Every so often I come through the door at the end of a busy day to find a little parcel quietly waiting on the worktop for me.   Sometime’s there is just a number and a postcode on the parcels, sometimes a little address sticker, but often there will be pretty postcard announcing who has sent it and it always raises a smile after a busy day.

Sometimes its two or three beautifully made mini quilts, or perhaps a collection of hearts.  From time to time there might be syringe driver bags too or a little fidget quilt.  A steady stream of little parcels .

Its a significant effort for the maker without a doubt, but it means much more to the recipient.  My role, I am just a facilitator in putting the two people together really.

Names like Karin Pope who sent this latest batch of beautifully crafted incubator quilts for poorly babies [and those little sample blocks are really tiny too], which will be one their way tomorrow to the NICU.   Joan Proud who is clearing her stash, Em Arfee, Bev Flawith, Maggie Howell and many others mean a lot to me.  Some of these people I have never met, but their  generosity has made so much difference over these last few years and who are people I would like to count as friends.

It started when my Grandson was born  and I wanted to say thank you to the NICU who helped him into the world.   I joined Nicki ADM’s lovely charity group on Facebook, Helping Hands – stitching and sewing for good causes, and mentioned I was looking for help for the Scunthorpe NICU, and my friend Jeannie Charles was aiming to help Jessops.   We were overwhelmed by the response and at one point even my postman was getting in on the act by keeping them safe for me if I was out when he called.

Those little quilts filled the length of my hallway when we laid them out .. over 50 little mini quits were donated and given to the two NICU.   My friend Judith who is a midwife, and Jeannie’s daughter, who back then was a trainee midwife [since qualified]  took them to the two Units. The message came back thank you but also asked about developmental hearts so we asked the Group.  The Group responded and suddenly my letter box was blocked parcels containing little pairs of hearts.

Then a bombshell dropped and my life broke in half when my husband was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer.   During his treatment I noticed a lady with a pump driver for morphine sat in her lap and at the same time I had seen a post in the Helping Hands FB Group talking about Syringe Driver Bags.   I asked and suddenly I become the collector of these for Castle Hill Oncology Unit and I must have received hundreds of these over the last three years.

I also built the Quilt of Memories, but that’s a story for another day.

Bev Flawith and Joan Proud introduced me to the Fidget Quilt .. such a brilliant way of spending a few hours creating something that might help a person needing to keep their fingers busy.   I love making these, especially when I can add a strip of velcro .. who can resist the rip of velcro as it pulls apart!    We made these at the Sewing Group I go to once a month .. Our Quilty Pleasures and they were donated to a local care home.

My good friend Nicki ADM is currently sailing around the world, but her charitable FB Group is continuing the good work she started, with Kelly Johnson taking care of things whilst she is away.  

Why am I writing this?  Just to say thank you to everyone who has helped the causes out there, the ones dear to me and those that help everyone else.   To everyone who has made a difference.  Its what we do best isn’t it?  Make a difference!

Please, take time and visit Helping Hands – Stitching and Sewing for Good Causes where there are people asking all the time for help.

Meanwhile, there’s a free pattern for a developmental heart in Corinne Curtis’ online Shop .. I am sure she won’t mind if you download that one and have a go.   Ask your own local hospital NICU if they take them and make a difference yourselves.


  1. Corinne Curtis

    Of course I don’t mine you advertising my free Developmental Hearts pattern, Sylvia! I put this pattern in the shop because I have had such a buzz helping with some of the projects you talk about, and because I heard someone say they thought squares might be easier than hearts (they aren’t – so please do download the pattern and give the hearts a go).