Quilts of Love have been made in South Australia by SA Quilters members since 1996. The Little Quilts of Love were inspired by a similar project in New South Wales and was started here in South Australia by the late Jean Pearce OAM. They were supplied to maternity hospitals to enable babies who were stillborn or died soon after birth to be wrapped with love. Fortunately over the years pre-natal and peri-natal care has improved and we now have far less need for the Little Quilts of Love.
We are also no longer able to accept any knitted goods as this requirement is being supplied by alternative community organisations.
In more recent years SA Quilters has been asked by the Lyell McEwin Hospital to make Isolette Covers and Crib Quilts to brighten their Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) and Special Care Nurseries (SCN). This has since been taken up by other hospitals throughout the state.
How can you help?
Due to the overwhelming generosity SA Quilters members, we have a number of various quilts in storage so we are asking members to please keep them at your home until we put a call out for more quilts as we have limited storage space. Hospitals also have limited storage so can only accept a few at any one time.
Isolette covers are needed and they are given to the parents when their baby goes home as the hospitals are no longer able to wash these (due to the high temperatures in the commercial laundries….the quilts would not last very long!). The most needed size is the 30in x 48in used by the Lyell McEwin Hospital. Please see below for instructions to make both sizes of Isolette Covers.
Isolette Covers – 30in x 48in and 32in x 32in
These are special purpose covers used by staff in NICU and SCN. They are used to lay over an Isolette to control the light environment of the baby.
The covers create a less clinical feel to the units. They should have wadding which helps block out the bright lights of the unit especially at sleep time. Please do not use bulky polyester wadding. The covers should be bright and cheerful.
Guidelines: Cotton fabric only. Covers may be pieced, panels or both and should be quilted. Cotton wadding is best so they can be washed if needed. Please ensure designs and any wording on fabric are appropriate for the covers.
Sizing is important as the staff need to be able to access the portholes and also be able to see the baby at all times. Lyell McEwin Hospital uses the 30in x 48in which are the most used size. Some of the smaller hospitals like the 32in x 32in covers.
Crib Quilts 26in x 26in
These are used in both the NICU and SCN in the open cribs. There is no limit to your imagination for creating colourful quilts to brighten up these units and make them feel less clinical. Please remember though that they need to be soft and cuddly so do not over quilt them or add heavy machine embroidery. Soft wadding such as Pellon or thin cotton is best. We also request that no embellishments or buttons are added so that nothing can harm baby’s delicate skin if they should lie on the quilts. Please ensure designs and any wording on fabric are appropriate for the quilts.
PLEASE NOTE: All quilts must have loose threads removed and be clean and stain free. They must not have any pet fur on them. Please ensure that all pins are removed.
LABELS: Labels are available for sale at SA Quilters meetings or can be posted. Packs of 5 are $2.00 and postage will be an extra $1.00. This helps the guild cover the cost of purchasing labels and it would be appreciated it if members could sew labels onto the quilts before handing them in….saves the co-ordinators a lot of time!
Quilts may be dropped for collection at the following supporting shops:
Please do not take any quilts directly to the hospitals as they have limited storage and only request quilts from coordinators as their supplies run low.
Thank you for your kind support, your contributions are so very much appreciated. Any questions or queries please don’t hesitate to contact the co-ordinators:
Jill Clausen Ph: 0403 016639
Therese May Ph: 0468 328966
SA Quilters is proud to support an initiative with the children’s ward at Flinders Medical Centre, established by Kay Lovell and Shirley Andrewartha and currently managed by Chris O’Brien.
We supply bright, cheerful quilts that are 40” x 60” in size, although there is some flexibility in these measurements as there are varying ages of children in the ward. There are also times when accompanying adults are offered a larger quilt if they stay with children overnight.
We like our quilts to be labelled with SA Quilters Quilts of Love labels, so please collect from the Flinders Kids desk at SA Quilters meetings or contact Chris to have some mailed out to you or to your group.
For more information about the Flinders Kids project please email Flinders Kids
The illustrated quilts are made using 10” blocks and instructions are below.
Check the width of your fabric, but if it’s 43/44” wide you should get 4 of all of your strips from each width of fabric cut.
For the Flying Geese:
Cut 30 5 1/4” (geese fabric) squares.
Cut 120 2 7/8” (background fabric) squares.
Cut 48 @ 1 1/2” x 10 1/2” high contrast strips.
