Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Giving Something Back

I've been mulling lately about where this quilting is going, if it's going anywhere at all.  Do I want to try to make money from quilting?  Do I just want to sit back and enjoy it?  Do I want to sell quilts?  Try to write a book?  Sell quilt patterns?  And in the midst of all those thoughts, something happened at the weekend which made me stop and think - come on Lynne, it's not all about you.  I was visiting my sister in London for the weekend and we were chatting with a friend of hers and sooner or later the subject of my quilting came up.

She told me about a charity she helps in the UK called Siblings Together which is an initiative dedicated towards promoting positive contact between siblings separated by care. The trauma of separation from siblings and the lifelong impact this can have is too often overlooked. 'Siblings Together' aims to provide opportunities for planned, enjoyable, high quality contact. This is achieved initially through holiday camps, with the additional aims of building foundations for continued contact and educating a generation of social workers about the importance of sibling family contact. 


 My sister's friend was telling us about camps they go on camps where she cooks for 40-50 children, all siblings separated by the care system. The siblings get time to play and just be together which is so important for their short and long term well being. She also told us that they would love to be able to give something to these kids - something to comfort them, keep them warm, take away from camp as a reminder of the time they've had with their siblings, something homemade, just for them, to keep. Children moved from pillar to post in the care system often won't have something special like that, homemade just for them, to bring them warmth and a little comfort and maybe a few happy memories.


Which got me to thinking, what can I do? Well I can donate a quilt or two of course. Would anyone out there be interested in donating a quilt or two (or maybe more)? Could we get 50 quilts by the summer?  That would be something, wouldn't it?  One quilt for every single one of those kids at the camp.  And why have I posted pictures of old projects of mine in this post?  Well I'm thinking of the quilts I've made which might make great kids quilts for this project.  Hexagon Park for a little girl.  Rough and Tumble for a teenager perhaps.  Do you have any quilts you've made which have just sat in a cupboard just waiting for a chance like this?  And if you get involved and feel like blogging it, maybe we can spread the word enough to get this done before those kids go off to their camps in the summer.

Would you join me?  Would you get involved?  I have created a Flickr group where we can see what we can come up with.  Please leave comments on this post letting me know if you would like to get involved in any way at all and hop on over to the Flickr group, join up and see what we can do.

67 comments:

  1. I am def in! I have one quilt I M making at the minute for no particular reason which I would love to donate when finished.

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  2. I'm happy to help and wonder if we could make blocks and then when some of us are together at the Retreat they could be pieced into tops/quilted there?

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  3. I think it's a lovely cause and I'm considering it (although I tend to sign up for too much and don't want to drop a ball somewhere). I just finished reading the book, "I Beat the Odds" by Baltimore Ravens tackle Michael Oher, the subject of the book and movie, "The Blind Side" about his escape from poverty and the child welfare system. He spoke rather passionately about the desire to stay connected with his siblings (he had like ten of them). I wonder if he would be worth contacting to help support the idea.

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  4. I'd love to help, perhaps not a whole quilt) I have limited time, but definitely blocks and maybe maybe a quilt

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  5. I think its a great idea and I'd love to help.

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  6. Lynne, I would love to send some (or more...) blocks!

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  7. I'm definitely in. I recently finished a quilt top that I was thinking of donating to charity. This one sounds perfect. I'm off to join the group :)

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  8. I would be happy to donate some blocks. Putting some together at the retreat sounds like a great idea too.

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  9. I'm sure I have a quilt or two stashed in a cupboard that I could spare! What a wonderful charity.

    My first thought was to take a larger quilt and cut it in half and give one half to each sibling. I wonder how many of the children have multiple siblings involved...

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  10. This is a wonderful idea. I do quilting, knitting and crocheting for hospitals in my area. It feels so good to do something for others. Good luck with your project Lily!

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  11. yes I can imagine it must be difficult for these kids to stay in touch and a happy memory might help them get through tough times. I'm open to making something...?

