Sunday, 28 February 2016

Siblings Together Bee 1. March Block

 This post gives instructions for the March block for the ladies of the Siblings Together Bee 1 from Jen of Glinda Quilts.

Hello all!

March is my month to request blocks for this year's Siblings Together quilt drive from the ladies in our ST quilting bees group. I am so thankful and lucky to be a part of this fantastic cause.

As well as a couple of Bees, individual quilters across the land and beyond are making quilts for this year's camps where children separated by the care system come together and are gifted a quilt. Please visit the site and blog for more information and how you can help. 

Here are the instructions (note the high-tech designing ... NOT!):

And here is my 18.5" finished block:

I decided to stay away from my favourite pinks and go with something a bit more colourful. You'll need a little bit of orange, blue, green and yellow fabric and some white background (I've used Makower scrolls and an embossed snowflake but any whites will do). 

Each of the 16 units are 5" before sewing so the HSTs will be cut at 5 and 3/4" and the four piece squares cut at 2 and 3/4":

Some Glinda preferences: I don't do random! So I'd like the colour order to be exactly the same as my block, please :) this will flow really nicely once all 12 blocks are sewn together. Also, if you don't mind, please press the seams open. 

Other than that, it's very straightforward, here are some more pics just to show how I put it together:

Thank you, ladies, you're all amazing xx

Siblings Together Quilt Linky Party

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Scrap Box Block Tutorial for Siblings Together: Frame Box.

Sarah from Sew Me is generously sharing a series of Scrap Box block tutorials ideal for making quilts for Siblings Together. Thanks very much Sarah and over to you.

I've been brewing a plan for a while.  It involves delving into my carefully stored and pre-cut scrap boxes and doing something useful with them.  Since committing to a whole quilt myself for the Siblings Together charity just isn't possible this year, I thought I might cheerlead from the sides, encouraging all of you to raid your scrap boxes and make a simple scrappy quilt or two yourselves. 

With a trusty assistant at hand a few weekends ago, we got stuck into my scrap boxes and the three block designs in the top photo are what we came up with.  There's no rocket science in any of these blocks and I'm quite sure that all of you would be able to come with these by yourself.  However, if you're trying to think of a quilt for Siblings Together and would simply like someone to have done the cutting maths for you, I'm going to share tutorials for all three types of block here over the next few weeks.

Frame Box Block Tutorial

Today I'm going to share a tutorial for this block which is a 10.5" x 12.5" unfinished rectangle.  For these blocks I went straight to my box of 2.5" strips. Just a few cuts and a few seams resulted in these pretty framed box blocks.  These would be perfect if you have leftover jelly roll strips or lengths of unused 2.5" binding. So go on, hunt a few out and join in.

To start with you will need 3 different fabrics which are 2.5" wide.

Fabric A (centre rectangle)
Cut 1:  2.5" x 4.5"

Fabric B (first frame - a 2.5" x 22" strip will allow you all the cuts required)
Cut 2: 2.5" x 4.5"
Cut 2: 2.5" x 6.5"

Fabric C (outer frame - a 2.5" x 38" strip will allow you all the cuts required)
Cut 2: 2.5" x 8.5"
Cut 2: 2.5" x 10.5"

Layout your pieces as shown in the photo above.

Using scant 0.25" seams throughout, stitch the borders in place adding the side pieces first and then the top and bottom.

Press seams away from the centre.

Your outer border is added in exactly the same way - sides first, then top and bottom.  Neatly trim to 10.5" x 12.5".   After that, hey presto ...

you will have a great wee block for the start of your Siblings Together Quilt and you'll have done something useful with those scraps!!

I realise that this isn't the most detailed of tutorials, so please do ask if you need any clarification, but honestly it is that simple.

As a by the way, I am very happy for anyone to reference these scrap box block tutorials or indeed any of my block tutorials for use in your Charity Bees or even just your ordinary Bee groups.

Hope to be back soon with the next scrap box block tutorial for you.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Link Up your Finished Quilts for Siblings Together 2016

One of our pages, the one with the tab 'Quilt Link Up' is where we will be counting up the finished quilts kindly made and donated by you, the wonderfully supportive quilting community in this year's campaign to donate 100 quilts to Siblings Together.

My Scraptastic friend Leanne set it up for us - thank you so much Leanne!

Can you please add a link from a blogpost, from Flickr or Instagram.  Instructions on how to do this are on the 'Quilt Link Up' page. 

If you do not have any of these social media, and do not wish to, then please email us a photo and some words and we can put a guest post together on this blog on your behalf and link for you.

We really want to know about all the quilts being made for Siblings Together this year so please be our eyes and ears and tell us about any that haven't been linked or tell the quiltmaker about us!

We would ask , when you send your quilt onto the charity Siblings Together, that you mark your quilt label and packaging with your linky number to help identify your quilt - please write Linky Number x!  

