Tuesday, 11 November 2014

A visit from the fairies

My husband was happily watching sport on the TV yesterday (I was in my sewing room, doing something or other) when there was a text message on our landline.  This surprised him in itself, but the message was strange too!  It said there was a parcel outside the door.  We opened the door, and there in the porch was not just one bag of goodies, but several!

There was a bag full of quilting magazines, several (new?) books, a layer cake, two jelly rolls, two bags of fabric, orphan blocks, patterns, cross stitch kits and all sorts of things!  The fabric will go straight into theLinus stash, and the patterns, books, magazines etc will be sold to get funds for wadding!  I don't know who the good fairy who donated these lovely things is, but thank you very much indeed.  Do not worry, as it all will be put to good use!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Hannah's Room

After meeting Roxana Pallett of 'Hannah's Room' in Coalville, and hearing how keen she was to support Project Linus, we were delighted that she didn't let the dust grow under feet, but organised a sewing day for today!  Unfortunately Friday's not the best day for Linus ladies, but Paula and I were happy to be free.  The shop was easy to find on the main road through the town centre (although we shot past it first time round and had the scenic tour of Coalville before we saw it again!).
If you haven't managed to visit this shop, you must put it on your agenda.  Not only is it welcoming and full of inspiration, but Roxana is enthusiastic and encouraging, her fabrics are beautiful (lots of the batiks for which Hannah's Room is renowned) and very reasonably priced!  I was delighted to see some friends from 'Quilting Together' in Shepshed, taking advantage of the bargains.  

Paula and I were keen to take advantage of the big table to layer up some quilts.  Roxana was so dismayed to see us starting to tack the layers together, that she gave us a can of 505 and instructed us on its use.  despite never having been tempted by glue before, I have to say I'm a convert!  We layered up five quilts, which is definitely a result for about 3 hours work (including chatting time!).  Roxana offered to quilt some, and I just brought one home with me.  Excellent!

Here are some of the other sewers.  Portia was making an under the sea applique, and Sue was diving in to her first experience of Mile a Minute.  She loved it.   

Here is a view of the shop - the fabric is on the two walls on the left. 

Paula and Portia were sharing the ironing board.  the day was a huge success - we had some laughs, made some blocks, met new friends - what's not to like?  Roxana is planning to have Linus days every month, so look out for the next one in November.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The Big Textile Show

We were delighted to be invited to have a stand for Linus at The Big Textile Show this year.  We had such a good time last year, and were really looking forward to it.  This time the venue (Leicester Grammar School) was much bigger and more spacious so we were able to have two tables, and demonstrate as well as chat to people.  Here are Maria and me all set up.  Julie and Emily came too, which was great.  Thank you all for your support!  
The show was even bigger and better than last year, with the same lovely mix of quilting, weaving, knitting and art stalls.  There were also quite a few demonstrators and classes going on too.  Make sure you don't miss out next year!  

I took plenty of leaflets about Linus (we gave out about 50 last year), but although I had at least 100 this time, we ran out!  We also demonstrated this super windmill block, and ran out of instructions for that too!  In case you didn't manage to find out how to make this fabulously simple, yet effective block, here are the instructions.

One of the plus points about this block, is that there is only one match point, in the middle!  And when the blocks are joined, there is only one match point too!  Dig out your scraps and have a go!

You can try it on 10th October, as Roxanna of Hannah's Room in Coalville, is hosting a Linus Sewing Day from 9.30 am.  I will be there, so come and join in!  If you can bring your machine, that would be great, but come and see what's going on in any case.  See you then!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

September happenings

I was delighted to be contacted by Towanda from Leicestershire Social Services, to say could they have some quilts.  Of course, the answer is always 'yes!'  Poor man set off to collect them from me, but got a puncture - hope it wasn't anything to do with the local roads! - so we had to reschedule.  He was delighted to see the quilts (called them 'patchworks', bless him) and had already planned that some would go to Leicester, some to Hinckley and the rest to Loughborough.  Perfect.
Then came a Linus outing.  Paula, Julie, Maria and I went over to a meeting of Sew Sociable.  This new group meets in St Martins Café and Bar in Leicester and it's a free monthly event!  The café is well worth a visit if you're in Leicester as it has a lovely menu of food and drinks.  We were asked to talk about project Linus, and then do a simple sewing project.

