Imagine being an orphaned child in Eastern Europe and having the opportunity to go into a room full of beautifully handmade Liberty quilts and choose one to keep. Forever. These comfort blankets are made with love by people unknown to the children to bring physical comfort and warmth, but also to brighten their lives and surroundings each day. They are hand delivered by Alice and Anna who began this ambitious Quilt SOS project four years ago, working together with SOS Children’s Villages charity. On Monday they head to Latvia with 65 quilts, just enough for each child in the village.
The makers of the quilts are talented sewists, many who already have a Liberty stash at the ready or who purchase packs by the scheme Alice Caroline offers to customers. A couple of their stories are coming soon.
Quilts made in previous years have been exhibited in the Liberty store and also at Festival of Quilts, before their important journey to their new homes.
Alice was determined to start a project which would enable her to give something back, and initially thought of quilts for Syrian refugees. However, she realised that a heavy quilt may not be a practical item to carry when constantly on the move. A friend then told her about the SOS Children’s Villages charity, and their partnership began. The charity aims to source donations in their own county, so the quilts are accepted on the basis that they are delivered by hand – and this gives Alice and Anna the wonderful opportunity of seeing the children’s reactions to the gifts for themselves (as well as encountering wild dogs and some hairy driving situations in previous years!)
The quilting community is an incredible one to be part of, and making these films confirms that belief for me each week. I was truly moved and inspired during my road trip down to Alice Caroline HQ in Gloucester. Quilts take hours of dedicated time to create and each one I saw was so beautiful. In practical terms their monetary value is huge – but that’s really not the point! People struggle breaking into their precious Liberty stash sometimes – yet this project moves makers to think beyond the material and to share that joy with children who simply wouldn’t have access to such fabrics. The act of giving to others is powerful, and in turn helps the creators to find friendship in sewing bees, or to cope with their own worries and anxieties so everybody takes away a little bit of quilty love and happiness.
Safe travels to Latvia, Alice and Anna!
To find out more about the project just click here and please leave a comment below to let us know what you think.