QUILTS FOR COMFORT NORTHEAST

Quilts for Comfort Northeast – Meeting the challenge of bringing comfort one stitch at a time.


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INSPIRATION 

Hi again,

It’s been a while since we got together and here we are at the beginning of September 2016.

Where does the time go? You blink and a week goes by, another blink and it’s a month, then you blink again and it’s another year! It’s as quick as that! Or is it just that I am getting old?  Who knows? Did you know it is a year since the SAS was formed?

Anyway, the passing of time has made me reflect on how far I have come in my quest to be a quilter and all the inspirational people who I have met along the way.

This time last year I was just a ‘hanger on’ going with my good friend June to quilt shows, admiring all the lovely quilts people all round the country had made and envying them their skills. Remember June?  She was the one who started my inspirational journey by retiring and joining two quilting groups, The Quilters’ Cupboard and The Usworth Quilters’

She was to be my first inspiration, making me quilted throws for my settees then a wonderful ‘Star Quilt’ for my 60th birthday. Thanks June 

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It was on one of our jaunts to a quilt show that I met another inspirational lady, her name was Lilian, she was part of the Usworth Quilters’ group. The group would put on trips to various Quilt Shows and on these journeys the ladies would swap ideas and share their plans for the next quilt to be made with the fabrics they had bought. Now all these ladies had with them quilted bags which they had made themselves. My friend Anne (another novice quilter) and I both admired the bag that Lilian had with her and we told her so.  We said how clever she was to have made it and how sad we were that we didn’t have those skills. Do you know what she told us? She said, “It’s easy, you can do it, I’ll give you the pattern!” Anne and I laughed, shrugged our shoulders and said almost in unison, “I don’t think so!” To this Lilian replied strongly, “you CAN do it.”  True to her word she copied us both a pattern and we enlisted June’s help to get the material and follow the pattern and guess what? We DID it, we both made a bag and we felt so chuffed with ourselves. Take a look at Anne’s bag, mine was sent to the Philippines as a gift to my son’s Filipina mother-in-law who is a skilled seamstress and seemed very impressed!

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It was Lilian’s firm belief in our ability to make those bags which fuelled my inspiration to learn how to quilt, however Lilian has inspired me on another level. It wasn’t until I got to know her better that I realised what a strong woman she was. I would see her on the trips to the various quilt shows and couldn’t help noticing that she had mobility problems. I was told about her struggle with polio as a child  which left her hands and legs weak, yet she managed to turn out the most beautiful and delicate quilts. No wonder she was so vehement about Anne’s and my ability to make that bag!  Sadly Lilian succumbed to another long and debilitating illness (liver disease) and she passed away on the 25th of March this year. She is greatly missed. I am inspired by her inner strength and ability to carry on against the odds and would like to pay tribute to her life here by sharing the thoughts of her family with you taken from the Order of Ceremony, (Celebrating an Amazing Woman’s Life)  Thanks Lilian.

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I cant’ believe as I sit here writing to you that a year has passed and I am making quilts!

Some to donate to Quilts For Comfort, I am now onto my third quilt for them! I think you have seen the ‘Miracle Quilt’ made by Anne and me, using the stich and flip method of using up scraps from everyone’s stash. Thanks Everyone.

Then there was my first solo quilt, the Dresden Plate design taught to me by another of my inspirational women, Joan from the Usworth Quilters’. Thanks Joan.

My third quilt was inspired by Jan, yet another of the Usworth Quilters’ group.  She brought a lovely toy train appliqued quilt she had made for her Grandson to show us at our regular Wednesday SAS group. I loved it and Jan showed me how to master the art of applique. I am not quite finished this quilt but I can’t resist giving you a sneak preview of my progress, I am so pleased with it. Thanks Jan 

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I have also just finished my’ Memories of Manay-as’ quilt which began life in the fishing village of Manay-as near Badian in Cebu, Philippines. I took some batik charms squares away with me and hand sewed nine patch blocks, much to the amusement of the curious natives! I am sending them a photo so they can finally see what it was all about!

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Reflecting on this past year I feel that to be inspired is GREAT so to be able to INSPIRE others must be absolutely INCREDIBLE!

