Monday, 2 July 2012

100 Quilts for Kids + Siblings Together Linky + Giveaway

100 Quilts for Kids Bloghop, text fabric bundle giveaway and Siblings Together linky party



When Katie of Swim, Bike, Quilt asked me to be part of this year's 100 quilts for kids blog hop, I leapt at the chance once again to tell the story of Siblings Together and to celebrate that story with a giveaway of an outrageously fabulous text print bundle sponsored by Becca from Sew Me A Song.  Here's the bundle Becca is giving away.  It is her "Lynne's Text Me A Song" print bundle - 16 FQs of texty loveliness.  Go to the end of the post for a chance to win.  


And would all of you who have had any involvement at all in giving to Siblings Together, please take a moment to write a blogpost about why you became involved in this initiative, what it meant to you, what you made, donated, helped with.  And pictures of course would be lovely so that we can see all the wonderful quilts that have gone to Siblings Together or will do at some point in the future.  And link up at the bottom of this post. 



So the idea of 100 Quilts for Kids is simple: Make a quilt or 2. Donate it to a child in need, locally if you can.  Enjoy a blog hop that runs from July 2-September 25, 2012, complete with inspiration and mini prizes.  Join in on a 100 Quilts for Kids Quilt Along (Kick-off post on July 15 at Swim, Bike, Quilt).  Have a chance to win great prizes from sponsors, including Moda, Fat Quarter Shop, Westwood Acres, Rowan , Free Spirit, and Ty Pennington Impressions, among others that will shortly be announced.  Spread the word to family and friends!  Smile, knowing you used your skills for good.  Find out where the blog hop will be over the summer in this post here.  Find the Flickr group here: 100 Quilts for Kids Flickr Group and find out more information here: More information on 100 Quilts for Kids.
Swim, Bike, Quilt
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.swimbikequilt.com/p/100-quilts-for-kids.html" title="Swim, Bike, Quilt"><img src="http://i1188.photobucket.com/albums/z420/swimbikequilt/100quiltsbutton2011.jpg" alt="Swim, Bike, Quilt" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

We would love your help getting the word out. Just copy and paste the code above and paste it into your sidebar, or blog post.  Tweet. Instagram. Facebook.  And scattered throughout this post are pictures of quilts which have been donated to Siblings Together - read on to find out more.  And to see more of the wonderful quilts donated to Siblings Together, go and visit the Flickr group here.

Siblings Together quilt

And now sit down, make a cup of tea, put your feet up and find out a bit more about Siblings Together.

It all started for me earlier this year when I took the kids down to stay at my sister's house in London and a friend of hers was there having a cup of tea.  My sister told Sian I made quilts and Sian started to tell me about a charity called Siblings Together which worked to bring together siblings separated by the care system.  She told me that they run summer camps where these children can just be together and have fun together as siblings and that Delma, who set up the charity, was trying to find out whether it would be possible to get people to make each one of these children on the summer camps a quilt to keep, their very own home-made quilt.  Which got me to thinking.  Maybe if I rallied around a few quilters, between us we might be able to make a few quilts.  And so I posted this post, started this Flickr group, and thought "here goes nothing".

Siblings Together -- all done!

Within only a few hours, it became clear that, not only might we manage a handful of quilts, we would probably send more than was needed for that first summer camp.  People started groups to make quilts together, people pledged quilts, people made one, two, three, four, five quilts.  Offers of help came in not just from the UK but from around the whole world.  Shops donated fabrics and quilts, quilters offered quilting services, individuals gave away whole chunks of their stash.  The response completely overwhelmed Delma and me.  We have smashed the fifty quilts for this summer target and have sent enough quilts for a possible October camp.  And I'm hoping we keep kick starting this initiative so that next year's camp kids will have their own quilts too.  And the year's after that.  And the year's after that.

A stack of quilts for Siblings Together   

But I thought it would be more interesting for you to hear from Delma more about Siblings Together, how it came into being and why she set it up and continues to work so hard to make it work, to make it better and to do more for these children separated from their siblings by the care system.  Oh and a little warning, tissues will be required.  

