QUILTS FOR COMFORT NORTHEAST

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


Leave a comment

October Update

Big thank you for all the amazing quilts delivered to Quilts for Comfort…Over 70 quilts have been given for comfort over the last couple of months. I would also like to say a big thank you for the donations we have received …your kind donations allow us to continue buying supplies and giving out ‘extra comfort’….The stitches and comfort continue xx

P.S.       Our roving reporter Jan has been writing another fab article which I will be posting this week


Leave a comment

The Colours of Life

Quilts for Comfort ‘Roving Reporter Jan’ is back with us……

August 2015 10

Hi again,

Remember I told you of my impending visit to see my son and daughter-in-law?  Well I did it!  I survived the flights, the heat and the food and made many new friends along the way. I took my hand quilting supplies along with me, even managing to smuggle that needle onto the plane! I spent lazy days sitting on my veranda hand sewing my squares together to make my nine patch blocks of what is to be known as my ‘Island Quilt’, while we waited for our fishing boat ‘Evergreen’ to return with the day’s catch. I must admit I got lots of puzzled looks from all the villagers who passed by my veranda on their way to and from  work, school or market, until they got the courage up to ask me what I was doing, then it all seemed to make sense to them, apart from the fact that we needed quilts to keep warm and comfortable, (it never drops below 24 centigrade there!)

May 2016 1  May 2016 3

There I was in the Philippines, on the Island of Cebu, in Manay-as, a fishing village just off Badian. It was 5.50 pm and almost sunset (the sun goes down dot on 6 pm over there and comes up dot on 6am every day!!) …. As I sat on my veranda at the other side of the world I reflected on the myriad of colours I saw before me, blues, corals, deep purples in the sky, the turquoise and  inky black of the sea all framed by the darkening greens of the palm trees .

May 2016 2

My thoughts drifted to a time just before Christmas 2015 when I visited the  new premises of  The Quilters’ Cupboard, http://www.thequilterscupboard.co.uk/  a fabulous quilting supply shop with it’s own Quilting group which I am sure you remember I have mentioned.  I had the same feeling there as I looked at all the beautiful colours of materials on display in the lovely Rita’s shop.

May 2016 7  May 2016 6

They all reminded me of beautiful patchwork quilt patterns.  I can see why all you quilters out there just love to run your hands along those lovely materials…Oh if only I could have ran my hands along all those colours of nature before me.

The owner of the Quilters’ Cupboard, Rita, has a keen eye for colour matching and will generously advise you on what to put with what.

May 2016 5

Just as nature has a way of blending colours together so Rita has a natural ability to do the same.  Thank you Rita for advising me on what colours of material to buy to sew on to a quilt top I am making, there is only one problem!  It is just too lovely to cut into!

May 2016 4

Whilst there I met some of the Quilters Cupboard quilting group and marvelled at their skills as they worked on their personal projects and told me of their contribution to the Quilts for Comfort Cause. A lady called Tina made a lovely ‘doggy’ quilt and Sybil loves to take her quilts up to the Craft House and give them to Sandra. herself. She has produced some amazing quilts despite being colour blind.  She told me “Quilting is a disease!”

May 2016 8

Do you remember the quilt blocks which were made up into quilts by the Usworth Quilters Group?

3

They were donated by Rita from a display made by the Quilters Cupboard group.

….thank you Jan for another wonderful report…..wish I could transport myself into those beautiful pictures!!  I visited Quilters Cupboard last week for some fabric for a quilt I’m finishing for QFC and really enjoyed my fabric fix…Sandra

 


Leave a comment

The Thread is Teamwork

…we have another wonderful report from our roving reporter Jan…

August 2015 10

 

“The Thread is Teamwork

Hi again,

I hope everyone has had a great start to the New Year and I guess like me you were ready to start 2016 with your ‘New Year’s Resolutions?’

I had a few myself. One was to undertake ‘Dry January,’ which I did successfully I may say. Leading me to number two, which was to attempt to get healthy and loose a bit of weight! Well I did manage to shed 4lbs unfortunately I have put them all back on now it’s February!! The reason for this is my impending adventure to visit my son and his wife in the Philippines for a month in February/March.

