Thursday, 20 March 2014

The night before and we are at 998!!!

What a week it has been! So many quilts have been coming in!

On Wednesday we had 910, but by tonight we have 998 quilts. It is simply amazing! When we got them all to the hall to get ready to hang them, we were totally blown away by the sheer volume of quilts we have. We started setting them up on Wednesday, but the majority of them went up today.

We have had the most amazing support from people in my Corps (in The Salvation Army we call our church a Corps). There was a large group of people at the hall today who worked their tails off to get everything ready. Some were painting over graffiti, some were fixing nets, some were hanging quilts, a lot were sorting quilts, some were sewing binding, some were working in the kitchen, some were setting up, some were chainsawing, some were cleaning, etc. It was a very busy day, and the atmosphere was fantastic.

By the end of the day the barn looked like this:

The inside

Lots and lots of quilts

And the outside

Including the fantastic honey bee quilt

And in the hall it looks like this:

There are a stack of photos of the recent quilt arrivals to go up on the Photo Gallery page, but my computer is not cooperating at the moment. Hopefully, I will be able to get them up soon.

Tomorrow is going to be a big day, and I am so excited!! Sometimes I can't believe that there are almost 1000 quilts all together that are not just being given away, but are being chosen to bring comfort and happiness into someone's life. That just gives me goosebumps.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope to see you at the Open Day tomorrow,


Thursday, 13 March 2014

We are over 800!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

8 days to go to the Open Day and we have cracked the 800 mark. What an achievement!

We had a lot of quilts come in over the last two days. Quilters who have been working on Bushfire Quilt Appeal quilts are feeling the deadline looming and getting their projects finished. I have had a few worried phone calls from ladies saying, "I'm not too late, am I?"

The total number of quilts that came in today was 70, with one knitted blanket. So that brings our number up to.........


The main contributors this week were the Northbridge Quilters from Sydney (12 quilts) and The Cottage from East Gosford (30 quilts and the knitted blanket). Both of these groups have already donated quilts before, and I am starting to recognise certain styles or techniques that I remembered from the last donations. Both groups have been willing to travel, particularly the ladies from East Gosford, and I think it is wonderful thing that we have quilt groups in this country that are so generous with their talent.

Another lady that deserves a special mention this week is Terri Pearson from Gerringong. She had heard about what we are doing through Blue Mountains quilter Anne Sommerlad who was teaching a class down that way. Now Terri belongs to a number of quilting groups and goes to lots of classes and she was a woman with a mission - to help our quilt appeal. First she went to the Nowra Quilters and told them what we're doing. They very generously made a donation toward the cost of making and finishing the quilts. On the envelope back were the words "Keep smiling, keep sewing, keep happy", and that made me smile. They meet every Tuesday at Hood Avenue, North Nowra if anyone is down that way. I would love to drop in one day.

Now the story doesn't end there. Armed with one cheque and vision to help further, Terri went to the Gerringong UFO Craft Group (Yes, that is what the bank account is named. I love it!!) at St Peters and Paul Catholic Church, and the Kiama South Coast Quilters Guild. [NB: a UFO is an Un-Finished Object, which quilters tend to accumulate). Both groups very also generously gave Terri a cheque to send to us. She then gave them to Chris Jurd, another Blue Mountains quilter, who was teaching in the area and Chris' husband, Bob, delivered them to us in Springwood. This all happened within a few days. I want to express my warmest gratitude for the donations of these three groups. It will help us to replenish our wadding supply (which is almost gone) and complete quilts that didn't get finished in time, as well as make up more sewing kits for those who need them. God bless you, Terri, and all the ladies in those three groups.

We still have 8 days to go, and if you are anything like me, that means you have 7 days to muck around with fabric and colours and designs before you start at 11pm the night before the due date. But truly, if you would still like to participate we would like a more sewing kits in lovely fabric bags, if there is anyone would like to put some together. They need some basic sewing supplies in them like:

  • scissors
  • needles
  • pins
  • thread (white, grey, black)
  • pin cushion
  • maybe some safety pins and some buttons
If you think you can make one up, we would love to put it out for distribution. Even if you have some supplies, you can send them and we will put them together.

