Monday, 12 February 2018

Siblings Together Quilt Group - A Review of 2017.

2017 was another highly successful year for Siblings Together Quilt Group. With the help of lots of lovely quilters from both home and abroad we surpassed our aim of providing the Siblings Together charity with 100 quilts for the children they support.


The quilts are born in various ways! Some are made by individual quilters, others by quilt groups who get together to make their quilts. We have had quilt tops pieced by one person who passes it on to another who does the quilting.  We now have four 'bees' making quilts, with a fifth about to start. The bees are groups of quilters who each make a block or blocks every month, these are then sent to the months 'bee mama' who makes a quilt from the donated blocks. Many thanks go to Jenny who has taken on the task of co-ordinating the bees.
We have also been contacted by the charity "Fine Cell Work" who work with prisoners teaching them to sew and ultimately sell their work, as one of them would like to make a quilt for Siblings Together. We can only guess at what may have happened in this person's life that has lead them to want to support Siblings Together.

A selection of quilts made by Bee 1.

Siblings Together Quilt Group our now are own little community of quilters working together to provide these children, who have had a rough start in their lives, with a warm comforting hug in the form of their very own quilt which we all hope will remind them of precious time spent with their siblings. The quote below is from the Siblings Together Facebook page

More quilts made by Bee 1, special thanks to Mark for his quilt holding skills.

Quilts made by the ladies of Bee 2.

This beautiful quilt was donated by the ladies of bee Blessed from Ireland.

The quilt top right was made from fabric purchased with money donated my Maria's parents who asked guests at their Golden Wedding celebrations for money to put towards  Siblings Together quilts rather than gifts . There are still enough funds to make more quilts for 2018.

In 2017 Nicky made some wonderful quilts from donated blocks as part of her 'block drive'. She put out a call on Instagram requesting Shoo Fly and Courtyard Garden blocks, and of course lots of generous quilters answered by sending her many blocks. Here are some of the quilts Nicky made from the blocks. Nicky was helped with the quilting by Pippa, Terri and Carolyn on their 'longarm' quilting machines.


Nicky is again bravely going to take on a block drive for the 2018 campaign for 100 quilts for Siblings Together. These are computer mock ups of the quilts she is planning on making from her own design.

Gorgeous aren't they? If you would like to contribute please visit Nicky's blog here for details. If you are unable to commit to making a quilt these blocks are a great way of getting involved.

We've been very lucky to secure sponsorship for quilt labels over the last few years. Firstly we were sponsored by Spoonflower, and in 2017 and going forward to 2018 we are being generously sponsored by Prinfab. Many thanks to Catherine for securing the sponsorship and for sending out the labels. If you would like a label(s) please email us for Catherine's contact details and she will forward the label.

In previous years all the quilts have been sent directly to the Siblings Together office which is evidently a small space and so many quilts take up a lot of room. Nicky therefore offered to have some sent to her home where they took over her dining room!
Delma then collected them from Nicky and they spent a lovely evening admiring each and every one.

Nicky has offered to collect the quilts again this year and has asked that they be labelled and washed before sending. Contact Nicky via Instagram Direct Mail @nickyeglinton or email us at the address in side bar for her email. They will need to be with her by the end of June for the summer camps and the end of September for the October camp.

Siblings Together Quilts have been featured in Sewing World magazine in an article written By Kerry Green, and in an article in Quilt Now. A fantastic way to spread the word to the wider sewing community.

When we first started making the quilts for Siblings Together our aim was to supply enough quilts to for the siblings attending the three summer camps. In 2017, Delma (CEO of Siblings Together), was sent enough quilts that she was able to gift quilts to children at other events organised by the charity. She was recently able to give up to 45 quilts to children attending the charity's monthly activity days and reports that each and every one of the quilts were very warmly received.

Delma also gave some quilts to older care leavers as she hoped they would "assist their healing from their lives in care". The following words are from a recipient of a quilt.

“I know that the people who made this quilt for me did not realise what a powerful thing it was to do and receive.

It was fantastic to know and feel it was made with love but it was awesome to be validated after all this time. I spent all of my life in residential care where I was made to believe no one actually cared. I’m now 51 an the pain is still there.

I lost my sister in the system and later we were parted by death and it brings her close to me and we continue to wrap our arms around each other through love and comfort of that quilt.

Thank you will never seem enough, but thank you so much for the love you put into each and every one of the quilts you make”. 

If you would like to make a quilt it needs to be made from good quality 100% cotton quilting fabric and be suitable for a child age 7 - 17. The quilt colours/design can be for a boy, girl or suitable for either. We ask for a minimum size of 50" by 50".
We are always grateful to receive donations of backing fabric, wadding, offers to quilt a top, binding and lots of cheer leading!

Many thanks for reading to the end and for supporting Siblings Together quilts.
Here's to a successful, quilty 2018!

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Kate's Siblings Together Quilt Story.

 Kate Bennett is a wonderful supporter of Siblings Together quilts and today she tells us about two fabulous quilts she's made for this years camps.

"I have been making quilts for this lovely charity for a few years now. This year I decided to make two very similar ones with the thought that two siblings could find lots of fabrics that are in both quilts, yet they are different. I backed these with some interesting African fabrics that came from Zimbabwe. These were fun to make. I love scrap quilts as I think the owners can find something they haven't noticed before."

As I write the first of this years camps is taking place, I really do hope that the weather is better there than where I am in  East Anglia, however whatever the weather I'm sure the siblings are having a wonderful time together.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Medallion quilt for Siblings Together

It's incredible to think that the 2017 Siblings Together camps are nearly here.
The dates are: 28th July - 5th August
                  18th - 26th August
                     20th - 28th October

Lots of lovely quilters have been, and still are, busying away making quilts for the children.

