I host fabric swaps in Australia (postage costs makes OS participation impossible) where we swap FQ's, 5" squares and 2.5" strips WOF. We were just getting organised to do some sewing with them in October last year when parts of Australia were ravaged by bushfires, leaving many homes destroyed and people left with nothing.
We decided that we would form another Facebook group, Nannycraft4u and Friends Charity Sew and use our squares and strips for blocks, to be made into quilts for the victims.
I decided on a simple block, that ended up about 15" square and used 4 squares and 2 WOF strips:
I have never organised anything like this before and it could be said that it moved so fast, I could barely keep up! I contacted 2 professional quilters to ask for help and was able to negotiate a greatly discounted deal on the backing and wadding with Sue, the owner of the local Quilting Shop Splash into Craft Ballina. I also asked for money donations to sponsor the finishing of the quilts.
Our lounge room became a work station where my pinning tables stayed, mounted on their paint tins, for the duration. I think the only time it looked this tidy was the day we set it up!!
I received a total of 156 blocks and after a lot of sorting, I made another 35 blocks to 'balance' and finish the quilts.
One of the group members directed me to a blog, Cook Quilt Crochet. This belongs to Tracey Greenaway, a resident of one of the areas affected by the fires. I contacted Tracey and asked if we could send our quilts to her, to add to the drive she had organised Springwood Winmalee Bushfire Quilt Appeal ,and she was happy to accept the offer.
Then it was time to get to work!! I sorted, sewed, recorded and made many a trip to Splash into Craft Ballina for supplies. Neither of the quilters was able to help as it had now drawn too close to Xmas and the end of the year - a very busy time for their businesses - so, with determination that I didn't realise I still possessed, I set to work. I received some help with 2 members of my real life quilting group offering to quilt a quilt for me and my dear friend Sue Weingarth, handstitched the binding on all the big quilts (the smaller ones were completed on the machine)
During this time, PJ and I attended a small rally of our chapter of the CMCA, the Crocodile Wheelers. At each get together we select a charity to receive any money that we collect over the days from fines, auctions etc and I was thrilled when the group decided that our quilts deserved support. I came home armed with the necessary funds to complete the quilts!
One of the girls wanted to see what that many quilts looked like, so I posted this photo:
I can't show you all of the quilts but this is a sample (you can see them all in this album at Nannycraft4u)
We had 13 small: 3 blocks x 3 blocks
5 medium size : 4 blocks x 3 blocks
4 Large size 4 blocks x 4 blocks
I packed them into 2 boxes and labelled them well:
and handed them over to Fastway Couriers for prompt, safe delivery to their destination. I want to add here, that Rod from Fastway Couriers, Goonellabah offered to deliver them all the way down to Tracey for FREE - so if you need anything delivered, you know who to give your custom to! Thanks Rod it was very much appreciated!!
Fastway Couriers Northern Rivers ph:66242669
Mary Ann McGregor
Nanny - Margie Burke
Splash into Craft Ballina
The Crocodile Wheelers - Chap 92 CMCA
This has been a HUGE experience for me and I have been blown away by the generosity and support that I have received. I am truly grateful and humbled by the whole experience. I am sure that even though our quilts are 'simple' in design, they will be received well and I hope that the children especially, enjoy snuggling up under them.
If you would like to see just what happens here in Australia, take a look at the Appeal blog page - last count they have received over 800 quilts! Isn't that fantastic!! Congratulations to Tracey and her team on a superb job!
Until next time