In the previous post, I featured just some of the celebrities who agreed to sign the patchwork blocks for this quilt. Over the months, Dennis would gather together a number of signed blocks and bring them over to me for embroidery (and a cup of coffee). I prepared “packs” of blocks and threads for London Quilter volunteers to embroider. These were done beautifully over the course of several months, with each signature embroidered in red, white or blue.
Eight members of London Quilters assembled the quilt at my house on 21 January 2016. We first arranged the blocks to create a harmonious mix of the different fabrics.
We made a careful note of the location of each of the signatures so we could later create a diagram.
The blocks were sewn together in rows.
The rows were sewn together with a considerable amount of help from Jack who made sure everything was in the right place. When that was done, we stopped for a well-earned lunch and some home-made chocolate cake!
After lunch, red borders were sewn around the edges of the patchwork.
The next important step was to clean up the back of the patchwork by removing all the threads and frayed fabrics. This was quite a communal effort!
The quilt was layered with wadding and a back. We all got on the floor to baste it together. It's very satisfying being part of a group effort like this, and everyone agreed it was a lot of fun too. Not to mention the cake, coffee and biscuits!
We were all done by 4pm. It was a very good day’s collaborative effort. Many thanks to the London Quilters who did so much to make this quilt a reality.
I machine quilted the work, which took several weeks.
Here's the embroidered signature of my friend Ted Dexter, former Captain of the England Cricket team.
After the quilting was done, I hand-embroidered the title of the quilt and the charities that it will support. Money raised will be split between Veterans Aid, which helps homeless military men and woman, and Soldiering On, which recognises people in the Armed Forces for their work.
Dennis came to the January 2016 meeting of the London Quilters for his first glimpse of the finished quilt and a formal presentation.
He also met many of the volunteers who worked on the quilt.
Dennis said, " I enjoyed getting the celebrities involved, and I think it’s an important cause. I served in the military back in the 1960s. I had a great time, it served me well and taught me a lot. I want to repay the 10 years of service I had.” The quilt will be auctioned on 30 June 2016 at a Square Mile event in the city. Let's hope it raises a lot of money for Veterans Aid and Soldiering On.
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