Most of us who are quilters have been involved in creating quilts for charity. We do this for many reasons, but primarily our gift quilts show that we care about the people who receive them, and they offer a very tangible way of receiving comfort and warmth.
As a member of Lutheran Women of Australia, I recently attended its convention in Adelaide. In the year prior to convention, our president issued a request for quilts to be made and presented at convention. Quilts could be sewn, knitted or crocheted. Organisers hoped for around 400 quilts to be distributed around the country wherever need is found. Many will go to African migrants, most of whom are refugees who have been through appalling experiences before coming to Australia.
I decided to hand sew my quilt, slow I know, but it had the advantage of being portable and would use scraps of fabric in the stash. My thread of choice was Aurifil Cotton Mako (of course!!), this time in 40 weight. I made quilt-as-you-go hexagons and figured that if I made just a few every month I would have enough when the time came to take my quilt to Adelaide. In all I made 67 hexagons.
I invited my mum to help me make a second quilt, this time a knitted one since Mum does not sew, but she is a great knitter and between us we have lots of scrap wool.
This time we required 64 squares, making roughly half each. I sewed them together and crocheted a border around the edge.
When we arrived at convention, the venue was decorated with many quilts hung around the walls. A number of trestle tables and clothes airers held many more. Many styles and levels of difficulty and ability were represented, but all were colourful and the generosity of the makers really shone out.
Before very long it became apparent that there was insufficient space to display all the quilts and so organisers simply had to pile the quilts wherever they could. Soon not only were more tables brought in, but all the space under the tables was used too!! A preliminary count at morning tea on the first day indicated more than 1200 quilts and still they kept coming!
Many quilts did not go to Adelaide but will be distributed in their state of origin and so at the time of convention it was difficult to estimate exactly how many had been donated.
But in case you are wondering what the latest count is……. (drum roll). ….over 4000! What a great effort!