Also, if you know of anyone who has lost their home in the bushfires, can you please let them know about all the fabulous quilts available for them to choose from? We have had no success in getting an article in the Blue Mountains Gazette, so I would love you're help to make sure everyone is aware.

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, 9 March 2014

We are over 700!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm not going to keep you in suspense. At the last post we were at 672 quilts. Since then we have finished or received another 87 quilts (not counting the wallhangings), so we are at 759!

The quilts can be seen in the new gallery page, Photo Gallery 2.

Here is a sneak peak:

Now this quilt is something special. It is huge! And is very heavy. It is a king sized, double sided quilt. Of course, all quilts have two sides, but this quilt has a stand alone design on each side. One side is completed with English paper pieced hexagons which form a traditional pattern called Grandmothers Flower Garden. And the other side is a more modern Tumbler Block pattern - one shape like a tumbler glass that is repeated all over the quilt. Now, the most amazing thing about this quilt is something that can't be seen on these photos. Every fabric used in this quilt, except for the few cream hexagons, has bees on it or is bee related, like honey or beehives. Fabric with bees is not all that common, and you can see from the variety of colours and fabrics that the make of this quilt has been collecting them for quite some time. The dedication to make a quilt entirely out of bee fabric is amazing. Whoever chooses this quilt will be getting a very special one of a kind quilt. And if they are a Kiwi, they will recognise the Buzzy Bee fabric in the border!

Aren't these wallhangings adorable? Irene Lightowler donated 19 wallhanging like these last week. Irene will be looking after the wallhanging display on both days, so you can ask her all about these beauties.

Only 12 days to go to the Public Open Day when all of the quilts will be on display. At this stage we are starting to wrap up all of the quilting so we have time to get the binding on. Last Thursday we pinned the last quilt top that we think we will be able to finish in time. The remaining quilt tops will be finished later in the year to be given away to one of our community projects.

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I would explain what happens each week and now that we are coming to the end of this Appeal, it probably would be a good time to do that now.

On Wednesday night we set up the back of the hall with:

  • two tables for the quilt tops and backs and wadding and binding
  • three tables on risers pushed together to make a large pinning table
  • four tables in a long row for people who are sewing down the binding, and those who are working on their own projects
  • a table or two for sewing machines
  • some chairs for the finished quilts
  • the iron and ironing board
  • the whiteboard

We seem to have a good system worked out with different people looking after different areas, although we have always needed more quilters. A few of the ladies have spent hours and hours quilting and finishing the donated tops we have received, and it is a testament to their hard-working, generous natures.

When we have finished on Wednesday, we leave it all set up so we can walk in on Thursday morning and get started straight away. It saves a lot of time in packing and unpacking.

When donated items come in, we sort them into the right places. Finished quilts get stacked with a note attached with the maker and number of quilts. A list is started with the makers names and number of quilts. The quilt maker's name is written on the Thank You section of the whiteboard. The quilts are put in order ready for photographing so that when the photos are downloaded and tuned to a much smaller size, they are easy to match to the order on the list. Once quilts have been photographed a laminated tag is pinned to a corner. These can be used to attach labels for those who aren't able to come to collect a quilt on the day. Then then are packed into bags and taken to one of our quilt sitters to mind until the big day.

On Thursdays we have a lot more helpers, and it is basically pin, pin, pin! We try to get as many quilts backed and sandwiched with wadding as we can, and then we find people willing to take them home to quilt them. I did say early on that there was no way that we would have all of the tops done, and while there are still a few left to go, it is nowhere near the number we thought we would have left unfinished and we are really pleased.

This week, we will be working on getting bindings finished, tagging the quilts we didn't finish tagging last week, and sorting out the setting up and running of the two days. This Saturday we are having a working bee to get the hall looking spick and span for the big day. And it will probably take us a couple of days to get it all up and ready, particularly as there are some timber frames to be built, so it looks like it will be a big week after this Thursday.

Registrations are coming in and it is very exciting to see. If you know of someone who has lost their home, please make sure you pass the information on. Any help we can get to get the word out there, would be appreciated.

Thanks for stopping by!