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  12. That is a lovely idea. I give at least one quilt a year away to a charity and I send blocks to Judith at Just Jude who has a group that puts them together for charity. I doubt I can send you a whole quilt as I tend to want to donate those locally but if you organize a group I would be able to send you some blocks too.

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  13. Me! I have a UFO that might be a perfect teen quilt, could do with a shove to get it done! Any preferential size?

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  14. I'd love to be involved in some way. I've realised that there are so many fabrics and patterns I'd like to try that if I kept them all we'd be drowning in quilts!

    What is the timescale? If summer is June then I could do blocks but possibly not a quilt but if it is July/August then I would be able to commit to a quilt.

    Fab cause - I'll blog about it later.

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  15. Thank you for doing this. I'm a beginning quilter, which is why I'm not signing on (yet!) but a foster and adoptive parent. I can say that every child in care we've known has missed siblings terribly. Our four-year-old adopted daughter, who's definitely attached to us and knows how much she's loved in our home, still says every day that she misses her family. That's a normal feeling and I love organizations that support letting kids have some of those connections. (We live near the relatives who are raising her siblings and are able to get them together monthly or so. I'm looking forward to our first year as part of their giant family Easter egg hunt!)

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  16. I would love to be involved too either with a quilt or block contribution. That pretty much depends on the time scale.

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  17. It's a really nice idea. I'd love to do one, if you think a lap-ish size quilt would be ok? I don't think I have the skills to work fast enough for a full single bed one.

    What's the top age of the children? Also I wonder if it would be possible to pair up some people who have time but no fabric with the people who would donate fabric but have no time?

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  18. Lovely idea Lynne. I'm sure I can spare a quilt or two :)

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  19. What a wonderful idea. Where can I get the pattern for the hexagon one?

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  20. Great idea! Would love to give something. Would have to be blocks (not fast enough for a whole quilt...)Let me know what/how to do it!

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  21. Fabulous Sugrun, thank you! If you go back into the blogpost and click on the link to join the Flickr group, we're working out over there what we're going to do to organise quilters who would be happy to donate blocks.

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  22. I'd be happy to send a quilt.

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  23. What an amazing idea, Lynne and yes, I'd love to be involved...just let us know, when? where? how big etc etc!

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  24. I have a quilt that I made which I would be happy to donate to such a great cause. will pop over to flickr to check out the details

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  25. My quilt guild has a charity sew-in every other January to create quilts for a selected charity. This year, the charity selected was Angel Arms, which provides and supports loving homes for foster children by keeping sibling groups together until a forever home and family is found. I was the leader of my Sew-in team of six members who pieced at least eight quilt tops to take home for completion. I still have one yet to be sandwiched and quilted.

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  26. I'll have a rummage and see what's available - probably not a large quilt but maybe my pink FQ challenge quilt - I'll get back to you...

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  27. brilliant ... I'll come over to flickr .. .deffo will donate blocks/help organise a bit if needed x

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  28. To be completely honest, I've not considered kids in this situation before. What a great organization and I love the camp idea where the children can be together. I see Felicity us in. Maybe she and I can work something out together. I'll check in with her when I get home next week.

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  29. I will mention this to the patchwork groups that I attend. Hopefully, you will get a few quilts donated. Such a wonderful cause. What size were you thinking of?

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  30. I love this idea - I would love to help with some blocks but it`s also my turn for the Care Circle of the do.Good Stitches group next month and I`ve been struggling to get a cohesive idea together. I love the idea of this and would love us to make you a quilt.

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  31. Count me in, I couldn't manage a quilt - but very happy to do some blocks.

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  32. I have bits and bobs to make some quilt tops if you'd want them.

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  33. There are lots of charity quilt projects around - this one sounds really special and if anyone can pull it off it'll be you.
    I have a quilt that was made for no particular person, I'd love it to go to a good home.x

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  34. Could we bring them to London in June?

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  35. I can always rustle up a quilt or few for you :) I'm in!

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  36. I had already missed you, but you were mulling over this!
    What a great charity!!
    3 of our kids were in care for 2 and 10 years, separated.
    It was hard on them!! (and us)
    Conclusion: great great idea, really!
    (really, really?)
    I'm already into Dutch charities, but I want to ask around about if there's anything like that over 'ere.