That way we hope the Siblings Together charity will easily be able to identify your quilt and let you know it has arrived safely.  If you are like me I get a bit agitated not knowing if something I have made has arrived or not!

Thanks for all your support in this year's campaign.  We really want things to work out as smoothly as possible for everyone involved so if there is a problem do let us know and we will try to resolve it.  

And you can help us spread the message around by putting this button on your blog page 

Siblings Together Quilt Linky Party

Monday, 22 February 2016

Stingy Bee made a quilt for Siblings Together!

And here is another Scrappy Trip Story....

Way back in 2013 I was inspired to ask my Stingy Bee mates to help make a quilt for Siblings Together.  Most of them were able to send me some blocks...

The Scrappy Trip Around the World (method by Bonnie Hunter) was all the rage, popularised at the time by Katy.  So we picked out our red, blue, grey and white scraps and put this quilt together...

Everyone sent me their blocks, and I put the quilt together in this layout, with a generous backing donation from Helen.

If you don't really think you can make a quilt on your own for Siblings Together why not ask a few friends to help - they could be from a bee you are already in, a group of online friends or even ones that you meet up with in real life!

We had fun making this quilt and it brings back a few early memories of our Stingy Bee !  

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Quilt Story - Around The World for Siblings Together

 I love receiving packages.  Sometimes I receive orphan blocks in the post from some kind generous person to make a quilt for siblings together.  Recently I received some trip around the world blocks from Cathy Ewbank - she is a lovely lady I met in person while making a dilly bag with Judy Newman.

Now these blocks have some friends from my lovely siblings together bee mate Joanne !   

And Merel, who runs a quilt shop called Birdblocks, in Amsterdam, sent some more....

I found some lovely fabric donated by Sarah/Jude through the #siblingstogetherdestash on Instagram which was perfect to back the quilt.  And then it was done!

  The ladies donating blocks and fabric to this fabulous cause are so lovely and supportive of our efforts - we really couldn't do it without them.   

I am happy to do my bit stitching it all together so we can notch up another quilt closer to our 100 quilt target this coming year.

I really seem to enjoy these collaborative efforts and along with my bee quilts it seems I hardly ever make a quilt on my own now!

If you have some unwanted blocks you can donate them - just leave a comment and we will be in touch. We also hope to have another destash so that is another option to pass them on.

 Or you might find renewed purpose and finish off the quilt yourself.  Please let us know you are making a quilt for Siblings Together.  

If you have photos of your project we would love to share them here on the blog and we welcome guest blog posts so everyone can share in the project.


Monday, 15 February 2016

The Bluepatch Quilters - update

Sheila Donnachie is back with an update on how the Bluepatch Quilters are getting on with making quilts for Siblings Together.  Over to you Sheila...

Back in early December you may recall I told you how my students were helping out with Siblings Together.  Many of the ladies in my classes love helping out with a charity drive and this challenge has been no different.

My goal was for four quilts, each measuring 60” square. I planned four colourways and on returning to class after the Christmas break, the quilted blocks started to come in, thick and fast.

In January, I had only four blocks to come, one in each colourway, which of course, is sod’s law as I couldn’t progress one to a finish, just then.

What I was able to do however, was have a good look through my stash, make a couple of small purchases, and I prepare the strips that will join the blocks, and the binding.

I have in the past been involved in group quilts and sometimes it can be tricky to achieve a cohesive look to the quilt.

That is why I decided on a colour plan and I decided to write quite a prescriptive handout, asking that care be taken with colour value so that the diagonals of the chosen block really stands out and makes a statement.

I also asked that for the blue quilt, we had no flowers or girly motifs so that we had some obvious boy quilts available.

If you teach classes, or attend quilt groups where you think a Siblings Together group quilt might be a possibility I am happy for you to contact me for a copy of my handout containing the block instructions.

Sometimes, for one reason or another you will find someone who doesn’t want to make a block – I have had a couple of ladies who instead, have chosen to give me some fabric, suitable for the block backing, or a fat quarter in a particular colour that is need – I found that yellow was a colour that not many of us had much of.

One lady in my class had been having a bit of a clear out and gave me a pile of half square triangles plus some yardage of one of the fabrics I played about with the HSTs, added in a little fabric of my own and came up with this block. I have in mind a medallion quilt using as much from stash as I can, and before too long, perhaps a 5th SB quilt will emerge.

Thank you Sheila!  And since Sheila first wrote this post I am pleased to say that one of the quilts is now finished

I'm looking forward to the rest as it is a very striking design!  

Friday, 12 February 2016

Featuring on the Quilt Now Website

Read about the Siblings Together Quilt Group here on the Quilt Now website!  Old news (Nov 2015) I know but still relevant

If you read about us anywhere else then please do let us know! 

