Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Operation Christmas Child Appeal box is ready

This morning I packed all my little gifts into the wrapped Shoebox ready for the
2016 Operation Christmas Child Appeal.

Several of the gifts are a little larger this year so I didn't manage to fit quite so many into the box, only 20.  However, I hope that is OK and the presents will be well received.

As suggested by the organisation there is a mixture of toys, toiletries, stationary items and toys.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Christmas Placemats

One of the quilting groups I belong to has been asked to make either Christmas decorations or sets of 4 Christmas placemats for a fundraiser at our local Hospice.  From now until Christmas they will have a stall in the Hospice Reception area where people can buy Christmas cards and homemade Christmas decorations and placemats.

In the past few days I have made two sets:
The first was based on an idea from Sheila who is coordinating this project:

And the second was one I designed:

I haven't made placemats before and these have bindings made in the same way as a regular quilt.
However they are time consuming to make and I think I will try the 'bagging out" method for the next set. Hope it works and speeds up the process!
Unfortunately we quilters know from experience that however beautifully made such projects are, people expect to buy them very cheaply (just because they are handmade!) and sometimes you don't even recoup the cost of the materials.  In this case anything we do earn is pure profit as all materials were donated by us group members.
Fingers crossed for the "bagging out" method!


Friday, 14 October 2016

Shoebox time again!

I have been saying all year that this year is flying past FASTER than ever. And now I KNOW I am right!

It's Shoebox Appeal time again.  Seems about three months since I was making items to put in my 2015 Shoebox. We have the service on 6th November when people bring their Shoeboxes to church and they are put at the front by the communion rail, creating a marvellous display of Christmas paper-wrapped shoeboxes. It is a wall of colour.

As usual I am filling my box with little gifts suitable for  2-4 years old girl.
I have made a patchwork tote bag, a little quilt for the teddy I bought and a knitted beanie.
Tomorrow I will go to the shops to buy the other items: toothbrush, soap, toothpaste, crayoning things, little gifts like a ball etc.  I love collecting them together and am always surprised how much can be fitted into a shoebox. There are strict rules about what the boxes can contain and after the service we have a team of ladies who go through each box, methodically checking that everything is "allowed". Next day they are taken to a local centre where they are all checked again by another team of people before they are loaded onto trucks to be despatched to various countries ready to be given to the children in time for Christmas.  It is a huge operation and everyone involved is a volunteer.

Sorry, somehow this photo has turned sideways and I don't know how to turn it around!

Off to read through the Shoebox list if "Allowed items".

Sunday, 9 October 2016

What a small world!

Yesterday I visited the Trinity Quilters Show in Sutton Coldfield.
The Show happens every 2 years and this was their 10th Show.

I immediately met an old friend, Marion.  We originally got to know each other about 14 years ago when we were both Quilt Angels at the Festival of Quilts Show in Birmingham. Then we met every year, even after we both stopped volunteering as Quilt Angels.  However, we have rather lost touch over the past couple of years - but, as I had hoped, there was Marion, taking ticket money at the Trinity Quilters Show. Marion has been involved with the group for many years, perhaps even since their inception 20 years ago. It was so lovely to see her, catch up on news and so on.

I thoroughly enjoyed looking round the Show.  Lots of lovely quilts all made by members of the group.  A table of cushions, another of bags of various kinds and a display of premature baby quilts which will be donated to Project Linus.  The baby quilts were this year's Chairman's Challenge idea.  Other years the Challenge has been small wall hangings with different themes. I thought making Linus Quilts was an excellent idea. The local Project Linus branch had a display table there too, with examples of simple and colourful children's quilts, patterns and two ladies who were so interesting to talk to.  I discovered that this group has gifted over 17,500 Linus quilts since they started (6 years ago, I think).  Isn't that an amazing total?

Here's my favourite Chairman's Challenge Quilt:
And a close up:

Coincidentally, my Patchwork Group is having a Linus Day in a couple of weeks time when we will make some premature baby quilts which we will gift directly to our local hospital. Various members in our group - including me - have donated quilts to the hospital before.  I think I may try to make a quilt like the Funky Cat quilt shown above.  I have lots of novelty fabrics which would be great in a quilt like this. Dimensions are small: 15" x 18" so they are quick to make.

Now a few of my favourite quilts from the Show:

This Japanese Applique Quilt was beautifully made, including such a lot of detail as you can see by this close up of one of the blocks:
Another Japanese style quilt also caught my eye:

An amazing Hexagon Quilt - the hexis were very small!

A cute baby quilt - I loved those teddies:
And a close up:

A large Red and White quilt with redwork blocks featuring different African animals:
And the quilt I voted for in the Visitor's Choice:
This was a beautiful Art Quilt entitled Marjorelle Gardens.  Made by a very well known UK quilter, Pauline Barnes who is also a member of Trinity Quilters.
Her programme notes said: Bamboo, Benganvillea and Waterlilies. Beautiful gardens in Marrakech which were created by the artist Jacques Majorelle who gave his name to the vivid blue colour with which he painted his studio.
It is the most beautiful blue and the quilt was exquisite.
There was a lovely quilt with sheep and borders made from snippets of Kiwiana fabrics.
I had noted it and then got chatting to the steward on duty only to find she had made the sheep quilt which she called New Zealand Lunch.
Her youngest daughter lives in NZ, in Nelson which is very near our house.  During our conversation I discovered that her daughter and husband own a restaurant (he is also the chef).  My husband and I know this restaurant very well, eating there each time we are in NZ. In fact for the last few years we have our last evening meal there as we stay overnight in a nearby motel which is handy for the very early morning taxi ride to Nelson Airport next day as we begin our long trip home.

So, what a Small World!  Here's the quilt that started my discovery: