes by the lovely ladies, some of whom were busy knitting Peterhead Poppies to remember family members who were lost in WWI. The poppies will be attached to a fishing net and will be suspended from a local church wall.

Pip | Edinburgh, East and Midlothian

I’m desperately wanting to thank someone for the beautiful quilt. My little boy has just turned 7 and we ended up rushing to Sick Kids in Edinburgh very unexpectedly. He underwent a very major operation and when he came round he had the most beautiful quilt which I understand was made by Project Linus. The workmanship that has gone into it is quite incredible and that someone would do that for someone they haven’t met is just amazing. It really touched us all at a time when everything seemed exceedingly bleak. Fast forward a week and he’s up and about and doing amazingly well although the prognosis is still uncertain. I would really like whoever made the quilt to see this pic of him, sitting up all snuggled up in it in Ward 7.
Thank you so much

Ward 7 quilt

Beryl | Thirsk, Wetherby, Harrogate & Northallerton

The small quilting group at Appleton Wiske in North Yorkshire has been stitching for six years. Each year we produce 40-50 quilts and blankets which we put on display during our village’s Scarecrow Festival weekend in July, and then they are taken to our local co-ordinator for distribution. We meet fortnightly in each other’s homes and share ideas and techniques. Two of our group are knitters who produce colourful blankets, the rest of us machine or hand stitch using a variety of patterns and fabrics, and sometimes collaborate on a joint project which one member will then finish off. Our quilts have been passed on to a women’s refuge, a local hospice, a nearby hospital and to Social Services. Our annual exhibition draws many interested visitors and certainly makes the Parish Church look colourful!

Newsletter – March 2018

Pip | Edinburgh, East and Midlothian
I am writing on behalf of my daughter and her husband as they are busy caring for their baby son at the moment but we wanted to acknowledge the kind act of the volunteer who made the quilt that staff at Edinburgh Sick Kid’s Hospital gave to their son.

The recipient was my grandson, who was 4 weeks old when he was taken by ambulance to Edinburgh, from Dundee, as an emergency admission on the 26th December. he had been ill for the 4 short weeks of his life, continually being presented to GP’s by my daughter only to be sent home after being told he was fine. he became increasingly weak and underweight as he was unable to keep any milk down. On Boxing day, he almost died when he started vomiting poo and, at long last, they discovered he had a strangulated hernia.

He was so weak and underweight though it was dangerous to operate and there followed an anxious wait in Edinburgh until he could gather enough strength to be operated on. I’m very glad to say the operation went well and he is now home and is starting to gain weight and get stronger.

The kind acts of your volunteers are so important when parents are feeling like their world is collapsing. My grandson was too young to appreciate the gift but his parents certainly took comfort from the fact that there are people out there willing to give up their time for children who are ill. The quilt now takes pride of place in his nursery and, when he is old enough, he’ll be told the story of how that quilt came to be his. Please pass our thanks onto the volunteer who created it.

Pip | Edinburgh, East and Midlothian
Just before Christmas we delivered over a dozen quilts for the children of women fleeing domestic abuse and in the care of Edinburgh Women’s Aid. We have just received this appreciative response:

We are writing to say ‘Thank you very, very much’ for all your kindness in responding to our appeal over the Christmas period. You really have helped make what can be a very emotional and difficult time for many families within the care of Edinburgh Women’s Aid, that much more joyful. During all the chaos of fleeing domestic abuse, woman, children and young people will often leave behind their belongings and clothes, so we are truly  grateful for your generous support. The feedback we get from our service users and their support workers is a wonderful reminder of the impact of your kindness:
Margaret, Marie and Alison
On behalf of everyone at Edinburgh Women’s Aid

Jacki | Gloucester
This is Rubén who, we’re told, absolutely loves his quilt. He attends All Sorts which is a support group for all disability groups within Gloucester County Council. We take quilts to their meetings and the children can choose the one they want.

Ruben with his quilt

Chris | Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich
We always enjoy reading Stitching Together and thought we should probably contribute a little paragraph and photo of our group’s activities.

We meet on Wednesdays in a community centre managed by Charlton Athletic Football Club. We make a small
contribution towards the cost of heating and lighting from our “subs” of £2 a week per person which also covers the cost of tea, coffee and milk! In the early years we had to buy our own fabric but over time we have been given quite a large stash of material and threads from other quilters who can no longer sew or from the sewing rooms of ladies who  sadly passed away.

