Maggie is so busy with her project we have posted a little news update. If you can pledge to help next year with this marvellous charity project then contact her. Just one quilt could make a great difference to a child leaving care. For the back ground check the https://ukqu.co.uk/quilty-hug-christmas-appeal/launch post for this project here
In her own words:
Quilts have taken over my home…..and currently, I am surrounded by blocks and a few small quilt tops, which all require attention and soon.
Well, the response I have had to my request for quilts for care leavers has humbled me : the membership of the closed Facebook group Quilts for Christmas Dinners is 173, and keeps growing when I’m not looking. Not everyone has been able to contribute this year but you know what ? That doesn’t matter. Some people are members on behalf of their quilting group, and on several occasions I’ve been sent a bundle of blocks on behalf of quite a few quilters, which I have then matched and added to and made into a top. Like this quilt top:
51 hand sewn 6.5” blocks, supplemented by 19 plain but self patterned red blocks from my stash, sashed and edged with a plain red.
Scraps left over from cutting pjs and gowns for poorly children was made into this top
which was passed onto another pyjama fairy to make into a quilt.
Tops were sent direct to long armers in turn, to save postage; I asked for backing to go too, if the quilter could. Blocks and small tops were sent to me, which I then match and send onwards, or make into a top before going to a long armer, or dropped a bundle of blocks with one of them. Andrea has made 2 tops out of 3 small tops; Karen is matching blocks plus making a strip set into a quilt. My stash of long pieces of material is looking a little smaller ☺
A bolt of extra wide wadding was donated by EQS along with a bolt of backing fabric; a bolt of wadding has also been donated by Shelagh Folgate, as well as material. We have also received monetary donations, which have been spent on yet more backing and dreaded postage. Quilters have kindly donated fabric for backing or for using next year. And Karen cleared Abigail’s studio of fabrics when Abi got a quick moving home date !! Much remains to be sorted, but, a lot of things can be made for fund raising net year. Ta Abigail!
And the game of tag continues. Sylvia donated and made the labels and sent them out in stamped self addressed envelopes; we have 3 drop off points, for whole quilts, which themselves will be given to others to pass on to me, before I deliver to the Manchester venue on Christmas Eve, the Leeds bundle having been collected before then. One of our long armers is planning to make a trip north from her Essex home with hubby in their campervan, collecting quilts on their way. Quilts are being brought to the Bloggerati retreat for me, and once there, a great quilt block matching session and top making will commence. Quilts from longarmer Sarah Wickett will be brought up to Manchester and left with my daughter, with a box of tops being taken back to Sarah.
Many interesting stories have been told as to why people are making blocks/quilts. In one instance, I asked one quilter if I could hold back her quilt to go to auction, I felt it and its back story was so unique. Instead, she has donated another top for auction and her intention for the first quilt will be respected.
And will this all be worthwhile? The reaction I got from a care leaver working as an apprentice in the after care team in my home town of Hull when I described to her what I had organised, was a huge smile. She loved the idea, thinks that the quilts will be well received, and particularly liked the idea of fleece backing. We’ll store that idea for next year then…
Quilts are to be offered to the diners at the dinners, for them to choose and take or leave as they wish. We’ll know more how the quilts were received on feed back from the 2 dinners that are taking them this year. There are 19 dinners planned for this year. Next year there will be more. The ultimate aim is for local communities and quilting groups to take on the responsibility of caring for their care leavers, and both Project Linus andThe Quilter’s Guild are in favour and helpful. Can you help us next year please?
Lemn SIssay .. the founder of Christmas Dinners for Careleavers
Will I achieve my aim of 100 quilts for this year? Will they all be taken ? Watch this space ☺