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

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The Highs and Lows of a Quilter



Hello Quilters,

I bet you thought I had gone walkabout again didn’t you? No such luck I’m afraid. It’s all due to technical dificulties that I haven’t been posting on here! My ignorance and fear of technology that is!!

I have been trying to get my head around the ‘Facebook’ because we have a connection going on there too now. I think you just search for Quilts for Comfort Northeast to see it. You wizards at social media will have no trouble I am guessing. So just check it out.

Anyway here I am back in my comfort zone and there is so much catching up to do, so let’s get started.

Now here we are in yet another year and our little group of Quilters at the SAS continues to produce the most amazing quilts for Quilts for Comfort. Reflecting in the group the other day we began to think about all the “highs and lows” we have experienced along the journey to where we are today.

Sadly I begin on a Low as Betty, one of the SAS’s founder members passed away in December. Betty loved to come to our group and made some wonderful quilts during her time with us. She sewed them all by hand too which is quite amazing. She will be greatly missed. Take a look at her last piece of work. She hand sewed all the squares but sadly never saw them assembled. Thanks to her friends at the SAS the whole quilt was finished off and will now be bringing comfort to someone.

Jans blog post pics June 2017 1

On a high note our group has recently grown as we have welcomed new members who are just like I was when we first began, keen to learn the art of quilting, full of enthusiasm for their art and worried that we don’t get it right. I was able to tell them about that ‘man on a galloping horse’ who never sees any faults!

I often wonder how we get any sewing done every Wednesday as there always seems to be a lot of laughter and chatter, it’s fun being part of this quilting family, and that’s definitely an important ‘high’. It is this family which helps us to turn our lows into highs I am sure.

As we were chatting about some of the highs and lows of Quilting we came up with some very amusing and might I say quite true ‘lows’! For instance. Bringing in work you finished at home only to find you made a mistake and had to pull out all of your stitches! Now who has never done that I ask myself? Remember – the stitch ripper is your best friend.

What about the times when you break your sewing machine needle because you forgot to change your foot from a plain stitching one to a zig zag one when you want to do some

applique? I know I have done that on more than one occassion! Oh yes and how many of us have stuck a pin in our finger and had a rude word on our lips! Or even cut our thumb with our rotary cutter? With probably a few more rude words on our lips! Seriously though for a moment. Denise managed to sew right through her finger last week with her machine, breaking the tip of the needle which remained embedded in her fingertip until A&E finally got it out so be warned, keep your mind on the job in hand ladies.

But let’s not forget our highs. My personal high recently was when I finished a quilt I had been making and ALL my sashing seams lined up – oh what JOY! Take a look at my tumbling block quilt, I was so proud of it.

Jans blog post pics June 2017 2

Remember how you felt when you had completed your first quilt, what a high that was!

I think everyone’s best high was our Quilts for Comfort Appreciation day we celebrated in April. It was fantastic to see so many people who have taken our Charity to heart and are kindly giving up their time to sew quilts or organise distribution of them. It was lovely to meet up with some of the contributers from far and wide, remember Jenny from Cumbria? Well she came along which was a lovely surprise. In the words of one of our newest SAS members, Sheila;

“A big thankyou to all those who made the day very special. Especially to those who shared their stories. I never thought the quilts would mean so much to those who were given them and also to their families. Thank you for a memorable day.”

Jans blog post pics June 2017 6.jpg.png.jpg.png

So to all my fellow quilters no matter how many lows you go through just remember the marvellous high of knowing that your work brings a phenomenal amount of love to all the recipients of your amazing quilts.

So Carry on Quilting

See you soon


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Winners in our QFC Raffle

raffle ticket 2017

Its lovely to be able to announce the winners in our Quilts for Comfort Raffle

A BIG BIG thank you to everyone who took part selling raffle tickets and to all who kindly bought the raffle tickets….the money raised from the raffle is to be used to purchase wadding and backing for our quilts and to be able to give out “extra comfort” where needed.


Ist Prize        Heirloom Quilt with Keepsake Box

Raffle Ticket #0572          Dorothy Hart

2nd Prize      Sewing Hamper with Material and supplies

Raffle Ticket  #0528          Winn Clayton

3rd Prize       His and Hers Gift Hamper

Raffle Ticket   #0170          F. Sewell

4th Prize        Ladies Pamper Hamper

Raffle Ticket   #0645          Alison c/o Jean Hill





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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

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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?


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


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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……



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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.



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.