Thursday, January 13, 2011

Little By Little

A poor photo but it's been overcast and raining all day so not very good light here for photos. I'll try it again if and when the sun comes out.
Today I've been making QAYG blocks and have added the condensed version of how to make the blocks on both this blog's side bar as well as my other blog Oz Comfort Quilts. I made 2 quilts yesterday and used up all the blocks I had stockpiled so today was a good day to get another pile of blocks started.
It also helps to have something positive to focus on after the heartbreaking news of the flood devastation of the past few days. It's hard to comprehend that 75% of Queensland is flood-affected and as the Premier stated they are going to be dealing with a post-war rebuilding phase which will take years.
I know that some people have said they won't want quilts in Qld and that the clean-up will be needed first but I think they are forgetting how long it takes to make enough quilts to make a difference. I learned from my experience with the bush fire quilt appeal that the quilts meant a lot to people not just for warmth but for the tangible evidence that someone cared enough about them to make a hand-made gift from their heart. This comfort and support were what kept them going through some very dark and difficult times. We needed to wait for them to be ready to accept quilts after the fires too and for me making and donating quilts is part of the recovery process- where people can start to look forward to the future and not dwell on all that they have lost.
I believe that over 10,000 homes have been affected and to date 15 people have been confirmed dead with still many missing, and the magnitude of it is still staggering.
I can't make quilts for everyone affected but we can make and distribute as many as possible, especially to the worse-hit areas. I will not be handing them over to an organization where they may be stockpiled with lots of donated "stuff". Instead I will be relying on local contacts in the areas who are willing to give them out to the people in need. We may never hear from whoever received a quilt but I will sleep a lot better knowing that we may a difference to someone's life.
So "little by little" we will get the quilts made and delivered. So far I have 20 finsihed quilts here ready to send and I received two lovely parcels of QAYG blocks from Kaite in Bathurst (NSW) and Terry P. in Quaker's Hill (NSW). Terry also sent me some beautiful baby wool as she knows that I'm also knitting as many of these people will have no winter clothing available when the weather becomes cooler. Also many of these areas which went under water had quite large numbers of homeless people living there so my crocheted blankets will also be needed so any surplus wool or yarn donations in any ply will also be welcome.
Thank you for reading this long letter tonight. I need to get back to making a few more blocks now and I thank you all for your support.
Hugs Jan Mac

8 comments:

kaite said...

And thankyou for all your words and your energy for making the quilts. i agree with you, a donated handmade quilt to people in the worst hit areas will give some hope and comfort knowing that someone "out there" cares enough to try to make a difference.

Yes, i know that they need money first to help with the cleanup and rebuilding, and we can and have done that easily by donating to the Premier's Appeal, but it also feels good in my heart to spend time making lightweight quilts as well. at least i feel as if i am *doing* something and i'm not in a position to volunteer up there.

katy.purvis said...

I have put a link up to your blog on Popular Patchwork magazine's website in the UK, as our forum members would like to help you. Please can I reproduce your quilt as you go block tutorial with all the information about what to donate and where to donate it, to help spread the word? Thanks, Katy

Merilyn said...

Hi Jan, I have started to put together a few blocks for quilts, I made 4 this afternoon and mentioned it on my blog and gave the relevant links.
Thankyou for doing this most valuable and comforting work. I'll get a few more done and send them on to you.

Rae Hughes said...

Hi

My flatmate is a rabid (and rapid) quilter - are you taking completed quilts as well?? She has three spare QAYGs in her quilting room - she went mad over her Christmas/NY break!

Jan Mac said...

Hi Katy,
Of course it's fine for you to use my QAYG tutorial for the blocks. Thank you so much for helping me to get the message out there as the need will be great.
Hugs Jan Mac

Jan Mac said...

Hi Merilyn, Thank you so much for your interest and for mentioning the blog to encourage others to donate QAYG blocks.
Hi Rae,
Thank you for your email and I would be very happy to accept finished quilts and will donate them on your behalf.
Thank you for helping me to muster support for the Qld flood appeal.
Hugs Jan Mac

katy.purvis said...

Thanks Jan, I will write an article on Monday, and I'll post a link to our Facebook fans too, I've already had quite a number of Popular Patchwork readers promise blocks, so you should get quite a few from the UK and beyond. You are doing a great job, thanks

Rae Hughes said...

Hi

Okay, they will be sent tommorrow to you. God bless for thinking of these people and beng a channel for others to get quilts to those in need.

Rae Hughes
New Zealand