Sunday, 21 December 2014

When Santa Came to Wickham

** Note:  Names have been altered in this post to protect the privacy of the individuals **

Over the past months we have been busy making quilts for the Wickham Student Accommodation facility in Newcastle, run by the Samaritans.  You can read more about that facility here, and a post about our last trip up there is here.

There were 4 quilts ready to take up, all of them quilted by the ever patient Robin.  Thank you Rob; so grateful you can do this for the SH.

Made by Dasha, this is for Karen.

This one was made for Neridah by Jan,

Nice swirl pattern in the quilting.

This one is for Katie, made by Jan.  It is a double Disappearing 9 Patch.

This one is for Linda, made by Jan and Dasha with a little help from Friday Quilter ladies Fiona and Cheryl.

One last one for Susan is still to be quilted.

Jan & Dasha made the trip up to Newcastle to deliver the quilts last Friday, just in time for Christmas.

It was an eventful day.  To start with, here is a photo of the building itself.

It used to be the Wickham Public School and was built at the turn of the last century.  The Samaritans have owned it now for a couple of years.
Next door is the Infants School - not part of the facility, but a lovely building, beautifully restored.  It is the older of the two, and was built in 1892.
Directly across the road is the Marina, and beyond that the Newcastle harbour.  I couldn't get the whole lot into the photo.

Besides the quilts, we took a pile of donations from Stitching Hearts members, and also quite a lot from Friday Quilters, a whole boot full in fact. (For those that haven't visited here before, Friday Quilters is the group Jan & I sew with locally.  Stitching Hearts are based in the Sydney suburb of Cabarita).

Once there, we met Glenda, who was filling in as Manager of the facility while Barbara is on leave.  We also met Amy, from the Samaritans Communications Department, who arrived to take some official photos to be included in the Samaritans newsletter with an article about Stitching Hearts & our involvement with the Wickham facility.
This year, as usual, Stitching Hearts ladies put in a donation instead of buying a Christmas gift for one another.  Jan & I gave this donation of $120 to Glenda for use at the facility as needed.  There were also Christmas gifts for the two children who live at the facility.
And then we met the girls!!  How wonderful it was to actually meet these girls!  When making a quilt as a donation you are generally sewing for a nameless, faceless person and you rarely get the chance to meet that person.  But that doesn't mean that you haven't spent a lot of time thinking about this person as you piece that quilt.  Meeting the recipient is really special, and made my day.
Jan gave the quilt she made for Katie to her in person.  Her face lit up when she saw it.

And then the one she made for Linda to her.  Linda was spied later walking around with the quilt wrapped around her shoulders.

And then we had a group photo.

Glenda phoned Karen who was out for the day.  She asked that her quilt be taken to her room and laid on her bed.  So we were taken to her room and I put it across the end of her bed.  Karen would have seen it as soon as she opened her door.

A big day, and for us, hugely satisfying.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

First of the October Meetings

We have two meetings per month, and last week it was the first meeting for October.  We always have show and tell first.  Isn't that the best part of the meetings??

Remember all that chopping we have done at our last couple of meetings?  Here are some results from packs of 6" squares.....


And Darleen.
Jill.  Destined for Anglicare (Anglican care organisation)

Jill also took some orphan basket blocks from the cupboard and made up 2 lovely quilt tops.  I laid them out to photograph, and then got distracted.  Sorry Jill :(
Jan made the next several quilts.  For the first one, she used a bunch of Suffolk puffs, which have been hanging around in the cupboard for at least 3 years, to make the centres of the flowers. So soft and pretty.

This single bed sized top is just 2 fabrics and 2 blocks - a nine patch and a snowball.  So vibrant in real life and so effective.

This one started as a pile of blocks, obviously discarded from another project, and made by Jackie, who blogs here.  Jackie was kind enough to post me a huge parcel of fabric and UFOs from the States earlier this year.  Thank you Jackie!  Jan put them all together to make this up. 

This is a double bed size, made by Jan for Kelly (name changed for privacy), one of the kids at the Wickham Student Accommodation facility run by Samaritans.  Turquoise and earthy colours were requested.

Darleen made this fun animal kid's quilt and Jill quilted it. 

Evelyn has made a single sized quilt with crazy pieced scraps.  Looks fabulous.

Coleen brought this quilt in last time, made and donated to our group by her friend Maureen who is legally blind.  We decided it needed a border, so Coleen added the border and here it is as a finished top ready for quilting.

This quilt has a long, long story!  Back something like 6 years ago the Friday Quilters had a sewing day, and we sewed up a storm.  Several people sewing, some cutting, others ironing.  We made 3 or 4 tops, can't remember now.  They were completed and sent off to a charity assisting Aids patients.  One got left as just blocks.  Eventually, a year or two later, Fiona put the blocks together into a top, and then it sat some more.  Earlier this year, the completed top was donated to Stitching Hearts, and Robin quilted it on her long arm.  Woo Hoo!!  It's finished!!
After lunch, it was time for some work.  We store a lot of our stuff under the stage in the hall, and the lovely Evelyn is usually the one who crawls holous bolous under the stage to get it all out....

Thank you Evelyn!!

Friday, 26 September 2014

September Sewing

There hasn't been a lot of sewing brought in through September as a lot of people have been away so I have combined the photos from both September meetings into one post. 

What has gone on is a lot of sorting & co-ordinating of fabrics.  We made a decision that our fabric stash was unmanageable, so we've gone through the boxes sorted into colourways, pulled the smaller pieces and chopped them into strips and squares and put them into packs for future sewing.  We also pulled some of the bigger pieces and pieced them into backings.  The boxes are looking much better.

