A group of quilting friends drawn from Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire decided they would like to raise some funds for Help for Heroes. To make the most of their talents and expertise they soon agreed upon organising a quilt exhibition and also getting together to make a group quilt which could be raffled.
 
The raffle quilt has been designed by Sue Cook and uses batik fabrics, with rich fuschias, purples, lilacs and aquamarines set on a calming pale grey background. The quilt features several techniques including machine piecing, redwork stitchery, fusible and 3D appliqué, free motion quilting and embellishing with beads.
 
Veronica traced Sue’s original redwork design on to nine background blocks and, before Christmas, Sue handed out the redwork blocks, featuring a heart shaped arrangement of flowers, to her willing and enthusiastic band of volunteers, Angelina, Janet, Pam, Jacqui and Veronica.
 

Figure 1: Redwork block
 
Two days of piecing were organised firstly at Sue’s house, cutting strips in five different colours, then cross cutting and putting the strips together to make twentyfive patch blocks, while Veronica spent the day tracing one hundred leaves onto bondaweb.
 
The second day at Veronica’s house saw the quilt take shape. The blocks were literally thrown on the floor, then trimmed to size and assembled with machine piecing. The finished top measures 90in square.
 

Figure 2: Pieced quilt top
 
Sandwiching this quilt was going to be a group effort, so Sue, Veronica, Jacqui, and Pam met at Sadie’s home, in January. ‘How are we going to do this – pin or tack? asked Sadie. The reply was ‘We’re going to spray glue it’.
 
Before sandwiching the quilt it was laid out on the floor and the 3D flowers placed on so that all involved could see the overall effect.
 

Figure 3: Pieced quilt top with 3D flowers just placed on to give the overall effect
 

Figure 4: Close up of appliqué block with flowers just placed on
 
The flowers were than removed ready for sandwiching and the kitchen table was cleared in readiness. For those of you who haven’t tried this method of sandwiching here is how to spray glue a large quilt:-
  • Open out the wadding and leave it to relax so that any creases fall out.
  • Trim the wadding so that it is about 4” bigger then your quilt all round, so for a 90in quilt, the wadding need to be 98in square.
  • Place the wadding down on a large flat surface, a kitchen table is ideal.
  • Place the wrong side of the backing fabric on the wadding, making sure it is centred
  • From the centre line of the backing fabric, fold it back on itself, so that one half of the wadding is uncovered.
  • Spray 505 glue lightly and evenly on to the wadding that is supported on the table.
  • Replace the backing fabric on the sprayed section of wadding and smooth out with your hands, smooth in the direction of the straight fabric grain rather then on the bias where possible.
  • Slide the quilt sandwich quilt up and then down the table, spraying and smoothing each section as you go. Then work outwards to each edge of the backing in the same way. If you get a ruckle that won’t smooth out peel the backing fabric back in the offending area and then re-lay it.
  • Once all the backing fabric is stuck down flip your quilt sandwich over.
  • Place the quilt top on the wadding making sure it is central, and repeat the glue and then smooth routine as described above. Finally on each edge fold over the backing fabric to the front to enclose the edge of the wadding and tack in place
If you are working on a small quilt and you can fit it on the table in one go the method is a little simpler. First tape the backing fabric right side down on the table and tape the fabric down taut with masking tape. Spray the backing, then place the wadding on top and smooth, then spray the wadding, place the quilt top on top of the wadding and smooth.
 
The 505 spray glue will hold your quilt layers together whilst you machine quilt, and there are no safety pins or plastic tags to get in your way.
 
Sue had offered to do the quilting so took the quilt home and after first stabilising the quilt by stitching in the ditch around the blocks, set to work satin stitching the fused leaves, free motion quilting the blocks and borders and adding a double fold binding.
 
Once quilted the 3D flowers were handstitched to the quilt and embellished with beads in the flower centre.
 
The quilt will be on display at the exhibition on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th May 2011 at Bushley Village Hall, Bushley, Nr Tewkesbury. The raffle will be drawn at the end of the show with all proceeds going to Help for Heroes. The quilt has also been entered in the group category at ‘Embroideries and Quilts’ at Uttoxeter. If you would like to purchase raffle tickets please contact Veronica on 01684 591513. Full details of the show can be found in our events page.

Help for Heroes

The charity ‘Help for Heroes’ provides direct, practical support for those members, both men and women, of our Armed Forces who have been wounded while serving our country since 9/11. Help for Heroes works closely with the Army, Navy and RAF and with other service charities to give support where it is most needed, is not political nor does it seek to criticise.
 
Money raised is used in a variety of projects, including the building of a new swimming pool and gym at DRMC Headley Court which was officially opened by Prince William in the summer of last year. Work is now commencing on Personnel Recovery Centres with the first one scheduled to open in Colchester this spring. Funds are also used in Individual Recovery Plans, directly supporting wounded servicemen and women as they progress along their own road to recovery, helping to give them opportunities that will equip them for their futures.