Thursday, 10 March 2011

A softie and some QAYG blocks for Christchurch

I'm sure you all saw the awful images on the news a couple of weeks ago, showing the terrible destruction and heartbreak following the devastating earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand. This follows on from another big earthquake that happened just a few months ago.
Cat from Catalina's Cottage has been organising 'Quilts to comfort Christchurch kids'. And another blogger, Leonie of Kiwi at Heart is organising 'Softies for the children of Christchurch'. These are both such wonderful projects I felt I could contribute something to both. Above is my 'softie' but first let's have a look at the blocks for Cat's quilt appeal.
Cat wanted QAYG (quilt as you go) blocks to be made up into quilts and handed out to families who have lost so much in the earthquake. Cat has distributed 32 quilts already after the first earthquake, but the devastation of this latest one means she needs more! She pointed us to a great tutorial here. I have never done these before, but they were very quick and straightforward to do. All the fabric came out of my scrap box and the wadding was all scrappy too. As time was limited (all my time is limited at the present...). I only managed 4, but I can always do more soon if there is still a need - but perhaps there won't be after the rest of you have all made some ;).To find out more about how to help with this really worthwhile project, just click the button on my sidebar.
I really wanted a fun project after a fair bit of toiling over my Doll Quilt, and all the time I had put in to preparation for the 'hand sewing pincushions' class I was teaching at my local quilt shop last week (it went very well, thank you!). 
I had really enjoyed making Miranda for the Babies in Brazil project last year. So I decided my 'Softie for Christchurch' could be a rag doll too. 
So let me introduce you too Annalise...
I am very pleased with her because I made her from my own pattern. She is very simple and basic (no offence, Annalise) but I particularly like her dress with little puffed sleeves, and her big thick plaits (or 'braids' as some call them).
She is a Scandinavian themed doll and so I picked a Scandinavian name to match. Her dress is made from this adorable fabric that I first saw (in a red version) on the pinnie that Isisjem made for the Scrappy Pincushion Swap. She kindly gave us a link to the UK fabric shop that had this blue version in stock, Fabric Rehab. And even though I am on a serious recession budget at the moment, I just couldn't resist one tiny fat quarter...
Also the red crocheted lace at the bottom of her dress is from Danish company Greengate and the blue embroidered ric rak that ties her plaits was bought in an amazing braid and button shop that we visited in Stockholm a couple of years ago.  So she just had to be blonde with lovely pale skin. 
I always find that dolls are harder to part with than, say, quilt blocks, or even quilts! It must be their little faces. Nevertheless, Annalise will be going on a long journey through the mail as soon as I can bring myself to wrap her up. I am sure she will be well loved and appreciated wherever she ends up.
If you would like to make a softie for this appeal then just follow this link.
And speaking of Greengate, we just took delivery of this season's new goodies from this fabulous Danish version of Cath Kidston. I am always reluctant to use this blog for anything that vaguley resembles 'hustling' and therefore hardly ever flag up the lovely stuff we have in the shop. But this is fabric and therefore different!
This is Bella Vintage and the top one is Multi Star (bit unimaginative!). I sell these fabrics by the metre (£22.99 each - I know, expensive, but they are a thick, furnishing quality cotton and also 166cm wide, and it's the bloody Euro!) but also do well cutting them in to fat quarters. This is when I get to pretend I really own a patchwork shop rather than a housewares one, which is such fun!
Here is Kristrine Pale Blue.
The last few weeks have been a real struggle as I have had to work too hard and too often at the shop and have had little time or energy for anything else, hence my increasingly rare blog posts. I do feel like I am finally catching up and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Expect a bit more activity soon!


  1. Oh Jo those Greengate fabrics are simply adorable! I love Cath Kidston but I think I've found a new love - do you ship to NZ?! LOL
    Thanks for the post about the blocks - I received an email yesterday thanking for a received quilt - it reconfirms why we do this . . . I'll post it on my blog.

  2. Oh, Jo, your wee dolly is such a sweetheart! What a clever clogs you are making her up yourself. I resisted the urge to call you a smartarse, didn't I do well? *grins*

  3. I love your blocks for NZ. They, and a softie, are on my to-do list. Are you sending them to the UK contact that Cat sent to us? Annalise if beautiful. I am so impressed - I made a doll last year and haven't been able to get her hair right or her face (not that Islay cares) - maybe I need to try and hunt down some tutorials. I had wondered about making a doll of some kind too since I guess a lot of people will make stuffed animals and it would be nice for there to be a few really girly toys.
    Sorry to hear you are so busy. I do hope it eases up soon. Juliex

  4. Hi Jo, I have come to you from the New Zealand appeal link - if you look at Leonnie's blog I am next door but one to your comment! I just wondered if you have heard back with an email giving posting details - I have sent my details, but haven't been contacted - I am not very good with techno stuff and just assumed that my email hadn't got through, so I sent again, and still no response. I have two softies ready and waiting for their plane tickets .... if you have time, please visit my blog and leave a comment, or I will email you if you prefer.
    Many thanks ..... your doll will be sooooooooo loved :0)
    Val xx Oxfordshire

  5. Oh your doll is just gorgeous!! Im sure she will go to a very loving home in Christchurch.
    I just read Val's comment above and I hope she reads this because Ive emailed her back about 3/4 times and I dont think she's getting my email. Could you please pass my apologies and address to her. Thanks so much!

  6. I just had a lovely 10 minutes on the shop's web site - no reason not to blog about the lovely stuff there. The new fabric is lovely, wish I could find a use for some Bella Vintage!

  7. Val, I hope you have come back here to look at the comments because there doesn't seem to be any other way to get in touch with you. I can't reply to your comment as you have a 'no reply' status and your profile is not available! That's maybe why Leonie's emails are not getting through to you (see above). Try emailing me from your usual email (by clicking 'email' on my profile page), and also check out your google account, make sure you have entered a valid email address and that you have unchecked any button that is stopping this from being seen. Hopefully will hear from you again very soon and we can get those softies to their new owners!

  8. She is very sweet and I'm sure that she will be loved and treasured by whoever she is sent to.

  9. Annalise is lovely - I can see why you would not want to send her away. Love her dress too. You are a very clever bunny!
    I hope the shop picks up for you Jo - sure it will as the spring of the year approaches.
    Much love, Sarah V. xxx