Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Where are we up to now? And what do we need ?

Well, what a crazy couple of weeks it has been since I last posted. Where does the time go? Let me tell you about what has been happening lately.

On Thursday 6th February, I thought things were slowing down. We were still getting quilts and blankets, but not as many as usual, and our total on that day was 630. The ladies were still busy pinning quilt tops ready for quilting, but we had come to a halt the night before because we had run out of backing fabric. But then Monika arrived with two rolls of wideback fabric! These were donated by Macs Craft, and I can tell you we were very appreciative!

And then last Thursday 13th February we had the opposite, with boxes and boxes and bags of quilts and blankets arriving from all over the place! A special mention has to go to the Upper Landsdowne Social Craft Group, who sent yet another parcel down. They have been amazingly generous, and if you live up that way and are looking for a community minded craft group to join, look them up.

We had 42 quilts arrive that day and one of them would be up there in my Top 10, and that was this quilt made by my mum...

It's pretzels!! How fantastic for a TV/media/home cinema room!
Food and quilting - it's my perfect combination!!

We also received 9 lovely quilts from Axedale Quilters in Victoria...

I love this! It's made from upholstery fabric samples so it will be very hard wearing.
Great for kids, or in a caravan, as a picnic rug, or if you have pets on the lounge with you.

13 blankets from the Square Knitters at the North Shore Friendship Club...

and an outstanding 29 knitted or crochet blankets as well as packets of new linen from Batemans Bay Salvation Army!

The blankets from Batemans Bay came from the residents of three of the local retirement villages. They are simply amazing. What a fantastic and generous offering.

We also received 10 beautifully crocheted blankets all made by the same person, and donated anonymously. The quality of the work is lovely. The colour choice is lovely. If you are reading this and they are your blankets, thank you so much. I know how many hours you put into them, and they are simply beautiful.

On that Thursday alone we received 67 yarn crafted blankets (that is knitted or crochet), which is the most we have ever received in one go. We also received 42 quilts, so we are now up to 672 quilts.

Over the last two weeks I have also had the chance to volunteer at the Relief Centre and I have been spreading the word about registering for a quilt. Lots of the ladies in the group have been putting flyers out about our public open day. We had a family day out on Saturday and went to the Southern Highlands Quilt Show in Mittagong, and put some flyers around. If you haven't seen one, they look like this:

I've also had the chance to talk to people who have lost their homes about the quilts and blankets, and it has been very humbling. I can't imagine how hard it is for some of our community at the moment.

So, what do we need now?

If you still want to be a part of the quilt appeal, and haven't yet started something, I would suggest making a wallhanging. These can be little art quilts, stained glass, miniature quilts or just a few miniature blocks sewn together. They need to have a rod pocket at the back, or some other way to hang them. They are quick and easy to make, and it would be great if we had a few more. If you want to make a quilt, a gender neutral quilt would be best. That is basically a quilt that doesn't have florals in it.

If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call.

Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, 6 February 2014

Public Open Day is announced

Read all of the details about the one day only Public Open Day for the Bushfire Appeal Quilts here.

It is going to be very exciting! I think it will be the biggest display of quilts ever shown at one time in the Blue Mountains. In fact, there will be more quilts at our Open Day than at the Sydney Quilt Show last year. We don't have the facilities to have every quilt hanging (although we are going to try our best), but everyone will be out on display. It should still be a great day.

And don't forget to RSVP, if you can! We don't want to run out of coffee and cake!


Tuesday, 4 February 2014

We're over 600!!!

Over 600 and still going! Yes, that is right, we are still collecting finished quilts to go towards to the quilt appeal, particularly any non-feminine quilts. As of today we are currently up to 607 quilts! Do you know, in my wildest, most outrageous dream last year I thought 700 quilts would be just fantastic, but almost unachievable. But I think we really will get there. Astounding.

If you still want to be part of the Appeal, but can't manage a large quilt, we are looking for wallhanging size quilts, too. If you think you can complete a miniature quilt, or an artwork quilt, or two, they would be really appreciated.

I can safely say that any tops that are received from now on have no chance of getting finished in time for the distribution of the quilts. We have been given so many that those in our group who are doing all the quilting would have no sleep between now and March if we tried to get them quilted and bound in time. If you are happy for the tops to be put in our Community Quilting box for our regular community quilting, then you can still send them in, but they won't go in the Bushfire Quilt Appeal. If you have sent tops already and haven't seen them on the Photo Gallery, please be aware that we are trying very hard to get them all finished but with over 100 tops and only a few quilters, it just may not happen.