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  37. Sounds great. Could I make and send you a quilt top to complete? Postage from Oz is pretty expensive for a whole quilt and I am already heavily involved in Aussie Hero quilts(time wise and financially) but I could manage a quilt top - any idea when you would need it by in order to give you time to complete it?

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  38. Fantastic cause! I don't really have spare quilts, but I'm happy to share your cause with my readers and friends.

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  39. I can donate one, a quilt that is! What sizes are you thinking? Where would we need to send them?

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  40. I love this! I am definitely in! Do we have a timeline? I have been having these same thoughts lately...why do I do what I do. This post came at just the right time!

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  41. Fantastic idea Lynne, upto your 50 yet? If not i"ll make one!
    How big do they need to be?

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  42. Hi Lynne! Count me in, sure I can piece a simple quilt with a baby about!! What size are we thinking??

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  43. I have been thinking about this recently as I have been browsing the Craft Hope book.
    I am new to quilting , i'm only on my second ever quilt but I would more than love to do this - please count me in.

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  44. Lynne ..might not be able to do a whole quilt .. But i know you need fabric for quilts .. so that I can offer .. great idea thank you for the bright idea

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  45. OMG .. I have just had a look at you flicker page for this - those quilts are just beautiful .. people are just so generous ...

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  46. What a wonderful project this is, Lynne! Good work!

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  47. This sounds like a wonderful project, and I am so pleased you got such a great response. I would help too but have committed to making a quilt (with do-good stitches) for autism initiatives scotland (going to a specific person in one of their centres) and then I said I would make one for them to raffle. But SHOULD I get any freetime I would love to help with this too!

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  48. I'm just catching up on my blog reading, I shall see what I can do, although it may be a few months... Love Susan's idea of the retreat blocks mind you, I might find that more achievable in the short term.

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  49. I'm in! I think this will be the perfect project for me to introduce my Sis to patchwork/quilting. Only 11 sleeps to go! sqeeeee!!!

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  50. I won some Makower dinosaur fabric that might be suitable for a younger child - maybe a sibling who's too young to attend camp? I'll pop over to the Flickr group and see if I can find someone who's collecting fabric!

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  51. I would be happy to contribute some blocks..wouldn't get a quilt done in time I don't think with my other commitments. Great cause :-) I'll pop over to the Flickr group

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  52. This sounds fantastic. I read about this earlier today and remembered a nearly completed quilt which was sitting upstairs in a cupboard which I thought would be ideal to donate. I went straight to my machine and finished the quilting, just the binding to do now and it will be ready to send. I have a quite a lot of ballerina themed fabric which I have been waiting to use so can make another quilt with that. I also have a few metres of boys truck fabric which I can donate, I'll "advertise" it on flickr. It looks like you've really started something here! Well done

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  53. I really like the idea of having a little stitching circle at the FQ retreat to make blocks for Siblings Together. Can we organize something like that?

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  54. I saw Hadley's post about this ad knew straight away it's something I'd like to be involved in. I'm not a great Flickr fan, but can you email me dates, sizes etc. thanks

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  55. I'm in Annabella's group - care at do.good stitches and we're doing blocks so Annabella can make a quilt or two - and I've done a blog post to spread the word :)

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  56. I absolutely love this idea! Hopping over to the Flickr group to see what I can do :)

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  57. What a great idea! I'd love to be involved with this!

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  58. I,m in. When will you need the quilts by and where do we send them

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  59. Not sure if my comment disappeared or not but I'm in where do we send them and by when?

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  60. I have a do.Good stitches quilt that the group would like to donate!

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  61. What a wonderful idea. I am up for contributing a quilt. I need to know where and when as well.

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  62. Ooops seem to have lost my comment. I will send one, just need to know where and when. This is such a lovely idea it brought a tear to my eye when my lovely daughter told me about it. Seems to be me this is a win/win as it gives me the pleasure of creating another quilt.

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  63. I have 2 quilts for your project. What do I do with them now? Chris x

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