In November we said goodbye to one of our members, Maureen Cloke, who was moving to Hereford to be nearer to her son and grandson. We are missing her and are hoping she finds a local Project Linus group to join soon. Although two of our group are registered as Co-ordinators we all decide where to send the quilts we’ve made ourselves or had donated to us by other local quilters, and then we all take part in delivering them. It’s a group effort!

We love our Wednesdays – there’s always a lot of laughter while we catch up on who has been on holiday, whose central heating isn’t working, whose grandchildren are the funniest, what quilting exhibitions are coming up, etc! Our challenge for 2018 is to use up some of the more tricky coloured fabrics we have in the cupboard – waste not, want not!

Betty | Northern Ireland
The ladies from Ballydougan Patchwork and Craft Group, and The Cosy Club from Birches who made quilts for Project Linus in 2017. Both these groups make quilts on a regular basis for Project Linus in Northern Ireland.

Volunteer quilters

Joy | Birmingham South and surrounding areas
We have this week, received a letter of thanks from the Visitor Centre at Winson Green Prison thanking us for the contribution we make to the Christmas parties attended by the children of the Serving prisoners at HMP Winson Green.

For many years my husband Tim and I have taken new and nearly new games, books and gifts for these children on behalf of St Michael’s Church Solihull. These are often the only present a child receives when their dad is given custodial sentence then their children also become disadvantaged with financial hardships and family break up and sometime foster care ensuing.

However, as of 2016 we also took gifts of quilts made by yourselves. These were warmly received. When we visited in 2017 and took yet another gift of quilts we found out just how wonderfully your hard work had been appreciated and the 90 quilts we took were greeted with grateful open arms. In some cases, the children arrive in the winter time wearing just a t-shirt or no warm clothing, and we were told that they are able to leave with a warm quilt which will be their very own.

We would like to thank you very much for your hard work and the contribution you make to this cause. Keep Quilting Ladies. Thank you again, Tim and Sandra

Ann | South Sheffield & Chesterfield
Hi Ann – Once again thank you for your quilts! Looking through some of the design, you have impressed me with the quality and creativity of the designs. You and your group are doing such great thing to help those who are less fortunate in life so keep up the good work. I thought I would also share with you a story about the blankets which you can share with your group.

Here at Foster Care Agency we use the quilts which are kindly donated to put in our memory boxes for children and young people. Once a child or young person is placed in a foster home they receive a visit from me or a colleague where we take out a memory box for them to save precious items in. Recently I visited a 1 year old and in their memory box was one of the blankets which we collected previously. Our boxes also include other items such as colouring books, teddy bears, cards, blank paper etc. When I completed this visit however, the child was not one bit interested in any of the items other than the quilt which they pulled out of the box and started to cuddle. This child had come into placement with very little so for them to have something which was their own, I think was very important to them which to me highlights the importance of what you are doing and the need for your project to be promoted more so more children and young people can benefit from what you are doing.
Nathan, Participation Officer

Heather | East Shropshire & West Staffordshire
On the first Friday of each month a group of ladies get together at Morville, nr Bridgnorth and make tops for Project Linus. They are then handed to Ann Jermey who quilts them on her long arm quilter. Once quilted they are returned for binding. Whenever I can I join the ladies and every few months they hand over 30 – 50 quilts.

During 2014-2015 they made 212 quilts and I presented them with their first Achievement Award. Between 2016-2017 they exceeded this number and made 239 quilts and in February I presented them with their second Achievement Award.

Volunteers award

Newsletter – January 2018

Helen | Head Office
On behalf of the Directors and all the PLUK Coordinators we would like to thank Lyn for all her work over the past 10 years as the fourth PLUK President and also as a Director of Project Linus UK. Lyn decided to retire from these roles on 31st December 2017 but she will continue to be involved with PLUK as the South Shropshire Coordinator.

