It’s another new year! I’m not sure how we got to 2018 but I know it seemed to come around awfully fast. I had got into quite a regular habit with my little blogs and then as the weather started to warm up my writing slowed down. I had every intention of getting going again but I ended up involved in a rather big project, and it occupied lots of my time for the rest of the year.
In June, many of you will have sat on your sofas in tears and shock like I did. The tragic fire at Grenfell Tower was heartbreaking to see. It dominated the media for days, even weeks, as people tried to understand how such an event could happen. Hearing the stories of the residents as they escaped the building was incredible and the public responded in the most uplifting way. Financial appeals were launched, tonnes of goods were donated, and people shouted for justice.
Being a mum, having a young family, it struck me hard and I wanted to help. I made a small donation, it wasn’t enough. I felt empty and knew I needed to do more. When I came across post on Instagram about a quilt appeal I knew I could make a few quilt blocks. I hoped that they would be matched with others and be a contribution from me and my family to be made into a gift of comfort for someone left with only the clothes on their back.
The appeal was being run via a Facebook group so I immediately joined. The call was for quilt blocks or tops so I pulled some fabrics from my stash and got to work. While nothing would replace all those people lost I wanted to show a sign of love and comfort and used the Heart quilt block from Cluck Cluck Sew that was used in the #quiltsforpulse appeal.
The Facebook group reached over 1,000 members in almost no time at all so I offered to help with a bit of admin on the group. People wanted to know what they could donate and where to send things so there were lots of questions to answer. By early July there was a team of volunteers helping to organise things, each taking a role, as we worked together to co-ordinate the effort and work towards having a quilt to offer to each resident of the tower.
It took over all my spare time. In between managing the kids, school runs and meal times, I was online many times each day. I even managed to make a second quilt while on holiday in Ireland in August! We were offered supplies by some of the biggest manufacturers in the quilting industry and had thread, wadding and fabric donated by companies right across the country. Even long arm quilting services were offered by a number of ladies which were invaluable.
Eventually, with a wonderful group of people and a collective effort over 1,000 quilts were completed and gifted to the tower residents, the emergency services who attended the fire and some other charitable causes in the area. The full story of The Quilts for Grenfell Tower has now been published by UK Quilters United and can be read here.
Now the appeal has come to a close I can get back to sewing for me and my two. I did get a new sewing book for Christmas, and have load of patterns and things I want to try if I can only find the time. If anyone here follows my Instagram, you’ll have seen I have started the year with a little Elizabeth Hartman obsession, and I have 3 pieces I need to get finished.
My son is in school and with my daughter now in nursery for a few hours each week I hope to be able to have a little creative time to be able to sew, write and maybe, just maybe, have a chocolate bar all to myself!