Friday, November 8, 2013

Charity Quilting

There's been some horrific bush fires in Sydney in recent weeks, over 200 houses lost. 200 families without homes or possessions. It really is quite sad. A few weeks ago I met a lovely lady Susanne via a Facebook request for a quilting bee to be held at one of our local public hospitals to make quilts for the baby's and children who for what ever reason find themselves in hospital for an extended period of time. I couldn't make the bee unfortunately but I could take some packs from Susanne and sew them. With the help of my buddies at my quilting group we made 14 quilts which wasn't a bad effort! Here's 9 of them!

So when she put a call out for quilts to be made for the bush fire victims I knew the packs would be organised and simple and the tops would come together quickly. I made the top in about 2 and a half hours and finished this at home. I hope it gives comfort to someone in the mountains next winter.

 I love the backing fabric, it looks like a giraffe!

End of year teachers gifts

Our school is a little different than most. Our school is small (210 students), the children get a meal provided in the middle of the day and they have the same teacher for 3 years of infants and then a new teacher again for the 4 years of primary. We are about to graduate into primary (year 3) so we farewell our beloved Mrs C and from the other class of our year, Mrs T. The children will still see them around the play ground but they change to a different lunch time and the lower first (or kindy) classroom is at the top end of the school with their own playground so they won't see them as often as they are used to. These women are amazing, they are as much a part of our lives as they are the children's. From the first day at orientation till the last morning of year 2 we have just had the best start to 'big school' we could have wished for, they now go back to take the next intake of 3 years and teaching some siblings of the children in our year, as weird for them as it is to see these 'babies' in school uniforms!

I wanted to do something special for the teachers, something to say 'thanks' for all their hard work (and we have had a lot of hiccups along the way) but something that involved the kids too as it is them saying goodbye really. I saw a quilt somewhere (I won't try and find the original source because I know I won't be able to drill down deep enough) but it had kids on it and they were holding hands. It was representing different cultures I think. So about November last year I started planning the gift for end of term 4 this year...

It has been a long journey, especially getting 40 names back from kids but we did it and I can't wait to see the teachers faces when we give theses 2 quilts to them in 2 weeks time!

Each child was given a strip of white homespun with their name written on it (in NSW font!), a needle, a length of thread in their house colour and some basic back stitch instructions. They had about 14 weeks to do this task, some managed it quickly, others lost it or it was too hard so some mums helped me out. The block bottom right on each of the quilts are the children who left the class before January this year.

I used the same fabrics for each but switched the border and bindings around on the quilts to make them same same but different.

The divine and very talented Miss Ellie-Mae did the quilting for me. I love how the 2 quilts have different features on the individual blocks, one has bubbles around the kids, the other has bubbles around the names. She did such a good job and kept me up to date and shared sneak peeks with me along the way. How did I find her? She's a friend! Would I recommend her, ab-so-bloodin-lootly! She's great! She did the job in the time frame specified and her rates are really good too!

So, next step is to make a drawstring bag to keep them in. Another talented friend with an embroidery machine is sewing a simple 'thank you' message for me, the new kids who have joined us this term will have their names added to the bag as it is too late for the quilt (obviously!!) but I have 2 weeks to do this and I am quietly freaking out!

I can now tick 2 more quilts off the 'to do' list and that feels GREAT!