As many of you know, during her time as President, Lyn has worked hard on ensuring there is good communication between Head Office and the Coordinators through regular newsletters, she has been proactive in ensuring that we have kept up with social media advancements and in 2013 was instrumental in registering Project Linus UK as a Community Interest Company. We were thrilled that the Quilters Guild agreed to put an article (2 pages with pictures!) about Lyn and her involvement with Project Linus UK. If you are not a Guild member, hopefully one of your volunteers will be able to let you see the Winter 2017 magazine.

Lyn and the remaining three Directors have decided not to appoint another President as it is not felt necessary now that we are a Community Interest Company which is run by the Directors.

Helen | East Staffordshire
The volunteers of East Staffordshire have had a busy year. The Whittington Wharf Quilters learnt how to stitch traditional English pieced shells for their turtle quilts, and Shenstone Quilters autumn challenge was to make primary colour quilts.

Ingrid | Ceredigion
We had our Summer Exhibition in Narbeth, Pembrokeshire this year. Many of the ladies who donated a quilt were members of the Landsker Quilters.

Caroline | Liverpool
A special thank you to Bill and Eddie who deliver quilts and blankets for Project Linus to the Special Care Baby Unit and Ronald McDonald House at Arrowe Park Hospital. They are volunteers for the Milk Bank and combine us with their trips.

Heather | East Shropshire & West Staffordshire
On the 18th/19th of November I had a stall at the Quilt Show in Eccleshall, Staffordshire. The show was organised by Jane, the owner of Corner Patch in Eccleshall, to celebrate the 5th birthday of her shop. It was a change to actually be trading in the church. The church was lovely, albeit a little cold, and we had organ music playing throughout the day which added to the atmosphere. As there was a service on Sunday the show did not open until 11.15am. As soon as the door opened there was a large flurry of visitors. I later learnt that it was a coach load who, after visiting the show, were going off to lunch. Now that’s what I call a day out!

As usual, everyone I knew had been very generous in giving me items to sell: Magazines, templates for patchwork, stencils for quilting, small packets of cross stitch (the ones you get on the front of the magazines), various tools surplus to requirements and much more, most of which I sold on the Saturday. Having done so well I had to bring more fabric to fill the gaps and thanks to the visitors I took very little home.

Pip | Edinburgh, East Lothian & Midlothian
During an unexpected stay at Edinburgh Sick Kids we were gifted a beautiful blanker from your project. We were completely overwhelmed. It was so lovely and kind, it made us smile at a horrible and stressful time. Our little girl was just a few weeks old when she was in and looked so tiny in the huge cot. The gorgeous pink blanket made her look much more comfortable and was a welcome distraction from the hospital environment. Fortunately she is now home and enjoying her blanket in much happier surroundings. We will keep her blanket to remind us of the the lovely thoughtful people who made it and how something lovely came out of a horrible time.

Elizabeth Black
During 2017, I have been Lady Captain at Wilmslow Golf Club in Cheshire. I had no doubt that my Ladies would be very generous with their money for my chosen Cancer Charities. But as an enthusiastic sewer, I wanted to encourage some of them to give the gift of their time, by working on items I could pass over to Christine Rush, my local Project Linus contact, who had connections with Manchester Children’s Hospital and Wythenshawe Hospital’s Starlight Ward.

Enjoying patchwork, I had known about Project Linus for many years. So, I looked on their website, found my local contact, talked to her, then held a meeting at the Club. About 20 Ladies expressed an interest in making quilts, cushions, ‘Beads of Courage’ bags and knitted items. So, we worked away at home, during the winter months until March when we met again to show our offerings. Amazing. Christine was delighted. She took away our pieces.

My sewing machine was put back into the cupboard for the summer so I could concentrate on my golf. On October 1st, it was back out on the dining table again. We then had 2 months before our next meeting with Christine. We all worked hard to the deadline date. One of the ladies added this message to the back of her quilt ‘May the love that has been sewn into this quilt keep you safe and warm’. I have been thrilled at how much pleasure this whole project has given me and the group of lady members.

Newsletter – November 2017

New Director
Lyn, Heather and Helen are delighted to announce that Sarah Smith (Assistant PLUK Coordinator for Hereford) has agreed to join us as a Director of Project Linus UK. Many coordinators who have been to the Festival of Quilts over the past couple of years will have met Sarah. We look forward to working with her as she assists us with the Head Office admin jobs.