Sew Cherry 1

Delma, founder of Siblings Together:

I've worked as an Art Therapist with children in care for 20yrs often hearing children say the same things time and again, what they wouldn't give to share some time with their brothers and sisters; their lives would be so different.

2 little dicky birds sitting on the line

I had spent almost 16 years as a child in care myself after being abandoned as a baby, living apart from 6 other siblings, never seeing one another, it took almost 10 yes to find them, sadly we were so distant it was hard to reconnect, we had little shared history or positive experiences other than the misery of growing up in the care, then thrown onto the streets at 16 when told to leave.

Moonshine - A finished Quilt

I decided to do something to change all this, and established Siblings Together, to create a positive place/experience, a camp, a charity reuniting brothers and sisters who are in the care system and those adopted who want contact, also in Kinship Care ie cared for by a family relative if parents have died or have issues which mean they are unable to parent their children.

HST charity quilt

Children are the victims of these often extremely damaging families.  Whether they have been abused neglected or abandoned, they deserve the right to experience a sense of family and belonging. Like anyone else, they want and need to have connections. When children enter the care system they are invariably separated.  84% face isolation and loss, they lose the closest people to them; their siblings, the longest relationship they are likely to have in their lifetime.

Siblings Together donation quilts

We work to adress this by firstly setting up camps which I began almost 6 years ago, with 20 children all coming together with their brothers and sisters.  Since this time I have founded a charity with incredible trustees who are very supportive and pro active.  Our camps have grown and developed to be known across the UK, we would love to run more but haven't the resources financially.

Girly quilt top

We also now run a "MAD's" (Monthly Activity Day for siblings) based in Camden Town, London.  We take over a small centre and have fun for the day.  Each and every month, siblings from across London and far afield travel for this one special day which they all love.  We are always seeking funding to keep it running, and want to establish another day as we are filled to capacity.


One of the things we often noticed at camp was those cold evenings, in the tent.  So I set about writing to charities and found a knitting charity where people were prepared to make blankets for our children. I spoke with our trustees (Sian is one such person) about this and how amazing it would be for each child to have a blanket of their own to keep.  To have a very special object to treasure and keep from their adventures.
Siblings Together Older Boys Group Quilt

This started in a small village in Pembrokeshire, Wales where they were all knitting squares together for our kids.  I had considered quilts as very special indeed and had tried to find a connection to any quilters without success.  And then one day Sian contacted me to say she had met with a quilter who understood the whole notion of children wanting something special just for them and so began the Quilts for Siblings Together initiative which so many of you have so generously and kindly helped with.
Bubbles

Our camps are incredible; they are often the first time in years many have shared more than an hour's contact together.   It is often quite emotional for them, they know what they have lost and our camps make sure they can enjoy a wonderful shared experience together without social workers, residential staff or foster carers' intrusions.  They can be a 'family' even for a short time.  This can often be life changing for them.

ST_1

Children in care often move from place to place and find themselves hundred of miles apart from their siblings.  They mostly have different social workers who even lose sight of the fact they have siblings as they change so frequently.  We had 3 brothers who attended two of our camps, twins and a younger brother, who had been moved to over 50 foster homes in just 4 years.  Coming to camps was a very special experience for them all, and strengthened their relationship bond massively.

Siblings Together quilt top

We have groups of 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 siblings each month, all supported by volunteers who commit their time each and every month to be their mentors.   We are working towards setting up a pilot siblings befriending programme in September, a massive feat, a pilot never before set up in the UK so another adventure ahead.

015

And thank you - the amazing quilters from around the world who responded to our charity, we have a collection of approx sixty quilts so far.   Forty-five of these will be given to the children coming to camps this summer.   We are also hoping to run a camp during October half term if we raise enough funds, where the other quilts will go.  We will always have more children to help and we will always need more quilts to keep them warm.

