Yesterday was the second working bee at Sussex Neighbourhood House to make quilts for flood victims. Last week we put in a great effort, but most of the time and energy went into the preparation stages of Jan Mac's Quilt as You Go technique. We cut backing squares, wadding squares and strips for the front of the blocks. We completed only three blocks. Yesterday afternoon was a different story. Twenty blocks completed in the space of a couple of hours! I was stunned. I was happy. I'll admit, I raved a bit! We had two women on sewing machines. J and L were part of my beginner Patchwork by Machine class last year. Their quilting skills are basic, but they each have a long history of working in the local textile industry as machinists. When they sit down to a task, that task gets done. Wow, does it get done! They're also long-standing friends, so it was a delight to see them working happily together, chatting away, sharing resources and commenting on each others work. Meanwhile V and I made sure they had a steady supply of materials. We also pressed and trimmed the blocks as the sewing was completed. Oh, and we cheered!
Later in the afternoon L joined us. Things were moving a little more slowly by then, but another three blocks were completed before we called it a day. There are still enough materials ready for another thirty or so blocks. That's fine because we have several people who couldn't be there on the day willing to do some sewing at home. Vireya, who first got me started on this project, has completed an entire quilt, and is still making blocks. Other members of the Quilters Circle are busily working away too.
I've been so encouraged by people's response to this project. My main role has been recruiting and coordinating our little team. I've been met with enthusiam, generosity and gratitude on all sides. Several of the women who participated have said that they really wanted to do something for the flood victims, but weren't comfortable with contributing to a large financial appeal. Making a quilt is personal, creative and hands on. Let me know if you're a local who would like to get involved, or contact Jan Mac who is coordinating the project as a whole.