Friday, 27 December 2013

Tractors away!

The year couldn't end without a meeting to hand over some quilts in a windy car park!  Rosemary who works for the Diana Service for Children with Life-limiting Conditions had asked whether there was any chance of three specific requests for some children who were going through a particularly tough time.  They were 'butterflies' (easy), 'tractors' (fairly easy') and 'Peppa Pig' (tricky, as copyrighted fabric is hard to find and expensive).  I said I'd do what I could and here I was with a gorgeous tractor quilt made by Paula with blocks donated by Debbie and backing fabric by Jenny. 
Here is the butterfly quilt which I made from a Fons and Porter pattern,
and the Peppa Pig quilt using some squares I bought off ebay for an extortionate price (well, £ 7.50 for 16 six inch squares, which considering they are poly, I consider extortionate!) 

Still, I'm sure the recipient will be delighted.  I also took another 12 beautiful quilts for Rosemary, which had all been donated by 'Quilting Together' in Shepshed.  I think some children are going to have a great Christmas! 

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Quilting together!

At least once a year I have the pleasure to be invited to join the ladies at 'Quilting Together' in Shepshed at their weekly meeting.  The deal is that I take boxes of fabric and orphans, they act like it's Harrods' sale and take home bags of fabric, I take away half empty boxes and then the next time I see them they have a huge pile of Linus quilts for me!  Excellent!  Oh, and they have cake, and are full of fun and great ideas.  This time Paula came with me, and shared the laughs.
Sorry the pictures are slightly blurred, but I forgot my camera so had to use my phone.  They had had a workshop on this technique for making stacks of rectangles - they look like piles of books to me.
This is a cute cot quilt.

Mile a minute (or wonky log cabin) with fabulous blue sashing and borders.

This set of blocks had been taken by Anne last year.  They had been donated by someone who had made them at a workshop, then decided she didn't like the colours.  What a great job, Anne!  I hope the donor sees the blocks and wishes she'd kept them!

 Another cot quilt in beautiful bright colours.  I love the stripes in the final border.

This is a real orphan quilt - lots of interest here!

A pretty quilt, with diagonal stripes for the border.  Very effective.

A good way to use up some animal print fabric and some panels.

Four patches on point.

Monochromatic quilts always look good, especially blue ones.

The red blocks make this quilt very striking.

A Chinese coin strippy with little appliqued pictures.  Colourful and with a sense of fun. 

Another book pile - bright and funky.

I recognise the centre of this medallion quilt.  It was an orphan from my box, and how stunning it looks in this quilt.  Orphan no more!

Scrappy log cabin - so much to look at.

Delicate fabrics in a simple yet effective design.

Some more orphans, hexagons which have been appliqued onto pastel squares.  Lovely.

Colourful and fun - you can't beat a good scrap quilt!

Another mile a minute - so much movement in these blocks!  Altogether I brought back 43 quilts - and I'll post photos of the rest soon.  Thank you so much ladies for the quilts, and for a lovely afternoon!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Looked After Children

The quilts were starting to pile up again, so I contacted Debbie, who works with Looked After Children with Special Needs to see if she needed any quilts.  She was so happy, that we met and handed over the very next day! 
Here we are in Sainsbury's car park with one of the quilts, a jazzy scrappy one.  These will make some children very hugged!.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Busy few days

It has been a busy few days for Linus in Leicestershire, as we have been out and about spreading the word.  First we went to Brook House Care Home to do some sewing as a kind of stimulus session for the residents there.  unfortunately they weren't really up to participating, but they loved seeing the quilts and enjoyed the activity we caused.  Here are the blocks we made, which are a Kathy Doughty design called 'Fractured'.  It's a very simple design, just rectangles joined with a slanting seam, but the putting together of the blocks was a bit taxing, although I'm sure you'll agree it was well worth the head scratching!
Many thanks to the staff and residents of Brook House for their hospitality.
Then we went to a new local quilt show,
They had kindly offered us a free stall for the weekend, and we had a lovely time.  Paula and I were there most of the time, and Julie helped out on Sunday.