I found this poem once when I was searching the internet for messages to insert into greetings cards, which I love to make and I think it sums up how I feel.

My Inspiration

I am constantly inspired

By those people in my life;

By the way they keep going…

By the way they deal with strife.

By the dreams they are creating.

By the smile in their step.

Real life inspiration…

It’s the best sort you can get!

 

Well until the next time, bye for now, Jan


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CHALLENGE NEWS

The Story Tellers Quilt

Hello everyone,

I don’t post here very often nowadays. Last time I wrote announcing The Story Teller’s quilt challenge. Well today I want to tell you all about my experience of joining in to work on this worthwhile challenge quilt.

First of all let me tell you that I’m a true believer in joining in and helping whenever there is a need. I think deep down we all have a yearning to feel useful. The best way I know how to feel useful is to help to bring comfort to the young people who face cancer treatment. So I was more than happy to take a leading role in the making of this quilt. The S.O.S. went out for anyone who was willing to make a storybook related block. Once we reached the deadline for handing in the blocks I purchased some sashing and border fabrics. I needed the blocks before I could really decide what colour/print fabric I needed to pull to whole project together.

The most difficult part of the job of joining all the blocks to make the quilt top was how to layout the blocks. I got a second opinion from my talented art student daughter, Sarah. We rearranged the blocks until we were happy with the look. And then it was finally time to start joining them all together …..

Joining the blocks

A seasoned quilt maker will know that once a quilt top is pieced you have to sort out the dilemma of how to quilt it. As I am a longarm quilter there wasn’t any question how I would tackle the job. In this case I needed enough stitching that the quilt would withstand washing and sitting upon. So I selected an all over cheerful sunshine design to which stitches are distributed evenly leaving no large unquilted gaps.

Longarm quilting The Story Tellers Quilt

Longarm Quilting The Story Tellers Quilt (2)

Now you might think that the story ends here but I do have a few more things to tell you about this special challenge quilt. I did not put a plain backing on this quilt; between us, that is the lovely Linda and I, pieced a storybook related backing using oodles of fabric supplied by Linda and Karen. Here’s a little peek at the colourful interesting quilt back …..

The Story Teller's Quilt Back

It’s a rather large quilt which will drape nicely over the high back chairs at the RVI. Shelley, The Story Teller sponsored by Henry Dancer Days, will use the quilt in just that fashion. She will lay the quilt on her chair and sit on it while she reads to the children. The story reading programme has been so well received that Henry Dancer Days is considering increasing their reading session to two a week.

 

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Once the quilt was longarm quilted I took it to the St. Andrews Sewing group weekly meeting and hand finished the binding in readiness to hand over to Jane who started Henry Dancer Days. And I’m so very pleased to tell you that Jane was as delighted with the quilt …..

Jane of Henry Dancer Days and The Story Teller Quilt

I’m almost finished my account now my friends. I just wanted to mention that I added a simple label on the back of the quilt which included the names of everyone who participated in the making of this quilt. Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of the label.

I feel privileged and honoured to have been part of this challenge. And what’s more I am so pleased to have been able to take part in this group quilt challenge. Sharing a worthwhile task is the perfect way of bringing people together.

So ladies and gentlemen and quilt makers everywhere, this is my account of how we made The Story Teller’s Quilt.

Until next time,

Happy stitching,

Lucie the Happy Quilter x

 


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Hello again my quilty friends,

It’s a while since I last posted here. I have spent most of the past year doing lots of stuff behind the scenes. When Quilts for Comfort the challenge started, yes this charity started off as a challenge, I used to be more hands on. I really enjoyed being hands on by making quilts as often as needed in the beginning but life evolves and things change. I still enjoy being hands on when I get the chance but these days I spend quite a lot of time in front of my laptop composing newsletters, reading and answering emails. My main goal is to help wherever there is a need. I recently finished off a quilt suitable for a boy aged 15-21. And now and again there is a request for a special quilt for which I am quite happy to meet the challenge. Let’s move on to more interesting stuff.