ST Quilt

The whole concept of having something that belongs to you, made for by others just for you is just unheard of for most children in care, they enter care with nothing and leave with nothing mostly.  The quilts you have made will change that for so many, they will have something extra extra special.  Not only to keep but perhaps to pass on to their own children.  Just the thought of this makes me so happy.  Delma, Siblings Together

Siblings Quilt 3 - Finished

And from Lynne, thank you to all the people who have jumped in with both feet and worked to make something special for these children or have donated fabrics, time or resources.  So that I can read more and cry more, what I would really love you to do is to write a blogpost about why you became involved in this initiative, what it meant to you, what you made, donated, helped with.  And pictures of course would be lovely so that we can see all the wonderful quilts that have gone to Siblings Together or will do at some point in the future.

ST_quilt_3

And as a thank you to anyone who took the time to read this post, Becca from Sew Me A Song has allowed me to twist her arm into giving away this amazing 16 FQ print text bundle and Mr Random will pick a winner one week from today.  Here are your chances to win:

1.   Leave a comment on this post.
2.   Extra comment if you are a follower of this blog.
3.   Extra comment if you link to this post with a Siblings Together post.
4.   Extra comment if you were involved in Siblings Together in any way at all - whether you mailed off a whole package of quilts, just made one block or donated fabrics.  Any involvement is good involvement.
5.   Extra comment if you spread the word about this post - tweet, blog, facebook, google +, whatever.

278 comments:

  1. Thanks for the opportunity to take part in this wonderful project Lynne! I’m not amazed so many quilters took part!

    Reading Delma‘s words brought tears to my eyes. My bowl of yoghurt has doubled in size!
    When I can see clear again I hope to take pictures, write a blogpost and link up to this wonderful party!

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  2. Fantastic initiative, wish Australia wasn't quite so far to post a quilt from!

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  3. Wonderful initiative! I have nog blog but certainly support this!
    Greetings Lia

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  4. Thank you or posting Delma's story, I was inspired to help after your initial post, but now I'm doubly glad I did

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  5. I'm delighted to count myself as one if your followers

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  6. I made two quilts and ave mailed them, I will blog them tonight after work

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  7. This was an amazing initiative and you had a wonderful response! Congratulations.

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  8. you were right - I did need the tissues!

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  9. I am so glad that I am a follower, otherwise I might have missed out on the chance to help

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  10. I donated one quilt, and quilted another. I wish I could have had time to do more.

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  11. You are doing a beautiful thing. Much luck, and many blessings to both you and the children.

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  12. What absolutely wonderful quilts! I didn't donate to this as I do a lot of charity quilts for our community that is still recovering from Irene.

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  13. Wonderful initiative and I'm so proud that you picked it up Lynne ... and so pleased that I got to contribute.

    I'm not entering the giveaway for me (I just blew my budget on that bundle!!) but if my number does come up please donate the fabrics back into the Siblings Together project.

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  14. This was a wonderful initiative, Delma's story really brings home how special these Camps are for the children. I hope she manages to find the extra money needed for all the exciting plans she has. Thanks Lynne, for introducing us to such a worthwhile cause.

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  15. I am delighted to have been able to follow the progress of these quilts through your blog, and to have had the chance to help by donating 20 blocks for the quilts.

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  16. Delma's story is so moving. Her charity is doing an incredibly important work in keeping siblings in touch with each other. It has been fun watching the quilts being made. Di x

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  17. Love the quilts. What a wonderful project.

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  18. This is such a great thing. I'm currently quilting for a different children's quilt charity. Quilts for Kids!

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  19. I am most definitely a follower :)

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  20. Damn I can't see the pictures of the quilts through the tears.

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  21. ps I'm a follower but Mr Random don't choose me as I can't sew for toffee.

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  22. As the parent of an adopted child who has siblings this hits very close to home. I know first hand the issues and hardships children in care face. I think it's a wonderful charity and I applaud Delma's good work!

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  23. What a great, moving post. Thanks for sharing with us and creating such wonderful things out of a not so wonderful situation :)

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  24. What a great cause. Very moving. The quilts are so beautiful.

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  25. Beautiful post Lynne. Delma is truly inspiring as are you. The quilts you showed are unbelievably beautiful.

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  26. I am of course a follower.:-)

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  27. Comment 1 - thank you for this post Lynne, such a worthy charity and I think we can all pull together to make some great quilts for some great kids x

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  28. Comment 2 - I am a follower!