Here they are sewing labels onto completed quilts.  We met old friends and new, and offered ideas, stimulation and advice.  Fifty people took a leaflet with our contact details on, so we were very happy.  
I was even happier this morning to receive a big squishy parcel in the post.  It was this lovely double quilt from Margaret who came up trumps when I told her that we were particularly looking for 'big quilts'.  Wonderful!  Thank you so much, Margaret.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Sewing with the U3A

This week I was invited again (note the again!) to the Hinckley U3A Craft Group to do some patchwork.  Last year they made a beautiful pink strippy for Linus, and they were all raring to make another Linus quilt.  This time we had blue fabric and were making a differnet design.
It was a very hot day, but there were 18 ladies ready with their sewing kit. 

They sat round several tables and worked steadily.

The blocks quickly mounted up on my 'design wall'.  (It's really a fleece-backed tablecloth from a pound shop, but it does the job!)  Here's Paula (on the left) helping people to steady the wall - it was a bit precarious!

Here I am with the loads and loads of blocks which these wonderful ladies made.

This is a better view of the blocks - plenty to make a Linus quilt.  Many thanks to the talented ladies of the U3A and I've been invited back again in 2014!  Watch this space!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Meeting in Bingham

A couple of weeks ago I had an email from Judy in Lincolnshire.  Here it is.
'I am a foster carer living in Lincoln but working for Nottinghmshire Social Services. I belong to a team of foster carers called Fostering Futures and we provide therapeutic homes for traumatised children of all ages from babies up to 18. Recently I was approached by the Lincoln coordinator for Project Linus, Lynn Fairhead, and asked if my children would like a quilt, which they accepted with great enthusiasm and pure enjoyment. Every weekend we settle to watch films together and have a family quilt night. I also use their own quilt in the therapuetic sessions we do as we often use cuddle and positive touch and the quilt is fast becoming a vital tool.
Last week we held our fostering team meeting and I relayed the news of the wonderful quilts my children have been given and the team have all wanted to get on board to enable their young people to also benefit from such a lovely donation. I collated a list of all the children we are currently fostering but then had problems sourcing a Nottinghamshire coordinator as there isnt one at present.'
Judy was resourceful enough to contact me in Leicestershire, and I was more than happy to pass on the quilts which I had.  We decided to meet halfway between our homes, and settled on Bingham (a delightful old-fashioned market town - would like to go there again when it's not raining!)
Here you can see us, with lots more quilts in my boot waiting to be transferred.  Then we went for a coffee and had the company of her lovely daughter, and two foster children who were absolutely delightful!  It's so good to know that these quilts are all going to be loved and used!  Now all I need are more, to replace the 53 quilts Judy took!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Linus sewing

There has been lots of activity on the Linus front over the last couple of days.  Yesterday I was invited by Sian to The Haberdasher's Hub in Nuneaton to give a talk on Linus and do some sewing with her group.  The group was welcoming and very interested in Linus, and all set to, making scrappy windmill blocks. 
I took the fabric ready cut and you can see it in the middle of the table.  They all enjoyed the opportunity to experiment with colour combinations, and were impressed with the results of this deceptively simple block.

Sian doesn't have a design wall in her classroom (note to Sian - get one!) but I managed to prop this fleece-backed quilt up and stick the completed blocks onto it.  Don't they look fabulous!
Then today it was Knit and Stitch and we had a bumper turnout! 

Bev came from Leicester last month, and enjoyed it so much, she persuaded two friends to come with her this time.  I think they had a good time - they certainly worked hard!  We made Delectable Mountains, and this was a block nobody had made before.  They made short work of mastering the technique, and here are the results!  I think there were a few more blocks added before we finished, and they will make a gorgeous quilt!

In an attempt to get some of the donated fabric out of its boxes and into some quilts, I brought a box of green fabric and a bag of purple.  No quilter can resist having a rootle, and Julie, Eileen, Bev and Sue are no exception! 
I hope they have fun with their finds.  I'll look forward to seeing what they make with it all!