Thank you | Heather
A big thank you to all our volunteers who handed in quilts, tops, knitted blankets and orphan blocks at NEC making a fantastic total of 251. We received many black and white quilts which was our theme for this year. Next year’s theme is rail fence. Any size and any colour.

Once again, our packs of magazines didn’t take too long to sell. A bargain at 4 magazines for £1. We met many people who had not heard of Project Linus UK and they left promising to make a quilt and donate it to their local coordinator.

Caroline | Liverpool
We had a great day at the Abakhan store, turning strips of shirts into quilts for Project Linus. The fabrics are particularly good for boys of all ages and we hope the recipients like them!

Jacquie | North Surrey & West London
I have been supplying small quilts to Baby Basics in Sunbury (Middx) since 2015. It has been amazing to see what this small, local charity has achieved, and a real pleasure to be involved. This is what they have to say about Project Linus’ contribution to BabyBasics:

Baby Basics Sunbury is part of the national Baby Basics charity who supply Moses baskets filled with clothes and equipment for new babies up to three months to mothers who are struggling to meet the financial and practical burden of looking after a new baby. We have been running in Sunbury for three and a half years and we have just delivered our 400th pack! We receive referrals from Midwives, Health Visitors and Social Workers and provide to families over a large area, some are refugees and some fleeing domestic violence. We also supply gifts for ladies in HMP Bronzefield. Project Linus has supplied us with beautiful quilts to place on top of the baskets and they look so special. Each one is different and they really make our baskets look special. We really appreciate the support we receive form Project Linus.

Baby Basics has centres across the UK and you can find out more at

Elspeth | Lanarkshire & Glasgow East
I invite people who make requests for quilts (Social Workers, Health Visitors etc.) to advise if any of the youngsters have special interests. They often do. Below is a reply from a local Social Worker after she received a batch of quilts. The four youngsters mentioned had experienced great trauma. Got it right this time!

You and the ladies do all the wonderful work and today I got to see the delight on 4 children’s faces as I delivered some of the quilts today! (no school today) The wee boy with the aeroplane quilt had a sharp intake of breath when he saw that and said WOW! He wrapped the quilt over his head holding it under his chin and never removed it the whole time I was in for the visit.

The wee girl with the butterfly quilt was also blown away when she opened the quilt out saying ‘I LOVE butterflies!’ I told her this was made especially for her by ladies from your project and she did not have to share it with anyone if she did not want to. The little girl with the princess quilt could not stop smiling saying she loves ALL the princesses and sat on the couch with it wrapped around her.

The 15-year-old said thank you as he was doing something on a tablet, however when I was leaving he had it wrapped around him. They are planning a night in with munchies and to watch a film all snuggled up with their quilts. You all do all the work and I get to see this. Thank you again for making such a difference in these children’s lives.

Margaret | Oxfordshire
Having been a Coordinator for a whole year, I cannot tell you all how rewarding I find the whole experience. I have been lucky enough to become involved in supplying not only quilts and breast pump bags to the Neonatal Unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital but also quilts and ‘wiggly bags’ to the children’s oncology unit. (Wiggly bags are small bags used to put the Hickman Lines in that the children have inserted just above their hearts that are used to dispense their medication). I received this email from a mum who has a little boy on the Neonatal Unit and it makes everything we do worthwhile and hope it makes you all feel the joy as well!

By way of introduction, my name is Susie and I’m one of the Mums who has a baby currently on the intensive care unit at John Radcliffe Hospital. I hope you don’t mind me getting in touch but I wanted to pass on a big thank you to you and the group for the lovely blankets and bags you’ve sent to the ward recently. They are absolutely beautiful and very much appreciated. I picked a white blanket with blue trim and have used it to keep my little boy, Benjamin, warm when having a cuddle. And the patchwork bag is proving very useful as a book bag for the story books I’m reading him. I just wanted to let you all know that the hard work is very much appreciated and to thank you for your kind support. All the best, Susie

Helen | East Staffordshire
We have received this lovely thank you email from Aoife’s mother, and wanted to share it:

My daughter was in Great Ormond Street Hospital in April 2015 on ECMO.(ECMO is the use of an artificial lung (Membrane) located outside the body, (Extra Corporeal) that puts oxygen into the blood (Oxygenation) and continuously pumps this blood into and around the body.) She was very ill. We had been flown from Dublin Ireland to London for this treatment. Aoife got her lovely Project Linus quilt at that time. Thankfully Aoife recovered and is doing great now. Her quilt is in use all the time and much treasured. Well done in your great work.