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  29. Comment 3 - I have done a nice long post about Siblings Together today! Please see link above.

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  30. Comment 4 - I donated a 5 yard pink dot fabric at FQR which I hope has since been united with a quilt top!

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  31. Fantastic, I'm new to quilting and haven't attempted by first quilt yet but hopefully I will be able to join in with this in future years.

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  32. Comment 5 - blog post tweeted (still getting used to Twitter!)

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  33. That's a wonderful post. I'm a new quilter, but I can already see I'll want to make far more quilts than my family and I can use. It's good to know there's a UK charity that I can send the extras too when they are made.

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  34. Awesome work by everyone, here's hoping that many more will be inspired to make a quilt for a child.

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  35. Great story - very moving. I hope I can actually do some making next year!

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  36. I felt really bad I couldn't get more involved this year as it was such a great project. I just knew I couldn't get a quilt made up in the time frame. It was good to get the chance to be able to donate financially through the giving page.

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  37. Yay I made 5 quilts (with some help) for Siblings Together, I'll write a blog post to link up later.

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  38. I linked up to this post to spread the word of this very worthwhile endeavour!

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  39. The pics are wonderful! What a great group!

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  40. Terrific pictures of all the gorgeous quiltyness!

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  41. I donated a quilt. It's pictured up there!

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  42. I tweeted AND facebooked. I think that about covers it! :)

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  43. It was a wonderful experience being able to do something for this incredible charity and the thought that a child will really cherish a quilt we made fills me with a very warm feeling.

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  44. What a wonderful program.

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  45. I have blogged about this post too.

    http://celticthistlestitches.blogspot.com/2012/07/bee-blocks-blog-hops-and-blustery.html

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  46. So inspiring, and the quilts are absolutely beautiful!

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  47. Wow, amazing cause, amazing work and amazing quilts. I need to look in to local causes over here. Amazing giveaway too

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  48. I was enthusiastic about the whole idea of Siblings Together from the moment you told us about it. Hearing the whole story behind it was wonderful!

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  49. I am a happy follower of your blog!

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  50. I love the zig-zag quilt with the squares! I'd love to make one like that!

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  51. Amazing story amazing quilts

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  52. I am a follower of this blog

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  53. Siblings together is such a great idea! And so many lovely quilts--hope you get many many more!

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  54. Indeed you have been blessed and are such a blessing to so many children. The quilts are beautiful but do not compare to the compassion and love being sown into the lives of these children...what a beatiful way for the healing to begin and their lives to be restored. May doors open before you pouring out resources beyond measure insuring that every child and sibling group has the opportunity to be blanketed in LOVE through this wonderful program.

    sowingstitches [at] gmail [dot] com

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  55. Blog post done! http://eschhousequilts.blogspot.com/2012/07/siblings-together.html

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  56. My blog post was Tweeted and sent to Facebook.

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  57. I contributed two quilts to Siblings Together. Love that text bundle!

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  58. This is such a wonderful cause. I donate quilts through my local guild but I'm wondering what I have started that might work for Siblings Together!

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  59. I'm a follower on Google Reader!

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  60. Some of those quilts are stunning! What a great idea for helping siblings stay in touch.

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  61. I am a follower of your blog.

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  62. Tissues definitely required! Amazing!

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  63. Final comment for taking part and sending off 6 quilts :)

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  64. Really amazing post, the quilts are just amazing!

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  65. I've just linked up my blog post......

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  66. And have made a quilt that I just need to drop off to the charity!

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  67. thanks so much for the opportunity to win. This is an awesome way to help kids.

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  68. It is nice to know that there are so many people with big hearts.

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  69. Mailed my quilt a while back.

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  70. It is true quilters are the most giving people EVER!!

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  71. We have a program similar to this here in Michigan. I have made many charity quilts for kids.

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  72. I am also a folloer (and have to laugh the girl who commented prior to me is named Joelle, that is my full name!!)

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  73. Thanks so much for organising all this! It was wonderful.

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  74. I'm pleased to be a follower...

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  75. I've linked a Siblings Together post...

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  76. I had fun making two quilts - one was made in part with fabric donated by Vicki at the Patchwork Palace.