Today I wanted to cover the topic of why and how the QFC Signature Quilt came about. Our Signature Quilt measures 56” x 70”. I am the one who worked out this size quilt based on 12” blocks and 2” sashing in consultation with a mother who has experience and knowledge of what is a useful quilt size on the oncology unit. Another consideration is the backing fabric. We receive lots of quilt tops which have to be layered, quilted and bound by a volunteer before they can be handed over to the oncology unit. We have found a nice affordable soft calico that drapes beautifully and washes nicely. The calico measures 60” and so a 56” wide quilt fits nicely when it comes time to layering up.

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The Signature Quilt also fits on a hospital bed nicely and looks neat and tidy. And if the quilt is bright and cheerful or includes some of the child’s favourite things, well that’s even better. Don’t forget that we cater for children and young people of all ages, shapes and sizes. Over the past year, we have been asked for quilts suitable for boys ages 15-21 and I’m very pleased to say that we met that challenge. The Signature Quilt was perfect for that age group. You must remember that our teenagers can be as tall as 6’ sometimes so a too small quilt won’t go very far to bring comfort and warmth.

Signature Quilt Clipart

Just lately we were asked for quilts for boys of all ages and quilts for little girls. So now we can have fun with making smaller quilts for little boys and girls which will still fit within our 60” backing fabric. I will enjoy being hands on to make pretty little quilts suitable for little princesses. I have plenty of pretty girly fabric which I will really enjoy piecing and longarm quilting.

Have you been wondering why we set challenges such making boy’s quilts for a certain age group? Well now, today after reading this post, you know that our challenges are driven by the requests we receive from the oncology nurses. I for one am glad that the nurses feel comfortable asking for what is currently needed. I think it’s a great thing we do. Bringing comfort to a few hundred kids of various ages going thru a hard time over a period of a year is a great accomplishment. We couldn’t do it without all our wonderful willing volunteers. We can’t work miracles but we can bring a little comfort. Even if it’s one stitch at a time.

I’m off now to dig around my stash for some bright cheerful fabrics to make a quilt suitable for a little girly girl. Would anyone like to help me meet our new challenge?

Until next time,

Happy stitching,

Lucie the Happy Quilter x


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THE HELP KEEPS COMING

We had a little event bringing young and old, mothers and daughters and lots of friends together for a few hours on Sunday afternoon. The goal was to teach a few willing newbies how to hand piece a simple Nine Patch block. I gathered up enough supplies and tools to make some 16 blocks which I will piece together to make a quilt. Here is a photo of my willing participants …..

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It’s amazing how a simple pursuit such as quilt making can bring a group of all ages and all walks of life together. We had three students, a couple of hairdressers/artists, a nurse and a magistrate in our group of willing helpers. One or two of our ladies were rather apprehensive about piecing a block but there was absolutely nothing to worry about. I will tell you more about this quilt as things progress.

For those who are helping us make quilts I would like to remind you that the next volunteer day will be on Tuesday August 12th. Feel free to pop in to drop off any finished quilts, quilt tops or blocks you might have for us. I look forward to seeing you on the day. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Keep on stitching so we can bring comfort.

Lucie the Happy Quilter x


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..Launch Day for Quilts for Comfort North East..

Hi to all our ‘Quilts for Comfort Family’  

we will be holding our launch day on Thursday 10th July @ The Crafts House …10am – 8pm

This will be a wonderful time to get together and  find out about the future plans for Quilts for Comfort North East….  A time to chat about the many ways we can help give comfort to anyone 1-100- ‘One Stitch at a Time’..if you do not  sew but would like to help please come along too because there will be many ways we can all get involved.

Refreshments and lovely munchies! will be served …pop in any time between 10-8pm..everyone welcome x


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…updates..

Hi everyone, blocks, quilt tops and quilts are arriving every week

a big thank you again to everyone and to the ladies that have been mailing quilts as well

At the moment we are looking to purchase our wadding and very close to our target,

quilt squad

in the new year we are going to be organizing a “sew in” on the hill (could we call it the “Quilt Squad”!!) where we will be joining a lot of our blocks together to make quilt tops….then when they are quilted we will be able to hand them over to those that are needing comfort..

I  have had a special request for a boys quilt with trains…a special young man with a need for comfort right now…

just wanted to leave you with this very novel idea for earrings…love them

cute earrings

..happy stitching xxx