That's not to say that we haven't managed to make one or two things.

Robin has brought in this top.

And this one made by Jill and quilted by Robin is destined for the Charity Day raffle at the Barnwell Park Golf Club to be held shortly

This is Jan's lovely applique.  A variety of leaf shapes in pretty Autumn colours. 
Jill brought in 4 tops which she has made.  These are actually for her son, who is very involved in various animal protection societies, not for Stitching Hearts.  She brought them in for Show & Tell and will be used by her son for raffles.  There's cats and zebras and chooks.  All very appropriate.

Colleen brought in the last two.  This one is one made by Colleen with some help from her friend Margaret.  It is such a pretty top.  Sadly the soft pink in the alternate blocks has not photographed well.  She has gone home with some border fabric to put on it.

And this one was made by Colleen's friend Maureen.  Maureen has donated a number of other quilt tops to Stitching Hearts, but what makes it so special is that she is legally blind.  Go Maureen - what a star!

An update on the Samaritans.  I told you about the quilts we donated to the Wickham Student Accommodation project here.  After that trip to Newcastle, Jan & I were telling the others about the place, and some of the stories which Barbara had told us.  Robin interrupted me mid sentence, and said "do they need clothes?".  It transpired that she had a load of clothing which her children had culled in her boot, and which she was on the way to putting into a charity bin.
A quick phone call to Barbara resulted in another trip to Newcastle, with a bootload of young adult's clothes.  They went down a treat.  A quote from Barbara's follow up email:
"The clothing was just about all taken within 2 hours!!!  One minute it was there and the next it was gone!!  It was well received."
We will be supporting that organisation further, with more quilts and other things as required.

Friday, 5 September 2014


On Monday, Jan and I drove up to Newcastle to deliver some quilts to the Wickham Student Accommodation facility, run by the Samaritans.

Samaritans are an organisation providing disability services, disability care, youth, family, mental health and community support within the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle, which covers the regions of Newcastle, Central Coast and The Hunter.

The Wickham Student Accommodation facility provides accommodation and mentoring to homeless youth.  Part of the requirement is that the individual must be enrolled in a course of study; school, TAFE, university etc.  Students are provided with assistance in job placements at the completion of their studies and with self managed accommodation in the private sector.

Our contact there was Barbara, the manager of the facility, who took us on a tour of the building.

The building was originally the Wickham Public School, which opened at this location about 1900, and closed in 1976.  The building was purchased by the Samaritans from Newcastle City Council in 2012.  It has since been converted into 23 units, mostly one bedroom, but there are 2 units with 2 bedrooms and a couple of studio apartments, all with bathrooms and kitchens.  Most of the units have such tall ceilings that they have a mezzanine floor in the living area as well, a great spot to study.  There is a communal lounge and laundry.  The ceilings are high and the hallways are wide.  The ceiling height windows at the front of the building open out onto spectacular views of Newcastle Harbour.  
The small garden at the front was planted out by the Lions Club, and OzHarvest provide perishable food supplies on a Friday. 
We had been requested to provide a queen size quilt, a double bed size quilt, a little boy's cot quilt and one for a newborn girl due in October.  Here is what we took with us:
This is for the baby girl
And the one is for the little boy

The double quilt

And the queen...

I took this one outside to photograph, and Tibby was out like a streak of lightning.  It was interesting though.  Normally she goes straight up onto the quilt and settles down for the duration.  This time she put out her paw suspiciously, gave it a tiny pat, and then turned away!

I asked Barbara to pose with a quilt, and she immediately went for this one.  Judging by the grin, I think she liked it.

And then she took up the baby quilt

During the time we were there, Barbara spoke about what they were doing, and told us a few stories.  What an inspiring organisation!  I am so glad that we were able to help in our small way.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Last Goodies from August

I have been very slow in getting these photos up to show what came in during the last meeting for August.  It was a big day.

Edited: 26 September - I made quite a few errors in this when I first posted it, so I am correcting it and giving credit to the right people.  Apologies for my errors!

First up, Cheryl brought in 2 lovely scrappy quilt tops, a Disappearing 9 Patch

And a pretty top in Japanese prints.  I love the little 9 patches used as cornerstones.

Jill made a top destined for Anglicare.  It is a kids quilt, with little red monkeys on bikes and carts and doing all sorts of fun stuff.

This one was originally a bunch of blocks which made their way to us from Aussie Heroes.   They were sewn together and quilted by Evelyn.

Jill also made this top which is to be donated to the Barnwell Park Golf Club when it is completed, for their Charity Day raffle to be drawn on the 14th September
Robin was super busy!  These were panels which she joined up to make a quilt top, then quilted.

And these were a bunch of orphan blocks, made put together & quilted by Evelyn.

This quilt was a collaborative quilt made by the Friday Quilters rather a long time ago and donated as a completed top to Stitching Hearts.  Robin quilted it. 

Orphan blocks rescued by Robin.  This needs a border or two to finish it off before its quilted.  The Bow Ties are 3-D.

Gorgeous 1930s top made by Robin
Jan brought in a top, with seriously cute appliqued chooks on it

A close up of one of the chooks.  Isn't it a delight?

And a lovely medallion quilt

These tops are by Dasha.  If you read my blog, you will recognise "Pink Fizz"

"Blue Nines"

and "Green Beans Please"

And the top donated by Friday Quilter friend, Di, fixed and borders added by Dasha 

Coleen made this lovely quilt.

Last but not least, this flimsy was made and donated to Stitching Hearts by Theresa

Next up I have to tell you an inspiring story about the Samaritans, but you will have to wait for a day or two as its another Stitching Hearts day tomorrow, and I won't get a chance to write that post.