Now ordinarily my weight doesn’t bother me, but as I hate flying I thought it best to drop a few pounds just in case I rock the plane when I get up to go to the toilet! ( It’s a twelve hour flight so I don’t think I will be able to hold on throughout……those who know me know my fear of flying so can empathise with me, although what I am going to do now I don’t know as I am back where I started weight wise!) In order to take my mind off flying my plan is to take my hand sewing SAS quilt project with me to while away all those hours in the sky. That’s as long as I can smuggle a sewing needle into the cabin of the plane! Joan from Usworth Quilters managed on a trip to America so wish me luck.

 

Like you all, another resolution was to finish what I started; you know all those unfinished sewing projects, I think the quilting term is ‘UFO’s.’ As I said I will be taking sewing with me but I must knuckle down and finish my ‘Dresden Plate’ quilt I am working on at the SAS. This will be my first solo project for QFC. However, you know, I am beginning to realise that there is no such thing as a ‘solo’ quilt, for I know I have the support of all my special friends at the SAS, especially those from the Usworth Quilters, to guide me and advise me. There seems to be an endless thread of teamwork which holds us all together. So watch out for the finished article!

 

Now I have talked a lot about the Usworth Quilters group so I thought you might like to hear a little bit more about them and their work: At the end of 2015 I was invited to join them for one of their quilting sessions.  As well as Joan, June, Heather, Denise and Jan who come to the SAS to give us their support and share their expertise, I met many more of the group which consists of 24 currently.

I spoke at length to Rita the Treasurer who told me that as well as personal projects, all the ladies have worked on QFC and many other charity pieces.  They sew Linus Quilts (a charity

whose aim is to provide a sense of security and comfort to sick and traumatised babies, children and teenagers through the provision of new home made patchwork quilts and knitted/crocheted blankets.) Similarly, they have also sewn for The Macmillan Nurses, The RNLI, Bryson’s – a local animal refuge centre and many, many more over the years.  As well as sewing beautiful quilts to support these charities the ladies also donate £3 each at Christmas in lieu of giving each other a Christmas card and then donate that money to a chosen charity, such as Riding for the Disabled and Guide Dogs for the Blind.  Not content with all of the above they also support the local Church, High Usworth, where they hold their meetings.

I was amazed at their kindness and dedication to others, their camaraderie and team spirit, surely an integral strand of the thread of teamwork.  While I got to know some more of the ladies such as Jenny, Beatrix (who is going to pop along to the SAS group soon), Mary, Pat, Judy and Eileen to name but a few, I saw a lot of projects either planned or ongoing for QFC and on their behalf I would like to say a big THANK YOU to each and every one of this wonderful group.

Despite being collectively camera shy I did manage to take a few photos so have a look at the team in action ….

 

Another quilting group and another integral strand of the thread of teamwork, which I have mentioned before, meet at the Quilter’s Cupboard,  a shop selling the most beautiful materials. Rita, the owner  generously donated sets of quilted ‘blocks’ made by the quilting group to the SAS to be turned into quilts for QFC when she recently moved premises. We all helped to unpick the bindings of the blocks ready to be reassembled into quilt tops, and perused over colour, style and pattern matching until we were happy with the arrangements. Then Joan from Usworth Quilters took the blocks and she and Cathy her good friend, protégé and fellow SAS member turned them into three wonderful quilts.  Have a look at them to see their beauty for yourselves.

 

Well I am off now but watch this space for more chatter next time when I tell you all about my visit to the aforementioned Quilter’s Cupboard……

 

 


1 Comment

How many Quilts!!

…..If you could imagine a drum roll right now really loud…..

 468  QUILTS

have been given by Quilts for Comfort

that’s 468 quilts sewn by wonderful, wonderful sewers who ask for nothing in return except the knowledge that their stitches are giving comfort.

I hope you will join me in saying a BIG THANK YOU for each and every Quilt.

 


4 Comments

Happy New Year to our Quilts for Comfort Family

It’s 2016 and Quilts for Comfort is kicking off the new year with a report from our ‘Roving Reporter’ Jan…she is keeping us all up to date with what’s happening with our Quilts for Comfort sewers..

August 2015 10

And the TEAMWORK goes on…..,………….

