Festival of Quilts 2014

Every year at the Festival of Quilts we set a challenge. How many blocks can our visitors make on a given theme? These blocks are then made into packs to give to our volunteers across the UK who make them into quilts for sick, disabled or disadvantaged children to provide cheer and comfort. 2014’s theme is “In the Jungle”

Exotic animals and birds, foliage and flowers or characters from cartoons. Any style of patchwork or just squares of fabric. Blocks should be 8 1/2″ square and unquilted ready to be pieced together.

Bring them to our stand next year or send them to:

FoQ Blocks, 18 Alison Road, Church Stretton, Shropshire SY6 7AT

We will also be having a quilt raffle and a sale of fabric remnants. Last year our ‘pot luck’ scrap bags were amazingly popular. These funds enable us to buy fabric, wadding and fleece for our volunteers to use

Newsletter – April 2013

A huge thank you
Elspeth Russell sent in this letter from a grateful Mum:
“I would just like to say a HUGE thank you … to Project Linus UK and everyone involved in getting these blankets to sick kids in hospital. My daughter spent some time in Wishaw General Hospital after suffering with a condition called Masenteric Adentitis. She received this blanket from the nursing staff and has loved it since she took ownership of it. It brightened up her bed on the ward and she loves to wrap it around her as she tries to get better at home. Although she is still in a lot of pain, she is happy to be home. Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to make this blanky. The workmanship put into this is remarkable and a blanky my 9-year-old will no doubt treasure for a lifetime.”

A Royal thank you
You may remember that Prince Charles paid a visit to Angela Hartle’s group at Pauline’s Patchwork. At the time, volunteers were making a rabbit quilt that he commented on as being appropriate to give to a grandchild – this was about 10 days prior to announcement. They were very good and kept quiet but made him a duplicate quilt (not using Linus funds or fabric). Angela sent it off and received a letter in reply from Clarence House which read:

“Dear Mrs Hartle,
I am writing on behalf of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to thank you for your letter of 2nd February enclosing the beautiful patchwork quilt made by Project Linus volunteers. It was extremely kind of you to send this to His Royal Highness and it is obvious a great deal of work has gone into making it. His Royal Highness was delighted to receive this gift and has asked me to send you and volunteers at Project Linus his warmest thanks and very good wishes.”

Women’s Aid Refuge, Sheffield
Jo from the Women’s Aid Refuge in Sheffield came to visit Sew4Others in Dronfield, Derbyshire, and collected 22 quilts to take back to the Haven House Centre. She also collected quite a number of drawstring bags which are used as ‘welcome bags’ for the children and ladies who come to the refuge. These are filled with toys, toiletries, pens etc and together with the gift of a quilt say “welcome” in a very practical way. The children get very excited opening their welcome bags and the quilts stay with them even when they have left the refuge. It was heartening to hear where our quilts were going and Jo’s talk has spurred us on to make even more quilts.

Update from North Yorkshire
Beryl Homes recently received the lovely note below:
“One of my colleagues, Heather, recently passed on a quilt made in the Northallerton area for our daughter Rosa. Rosa is an eleven year old who has Rett syndrome, diabetes and epilepsy. She really feels the cold in winter so the quilt has been great for covering her up in her wheelchair. Can I express our great thanks for this kind gesture; the quilt has been really useful. Helen and Jerry”

Cushions for Manchester Children’s Hospital
Manchester Children’s Hospital recently asked if we could make some cushions, as the older children had asked for them. We’re always up for a challenge, and these were much appreciated.

Westhope College Linus Day

Last October Heather Russell had a Project Linus stand at Shropshire Quilters Exhibition where she met Bronja Gardener, the new Principal at Westhope College. As a result, a Linus Day was held at the college in February. Many of the volunteers were patchworkers but others were novices. It was wonderful to see four young teenagers who had never before made a quilt, getting stuck in and having a go with some guidance from their mothers and Heather. 19 quilts were completed on the day and everyone said how much they had enjoyed the time. The next day is already booked in for May!

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.

Newsletter – January 2013

Rectory Quilters Stir It Up!
You’ve heard of stir-up Sunday; well this was stir-up Monday, a pudding basin full of Christmas fabrics well stirred and made into Christmas quilts for Poole and Southampton hospitals. Rectory Quilters based in new Milton organised a wonderful day where lots of sewing went on along with a few laughs an lots of chat. With their help we are on target to meet the 40/50 quilts to gift over the Christmas period.

Alison Still collected from lovely quilts from a group in Galleywood, Essex. The ladies meet near the old race course and very appropriately call themselves Point-to-Point. As well as having made individual quilts, they had also done a workshop for the foundation technique where they had all made blocks featuring dogs which were subsequently sewn together and donated as a group quilt.

Sew4others Heart Quilt
Once The sew4others meeting coincided with Macmillan’s coffee morning so we invited others to come along to our meeting to show them what we do. As well as raising £220 for Macmillan we encouraged visitors to have a go at making a pin cushion, a Christmas coaster, and sew a heart for Project Linus. The hearts were stitched onto purple squares which were in turn joined together to form a quilt. This quilt has now gone to the North East Derbyshire Women’s Aid Refuge.

Letter from a social worker
Elspeth in Lanarkshire received the letter below from a local social worker:

“I just wanted to let you know how much K loved her quilt. I told her you had made it especially for her and no-one had one exactly like hers. She immediately wrapped it around herself and twirled and twirled all around her room grining from ear to ear while rubbing the fleece section against her face. Everyine in the children’s home had to be shown her ‘special quilt’. She then very carefully folded it so that ‘my huge’ were clearly displayed and gently laid it on her pillow. Thank you again for making this wee girls day so very special.”

Baby Lucas
“I just wanted t send a short note of my appreciation for the beautiful snuggly blanket which my ten month old son received while he was in Wishaw General. It certainly brightened up his little cot in hospital and, I’m sure, his little cot at home for a long time to come. It certainly brought a smile to both our faces. it also reminded me of the gift of a little hooded towel we received when he was born. Again your kindness was very much appreciated. Many thanks, Andrina and Baby Lucas”

News from West London Branch
Six The Thameside Sewing Bees recently presented me with a batch of quilts, having taken on Project Linus as their next charity project. In addition, one of their members kindly quilted three tops I had sandwiched but not had time to quilt. I came home with 13 quilts- all beautifull sewn – just in time for a delivery to Your Sacntuary (a Surrey women’s refuge). I’ll also be delivering 10 quilts made by 1st Oatland Guides from Woking. It’s a lways nice to hear of youngsterssewing, let alone quilting, so thesequilts are very special.

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.

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.