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  77. and I've blogged about this post! Final comment. Phew!

    Thanks so much again.

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  78. Such a wonderful cause, Lynne! Someone was asking me the other day about a charity to donate to in the UK - I will give her your info ASAP.

    Also, we'd love it if you would take a look at quiltsareforgiving.blogspot.com - a new blog started by quilters, for quilters, about charity quilting. All you have to do is ask to be an author, and you can spread the word about the quilts you are making and the charities they are going to. Or you can link up on Tuesdays (which might help spread the word about this project this week!) and not have to write a separate blogpost! Come join us!!

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  79. And of course I'm a follower!

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  80. I have been a follower for a while now! And I really like what you are doing! Thanks!

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  81. Amazing stories! Thanks for sharing! Not easy being separated... Good luck with the good work!

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  82. I live in the US and I like to make quilts for a few charities who give the quilts to kids. I enjoy helping children I enjoyed reading this story and even though I am not able to send a quilt to the UK, it encourages me to continue doing what I can to help here.

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  83. I'm a follower. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  84. What a wonderful initiative. You, and everyone else who joined in, are such wonderful people for donating your time, expertise and fabric to this cause.

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  85. That was an amazing life story, it's wonderful to help kids with a quilt of their own. I have helped teach kids to sew their own quilt. Thanks for doing this for all those kids.

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  86. how wonderful that the response is so overwhelming that you have received more quilts then you would have thought!

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  87. I'm a follower, how would I ever heard of this project :-)

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  88. I see some of the blocks I donated in the quilts above, how neat!!!

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  89. A wonderful post, thank you for sharing this great story and endeavor :)

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  90. THanks for sharing this opportunity. I am continuously amazed at the generoisity of the quilting community.

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  91. What a wonderful effort by you and Delma. You will never know how meaningful these quilts are to those children!!

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  92. I am a happy and inspired follower of your blog.

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  93. I'm blown away not only by the organization, but by the beautiful quilts that were donated. What a wonderful thing!

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  94. Pleasure to have been involved xxx

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  95. This year I made a quilt for Siblings Together, and I guess it could become an annual event x

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  96. Tweeted the post, too.
    https://twitter.com/AlphaBecky/status/219833104284663808

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  97. Thank you for finding and organizing this project. And sharing the background story.

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  98. And of course I follow your lovely blog.

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  99. I sent a bunch of blocks to Judith, I see today that she is showing off the finished quilts which are wonderful. It was wonderful that she and some others organized and finished these group projects so I could participate from a distance.

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  100. What a wonderful cause. Such amazing quilts.

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  101. What an amazing story, cause, quilts. So touching.

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  102. amazing way to help thanks

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  103. i posted about it on facebook

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  104. How beautiful! I'm in the middle of making a quilt that does not yet have a designated recipient. I'm glad to know where it can go and be loved.

    thanks!

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  105. Wow, so many amazing quilts in the links, and so many amazing people who've given up their time, money and energy to participate. Really inspirational.

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  106. what an amazing, inspirational story. Well done for getting this going Lynne

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  107. I am a follower of your blog too

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  108. Brilliant post, brilliant cause.Well done Lynne.

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  109. And I have blogged about it.

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  110. I have linked this post with a Siblings together post

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  111. And I blogged and tweeted

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  112. Have linked my post. And linked to FB.

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  113. And I made a quilt for this amazing charity

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  114. And finally, I was delighted to contribute a quilt.x

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  115. I LOVE text prints - and all of those quilts are beautiful! What a great cause.

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  116. I follow your blog already

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  117. I've linked with a Siblings Together blog post

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  118. I contributed blocks to the three group quilts and I have a whole quilt ready to be sent!

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  119. And I've blogged about your post

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  120. This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing, and more importantly, organizing, Lynne. The world is a better place when things like this happen, I think. DC modern donated our first round of quilts to my city's domestic violence shelter... life is incredibly rough for too many people. Anyway, thank you, and bravo.

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  121. Another very moving post, Lynne. It's so sad that there are permanently so many kids in need. I'm sorry that I haven't made much progress with my quilt for Siblings Together, but I will get there eventually!

