Friday, 8 November 2013

Bushfire Quilt Appeal has a blog of it's own!

Never in my wildest dreams did I think the Quilt Appeal would reach the audience it has. So many emails, going in all different directions (so very sorry for everyone whose emails didn't get a quick answer), and the obvious need for better updating, pattern sharing, photos and thank yous meant my personal blog wasn't coping. But now we have a solution to the problem...a blog of it's own.

For those of you who may be discovering this blog for the first time, I have included the history from where it started, but from now on all new updates, patterns, photos and stories will be here.

Thanks, for stopping by!


Friday 18th October 2013

My patchwork group at Springwood Salvation Army is coordinating a Quilt Appeal for the people in Springwood and Winmalee who have lost their houses in the recent bushfires. I grew up in Springwood, went to Winmalee High, and moved to Winmalee when we got married, and to see it all so devastated has been heart-wrenching. So many friends and acquaintances have lost their homes.

This appeal will be a long running appeal. Making a quilt takes a considerable amount of time, and there are a lot of quilts to make. It would be great if we had enough quilts so every school aged child could choose their own, and everyone else could choose one quilt per household. That's a lot of quilts!

The plans are a work in progress at this stage. Eventually, there will be some easy block patterns and quilt sizes to work with. This page will be updated with more information over the coming days as it all comes together, and depending on what the fire will do. At the moment, we ourselves are preparing for it to come across from St Columbus. The RFS started back-burning here overnight and I am so thankful for it. God bless them! A big shout out to Galston 1, Horsley Park, Wallacia, Regentville 1 Bravo, Orchard Hills, Brooklyn, Muogamarra, and Arcadia RFS Crews!

On my driveway

Galston 1 RFS

The girls cubby house tree

In the beginning it was fairly clear

After a short while it was very smoky

Ideally, I would like to hold an event, maybe in January (EDIT: It's now in March): new year, new quilt, where all of the quilts will be on display and people can come, have a cuppa and a chat (you know there is always food at The Salvation Army), and choose the one they love the most.

There will be an Information Meeting this coming Thursday for any quilters who would like to find out more. Please keep an eye on this page for confirmation of the venue as there is a fire near The Salvation Army and depending on the conditions between now and then, the venue may change.

Information Day:
Thursday 24th October Thursday 31st October
10am - 12 noon
Springwood Salvation Army
15-23 Francis Road, Faulconbridge

I will also be taking collections for anyone who wants to donate quilts. These can be dropped off to me (please email me using the Contact Me section for my address) or delivered to The Salvation Army hall in Faulconbridge. Please clearly label any items with my name. Do not take them to The Salvo Store in Springwood. They have so many donations coming in, it may get lost in it all. If you can't deliver it, I can arrange to have things picked up. Again, email me.

Donations required:
  • New, completed quilts (this is the best option)
  • Recently completed quilt tops
  • Good quality thread, especially machine quilting thread
  • Pre-made binding (cut 2.5", fold wrong sides together and pressed, bias or straight grain is fine)
  • Wadding (cotton, cotton/wool, wool, or wool/polyester preferred)
  • Fabric
  • Safety pins for basting
  • Donations to buy rolls of wadding
  • Volunteer quilters!!!!

Our regular class and postponed Quilt Show:
Our regular class meets on Thursdays at 10am - 12 noon. It is a $5 donation with morning tea included and there is no need to book. It is an open class that anyone can attend. These will still be running. Our annual quilt show was supposed to be held on Saturday 23rd November, but our barn is full of Emergency Services equipment and donations, and the fires are still burning, so it will be postponed until next year. All funds raised from our Quilt Show will go to The Salvation Army's work in our local area and this year it will be especially needed, however I feel the Quilt Appeal is the priority at the moment.

Warmest regards,

Friday 25th October

I know lots of us quilters have unfinished projects that could be used for this appeal (I have quite a few UFO's myself - that is UnFinished Objects), and I could pretty much guarantee that you all have enough fabric in your stash to start on a Bushfire Appeal Quilt, but in case you are stuck for what to make I thought I would give some suggestions.

I have been making some Aussie Hero Quilts (I was going to do a post on this when I had them finished, but now they will be Bushfire Appeal quilts) and I think they would be great as a base to start from if you don't know what to make. The backing is the width of the fabric (40") which means you don't need to piece the back. At first it may seem like they are long and skinny, but in actual fact they fit very nicely on a single bed as a topper, and they cover the whole length of you if you were laying back in the lounge, and they can wrap totally around you if you wanted to snuggle down in them. I think they would appeal to lots of people.

Just finished the quilting

This quilt is made up on 10" blocks, 7 rows x 4 columns. It also looks good with only 6 rows. It is a very simple block to make and every alternative block is rotated 90 degrees to create the effect.

To make the block you need:
  • 1 rectangle 6.5" x 10.5"
  • 2 rectangles 2.5" x 10.5"
Sew the two skinny rectangles onto either side of the large rectangle and you're done! Super simple. The block should now measure 10.5" x 10.5" (that will be 10" square when finished).

I have a set ready to sew into a top where I used any odd bits and I sewed both skinny rectangles onto one side. Will show you a photo of the top when its done.

I quilted it on my HQ Sweet Sixteen with pebbles in the navy sections (first time of trying pebbling) and eucalyptus leaves in the blocks. It was in my machine with a few leaves to go when the fires started last Thursday.

To get the right leave shape I had some next to me while I quilted

Now, you can use any fabric you like for this. A big print works well in the large rectangles. It is a great block to use up jelly roll strips. If you don't know where to start, I recommend making it all in a single colour theme, which would appeal to lots of age groups. I also recommend making some in more masculine colours and prints.

This basic pattern would work well with any repeated 10" block. Here are some examples.

This one is a simple rail fence block, just four strips 3" x 10" sewed together and rotated.

This one I haven't written out the pattern for just yet, but it follow the rotating theme. Not many seams to match!

And this one is a simple Half Square Triangle block quilt. Instructions are here for the basic block. It has 6 rows instead of 7. Great for using up scraps (you could make two tops at the same time).

Or if you had some really funky modern fabric like Amy Butler, you could just use plain 10.5" squares.

There are heaps of possibilities, and if you can come to our classes I will be able to help you get started. 

Keep checking back for more updates. Thanks for stopping by!


Friday 1st November

The Information Day went well, and I have had lots of phone and email enquiries. I believe there are some quilts coming from WA and Victoria, plus a number of groups around NSW. It is very exciting that so many quilters are helping out. Maybe as I am typing this there is a sewing machine out there working on a quilt for this community. I have to give a big shout out to Adam at Hadleigh Lodge (The Salvation Army's Rehabilitation Centre in the Blue Mountains) for making sausage rolls, chocolate muffins and a platter of biscuits for the ladies that came to the information day. They were delivered first thing in the morning and the kindness really touched my heart.

Wouldn't you know it, as I am typing this a fire truck has raced down out street and a helicopter has been hovering out the front. I went out to check and there are two National Parks and Wildlife fire crews heading down the bush to a spot fire that has popped up. Two weeks since it has gone through here and it is still popping up, and probably will be for a few more weeks unless we get a couple of days of drenching rain. [And now a water bomber has arrived].

Today's spot fire has popped up from this fire last Saturday:

Thanks for stopping by! Keep safe, and happy quilting!


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