I've been praying over whether or not I should write this post as I usually avoid writing any negative posts and prefer to focus on what is good and positive. However I've decided to tell you about the event and see if any of you have any comments.
Recently I heard from a NZ quilter who told me that I have offended the quilters in her country by sending quilts to Christchurch. She said they have plenty of quilt guilds and quilters who will be making and donating quilts and I should focus on my own country, Australia. In fact she said that if they received a quilt from me that people would be very offended! She did tell me that the people need money but if I wanted to knit and send beanies and scarves that would be OK, which was interesting as I know that there are also many knitters in NZ.
I've been pondering this off and on since and spoke with Cat about it on Skype this morning. Cat has the contacts who are asking for quilts, baby items and knitted hats and scarves etc and although the avenue we were going to use to ship quilts to her has become difficult at the moment, I have started to post quilts off to her. For me it is important to work with people who have the local contacts and to make sure that the quilts are given out directly to the people who need them. Cat told me that although they aren't featuring in the world news, things are still far from settled in Christchurch and as an example a midwife she knows has given up 3 weeks of her holidays to work in Christchurch as the midwives there are exhausted. The areas hit the hardest are where the people have the least resources of their own.
It's interesting that the blogging world has connected so many women from around the world and the response to my request for QAYG blocks has resulted in very generous donations from around the world. As Cat said, many quilters don't belong to quilt guilds, or they don't have contact with other quilters other than through the internet and our World of Blogs. Really I think it's due to so many of you sharing information and blog sites that we get such a wonderful response to our request to help make quilts to donate to others.
Thanks to one of my blog readers I've even had requests for quilts for Japan and although it won't be cheap to post them I will be sending some over as soon as they are in a position to receive them and I thank Sandra very much for her input on what colours would be most appropriate for the Japanese people.
This donating of comfort quilts was never meant to be about me and in fact I only started to blog and talk about it to encourage others to do the same in whatever way they are able to make a difference in their own communities.
I actually pray that the quilts will reach where they will do the most good and I used to pray for fabric but now I'm praying for money to buy batting and pay for postage etc. I told Cat I would pray for a solution for sending the quilts to NZ and at the Retreat last week I received some wonderful donations of money which will enable me to donate more quilts overseas. When my prayers are answered I know that I need to continue what I'm doing by bringing comfort to others. I call them "Comfort Quilts" because they are intended as a gift and maybe the NZ quilter sees them as charity which was never intended. I'm a bit puzzled as I'm so very grateful for all the help that has been given to me with Oz Comfort Quilts and the response has been wonderful from New Zealand even though there is obviously a need in their own country.
So I'm wondering have I offended quilters by sending the quilts overseas? So far I've sent quilts to Kosovo, Bosnia, China, India, Sth America, Armenia, USA, and East Timor. I think I may have forgotten a few places but if I hear of a group which has asked for quilts then I post what I can afford to send. I know that the need is great here in parts of Australia but I decide what goes where based on the need as well as the thickness of batting. I send a maximum of 70 to 80 at any one time so that the organization has the time to distribute them before I send more. Of course that was different with the quilts for the Australian bush fire appeal where I was delivering 200 quilts very 3 to 4 weeks.
So I hope I'm not offending people by donating Comfort Quilts and I'd be interested in any responses. If this blog message offends I apologize as that wasn't the intention.
In the meantime the quilts continue to leave here to help others and I have my DH working to make a blog button so that anyone who wishes to will be able to donate a few dollars into a Paypal account.
Take care and have fun with your quilting,
Hugs Jan Mac