Hi, Jan your Roving Reporter here. Take note I have been promoted from ‘wanabe quilter’ to ‘Roving Reporter’.  I have been told by my talented new friends at the SAS and at the Usworth Quilters that I am now officially a ‘quilter’…. Yipee!! I am loving it!!

I am also loving hearing all the amazing teamwork stories I have been told. I feel as if I should share some of them with you.

As you know Quilts for Comfort is a charity with many volunteers such as yourselves, working towards a shared goal to ‘Bring comfort one stitch at a Time’…..

Well today I want to tell you about more of these volunteers and how even though we may never meet each other, we are inextricably linked in our continuous challenge, working together as part of a Team.

QFC is becoming region wide due to ‘word of mouth’ as well the Website connections  https://craftycreativefriends.wordpress.com/   So continues the teamwork.

taking quilts to the rvi march 2015 4

A main part of that team are the amazing region wide ‘POONS’ who are the Paediatric Oncology Outreach Nursing Specialists and help QFC to distribute your quilts to their recipients. All you Quilters are another special part of the Team, as without you there would be no quilts to bring comfort to all the families out there. I have already talked about the amazing teamwork going on at the SAS  quilting group, now I want to tell you about one very special quilter. Her name is Jenny and she comes from Cumbria – yes I said Cumbria!

As it became known region wide, Jenny heard about QFC and was touched by our story of “How the Stitching Began,” so wanted to contribute to the cause. Now Jenny has always loved to sew but due to being partially sighted is limited to simple hand sewing. After contacting Sandra at QFC and asking her what she could do to help, she decided to make ‘Quilt Tops’ ( get me I am learning the ‘quilt speak!’) These are the top layers of the quilt, the bit with the lovely patterns on.

box for jenny 1box for jenny 2

Sandra regularly posts Jenny material from a ‘stash’ (another quilting term) supplied by another lovely lady, Mary, from her own ‘VAST stash’ (apparently all quilters have a STASH!)

Being partially sighted, Jenny struggles with things like cutting, colour matching and pressing so this is where her husband John steps in.  He will cut small, even squares of material cleverly matching them so they complement each other, preparing them for Jenny to sew together. Once sewn to the desired size he will press the finished ‘Top’ ready to pack and post back to Sandra, at a rate of about two a month! Sometimes Jenny’s friends will

help her to sew squares together and Jenny always pops a cute postcard in the package giving credit to them.

As you can imagine QFC has received abundant ‘quilt tops’ so what happens next? I hear you ask. Well, in step the lovely ladies from the Usworth Quilters group once more. Many of them have taken these Tops and have now completed lots of them by adding ‘sashing’ which are like borders-  ‘wadding’ which is the fluffy bit in the centre of the ‘sandwich’ –  the ‘backing’  ( the other side of the quilt) which is usually supplied by Jenny I might add – then finishing with ‘binding’ and ‘quilting’ the whole. (Just thought I would add a few more quilting terms I have learnt!)

And that’s JOB DONE as they say! Many people who have never met from near and far, and I happily include the Postman here, have contributed to a common cause. Brilliant teamwork once again! And as Sandra described it…

“Joining hands and stitches…. the Circle of Comfort is complete,

In the centre of that Circle is the Child we Comfort.”

Thanks for reading, and now look at some of the completed quilts.

Jan x

Here are four of Jenny’s quilts, perfectly sewn and cleverly matched which were passed over to Heather, June and Pat from the Usworth Quilters Group for finishing and now ready to take to Sandra for the QFC.

Untitled

 

 


Leave a comment

S.A.S….St Andrews Stitcher’s

SAS logo                                       THE OTHER SIDE OF THE QUILT

Let me tell you about the newly formed ‘S.A.S’………..

Hi my name is Jan,

August 2015 10

as a ‘wanabe’ quilter with a limited knowledge and ability of sewing I became involved in QFC (Quilts For Comfort) through a Craft Class I began attending a few years ago with one of my best friends June. (Please follow this link to read the full story of how the Charity Quilts For Comfort began.)

June had been learning to quilt for a while and made a beautiful quilt for David the son of Sandra the Craft Class owner, a young man dear to our hearts who was fighting a brain tumour. Sadly he lost this fight but not before he witnessed the start of this wonderful charity which brings comfort to a multitude of similar sufferers.