We got there and bagged ourselves some sofas.  Here are Paula and Julie talking to Jenny from The Big Textile Show.  Just a reminder that the BTS will be happening 27th and 28th September at Leicester Grammar School.  It will be great, so don't miss out!  Rosie, the Morsbag queen, was there too, but I forgot to snap her.

here's a view across the bar, and the figure in the black and white dress is Julia, one of the organisers.  Apparently there was an applique challenge set at the last meeting, to be judged at this. 

You can see what a lovely venue this is, ideal for chatting and relaxing.

Here is a view of the applique challenge entries.  Roxanna of Hannah's room in Coalville was to judge them - rather her than me!  Rather a high standard, and such a variety of techniques.  Lovely.

People seemed to like my talk about Linus, and then they got going on the sewing.  It was a stitch and flip block using strips sewn onto Vilene, in reds, blacks and greys.  The idea was that since quite a few people were expected, it would be possible to get enough blocks for a quilt suitable for a teenager.  Everyone was up for it and beavered away. 

I was waiting for someone to sew their block to their clothes, but they were all too experienced needleworkers or didn't confess!

It was interesting to see how many young people there were (by young people, I mean anyone without grey hair, glasses or a stick!).  Perhaps the meeting being held in a bar was the deciding factor! 

This group included a young sewer - she must have been about 12.  Love it!

And there were 3 men!  We're nothing if not inclusive!

Here are some of the blocks which were made.  Julia said there were 70 people present, and we had a total of 72 finished blocks and 6 part blocks (which I have finished).  That is wonderful!  We had a lovely time, and wish the group well for the future.  Julia said that we might be invited back.  We'll look forward to it.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Quilts out the door

It's been a bit slow over the summer - our recent hot weather wasn't too conducive to quilting - but there has still been demand for hugs in the form of quilts.  Sue came over from ADAPT and took
away 65 quilts!  She didn't need a lorry to transport them, as lots of them were little prem quilts, and the rest were cot quilts.  Here is one picked out at random.  Pretty.
Then I had a plea from the East Midlands branch of Regional Foster Placements.  They said :
   Our Worcester and Plymouth offices provide each child going into a new placement with a welcome box which include a Linus quilt and we want to replicate this lovely idea in our regions.     Do you have any quilts available – I would only need half a dozen or so in the first instance.
I was able to reply to Sharon and tell her that I had quilts available, and Helenka came and collected 25 from me.  Well, I had to make it worthwhile for her to make the journey!
She was particularly taken with this lovely panel which has been expertly quilted by Paula.  We admired some of the quilts, and Helenka already had ideas of children who would love them!  Perfect!  

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Linus happenings

I haven't managed to post recently, but that doesn't mean that things have been quiet on the Project Linus front here in Leicestershire!  We have had donations of fabric - check this donation which appeared at my door, of brand new fat quarters!  Thank you, mysterious fairy!
Lots of donations of quilts - here is just one strippy.  A very clever way of ekeing out a piece of focus fabric!

Here is a top made from blocks assembled at 'Knit and Stitch', completed by Lesley and quilted by me, ready to be bound.

And here are rolls of donated wadding which have come from the very generous EQS, ready to be made into Linus quilts!  Also thanks to Paula and Liz, who went up to Iliffe Avenue and helped bring them back.

And here is the Project Linus display in Loughborough church, where Quorn Country Crafts had their recent exhibition.  If you weren't able to go, you missed a treat - lovely quilts, friendly people and delicious cake!

The box was full of orphans and UFOs for people to take and complete.  What a great idea!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Spring happenings

I had been contacted by Becky, who works in Ward 10 at the Leicester Royal Infirmary to see if I had any quilts for the children in her care.  The answer was, of course, yes!  They have 20 beds there for children from babies to teenagers, so she took away 50 quilts!  She was delighted, although she was dubious that they would all fit in her little car (they did!).
Here we are with one of the many lovely quilts which came from the Quorn Country Quilts group.  Lucky children!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Quorn Country Crafts rock!