If you live in the Blue Mountains area you may have seen in the Gazette last week that The Salvation Army has helped over 1200 individuals who have been affected by the bushfire. That is not the number of quilts we need, but it gives an indication of the number of people affected who have come to The Salvation Army for help. That number includes all people who have been fire affected, either with damage to property or possessions or loss of house. There are still people who have not come in to the centre, and may never will, particularly if they have left the area. I would like to have enough quilts so that everyone who lost their home can choose a quilt, regardless of whether they have been to The Salvation Army for help or not.

I am hoping by the end of this week I will have a better indication of a solid number of quilts required. Of course, a lot of people have moved away, and in their case we will be able to post a quilt to them. And some may not want a quilt, for many reasons, and that is fine, too.

In the next few weeks we will be sorting out the registration process for the quilts. Don't worry, it will be a pretty easy process. We just want to make sure they are going to the right homes. I am very excited about the distribution day! Particularly today, because it is cold and drizzily and reminds me of the cooler months, and that is when you most need a quilt. It will be so exciting to see them going to their new homes. I bet our two quilt-sitters will be happy to reclaim the spare bedrooms again in their houses! 607 quilts take up a lot of room.

In the last two weeks we have had a lot of lovely quilts come in. On the 23rd January we had another visit from Ann Robinson from the Southern Highlands Quilters with more quiltes and another sewing machine to put to use. I hope you are all planning on going to their quilt show on 15th and 16th February. We also had four lovely ladies come all the way from East Gosford. This lovely group are from The Cottage, a place where all kinds of arts and craft groups meet. I am very excited to be up that way in April and I am looking forward to dropping in. Also during the week I had the privilege of meeting two Di's who run the St Marks Quilting group. They dropped off lots of quilts at my house, and they showed me some photos of the quilts on display in the church so the congregation could see them before they came up. The church building is beautiful - cathedral ceilings, sandstone, lots of light and space. The quilts looked stunning.

Here are some of the quilts received that week:

Southern Highlands Quilters

Southern Highlands Quilters

The Cottage

The Cottage

St Marks Quilters

St Marks Quilters

On Australia Day I had the wonderful opportunity of cooking and serving a BBQ dinner for the residents of Buena Vista Road, Winmalee with 7 other members of our local Salvation Army Emergency Services team. The Red Cross hosted the event, complete with street cricket, and we put on the dinner. The menu was steak and sausages, onions, lettuce, tomato, beetroot, pineapple, cheese and bread rolls, with fruit salad and custard for dessert. Nice food, and plenty of it.

We have been blessed to have a fantastic purpose built truck with refrigeration, hot and cold running water, ovens, pie warmers, huge hot plate, four gas burners, external hot water urn for tea and coffee. It really is an amazing thing. For many years we only had the SAES trailer, which is great, too, but a box trailer with fold out BBQ just doesn't compare.

Bryan and I working the grill.
It was a lovely afternoon. I got to catch up with friends and acquaintances, and meet some new people. There was a nice casual atmosphere. Of course, after cooking so many steaks and sausages I felt like I smelled like a BBQ deep into my pores. Needless to say, I got a very exuberant welcome from the dogs when I got home.

At the end of BBQ I got the chance to talk to a few people about the Quilt Appeal and I found that the older men in particular were really excited about it, and about the idea that they would be able to pick a quilt of their own. That kind of surprised me, and it really brought home to me how hard it must be for retired people to start over from scratch. And how hard it must be for the men, who have worked all those years to provide a home for their family, or a place to retire to, and then to have nothing to show for it. It breaks my heart.

Last Thursday (30th January) was a busy day. In fact the week had been very busy for me with lots of things on and school going back. Lots of our regular ladies were back at class after holidays and it was a happy bunch indeed. Lots of talking and news updating and bring out extra tables and chairs. It was nice. We are now back in the full swing of things. We didn't get a lot of quilts in that day, but we did get these sweet wallhangings from Edna Luster. The first two were from the week before, but they are so cute I had to show you.

Made by Edna Luster

Made by Edna Luster

Made by Edna Luster

I have updated the Photo Gallery and the Thank You page, so don't forget to check them out. If I have left anyone off the Thank You page, please let me know and I will fixed it up. Now that school has gone back, I hope to back to weekly updates, and more regular Facebook posts. Plus the details of the distribution of the quilts will be coming soon!

Thanks for stopping by!


PS: Thank you to Kitha and Logan's Community Quilters for the giant roll of wadding! It is huge!!