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Siblings Together Churn Dash Quilt Story.

 Back in 2013 Sarah of Sew Me put together these two gorgeous group quilts. Here's Sarah's story of how these two wonderful Siblings Together quilts came to be.

Wavy line quilted and orange basket weave print binding.

Wavy line quilted with tiny red gingham binding.

"Back in May 2013 I noticed a thread on the Siblings Together Flickr group seeking members for a new Bee to spend a year making quilts for the charity.  Reading the discussion thread I noted that many of those commenting loved the idea of contributing to the charity quilts but weren't in a position to be able to commit to blocks every month.  Seemed a shame to me to waste so much enthusiasm and so I added my own little discussion thread and posted on my blog inviting those who would like to make a one off block contribution to a quilt for an older boy to sign up to my Siblings Together Block Drive.

Of course, you folks were amazing and pretty quickly I had offers of more blocks than I needed to make the one quilt I'd planned.  There was nothing else for it but to go for two quilts!!  So, several months of block collecting later I had a pile of 57 funky churn dash blocks from 17 different volunteers to turn into these fun, colourful quilts which I am sure will be loved by their recipients at the summer camps this year.

I cannot thank the amazing ladies who contributed these blocks enough.  They flew in from all corners of the UK, the USA, Finland, the Netherlands and Australia.  It was entirely my pleasure and privilege to co-ordinate these quilts and to allow many of you the opportunity to be part of this year's Siblings Together quilt spree.  I think we did a good job ladies!!

All that remains is for me to package these up and send them on to Siblings Together HQ and to say one final, huge THANK YOU to all of you"

Isn't this a fabulous idea? If anyone reading this would like to set up your own block drive as Sarah did  let us know and we'll help promote it for you.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Being a Bee!

One of the ways quilts have been made for Siblings Together is through one of the quilting bees started up just for that purpose.

The first one, the Siblings Together Quilting Bee, was started by Lynne Goldsworthy and though the membership has changed over the years we are still making at least one quilt every month for the charity.

I have been in it from the beginning and I love this bee and our lovely members as everyone seems so generous and supportive of each other.  Making quilts with these ladies really is a great experience.  

Here are some of the quilts we have made in the last year:

We use tutorials online or create our own to make large, simple blocks from stash.  I have started a page on this blog with links to tutorials we have used.  It will take a while to list them all but I hope to be adding to it.

Here is the block I was asking for in November:

Could it get any simpler?

Well I added a bit of extra work for my bee mates by asking them to add a square of wadding, backing fabric and asking for it to be quilted.

Here is the finished quilt

There is a second bee called Siblings Together Quilting Bee 2.   They are looking for a few new members if you would like to join them.

Alternately, I wondered if there were other generous people out there who would be able and willing to start other Siblings Together Bees.

Maybe you have heard about bees and never been in one before?  Here is your chance to try it out! 

Maria and I were thinking of trying out the idea of mini bees, set up for a shorter period (perhaps for just a few months), with fewer people, working together to make quilts for Siblings Together. The blocks will be simple and varied - it is a good opportunity to learn as you work for a great cause.  So if you want to know more, please add a comment below and we will be in touch. 

Please make sure we can contact you - leave an email in your comment if you are in any doubt please.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Siblings Together Quilt Group are hosting a pre-Christmas destash!

Imagine how great it would be to clear out some space for all those lovely quilty Christmas gifts you'll soon be receiving at the same time as giving a gift to a child at this festive time of year.  Maybe you'd like to contribute to the charity but are unable to commit to making a whole quilt. Well, we're here to help at Siblings Together Quilt group by hosting a pre-Christmas destash .

So, if you have any of the following to destash please leave a comment. Claim something by adding a reply to the donor.  Anything not claimed immediately will be added to the "Donated Supplies" page above until someone finds it.

We'd love to receive:
  • Fabric such as fat quarters, Jelly rolls, yardage, layer cakes etc.
  • Usable sized scraps
  • Wadding
  • Quilt tops that are waiting to be turned into a quilt
  • Orphan blocks
  • Binding
Please do keep visiting to see what's being offered .

If you're on Instagram use the hashtag #siblingstogetherquiltgroupdestash to see what's there too.

The quilts really are loved by the children, this lovely comment was left on our launch post.

"I just wanted to leave a quick comment to say a big thank you to all who take the time to make these amazing quilts! I've volunteered at three of the residential camps which Siblings Together run, and as I'm sure Delma has said before - the quilts mean so much to the children. Every single time they are given, the children wrap themselves tightly around them and are so touched that someone hand-made it especially for them. One little girl was amazed when that someone all the way from Scotland thought about her and made a beautiful quilt that she was inseparable from. They are stunning, and seeing how much it means to them first hand is a blessing! Thank you :"

Thanks so much and enjoy clearing out that space!

