The Children's Society Patchwork Competition 2009
© Punchstock
The Children's Society © Punchstock
The Children's Society is a leading UK charity, driven by the belief that every child deserves a good childhood. The society provides help and understanding for those forgotten children who are unable to find the support they need anywhere else. This year, the society held a Patchwork Competition to raise both funds and awareness. The competition was in two parts, an online gallery allowed the public to choose their favourite quilt, and there was also a prize for the quilt which raised the most money.
 
The theme for the competition was "Making Childhood Better". The Children's Society asked quilters to design a quilt based on this theme and use it to raise money for the vital work of The Children's Society. The prizes were kindly donated by Cotton Patch and Waitrose. The competition was open to quilters of all skill levels, and had simple rules of entry. The quilts had to be on the theme of "making childhood better", a lap quilt or wall hanging no larger than 1m square, include some recycled materials and be used to raise money for The Children's Society.
The Children's Society Patchwork
Competition 2009 © Shutterstock
 
This Quilt was made for the competition by four ladies from our Popular Patchwork forum. Janet, Ros, Kerstin and Helen G decided to get together, via emails and post, to make a Quilt for this worthy cause.

One of the requirements was to use re-cycled fabrics in the Quilt; this was done, although the base of the Quilt was made from new fabric to give it a good strong foundation. Re-cycled fabrics were sent to Janet by the ladies; amongst these were fabrics from their children, grand children and their own outgrown clothes, old cushions etc, plus embellishments. All the children on the Quilt are made using the re-cycled fabrics, the corner squares are from old cushion fabric.

Each participant took responsibility for a border, which had to be cream fabric, they then had to put something on this border including the word MAY, somewhere, which links to the Maypole.

Starting at the top;
- Ros wished Children to have PEACE in several languages
- Janet wished Children have GOOD FRIENDS
- Kerstin wished GODS BLESSINGS to be with them
- Helen wished the Children LOVE and LAUGHTER.


Katy's quilt featured motifs to illustrate aspects of childhood that she thought were important for all children today. Clockwise from top left:

  • Heart and Flower for love and friendship.
  • House for a safe and happy home.
  • Apple for healthy and nutritious diet.
  • Book and pencils for a caring and nurturing education
  • Tree for plenty of play outdoors
  • Sun for happy holidays, everyone needs a break!

The quilt was made of soft flannel in muted colours, with a fleece backing for warmth and increased cuddle factor. It included some second hand tablecloth fabric from a local charity shop, and the block layout was based on a design by Cynthia Tomaszewski.

The winning quilt in both parts of the competition was made by Irene, and was a beautiful Kenyan seaside scene. Irene really deserved to win with this lovely quilt inspired by her own childhood. Not only was it the favourite quilt as voted by visitors to the website, but it also won the prize for raising the most money for the appeal.

Irene said, "I loved being part of the Childrens' Society Quilt competition and had immense pleasure making my wallhanging which was inspired from my own childhood in Kenya in the 1950's. I thought the other quilts that had been entered were brilliant."

"Fundraising for the Childrens' Society using my quilt happened quite accidently. I went to a coffee shop in Rochester which I frequent and happened to bump into two people I knew in there, so I joined them at their table. Conversation eventually came round to sewing and I mentioned my wallhanging, which I happened to have on me. When I told them why it had been made, to my astonishment, they both gave a donation. That was the start of my fundraising! My next step was to email many of my friends to tell them about the quilts and where they could be found on the Childrens' Society website, and then I took my wallhanging to group meetings where people, again, made donations. I was overwhelmed by the generosity of those who had made donations."