Just a few days ago I received this letter and photos from Yvonne Roberts, a 20-year quilter who is actively involved in the quilting community and quilting organizations in New Zealand.
“When tragedy strikes, quilters want to do what quilters do: make quilts for all those who have suffered. Just after the devastating February earthquakes in Christchurch, I contacted some quilting friends in the U.S.A. for help and it and it snowballed from there.
From the quilters of Marlborough, New Zealand, I would like to offer thanks for the more than 2,000 quilt blocks and 20 tops that were kindly send by quilters around the world, including hundreds from the U.S.A. It was heartwarming to know so many people thought of us—without hesitation people packaged up blocks and quilt tops and sent them halfway across the world.
Beautiful, colorful blocks of all shapes and sizes arrived at my door daily. As the number of blocks arriving was beyond my wildest dreams, I asked five quilting groups in the Marlborough area for help: Picton, Linkwater, Havelock, Seddon, and Marlborough Quilters.
Over a weekend in May we held a 28-hour quiltathon, with 40 people coming and going and some stalwarts spending the full 28 hours there. It was a mighty effort by everyone, with 59 quilts made during this time.
Our quilts are being delivered through churches of all denominations. My sister,Coral Kay, is a counselor and has been able to target the areas most in need. The first quilt went to a baby born amongst the mayhem, which we thought rather appropriate—a new life, a new beginning. The oldest recipient so far is an 86-year-old woman, previously a survivor of the London Blitz in WW II. She is now too frightened to sleep in her bed so has made a nest under her dining table with her quilt.
What a delight we have had making these quilts! Already 180 quilts have been delivered to earthquake victims, and by mid-June when the project winds down, we are confident the total will be over 200.
To those for whom I don’t have e-mail addresses and haven’t been able to thank personally, I’m sending this special thank you through AQS for your contributions. They are much appreciated.”