We would love to share lots of photos and stories about the quilts so if anyone has any stories to share please do let us know. A photo and a quick description of the quilt details will be fine.

Here is a quilt I've made.

The centre of the quilt is a block I made a few years ago and although I love it, it's been sat in a drawer so I decided to put it to good use as the centre of a medallion quilt.
Most of the square in a square blocks were kindly donated by my friend Fran  and I made a few more to make up the numbers. The piano keys border is such a quick and easy border which I've used a few times.

This picture is the back of the quilt. The square in a square blocks were made for a border for the front but I decided they weren't right so used them on the back instead. As all quilt makers know, fabric is expensive so although pieced backs take longer they are a great way of using scraps to make up a backing particularly for a charity quilt. They add some extra interest too. 

I hope a young lady will enjoy and find some comfort in this quilt.


Sunday, 28 May 2017

Siblings Together Quilts In Sewing World Magazine.

Exciting news. Siblings Together quilts have been featured in an article written my kerry Green in Sewing World Magazine.

This will be great way of speading the world to the wider sewing community which will hopefully lead to more quilts being donated.

Sewing World Magazine can be found on the following social media platforms:

Instagram: @sewingworldmag

Monday, 8 May 2017

Sheila's Greek Crosses Siblings Together Bee Quilt.


Today Sheila tells us about the splendid quilt she put together from blocks made by members of a Siblings Together Bee over on Instagram.

 I am in a lovely bee for siblings together and December was my month, I have this idea of doing a quilt to commemorate every holiday I go on. I have wanted one to remember my trip to Athens a few years ago. I will never forget going up to the Acropolis on a beautiful sunny day and see it in all its splendour.
What really struck me was the gorgeous blue sky and the creamy marble. It was a mental hop skip and jump to putting together a Greek cross block in creams and blues.

The lovely ladies from my bee and some other IG chums who weren't sent me a ton of blocks to put together.

Which gave me more than enough for one, so I might have to add a second one to my Q2 list!!

 Jo Avery of mybearpaw had written a blog post about a lovely quilt she's just finished for Siblings Together. It's a beauty, so pop over to her blog, mybearpaw, to admire it and perhaps be inspired.

Do you have a finished Siblings Together quilt that you think we may like to see and read about?
If so leave a comment and we will be in contact.

Friday, 31 March 2017

Star Bee Quilt.

Today Jen of Glinda quilts tells us about the quilt she made for Siblings Together from blocks made by the ladies of a quilting bee.

This is my 3rd year supporting the great work of this charity - and being part of a wonderful 'online' Quilt Bee. Each month - mine was January - the Queen Bee decides on a block and the other bees make it, send it to you and you make the quilt from them.

For the tutorial of my block, please see this post:

A simple design and I just asked the bees to make scrappy blocks in red, yellow, green, orange or blue. A big block - unfinished at 18.5" - and with 12 of us in the Bee, it was always going to finish a good size. Bridgid from Australia joins in too so when she and one of the bees sent me two blocks and a newbie follower on IG asked if she could make me one too, I ended up with 16! Aren't they all fabby?

I went to Simply Solids last week for a free motion quilting class with Charlo from Quiltification (what a small world; she's in the other Siblings Together Quilt Bee) and whilst I'm very comfortable and competent in stippling, the class gave me the confidence to try 'new shapes' and I immediately put it to use on this quilt:

And here it is in all its glory yesterday in the morning sunshine in Wales - finishing at 72" square, I think it will make a great quilt for an older child:

I kept the backing gender neutral - a fabby bargain from Fabric Guild - beautiful fabric and I also used the off cuts for the binding:


Thank you to all the kind and talented bees for their beautiful blocks.

Friday, 17 February 2017

The Siblings Together Menagerie of Quilts

The Siblings Together Bee 2 has been running a few years and although the membership has changed over that time the pleasure and fun of making as a group is just the same. Everyone involved has had the pleasure of seeing beautiful and unique  quilts wend their way off to the Siblings Together charity. We thought it would be fun to review the finished quilts over the last couple of years. There have been quite a few so we have divided these up into a couple of posts.

One of the many great things about making quilts for children is that matching seams, lost points etc etc which cause us quilters such heartache at times is to a child or young person completely irrelevant. Ok they don't want quilts that disintegrate the first time they are washed or have gaping seams but they do want quilts that have bright and cheery designs that have the less tangible but equally important sense that this has been made for them and with love. You can also indulge your sense of fun and worry less about modern design and originality!! So now for  a simply wonderful group of quilts of animals and birds that got made last year.

Judith of JustJudeDesigns asked for a hen block to be made. With the variety of fabrics a group of quilters can bring to a quilt you get the beautifully scrappy quilts which magically just blend together.

Next up was an appliqué owl quilt for Doti. Again a wonderful selection. Not all of us are as confident at appliqué as others (well that's probably just me...) but again the very nature of these quilts just mean they all have more character....

The same could apply to the wonderfully characterful hedgehogs that Ann had us making. In the haste to get this quilt off no picture was taken so you will have to do with pictures of my contributions. Yes I agree the one on the left looks as if it has enjoyed rather too many fermented  apples!!!

And last but certainly not least was Sally's request for the delightful Dog Gone Cute block from the very talented and generous Lorna McMahon of Sew Fresh Quilts. Lorna has designed many wonderful animal quilts and often has them as part of a quilt along so are free but also has a positive zoo in quilt form in her shop.

If you would like to make a quilt for Siblings Together please check out the "Important Information" page at the top of the blog.

Next time more quilts but no animals in the next batch...

Jenny - the lilac cat