Heather | Wrekin, Shropshire
At Newport P&Qs, a sewing group I go to each week, I ran a Project Linus day. Some of the ladies made a quilt on the day and many others slipped down the binding on quilts that had been made prior to the day. The end result was 28 quilts which were very welcome as my stock was depleted.

Joan | Dumfries & Galloway
In November last year, I was invited to speak to the Annan Quilting and Sewing Group about PLUK. Annan is the other end of my area, (Dumfries & Galloway) about 80 odd miles from my home! Very enthusiastic small group, and they said that they would make a start in the new year.

This week I met their organiser for coffee and handover in Dumfries (not quite halfway!) She gave me 40 quilts from her own group, 16 from another group nearby I had never heard of, and 22 from a previous donor. Needless to say, I was delighted, never before had so many in one month! I am holding some back as my intake is usually thin in December/January, with the holiday season. There were so many good ideas to “borrow”, Their organiser said they would be making more in the coming session. I have found, previously, that a wee talk to a group usually reaps good results!

Maureen | Argyllshire
Dunoon Community Quilters had a wee talk from Maddie McCance the lady who founded Cathleen’ Cabin at Hafton
Holiday Village. It is a static caravan providing a week’s holiday for families who have a wee one with a life-threatening illness or some trauma in their lives.

They come via recommendations from Robin House or Rachel House. Sometimes the parents might come after the loss of a little one for a wee break. I contacted Maddie and have since given her several Linus quilts to pass on to the littleones. The feedback has been amazing as they so absolutely appreciate that there are
folks out there who care enough to make these quilts.

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.

Newsletter – March 2017

Ingrid | Pembrokeshire

In 2014 a friend of mine, Pat Bannister, held a charity event, in aid of cancer, in her son’s garden. Of those that attended many donated a 12½” patchwork square. These squares were hung on a long washing line and made a colourful display. Afterwards, Pat and her friends set to and made them into quilts for Project Linus UK.

Mary and Sarah | Herefordshire

The Pludds Quilting Group from the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire is a self-help group of quilters who meet on the third Tuesday of each month to sew and chat. Last year their community project was to make patchwork quilts for Linus and recently handed over 18 quilts they had made for sick and traumatised babies, children and teenagers. They would like to thank residents of The Pludds and other people who kindly donated fabric for this project.

Pludd quilters

Pip | Edinburgh

I would like to say a very big thank you to Project Linus for the quilt. My 17-month- old son was admitted to hospital on Christmas Eve, but despite being unwell, he was so excited when he saw his Thomas the Tank Engine blanket. It was such a lovely and thoughtful gift, thank you for putting a smile on all of our faces. Your hard work is greatly appreciated.

Sylvia | Warrington

Crazy Quilters and Knitters for Linus

We were fortunate to receive a grant from The Big Lottery last year. I was assisted in the application by Doreen, our treasurer. I had been contacted by Paula from Warrington Volunteer Support Services (WVSS) who suggested we apply to The Big Lottery following a previous failed application for local funding. We were looking for some money to restock some of our fabric and wool. Our group had grown to forty members and so the stock doesn’t last very long. This is despite members using some of their own stash. We normally have a couple of fund raising events a year plus whatever donations we manage to receive. We then use this money to buy wool and fabric to make more quilts and blankets. We had hoped to maybe get a few more rulers and equipment too as these things need to be replaced at times. Our group meet once a month in the Methodist Church Hall and on those days, we dedicate our time to Project Linus work. We have some equipment that is available for newcomers to use.

They invariably buy their own equipment when they get “hooked” on patchwork and quilting and they want to do more at home. Our knitters are happy if we keep them supplied with wool and have declined offers of getting a knitting machine. We don’t set targets on how many each person makes or how many a year. We accept that people have either jobs or other commitments and we all work at a different pace. Paula emphasised how much support we were giving to the local community as well as the recipients of the quilts and blankets we make. Following Paula’s advice, I asked members what they felt they gained by being a member of the group. We had some very positive remarks back. We were having four meetings a year when we would share a new or different technique, meeting like-minded people, giving something back to the community, sharing and growing, increased knowledge of a hobby. People living alone commented on meeting lots of smiley faces, making friends and giving and receiving support. We had several meetings with Paula who encouraged us to ask for more than we originally intended. She suggested we considered larger items but at the time the only thing on our wish list was a Long Arm Quilter. This would have meant renting accommodation to store and use it which was unrealistic.

