Maggie Lloyd-Jones .. founder of the Q4CL Project has an appeal her own words:

I’ve written lots about Quilts For Christmas Dinners – the public face of Quilts for Care Leavers (Q4CL) – and our fantastic company of quilters. We are aiming for 1000 quilts this year, enough for at least 20 Christmas Day dinners. It’s a dream of course, but you gotta have a dream!

We are a very mixed bunch of 435 members as I write at the end of March: some are very experienced, some are newbies. Some make fabulously complicated patterns, some make delicious scrappies. All are welcomed and well received by our youngling demographic of 18 – 25 year old who have left the public care system. We compliment and encourage each other, helping and commenting. We encourage the many who will happily provide a completed quilt, but recognise that some feel unable to quilt their tops, be it because they feel physically unable to do so, or consider themselves not experienced enough, or perhaps that their machine just won’t take the bulk. We have some super long armers, who are quilting pro bono, with the tops and backing being provided by the donor, and the wadding being paid for by Project fundraising. But we could do with more.

So – I’m asking if you may have just bought yourself a Gracie for instance, would you like to practice your newly acquired skills on a Project top ? They are between 44”x 66” and 54” x 72” in size, and would come to you along with backing 8” wider and longer than the top, and may come with material for the binding but can be returned for binding to be attached. If you are happy to do that, the Project will supply you with or pay for wadding, and thread if required. These are not destined to be heirloom quilts. The Quilt Police will not comment adversely if the effect of the quilting is not as perfect as you would like. We have no Quilt Police !!

If you are a long armer and teach people to quilt, would you consider your students practising on Project tops ? Or a long armer who is happy to pay it forward ? Same situation as to wadding and backing from our makers and the Project.

If you are a teacher and/or a professional quilter and are willing to help, the Project can promote your business on the group, and on the public page.

The end date for our makers to submit a top for quilting is the end of October, with finished quilts available to the Project for distribution to wherever by the beginning of December. Some tops are ready to go out now and I will have details of how many and where very soon. Carriage to you is paid by the maker and carriage back is covered by the Project. Decisions as to which tops go to whom and when will be managed by me and in consultation with you.

It is intended that quilts will go out this year with a star tag to say who pieced and who quilted the hug, and you as quilter or teacher would be provided with tags for signing off.

This is community quilting at its best, the closest we get to a quilting bee other than at our sew days. The essential premise of the Christmas Day Dinners is that no care leaver should spend Christmas day alone, and that the community would look after its own. Tag quilting aims to do this, too. This is our 2nd Christmas, and we have grown beyond my wildest dreams. As time passes, I hope to match long armers to piecers to areas where we think a dinner will be held and perhaps was in a previous year.

Our aim is to provide a hug for those younglings who have no immediate family to call their own, and to remind them that they are loved. They choose their quilt from those on display at each dinner. We do not wrap them.

Would you like to join with us in providing those hugs? You’d be very welcome

Leave Maggie a message below and she will be in touch.


    1. Sarah O'Hora

      I’m happy to help quilting, my Gracie frame is calling out for more use! So please add me to the list, I am very happy to help, especially for these young people who I think need more support than they often get!