Cut 24 @ 2 1/2” x 10 1/2” (colour 1) strips
Cut 24 @ 2 1/2” x 10 1/2” (colour 2) strips
There are plenty of online tutorials for making No Waste Flying Geese using the 5 1/4” and 2 7/8” squares. This is not the most accurate way of making Flying Geese BUT it’s fast and adding the simple strips allows for some fudging if your geese are a little inconsistent.
Assemble 24 strips of 5 Flying Geese.
Add high contrast 1 1/2” strips each side of the flying geese strip.
Add 2 colour 1 @ 2 1/2” strips to each of 12 blocks
Add 2 colour 2 @ 2 1/2” strips to each of 12 blocks.
Most of all have lots of fun and support a great cause.
Keep up to date on the Flinders Kids Facebook page.
Previously known as “Southern Comforters”, SA Quilters: Comfort Quilts is a sub-group of SA Quilters, its sole purpose is to donate quilts to charity. The group of volunteers meets from 10:00am to 3:00pm on the first Saturday of every month at the Uniting Church, 266 Main Road, Blackwood, to sort and cut fabrics, join backing, pin quilts, sew labels, and anything else required. The first meeting of the new group was on 3 September 2022.
Projects in various stages of completion are taken to SA Quilters meetings when members are given the chance to offer their skills and services to complete the work.
Supplies are mostly donated – unfinished quilt tops, fabric squares left over from challenges, and other odd bits and pieces. The donation of larger pieces of fabric suitable for backing would be appreciated.
Over the years Southern Comforters has made donations to many charities, including Ronald McDonald House, Ruby’s Shelter [for troubled or homeless youth], Cyril Lindsay House [a shelter and sobriety group for Aboriginal men], Prison Fellowship, Louise Place [a centre for single mothers] St Josephs’ Family Shelter, OARS [Offenders’ Aid and Rehabilitation Service] De Paul Society, the Daw Park Hospice, and through St Vincent De Paul Society to African refugees. In addition, the group has, for many years, given quilts to the Adelaide Children’s Hospital cancer ward and burns unit, with patients ranging from babies to 18-year olds.
All quilters are welcome to join the group by attending the monthly working bees or by taking a project to complete on an SA Quilters meeting night. There is no time limit or completion date.
Keep up to date on the SA Quilters: Comfort Quilts Facebook page.
Contact SA Quilters: Comfort Quilts Convenor, Kate Seinor, for further information via SA Quilters Secretary
SA Quilters supports Treasure Boxes
Each year SA Quilters choose a South Australian women’s and children’s charity to support. In 2023 we have chosen to support Treasure Boxes.
When poverty, homelessness and domestic violence create an uncertain, sometimes dangerous home environment, many South Australian families struggle to provide their kids with the essentials of life; bedding, clothes, toys, even regular meals.
From this troubling reality, Treasure Boxes came to be – a team of caring, like-minded people, dedicated to preventing hardship and trauma by providing kids in need with critical items many of us take for granted.
Treasure Boxes web site is https://treasureboxes.org.au/
Our generous SA Quilters members always rise to the task of helping others. This year goods will be thankfully received at the SA Quilters December meeting.
Treasure Boxes would also be very grateful if members made carry bags which would hold the goods given to people in need.
Click here to download the Tote Bag for Charities pattern.
Listed below are some of the goods currently needed to support women and children in need. You can find a full list on the Treasure Boxes donate page at https://treasureboxes.org.au/donate-goods/
Faye Packham and Lessa Siegele OAM and their generous team have finally said goodbye to the Clayton’s Committee which has been running workshops for the past 14 years to raise funds for the Bedford Group.
A mere thank you for their amazing effort is all we can offer but it is heartfelt for the committed work they have done which has benefitted so many people who benefit through the support of Bedford. Faye and Lessa handed over the final cheque in the sum of $21,000 to Sandi Stuut from the Bedford Group at the SA Quilters December 2022 meeting, bringing the total raised by the team to $350,000. Congratulations.
The funds have been raised for Bedford Industries from the workshops and the sale of the Mystery Kits since 2008. Over 1,100 quilts have been made and donated by the group since 2015 to hospitals in Adelaide. Quilts have been donated to various charities and the money raised from the sale of kits went to the Bedford Group.
In addition, Faye and Lessa sold the remaining kits donating funds in excess of $5,000 to the SA Quilters Biggest Morning Tea to benefit Cancer Research.