All quilters will agree that once you begin this fabulous journey of quilting it becomes a passion. One cannot pass a fabric store without going in and coming out with another treasure for your stash.
We realize the importance of this as we will be #quiltingpreciousmemories.
These quilts are not only for ourselves to bring comfort and joy, but they are also for family, friends, clients and for generations to come. That is one of the reasons one puts a date and message on the back of the quilt.
Initial Foray into Quilting
My initial introduction to quilting was the making of a small quilt, by hand, piecing hexagons together.
Then hand piecing shapes and making cushion covers. Dear friends of mine in Krugersdorp still have two of these gracing their lounge. It was fun to choose fabric which would fit in with their color scheme.
It lifted my spirits when I visited them, (which is not so often now, unfortunately, due to circumstance and distance) to see that they still value them and the work that went into them.
It was to be many years later when I went back to quilting and this was after my husband’s retirement. This meant leaving the Church we had served for nigh on 30 years and joining another.
This is common practice as it gives the new incumbent opportunity to settle into the Church without any interference from the previous minister.
Out Reach Group
On joining the new Church it wasn’t long before I joined an Outreach Group. This was just the sort of group I love to belong to, as they have no minutes of the meetings etc. which, quite frankly, bore me to tears.
We actually did things to help the less fortunate. Knitting jerseys, beanies and making blankets etc. for outlying community nursery schools. These folk are often in dire straits and welcome any gifts with joy and gratitude. We knitted tiny vests and beanies for newborns.
Party Time at Childrens’ Orthopedic Hospital
One of the projects we undertook, was to hold a party once a quarter for the children in an orthopedic hospital. We don’t know why enjoyed it more, the children or the organizers
These children are from all over Africa and sometimes only speak their mother tongue, so communication could be difficult.
We began to collect, books and toys to keep them occupied whilst lying in bed day in and day out. The delight on the children’s’ faces as they opened their gifts and boxes filled with delicious treats, was a joy to behold.
Cheering up The Hospital Ward
It was apparent that the wards needed cheering up and we decided on a bold plan to make quilts to cheer the place up.
After appealing in Church and explaining what we wanted to achieve, donations of money and fabric began rolling in.
This being a congregation made up of many older people who no longer had the opportunity to sew, I had to look for helpers among my friends. It was wonderful to work alongside them.
In Honor of Two Wonderful Women
At this point, I need to apologize for the quality of these photographs but I really wanted to put them into this post, in honor of two of my friends, Rosanne and Cathy, who spent so much time helping me in this project, and who are no longer with us.
Despite them both having cancer they helped to cheer up the little children in the wards and I salute them.
The Quilting Project
The collecting and matching up of fabrics commenced.
We would be making 65 quilts for the hospital and a few extras to raffle to bring in some much-needed funds for the batting, thread, backing fabric etc. It was decided to keep it simple by just piecing squares and then quilting.
Scraps and surplus fabric left over from the quilt making were made into rag dolls which were given to the little girls at Christmas time.
Whilst shopping around for the batting I came in contact with Dot Lubbe at Dots Quilts. She was so helpful and when she heard how many quilts we were making she offered, that, providing we bought the batting from her, she would get her quilter to quilt them on the big quilting machine for us.
I was blown away by this wonderful offer and agreed.
When we had 20 quilts ready for quilting, I took them along to Dot’s Quilts only to find that the quilter had left.
Learning on the Job – What an interesting Experience
I proposed that I learn to use the quilting machine and also do the quilting she needed to be done at the shop. It worked for both of us and It was such a challenge to learn how to use the industrial quilting machines and doing the quilting. What a joy.
It was also amazing for me to watch Una Cloete doing the free motion quilting on her machine. That really got me hooked and when I wasn’t working on the big machines, I would be working at home on my trusty Bernina doing free motion quilting. Val and Anne, quilted stitch in the ditch technique on some of the quilts.
We had such fun delivering the quilts to the Hospital and seeing them on the beds.
Humerus Incident on the ways to Orthopedic Hospital
(Pun Intended) -Have to relate an extremely funny incident when we were delivering the quilts and gift boxes for the children to the hospital. . As you can imagine there was a big load so my husband decided to use the trailer in which to carry everything.
Well, in his haste, he did not latch the trailer onto the hitch properly and as we turned into a very busy and steep corner, we went one way the trailer carried on down the hill.
It was fortunate that it came to a halt against the curb but I still shudder to think what could have happened had it not stopped.
It is funny in retrospect but we were also rather shaken up.