What is it about quilters?  Why are so all so lovely?  Is it something to do with the chemicals in the fabrics or is it more to do with creative genes?  Anyway, I was invited by Susan to Woodhouse to Quorn Country Crafts Quilting Group where the kindness, generosity and all-round loveliness of quilters was demonstrated yet again!  It was a lovely set up, as they had plenty of room to do whatever they liked.  Some people were hand sewing, (some lovely red work!) and others were deep in the creative process.
Katrina (below on the right) was my soul mate, as she's also famous for her scrap quilts, and is a big Bonnie Hunter fan.   Other ladies were askance at putting random fabrics together, which is as it should be - we're all different!

I took a box of Linus fabrics, guessing that it would be appreciated, and here is the evidence.  Why are other people's fabrics so much more appealing?

There was plenty of room to layer up quilts and this lady was putting together this beautiful candlewicked quilt for her daughter's impending marriage.  Lucky daughter!

The reason I was invited was to accept a huge pile of quilts which had been made by this group and customers and friends of Quorn Country Crafts in Loughborough.  And here is the group with all the quilts.  Susan is the one in the middle with the big smile, holding up a quilt.  She was the one who invited me.  Thank you so much.
 There are over 80 quilts here (I haven't had chance to count them exactly) and all of a high standard with top quality fabrics.  They have also been careful to make sure there are plenty of quilts which will appeal to boys.  What a wonderful group.  Thank you so much ladies both in the photo and not present for your generosity and fabulous welcome.  I look forward to seeing you all again very soon.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Quilts for Looked After Children

Paula and I had a lovely ride out to Bingham yesterday to meet Judy from Fostering Futures.  (There is currently a vacancy for a Linus rep in Nottingham, so I was her nearest coordinator.)  Bingham is a delightful market town, and as you can see, the weather was lovely, and so were the quilts!  This one was made from a lot of Kaffe Fassett fabrics and professionally longarmed!  What generous people there are out there!  Judy gave me a list of ages of the children fostered by her group, and there are several teenagers, so this big quilt will find a suitable home. 
Judy has two children with her at the moment, and they were lucky enough to be able to choose for themselves from the 31 quilts we took.  Judy reports that they were delighted with their quilts, and apart from putting them straight onto their beds, have great plans for future play, starting with a tea party on quilts.  Perfect!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014


Here we are in another new year, and it'll have to do well to match the year we had for Linus last year!  Apart from our regular monthly sessions in the Methodist Hall in Lutterworth, we branched out into a pub - The Western in Leicester - an old folks' home - Brook House in Husbands Bosworth  - and the U3A - Hinckley Craft Group - for quilting sessions.  The pub was great fun, and we went to the upstairs theatre production too!  We have photos here if you missed it. Quilting in Brook House was a sobering experience.  Some of the residents were very frail, but they all enjoyed our visit, and loved the bright colours of the quilts.  Sewing for Linus has become a bit of a regular fixture for the U3A group (we're already booked in for this year!) and they made plenty of gorgeous blocks for a Linus quilt. Click here for the evidence.
I would like to say a big thank you to all the people who have supported Project Linus during 2013 – a massive 236 quilts were donated for Leicestershire children ‘in need of a hug’!  They have been given to Looked After Children in Kettering and Leicester, ADAPT (a charity working with premature babies and their families), Surestart, the Paediatric Oncology Ward at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, the Diana Service for Children with Life-Limiting Conditions, Fostering Futures, teenaged mums and their babies in sheltered housing run by ASRA and Catch 22.  So whether you made quilts, made tops, finished quilts, donated UFOs, orphans, fabric or sewing related items, please continue the good work! 
Feel free to come along to our regular sessions in Lutterworth, or just drop in for a cuppa and a chat if you haven't got a whole afternoon to spare.  Look out for other Linus quilting opportunities too - it's always fun to sew with others!