Many schools, colleges, brownie & guide packs have registered to make a quilt in some cases more than one quilt. The team wherever possible will visit the school or college to receive the completed quilt(s). The project has worked with Young Quilters (YQ) representatives across the UK through the Quilters Guild Regional organisation. A Gift of Quilts was able to give free fabric and threads to them to help towards making a quilt; this was possible through a very generous donation from Coats Crafts UK.
A Gift of Quilts is part of the Quilters' Guild of the British Isles "Quilting in the Olympic Spirit". " Many of us might not be sports people and, although excited that the Olympics are coming to United Kingdom in 2012, we may feel that this is just for sporty people. Well, sports are not the only things that will be going on. There will also be the "Cultural Olympics" – events involving arts, and crafts. As quilters or craft people, this is your opportunity to join in and feel part of the spirit of the Olympics." (QGBI www.quiltersguild.org/other services for members)
The Guild says "Not only would we like you to make the projects, but we would also like you to spread the word about these projects to others. Maybe you have involvement with schools, youth groups, social groups or whoever. Please tell them about the projects, as they too might want to be involved. Maybe you do not want to do this on your own – well get together with your friends or group and make it a team project – a chance to socialise."
The team would like to acknowledge the part that the Guild and President Marilyn Lovett has played in the successful conclusion of this project. Under the Guild's banner we have been able to successfully apply for the Inspire Mark making us an official non-commercial partner in the Cultural Olympiad. Marilyn Lovett has been a tower of strength and a lynch pin in the liason between all the various agencies who are associated with a project of this type.
DESIGNING & MAKING YOUR QUILT
Not sure what design to use? The quilts can be traditional, art or sports themed. There are many sites on the internet that give free quilt patterns, if you type into any search engine “patchwork quilt designs”, you will find a myriad of them giving you access to not only free designs but full making instructions. Your local library will carry a stock of Patchwork & Quilting books, look at these, choose one that you feel explains how to make a quilt in terms that you can understand and follow.
For those makers who only view the A Gift of Quilts site at a relative or friends house or a commercial site if you contact us by telephone or post we can help you choose a design that fits in with the idea that you have in mind. The team can then help you through the various stages of making and finishing the quilt or put you in touch with a “buddy” who can help you.
Many of you will have fabric in your stash boxes but some of you will want to buy for this unique project. The web can give you many outlets if you are not familiar with fabric shops in your area or the team can give you a list of suppliers in your area.
It would be fun to try to be as “green” as possible and use re-cycled fabrics along with your new ones, quilters have been recycling for centuries – think scrap quilts, denim jeans make great quilts for example or make a scrap memory quilt from favourite clothing. Try to make use of what you have and do not buy, recycle or use the odds and ends of fabric you have in your stash.
You can also embellish your quilts - that orphaned button or piece of lace you couldn’t throw away may find a place on your quilt.
If you are using dyes in your quilt use eco-friendly dyes and dye techniques
Use eco-friendly batting – your supplier can advise on this Sew and quilt in the sunlight and quilt and sew by hand instead of using a sewing machine.
If you would like to join a group to make a quilt, the team can put you in touch with other people in your area, either those who have registered with the project or using the network of Regional Co-ordinators of the Quilters Guild who will put you in touch with people or a group in your area.
If you would like to form a group to make a quilt, talk to friends who may also be interested in joining in with you. Put a poster up in the local shop, library or notice board explaining why you want to form a group and arranging a meeting place and time. You may have a local Women’s Institute or Ladies Circle or an art group, canvas these groups and see if they have any members interested. Try to get an article in the local paper or on the local radio station You may start with only a few but spreading the word you may get more people interested.