Embroidery machine

After much thought, research and consideration we eventually decided to ask for sufficient funding to buy an embroidery machine. Although I had no personal experience of these machines one of our ladies did and had used hers to sandwich some of her Linus quilts together and they looked so beautiful we thought this may be worth a try. Doreen and I worked together to identify what we would ask for. We encouraged the knitters to explore different types of needles etc. but all they wanted was some nice wool to work with. We found quite a few things that would enable the sewers to improve and speed up the making of quilts but the embroidery machine was the main item we asked for, something we would never have raised enough funds for on our own.

The research and planning of our application was quite time consuming and seemed to take forever but eventually Doreen and I had another meeting with Paula and we agreed the application should be submitted. There was a period of about six to eight weeks when we had to wait for a decision to be made. I then received a conditional grant offer and completed the necessary paper work but at this stage we were not to make the offer public. We had to wait till The Big lottery gave a date when we could go public. We have one year to spend the grant money and have to have receipts for all purchases to prove the grant has been spent as we had intended, should anybody need it.

Ballerina embroidery

The Big lottery emphasise the importance of publicity to both promote your own project and to let National Lottery players see were the money they raise is spent. We named our project “A Hug in a Blanket” one of Linus sayings. They give lots of free plaques, stickers and other items and guidance. Since receiving the grant we have so far bought lots of the things we had planned. Whilst at a Stitching and Craft weekend I saw a similar embroidery machine to that I had researched. There was £200 off but for that weekend only. A few more committee members went to the show the next day to check it out. In the meantime, I had spoken to a more local sewing machine supplier, Bambers, and they said that in view of us being a Project Linus group they would give us a further discount. Needless to say, we spent that on embroidery threads with them and we will be longstanding customers for them.

We are at the very early stages of a steep learning curve, trying to learn as much as we can about the designs and the machine etc. Several ladies have made samples of the different patterns that are available. Some of our ladies feel a bit daunted (myself included) but when they watch us using it they are fascinated and pleased with the results. We plan to let everyone have a go over the next six months or so. Some of the knitters are keen to do appliqué motifs to go on the corner of their blankets. There are quite a few ideas buzzing round the group on the things we can do so watch this space. This was a fitting piece of equipment for the group to acquire on our 10th birthday year.I appreciate this is not suitable for all Linus groups, more so for community based groups but I would recommend other groups explore the possibility.

Ann | South Sheffield and Chesterfield

Just before Christmas one of our members was helping to give out food hampers to vulnerable families in Sheffield, through Besom, and wondered if we could give the children some of our quilts – which we were happy to do. We subsequently received this letter:

“I thank God for the wonderful hearts you have to help those in need. It was lovely to meet you and relieve you of all the quilts, bags and baby knits! All the quilts were put into the appropriate age bags and delivered with the food hampers. They were a great addition to our hampers and were all very gratefully received. We’ve had great feedback from clients and workers about what a difference they made. One family I delivered to, the dad said they didn’t think they would be able to give the children presents and now they would each have their own bag with a quilt in!”.

Newsletter – November 2016

Lyn | News from HQ

Well, the Halloween quilts have been distributed now. There is never enough boy’s fabric but I came across some lovely creepy cartoon skeletons at the Malvern show which seemed just the job. I was able to use large panels of the picture fabric with border of squares in black, white and a ghastly lime green to complete the spooky effect. These went to our local Foster Carers Association. Of course, there were girlie ones too and a couple of weighted quilts for autistic children to help them calm down. One of these was for a girl to help her sleep and one as a lap quilt for a boy who can’t sit still in class. All the fabric shops seem to have lots of flowers and also little kiddies cartoon stuff, but nothing for the bigger boys. Does Minecraft (which my 8-year-old grandson adores) charge too much for the use of its imagery?