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  122. I've linked up my blog post it shouldn't make you cry!

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  123. What a wonderful post, I'll link up later in the week, as I have a few scheduled posts to do first :o)

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  124. You know I stalk you already ;o)

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  125. This charity sounds amazing. How fantastic! :)

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  126. And I backed, quilted and bound 2 quilts for this, which were left in the huge pile at FQR

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  127. What a great project. I like to donate quilts, I call them practice quilts so I don't feel possessive about letting them go. Quilters are such giving people! Thanks.

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  128. Loved seeing all the quilts. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  129. I used to work with children who were in residential care, the stories of families torn apart were heart breaking. It is vital these kids get time to spend together. Delma, thanks so much for the invaluable work you and your team do, and to Lynne for organising this truly amazing effort :-)

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  130. This is such a fantastic cause and beautiful story!

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  131. I'm a follower of your blog!

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  132. I'm not a blogger, but I've made and sent a Swoon quilt made from FQs donated by my local fabric shop. The charity is particularly close to my heart because I work with two young people who have been separated by the care system from their sibling. When I see how they depend on each other I know how important their visits to their youngest sibling must be.
    The Quilt making has also inspired my 13 year old son to make his first quilt - I'm incredibly proud of the work he's done and we'll have some pictures on the flickr group as soon as it stops raining here!

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  133. I made a quilt http://www.flickr.com/photos/sew_what/7218274066/in/photostream and I sent some blocks for both of the group quilts http://www.flickr.com/photos/sew_what/

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  134. What a wonderful idea,it's a real reminder of how lucky my own children are to have a home of their own with their family!
    As always the quilting community are full of exceptional people who love nothing more to share their creations!
    Rebecca.bird@clear.net.nz

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  135. I am already a follower!

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  136. Of course I follow Lily's Quilts........who doesn't!!??
    Rebecca.bird@clear.net.nz

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  137. What a great post! Love hearing all the projects that 100 quilts for Kids hits. Thanks for the insight.

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  138. This post was so absolutely lovely. Thank you for sharing your extremely valuable work with us Delma. I have no idea if a similar charity exists in Canada. I admit that the foster system is one that I know very little about. It never occurred to me the devastating loss of contact that siblings in care face. I have a nice bright quilt top that I made several years ago that my children outgrew before I got around to quilting. I am going to finish it up for Siblings Together.

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  139. Beautifully written post and yes, tissues were required. Very proud to have been involved in various projects for ST and they are the subject of my very first blog post at http://dontdrinkandsew.wordpress.com/ - yay!

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  140. Lynne - amazing post about an amazing thing that you helped with - and such a worthy group to sew for! These quilts are amazing!

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  141. I made a quilt for Siblings Together and brought it to Retreat for Delma to collect (but the bridges were closed so she couldn't come across the river). I used Thomas Knauer fabrics called Savanna Bop (I used the yellows from that line) which I won from your blog!! Thank you!

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  142. And I have just Tweeted about your post - @amycansew

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  143. Love the idea of the camps!

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  144. Sent a few blocks to Judith of needlesandlemons

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  145. I love reading your posts. And for an amazing cause. Thanks for letting me know how I can help :)

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  146. I think this is such a great idea!

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  147. I linked my post from today in the linky.

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  148. I contributed two blocks to a ST group quilt.

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  149. Beautiful story and ome beautiful quilts donated.

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  150. I'm a regular reader of your blog!

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  151. Interesting post! Would also love to win the fabric.

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  152. amazing things can happen when people do what they can to touch the lives of others. thanks for sharing.

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  153. Gorgeous quilts! Thank you for sharing this.

    Deborah
    homemakerhoney @gmail .com

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  154. I'm a new blog follower.

    Deborah
    homemakerhoney @gmail .com

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  155. I love quilting. I find that if I make a quilt for someone in mind I enjoy it even more. I have donated a quilt to the fire victums in Utah.

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  156. These are both wonderful initiatives & so inspiring. I'm looking for similar charity quilting groups here in Australia that I can contribute to. Thanks for the lovely giveaway.

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Comment away peeps :-)