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

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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!


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.


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 


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!


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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…SEPTEMBER…talking, teaching and touching the Heart..

Hi to all our wonderful Quilts for Comfort Family…..I thought it would be a good idea to have a review of the month at Quilts for Comfort N.E……..

September started off with a wonderful event at St Andrews Methodist Church in Washington .

we arrived to a lovely welcome ,a bit sad that we were without Nicola ( her father has been quite poorly and we wish him a big Quilts for Comfort Get Well soon, he was one of our very first sponsors  )

Nicola still managed to provide cakes by the box load though, also Amy included her raspberry and White Chocolate delights too…….


can we say a big thank you to Margaret,June and the ladies of the church for such a good turnout and being so supportive. Also a thank you for all the new quilts that were bought to the event by ladies from the Usworth Quilting group. You will see in the pictures our “Tower of  Quilts” has now been delivered to the RVI Pediatric Oncology and Teenage Cancer Unit.

Prosecco Club Quilt

..last month a group of ‘newbie’ sewers got together for a ‘learn how to make a block’……the reason it is called the ‘Prosecco Club’ ? is ….can somebody leave a comment about that and explain to our readers xx

..it was such a fun event and Lucie guided us all through with fabulous kits, how to’s and then created a wonderful quilt with sashing, quilting and binding……thanks Lucie for a really good event and BIG BIG THANK YOU to all the PROSSECO’S xxxx your beautiful quilt will be on its way to give comfort very soon.

Visit to Pediatric Oncology Wards and Teenage Cancer Unit @ RVI, Newcastle – upon -Tyne

Lucie, Nicola and myself made a visit to the RVI to deliver 45 quilts (also some baked comfort from Nicola!) , a massive thank you to everyone on the unit and wards for your lovely welcome and a chance to  see first hand the wonderful facilities…Lucie has written a really lovely account of the visit here

While on this visit it reminded me of the many days spent there with our wonderful son David as he went through his treatment, the nurses ,Doctors and staff are so caring and dedicated …we became a part of a  ‘family’ …..

It reminded me of why Quilts for Comfort N.E started…..a quilt given to our son by June (part of my crafting family) to give as a gift to the ward..a quilt i made for David that gave him comfort (and continues to give us comfort as a family)….the continued work by a dedicated team of sewers that continue to ‘stitch love and comfort’ into every block and quilt that is being delivered (now the QFC family)…..the  setting up of  Quilts for Comfort N.E Charity with two dedicated wonderful ladies Nicola and Lucie (friends who have become family)…..Our son didn’t realize the legacy he would leave behind because of his courageous fight against a disease that touches all of our lives but he loved  seeing the Comfort the quilts gave…

…There are many, many young children and teens fighting a courageous battle with the help of their loving families and a medical team second to none…we are committed as a charity to continue to give comfort ‘one stitch at a time’..


The day started early loading up the car with quilts, fabric and supplies.


then up the ‘hill’ to open the doors and put the kettle on


..although Nicola had to go to her job on volunteer day her baking gave us the energy to keep on sewing…she bakes yummy cakes


..quilts hung ready to be folded and tied with ribbon


..two little fairy’s joined us and sat on a pile of quilts!!


Win was sewing away on her blocks (a newbie to quilting but sewing up a ‘storm’!)


…full house on ‘the hill’ as everyone busied away ..quilting,binding,cutting and ‘stitching comfort’

quilt from jenny 1dscn2431

a beautiful and stunning quilt…..hand sewn by Jenny in Cumbria and quilted/binding by Lucie….stunning!


..talking of Lucie…here’s a couple of the many quilts Lucie stitches and quilts to be given for comfort ..

What we are planning

We have been asked to supply more young male quilts age 15-20 yrs ……we are hoping to gather as much male fabric as we can (fabric that’s not girlie or with flowers) so we can

have a regular supply of fabric for the ladies who are sewing…

We are now building an Archive of Quilts that have been sewn..we are measuring and photographing every quilt, it will be really helpful when you give us a quilt if you could attach a note with your name..we have Quilts for Comfort labels if anyone needs them..we have been told by the children and families that they love to know who sews the quilts.

 October Volunteer Day

our next volunteer day is Tuesday 14th October  10am – 8pm

@ The Crafts House, Marley Hill Tyne and Wear NE16 5Dw

..everyone is welcome to come and join in on this day….plenty of cakes (Nicola will be baking again..Yipee!!) the kettle is always on

and Lucie will be there for technical questions as well as a wonderful Family of sewers/quilters to encourage and help…..

I  will be learning how to get better at quilting !!…


….its  the stitches and  fabric combined with the Quilts For Comfort Family that is making a difference….. giving as much Comfort as possible ‘One Stitch at a Time’……..