Now, I guess quite a few of our supporters are doing the same as me – making quilts in Christmas colours. I have to admit that I am doing this with fabric that I bought several years ago and never got around to making up. This time it’s a simple rail fence pattern in black, red, green and white strips. I know that quite a few of you are making quilts for Syrian refugee children – they have a different requirement as Islam obviously doesn’t celebrate Christmas but they also do not approve of pictures of people or animals and want quilts with simple colour patterns. Variety is a really key part of our thinking so that each child can have a quilt which appeals to them and is, in some way, unique. So, use your imagination and your scraps.

Joy | Birmingham South

Well, the last couple of weeks have been very busy indeed! We spent two days sewing and quilting and made more quilts than I could have ever imagined.  On the first day at the Cadet Centre the troops completed 43 quilt tops made from squares and donated orphan blocks and had a thoroughly enjoyable day at the same time! There were a number of visitors throughout the day from organisations that benefit from the donation of Project Linus quilts. Amongst them were representatives from the QE talking about Teenage Cancer patients, Therapists, Bereavement counsellors and a lady talking about the work at Women’s Refuges. We all love to sew, but it is great to hear about the brilliant work that all of these people do to make the lives of children in need better, and gives us even more drive to keep donating time to make the quilts that we hear mean so much to the children that receive them.

Quilt workshop November 2016

The second day was held at the Cotton Patch Studio, where we managed to quilt 50 quilts over the course of 5 hours. We utilised all of the quilting frames and machines, along with the Sweet Sixteen.  Several Ladies set about sewing metres and metres of binding on to help completely finish 16 quilts by the end of the day. Any offcuts of fabric and wadding were not wasted either, they were swiftly packed into pillowcases, sewn up and ready to take to Hollytrees Animal Sanctuary for bedding. Another 31 are ready for delivery. The lengths of quilts just kept growing and growing! And again, we had some lovely visitors, this time from Acorns Hospice and Family Foster Care representatives, who see first-hand the joy and comfort that the quilts bring to children who sometimes have very little to call their own.

Quilting day in progress

Ann, Chesterfield & South Sheffield

This is Gill from The Craft Tree in Sheffield holding the quilt which was given to Project Linus, and which has since been given away to Baby Basics. During the Walkley Festival in Sheffield, Gill invited visitors to her shop to do a block for this quilt and at the same time learn about Project Linus.

Gill with her quilt

A letter from Gill

I am so pleased that I found you when I was looking for something to occupy my spare time in the evenings. I have been knitting and crocheting blankets since the spring and I would like to say that my local coordinator Lesley has been a wonderful inspiration to me and a great help guiding me in the right direction. I know I haven’t been doing this for long but I like to check your site to find out what has been happening and how other people are getting on and see what they have done.

Crochet blanket

Looking at your Gallery I have noticed that, almost exclusively, the pictures are of quilts rather than blankets. While I am full of admiration for the skill put into these, something that I cannot do, I would like to see some knitting and crocheting included. I am aware that a plain knitted blanket is not very inspiring but I am sure there are other people like me who are a bit more adventurous. Perhaps you could include a few of these each month to give us an idea of how to make our blanket more fun for the children. You could get your coordinators to sent you some snaps of what comes in to them, I am sure they would like to help. I am away now to start making my last batch of squares up (oh boy these are a bit bright) but I hope someone will love them as I do. Here are the first blankets I made – very best wishes and lots of admiration to every person involved in this most wonderful project.

Pip | Edinburgh

A lovely email:

Hi. You can share this message with anyone you think would like to know: Just think when I was at a show a year ago and saw hug quilts, that a year on, I would receive one – I am not so well at the moment so to get this quilt made by someone who does not know me but like my Grandma who is in WI and made a quilt for hug, you made it with love for me. It has made my day to think someone cares so much. I am awaiting going into surgery today. I am sending an email so please pass on a message from me saying a BIG thank you to the maker of my hug quilt, it’s fluffy, cuddly and cool.
Love from Oliver, Age 11

Newsletter – September 2016

Lyn | News from HQ

Our thanks to Upper Street Events for our free stand at the Festival of Quilts. It is always such an exciting event and we meet so many of our supporters there – and encourage new supporters as well. We were lucky enough to have a big stand this year and were able to put up lots of pictures of our ‘satisfied customers’. The happy smiles on the faces of children cuddled up in their quilts and blankets were very encouraging. We also had some lovely stories of children who had received quilts. I heard today that a boy who received a quilt a while back when going to live with his uncle after his parents died ‘saved the day’ when their little girl was devastated to lose her teddy – he let her borrow his precious quilt to comfort her.

