Sunday, 22 July 2018

It's good to give..

Over the last 12 months we have been involved in 2 local charities which should be highlighted due to the excellent work they do.

Social Bite

Back in the summer last year the EMQG joined up with the Augusta Modern Quilt Guild to swap 12" (finished) blocks using solids - we were to make a pair and we kept one and swapped the other.  At the same time Jo Avery told the guild that MyBearpaw was to launch a quilt drive for the local charity SocialBite.

Once the blocks were swapped and brought together we decided we should create quilts from the guild for The Social Bite Village.  Two members, Mags and Pam, had a sewing afternoon were we raced each other (not really!) to create 2 tops.  

Photo Courtesy of MyBearpaw
Photo courtesy of: Mybearpaw

The Welcoming

The second charity endeavour for the Guild started from a contact from Victoria who works with a charity called The Welcoming.  They welcome newcomers to their events and activities to give people an opportunity to learn together and feel included in the local community, literally a welcoming.  An amazing charity who do so many many diverse activities.  Victoria had an idea to start a sewing group in conjunction with their warmer homes initiative and naturally that lead her to quilts.  It also lead her to us at the Edinburgh MQG.

The proposal was to run a skills workshop to teach a group of people how to sew with an aim of making quilts then run a weekly drop in for anyone that fancied a blether and a creative couple of hours.  This drop-in provided numerous benefits; friendship, new needlework skills, language skills and cake :)

As a guild we collected together donated supplies, fabrics, some new some upcycled everything was welcomed, notions and even sewing machines.  We focused on hand sewing initially English Paper Piecing (EPP) and hand piecing.  It was quite daunting, having made up little starter packs, we didn't know if anyone would turn up! We needn't have worried.  The group formed from week 1. We started with threading needles, some had a little experience but others it was back to basics.

After a single workshop on the 2 techniques the willing students jumped in and created.  In the first term of drop ins people chose to make something they could keep, something pretty or useful or both!

From upcycled jeans as the basis for tote bags decorated with EPP to a hand pieced cushion, every week we added new skills - embroidery, applique.

After a Christmas break a number of the ladies returned and more joined.  This time the group decided to work together, they had more confidence in their skills so ably lead by Mags, Ann and Suzanne they embarked on a quilt.

Again, they learned new skills every week, but this time they made blocks which came together to make a beautiful sampler.

The initiative was so loved that there are plans to run the drop in again after the summer break.

A final piece of news from the Guild, in May, the team who ran the drop in at The Welcoming were nominated for an award.   To recognise how valuable volunteers are to society a partnership between Volunteer Edinburgh and The City of Edinburgh Council run a ceremony to award individuals, teams and charities for their work.  Victoria, who originally contacted us, nominated The Quilters for an Inspiring Volunteers award.  We were successful and a couple of members (Mags & Pam (not the one named on the label, your blogger!)) happily received a certificate on behalf of the Guild group. 

So all in all, it is good to give.  Whether that is supplies, inspiration, your skill, or your time it is appreciated.