A few months back I was approached by 2 enthusiastic and local quilters who wondered if I'd like to get behind a new charity initiative here called Quilts For Care Leavers (Q4CL).
Quilts for Care Leavers is a charity in mainland UK which has been running since 2018, making 'hug' sized quilts for girls and boys aged 16-18 who leave the care system and are set up with their first home. This is undoubtedly a huge step for some of these young people, and so the charity brings them together for a Christmas dinner and lets them choose a quilt that they can keep.
The quilts are purposely sized 40-50" x 66"-72" so they can be easily wrapped around the young person like a hug!
And so the colourful Lynne and Nicola decided they would like to get involved in this worthy charity, and under the auspices of Q4CL have set up a regional branch in Northen Ireland. This means that all quilts made here will go to care leavers here.
So of course I was delighted to offer advice and support to this new initiative. I already know how much of a blessing a gifted quilt can be from my time running Bee Blessed.
Through their contacts with local Social Services, Lynne and Nicola have been given the target of making 60 quilts for young people here this year.
As word has spread, so has the interest, support and donations from local quilters. I always love how folks in the quilting community are so quick and generous to support worthy causes.
There are several ways you can support this wonderful charity:
Here's what you need to do to get involved:
If you have a Facebook account -
Search 'Quilts for Care Leavers Makers' & request to join (you will have a few questions to answer. For the last question say "part of the Northern Ireland group").
Once you are a member of Q4CL Makers you can then join 'Quilts for Care Leavers Northern Ireland Group'. This is where you can keep up to date with what is happening here in N.I.
If you don't have a Facebook account -
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07543 119805.
You can also follow them on Instagram @quiltsforcareleaversni
I managed to get 7 quilts made before I moved house, 6 of which were made from scraps!
At one of the community sew days in the summer I had the privilege of teaching folks how to make scrappy strip pieced blocks, like the ones used in the quilts above. It was a really fun day and the combined block making efforts of the ladies yielded at least one completed flimsy!!
So if you've got some scraps you want to bust, or UFOs and orphan blocks you don't know what to do with, why not consider helping Q4CLNI. Or how about going along to one of their sew days (dates on the FB page) or organising a group of like minded quilting friends to meet where you are and make quilts to bless these young people?
You won't regret it!