Thanks also to the Warm Company. They have been providing us with free wadding for Linus quilts as well as wadding packs and fabric from Lewis and Irene to use as raffle prizes. They even let us sell raffle tickets from their stand at the show. With this, and our scrap sales, this was by far our most successful fundraising ever.

Finally, thanks to the Game of Quilts – a competition for teams to make a quilt in a day at the Festival while visitors watched. The quilts they made were donated to Linus and are on their way to Birmingham Children’s hospital.

Heather | East Shropshire & West Staffordshire

Once a month, on a Friday, a group of ladies get together in the workroom at the Quilters Quest shop in Bridgnorth to specifically make patchwork tops for Project Linus. They pass the tops to Ann Jermey who quilts them, without charge, on her long arm quilter. Ann hands them back and the ladies put the binding on and gives them the finishing touch of a label. As I am usually given anywhere between 30 – 60 quilts at a time having the label already on them is a bonus. In June this year there was a joint venture at St Nicholas church Oldbury, near Bridgnorth, with an open garden weekend and a show of Linus quilts in the church. Pat Beech was in the church making more tops and promoting Project Linus.

Church quilt exhibition

The joint venture was extremely well attended and very profitable. The proceeds were divided 3 ways and St Nicholas church, the Air Ambulance and Project Linus UK each received a donation of £1,005.11. On August 16th there was a presentation evening in the church where a representative from each of the recipients was invited to attend. As the local co- ordinator I had pleasure in attending and received my big cheque with Pat and Mary the founding ladies of the group at my side.

Philippa | Edinburgh East & Midlothian

A lovely thank you note:
“Thanks to the beautiful hands that made the gorgeous blanket that has made my 2- month old baby girl feel so comfy while poorly in hospital. You are all angels xxx “

Baby on quilt

Ann | South Sheffield & Chesterfield

Reece with his I-Spy quilt

This is Reece, who received an I Spy quilt from sew4others – he is 4 and was born with Angleman Syndrome (which means he has a missing chromosome gene 15 whuich delays normal development). His mum says “we are so happy with Reece’s development although he does struggle with walking on his own, and talking. He loves the blanket and takes it to bed with him. Thanks you so much.”

Gerta | North Norfolk

In June the North Norfolk group were asked to stage a display of our work at the Queen’s Birthday Civic Celebration at Christchurch, Fulmodeston, North Norfolk. The church supports our group and gives us lots of publicity at many events in the village. We were asked to decorate the chancel, from the reredos to the chancel steps, including the altar. Our group made a terrific effort and put up a remarkable display of quilts, blankets, prem hats, snuggle squares and toys made by our members.

We are a small group with only five quilters and 16 knitters and we all worked really hard to show what Project Linus does for our local hospital, which is the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital. I also collect quilts from a group in Norwich, Surrey Stitchers, and they too contributed lots of beautiful quilts for the display. As you can see, we draped quilts over choir stalls, hung them on walls and put toys on window sills. The centrepiece was the altar which we fronted with a quilt, which actually reflected the tiled floor.

Church quilt display

The display caused much discussion and interest. The outcome was that we have since received many donations of fabric to use in further quilts. We also had a request from Fakenham church for quilts for two bereaved siblings, which we were happy to give. All items have now been donated.


Premature baby hats

Premature baby hat

Double knitting wool
3¼ mm (UK size 10) needles.

Cast on 48 (56) sts.
Knit 6 rows.
Continue in stocking stitch until work measures 2 ½ (3) inches – 6 (7.5) cms.
Knit 2 together knit 6 – repeat to end of row. Next and every alternate row purl to end
Continue decreasing i.e. knit 2 together knit 5 (4) (3) (2) (1) until 12 (14) stitches remain.
Purl one row.
Knit 2 together 6 (8) times
Thread wool through remaining stitches and fasten off. Sew up using a flat seam.