Quilting Precious Memories and gifting the quilts to the Maitland Cottage Hospital. A wonderful group of friends held regular parties for the children at Maitland Cottage Hospital and we gifted the hospital with 68 quilts.


The Passion for Quilting Ignited

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 QUILTING PRECIOUS MEMORIES.

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.


QUILTING PRECIOUS MEMORIES | DSCN0945My 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.



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.

Reaching out

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 the Maitland Children’s 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 who 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.

The wonderful Helpers cheering up the many children at Maitland Cottage Hospital, many of whom spent many months there, far away from their home.

Cheering up The Hospital Ward required many hours of  loving hard work

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 who helped so much with the parties at Maitland Cottage Hospital

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.

QUILTING PRECIOUS MEMORIES – Deciding on a Quilting Project

QUILTING PRECIOUS MEMORIES | quilting precious memories 2

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, provided 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.


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.

QUILTING PRECIOUS MEMORIES - Some of the 68 quilts made by a group of friends for the Maitland Cottage Hospital. Plus rag dolls and other toys lovingly made and given to the children. QUILTING PRECIOUS MEMORIES – An Amusing Incident on the way to deliver the quilts and gifts to the Maitland Children’s Orthopedic Hospital

I have to relate an extremely funny incident when we were delivering the 68 quilts and gift boxes for the children to the Maitland Cottage Hospital. .

After loading up the trunk of the car and the trailer, in my husband’s 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.


…..Like these…

………… Make up the Patchwork of Life

Jill Alexa

Jill of all Trades. Master of Many. Too busy to die.


  1. Dear Jill du Preez,

    Thanks a lot lot for sharing this wonderful and touching post.

    Give, and it shall be given unto you! I felt really happy when I watched the pictures and really enjoyed your post.

    The delight on the children’s’ faces as they opened their gifts and boxes filled with delicious treats, was a joy to behold. Yes indeed that’s awesome moment and a great treat to watch.

    In our church, we do go to some hospitals and visits the patients and help them, the joy cannot be explained and I realized the great pleasure is not in receiving its in giving. Hats off to you and to your team keep up the great work. Hats off to Rosanne and Cathy.

    It’s always amazing to do what we love.

    Wishing you all the very best & GOD bless!


    • Hi Paul, Thank you so much, I have tears in my eyes just thinking of Rosy and Cathy and miss them dearly. It is truly wonderful to have the opportunity to bring joy to others. Everyone needs to feel special.

      God bless you in the work you do. Am sure you bring the hospitalized a lot of cheer and encouragement.



  2. Hi Jill,

    Thank you for your informative and entertaining article. My wife and I spend a lot of time holidaying in Malaysia (when I am not working) and we belong to a charity organization that has a quilting group. The group has just raffled off a quilt to raise money for our charities, so I understand the great work you are doing. Keep on giving and you will receive in kind.

    Best wishes,


    • Hi Gary, May I commend you and your wife for the good work you do. It is wonderful to be able to give unto others and see the joy on their faces.

      Thank you for the kind comments I really do appreciate them.

      All the best,


  3. Hello Jill. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas in advance. Thank you for sharing your Quilting Precious Memories. I never knew the term “Quilting” before now. I enjoyed reading through this post. Children love gifts and they get excited by it. Quilting seems like an amazing career + I love the charity you guys put in.

    • Hi Barry, Thank you so much for the good wishes for Thanks Giving and Christmas and I wish you the same. Well now you know what quilting is all about. Am happy that I taught you something new.

      Kind Regards,


  4. Nice read! You have a very kind heart doing charities, God Bless You!

    I thought of quilting but never tried. I’ve been thinking of what to do with my son’s old clothes, specially when he was little, I just couldn’t throw them, so the “quilting idea” idea came up. In that way, I think– I can preserve the “PRECIOUS MEMORIES” as what your title says.

    I’m wondering, is quilting possible by hand? At first I thought it is but I read that you used machines to do it. 

    Anyway you’re really doing a great job helping others.

    • Hi Mina, Quilting is often done by hand and I think your idea of making a quilt out of your sons old clothes is a great idea. Thank you for you lovely comments on my post.

      I wish you all the best. Go ahead and make a memory quilt. You should love it.

      Kind regards,


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