Virtual Charity Quilt Sew In

A very good friend of mine, Josephine makes quilts for a Victorian based charity – Very Snuggly Quilt Program. They make quilts for sick kids in the Royal Children’s Hospital. She’s an absolute inspiration to me… the majority of her sewing time goes to Snugglies (as it is affectionately known) and they make 200 quilts Every. Single. Month for the kids.

In November last year, Josephine invited me to join her and share one of her charity quilt workshops. The makers who came along made 14 or so quilt tops for each charity. We came up with this brilliant idea to see if we could get 50 makers to come along to the next charity day with the grand plan to make 100 quilt tops on the day!


Needless to say, we have been busily cutting up quilt kits to use on the day. I have cut up soooo many nine patch, disappearing 4 patch, disappearing nine patch, St Louis 16 patch, rail fence, square in a square, charm square quilt kits that I’m seeing squares in my sleep!

The quilt workshop is set to take place this Sunday, 12 February 2017 at 10.30am at St Augustine’s hall in Yarraville and at this stage we have 42 women confirmed to attend. It’s going to be a fabulous day – we have sponsors and prizes and music and dancing planned for the day. And we are aiming so high…. 100 quilt tops or bust.


Genny and Ruth pattern block by me! – Free pattern on Robert Kaufman website

Thing is… I have been asked from lots of people outside of Melbourne whether they can join in on the day from their remote (to Melbourne) locations. And the answers is YES!!!

The question has also been raised about which quilt pattern should makers be using. And well… any pattern is fine, for any quilt size from crib size up to largish lap size. The quilts will be donated to women and kids in domestic violence safe houses across Australia and, really they just need to big and bright enough to give a comforting hug.

BUT… because I know some people prefer to work to a pattern I have asked the amazing folks over at Robert Kaufman have been kind enough to give us permission to use the free Genny & Ruth pattern from the inimitable Elizabeth Hartman.

I have some experience with this quilt. I was inspired by the quilt Kate Basti made for Alison Glass using her gorgeous Seventy Six and Insignia ranges so I decided to make one for myself! The blocks come together so fast and they’re huge – 20″ to be exact!


Yummy hey!

So – if you are keen to get involved, but you’re not in Melbourne, then you could easily whip up a few of these blocks and have a quilt top to donate in no time. The great thing is that even if you only have time to make 4 blocks, that still makes a 40″ x 40″ quilt. And if you could stretch to 6 blocks, you’d make a 40″ x 60″ quilt and 9 blocks make a bumper 60″ x 60″ quilt.

Now… I’m a person who likes to give options!

When I was making up quilt kits I discovered that, with a slight variation, this quilt block can be even faster to make (read: no HSTs)! So I came up with a quick tutorial in case you are HST averse or really just need a fast finish!


Each block requires:

13  x 4.5″ background squares

12 x 4.5″ coloured squares (can be scrappy or all the same colour)


Start with (13) 4.5″ background squares and (12) 4.5″ coloured squares


Lay out your background and coloured squares to match the picture below.




Piece each of the rows together – chain piecing works brilliantly here.

Press the first, third and fifth rows to the right and the second and fourth rows to the left.

Piece the rows together, nesting and pinning at the joins.

And voila! You have a 20″ block.

It took me about 10 minutes to piece the block together. I found that if I cut out all the fabric first, then laid out my blocks and chain pieced that it was super fast and really effective!

For 4 blocks you will need  52 background squares and 48 coloured squared (4 x 12). For 6 blocks you will need 78 background blocks and 72 coloured (6 x 12) squares. And if you really want to go big or go home… then you’ll need 117 background squares and 108 coloured squares (9 x 12).

So there are a couple of choices… and I’d love it if you joined us on Sunday for our “Virtual” Charity Quilt Making Sew In Day…

Phew! That was a mouthful!