Friday, 26 April 2013

Last week I had a visit from Trisha, who not only brought a pile of gorgeous fleece-backed quilts, but also lots of stuff.  Here she is, hiding behind one of her quilts.  Why are most quilters so shy?!
We had a lovely chat over a coffee and tried our best to put the world to rights!  Here is the stuff she brought.   She's decided that she no longer gets pleasure from cross stitch and has donated all of her threads, kits and frames to Linus!  That's so generous, and I'm saving most of it for the sales table at Rocheberie Quilters next month, as there's so much beautiful stuff.

Then I had a contact from Maggie from Sure Start and we met in our usual spot to hand over 27 quilts.  It was a bit wierd as although it was only 9.30 in the morning, there was music blaring out from Chiquitos and Frankie and Benny's!  Maggie said it made her think of the seaside, where the music seems non-stop!  What a super thought! 

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Quilts have been flying out to hug children recently ('Thank goodness', says my husband!).  First I had Michela and Cheryl from Catch 22 who called round to pick up some quilts for vulnerable teenagers and teenage mums.  They particularly liked this strippy quilt which was made by Barwell U3A craft group.  Good choice! 
 Then it was off to meet Rosemary from the Diana Service for Children with Life-limiting Conditions at our usual spot outside Frankie and Benny's.  She had asked whether there was any chance of a Mickey Mouse quilt for a very poorly little boy who loves Mickey, and I was very happy to oblige!
Then some excitement, with quilting in a pub!  A new fringe theatre venue has opened in Leicester, at The Western pub, and when I saw a show called 'Patchwork Lives' was coming, I thought it could be a good opportunity to 'fly the flag'.  I asked the venue and company if they would allow it, and they were kind enough to not only allow it, but make us very welcome. 

We made ourselves at home and hung quilts from the picture rail (covering the pictures and signs!) and set to work.

Julie, Paula, Eileen and Maria made log cabin blocks (can you see the Blue Peter hanging over the dart board?!) Lesley was the ironer, and Muriel (only her left arm is in shot) made up our 'Easy Street' blocks. 
I just swanned about, played with the blocks and encouraged visitors and new quilters.  After a bite to eat, we stayed for the show.  We had a great time and are hoping to do it again sometime in the future. 

Friday, 8 March 2013

Busy time for Linus

At March's Knit and Stitch session we were joined by the lovely Sue from ADAPT, a charity which works with prem babies and their families, and here she is accepting a quilt.  She doesn't look particularly pleased there, but I can tell you, she certainly was!  Not only did she have that quilt, but 49 more (remember a lot of them were little prem quilts, so it was only three bags full!).  It was a good job she's got a big car, as there were lots of knitted items for her to take away too!
Look at all these knitted triangles, hats, cardigans, toys and gorgeous things to show people going through a tough time that they're not alone.  Fabulous!

We had a great turnout of quilters, who all beavered away.  No time for slacking when I'm in charge!

We even had to get out an extra table to accommodate Sue and Doreen - I love it!  Then three WI ladies arrived from Foxton, who were already knitting triangles, and wanted to set up a group like ours, where people can get together and make charity items.  They were very impressed at the variety and standard of the work, and were all fired up to get busy!  Sue and I agreed to go and talk to them about our group.  That should be fun.  Will we be eligible for a franchise fee?!

And this is what we've been working on for the last few months - Bonnie Hunter's 'Easy Street'.  Despite Maria's comment that she couldn't do it as it was too difficult for her (this was after she'd made all the components!) it went together like a dream.  We only need two more corners and a border and it's a finish!  Everyone loved the colours, and why wouldn't they when there's lime green involved!

We have more sewing days planned.  A new theatrical venue is opening in Leicester at The Western pub, and on 28th March there is a show called 'Patchwork Lives'.  We couldn't miss the opportunity to fly the flag, so will be sewing at the pub from 3.30, then having a bite to eat, then watching the show.  Please come and join us if you fancy it.  Look here for details.