Quilt story - How some orphan blocks became a quilt top forSiblingsTogether

I received some orphan blocks some months back from my lovely friend and Bee a Brit Stingy beemate Catherine !

From early on I thought they would make a good border to a medallion quilt. I researched some complicated centre blocks but then I thought I should just keep it simple.   I made a quilt in my Siblings Together Bee out of this simple tile type block and I thought it would work here too.

As my donated blocks are orphans I don't have the fabrics these were made from so what could I use from my stash to make a quilt top?  I found what I had in the tones already used - they weren't an exact match but I find that a scrappy quilt is quite forgiving as long as you mix it up throughout the quilt.

Then I decided I wanted a colour that would bring a bit of a sparkle to the quilt!  I tried green but it wasn't working, then tried aqua, which seemed to bring that 'je ne said quoi'!

It was getting there but not big enough.

 When I asked for suggested borders on Instagram (nickyeglinton - if you want to find me) two were suggested : nine patches from Alison; and piano keys from Trudi !  So both went in the mix and I ended up with nine patch corner stones that echo my centre block and stripy piano key borders ...

I think I was right about that medallion style and my friends were right about those borders don't you? 

I just finished it off with a light orange plaid strip all the way round just to make it a smidge bigger and to tidy up all those stripy ends!   Less likely to stretch in ways I don't want it to.  

I was then kindly offered this fabric as backing for this quilt from  [IG account] @nantucks. [that macaroon bar has long gone by the way]

And then I quilted it and bound it in some leftover backing fabric.

This quilt is ready to be sent to Siblings Together.  Mission accomplished.

Publicise your Siblings Together event

Are you planning to hold an event in aid of our campaign to make 100 quilts for Siblings Together?

Maybe you have a quilt shop with a workshop space and want to hold a community based quilt or block drive for the charity?

Perhaps you are part of a group of quilters or guild and would like to host an event for Siblings Together?

We have now created  a poster on google docs  that you can download, copy and amend to publicise your Siblings Together event!

It looks like this....

100 Quilts for Siblings Together

This is a campaign run by the Siblings Together Quilt Group to provide quilts for children in the UK Care System.

We coordinate the supply of quilts to the registered charity Siblings Together.  The charity arranges holiday camps and day events in the UK to ensure that children in the care system, who are not always placed with their siblings, can retain these crucial family bonds.  The quilts are presented to the children as a reminder of the times shared with their siblings.

Please make quilts suitable for boys and girls, 7-17 years old, measuring 50” min. - 80”max, square or rectangular.

Send completed quilts to: Siblings Together, 351 Southwark Park Road, London, SE16 2JW

For further information about the charity, please visit

For further information about the 100 quilts for Siblings Together, please visit:

Join our event for Siblings Together!

What we are doing:



So if you have a venue: a quiltshop workshop space; a guild meeting room; a retreat space,  please use this poster to let everyone know what you are doing and when.

If you are a customer/member of any of the above please alert your venue owner/leader to the campaign and organise a stitching session, a quilt drive, a block drive to make quilts for Siblings Together!  

Thank you for your support!

Thursday, 4 February 2016

A quilt story from Jude!

Have you got a Siblings Together quilt story to tell?

If so, follow Jude's example and send us your text and photos, and we will publish it here on the blog.
I'm sure you will enjoy seeing what Jude has to share - thanks Jude! 

Hi, my name is Judith from Just Jude and it has been my privilege to be involved in Siblings Together from its inception.

When Lynn first put out the call for quilts, the response grew and grew.  At that time I was co-running a charity quilting bee called Bee Blessed, and the ladies there also got behind Siblings Together.

One of the highlights of the 2013 Fat Quarterly Retreat was seeing the donated ST quilts being handed over to Delma (from the Siblings Together charity).

And then started the Siblings Together Bees!  What a brilliant idea to get even more quilts made each year!

Last year I had the opportunity to join the Siblings Together Bee 2, and have had great fun making a wide range of blocks. 

In September I was Queen Bee, and I set the Mama Hen block from Lori Holt's book 'Farm Girl Vintage'.

Mama Hen for STB2 - Sept15

My bee mates didn't disappoint, and a lovely family of hens came home to roost with me in Belfast!
I've recently got the quilt top to this stage, just needing to add a border to bring it up to size!

Mama Hens (Siblings Together Bee 2)

Also last year, I contributed another girly quilt to the 2015 ST camps, after being donated some fabric from a friend in Ireland.

Scrappy quilts are my favourite kind!  I always think something magical happens when seemingly 'random' prints and colours are unified with a background fabric or some other common denominator.

It is my hope and prayer that the time, love and joy that goes into making these quilts will be transferred as comfort and blessing to the children who receive them.