This time last year, we had just about finished sorting all the quilts that had been donated for the Grenfell Tower appeal and they were about ready to go out. Many of the people in the Facebook Group asked if the group would remain or expressed sadness that it might come to an end so we pledged to keep the group going for people to share their sewing and quilting projects and in a way stay together.

As Christmas came and went I decided to set a challenge to the group to continue the goodwill the had started and give the group a focus for the coming year. I challenged group members to make a single Christmas Stocking, each month in 2018, and in December to donate them to a local food bank or other good cause. As the Grenfell project had been so focused on the location of the tower and surrounding community I thought it might be interesting to see how far and wide we could spread the goodwill of the quilting community in 2018. As the end of year is quickly approaching the time has come to take a tally and see what we have achieved.

It always amazes me that a group of people, spread far and wide across the world, most of whom have never met, can come together and pull off amazing things. So with over 530 stockings, spread across 4 countries, to 33 different worthy causes, I think its safe to say we have done a good job once again. What’s more, the majority of stockings were stuffed to the brim with donated gifts and treats! The kindness of this community should never be underestimated!

And sewing up stockings is not all we have done. A few other projects caught our eye and we jumped right in. Blocks were made and a quilt top put together for The 70,273 Project in the USA. More blocks were made and sent to Canada for the Quilts for Broncos appeal after the terrible accident involving the Humboldt Junior Ice Hockey Team in April. Some decorated Sawdust Hearts and others sent buttons to The Lake District for a school memorial project. More than a few members of the group have also joined and contributed to the Quilts for Care Leavers project that launched in late September and has already achieved incredible things!

The 70,273 Project
Quilts for Broncos
Sawdust Hearts Exhibition

As a group we share our projects, we share our fabric purchases & quilt show trips, and when they appear we share the appeals that follow those tragic events around the world. We come together, and we take to our machines as a way to make sense of what is happening in the world around us. The solace of sitting at a sewing machine gives us a chance to take a breath and process the tragedies happening in the world. Maybe sewing takes our mind off the darker side of life, perhaps it’s a chance to have a quiet uninterrupted moment to think about what we value in our lives, and sometimes it’s even a place to shed a tear, and then we take a deep breath and we sew, hoping to bring some comfort to anyone who needs it.

And let there be more to come in 2019, there can never be too much compassion or too much comfort when people are in need. Join us here.