I love their motto ‘Bringing comfort one stitch at a time.’

Every week I would look on with envy as June and her quilting friends from High Usworth Quilters  and The Quilters Cupboard (she attends two quilting groups) donated fantastic quilts to the cause. I would attend quilt shows with June where I was amazed at the skills of quilters all over the country.  I became inspired; I wanted to make quilts to give to QFC! However, I didn’t know how to quilt; so I told myself ‘I can’t contribute’:

Ha! I have since learned that there is no such word as ‘can’t! June persevered with me and began to teach me the basic principles of quilting, starting with a simple ‘block’ which when there are enough of them can be turned into a ‘top’ then made into a quilt. Using some scraps of material donated by skilled quilters I even made some of these ‘blocks’. At last I had been able to contribute.

But what about the other ‘Jan’s’ of the world? The other ‘I want to contribute but I can’t sew or I don’t sew?’ The trustees of the QFC charity realised there was a need for some sort of ‘self help’ group where the skilled quilters could guide the novices, where the non sewer could contribute in other ways by pinning, tacking, ironing etc.

Thus the ‘SAS’ was born. This stands for the ‘Saint Andrew’s Stitchers’ the first of the self help groups to be formed. It is held in the Community Hall of Saint Andrew’s Church, Washington every Wednesday morning and is open to all abilities. I really enjoy attending. My confidence in my own abilities is growing daily as is that of the other attendees. We have skilled quilters like June, Joan and Heather who are happy to guide us novices; we have Margaret who comes along to take our entrance fee (just enough to pay for the use of the Hall) and makes us our ‘elevenses’. Betty and Pam love to hand sew and have a natter. Anne has introduced her Granddaughters to quilting. Then there’s Chris, who once sewed for a living but since recovering from a brain tumour has been left with limited sight and the feeling that she would never sew again, now confidently using a sewing machine once more…….and it goes on one stitch at a time.

  ……………………………………….This is the other side of the quilt…………………………………………… 

August 2015 5August 2015 1

…these are pictures taken of the group on Wednesday 26th August…

TAugust 2015 8August 2015 7August 2015 12August 2015 11

…every age group is stitching ‘comfort’…

August 2015 9August 2015 3


3 Comments

ANNOUNCING A NEW CHALLENGE

Hello Quilts for Comfort Family,

From time to time Quilts for Comfort are approached by different organisations who help bring comfort and happiness to the young people who receive treatment from the Paediatric Oncology and Teenage Cancer Trust Unit at the RVI. Sandra recently had a meeting with Jane of the Henry Dancer Days charity. Click here for more info about the charity. This charity supports children and young people 18 years and under with Primary Bone Cancer. The charity sponsors story tellers who go to the Oncology Unit to read stories to the children receiving cancer treatment on said Unit. We have been asked by the charity to produce a quilt which contains story book related blocks. The blocks could be pieced using pre-printed story book fabric or perhaps even hand or machine appliqued using story book themed characters. The Story Teller will place the quilt over the chair they sit on while reading to the children. The idea is that the children will recognise the story book characters making listening more interesting.

We’re hoping for colourful blocks which will stimulate and cheer up the children. Our goal is to make some 30 blocks. So once again we’re asking/begging for help. Have you got a fabric in your stash that’s perfect for this challenge? Have you got an appliqué block pattern that might do the trick? And are you willing to make a block to help us meet the challenge? Your help would be greatly appreciated. The blocks required need to be 12″ which means 12-1/2″ before they are joined together.

We have set a deadline of August 20th for receiving the story book blocks. The blocks will then be joined together, the quilt top will be sandwiched and quilted. We aim to handover the completed quilt at the end of August.

We think that together, one stitch at a time, we can definitely do this. This will be a different kind of comfort which is just as important as the work we have been doing over the past year.

Please let us know by email if you’re planning on helping. By making a block or two you will be helping to bring a little happiness to a child that needs a bit of cheering up.

If you have any questions please email us and we’ll do our best to answer quickly. Time is ticking …..

We hope you’re all enjoying our beautiful summer weather.

Happy stitching,

Lucie, Sandra and Nicola

For

QUILTS FOR COMFORT N.E.