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J-Quilts blog

My day at Buckingham Palace with HRH Countess Sophie of Wessex, The Girl Guides, and JDRF

I have just had the most exciting day at Buckingham Palace meeting HRH Sophie The Countess of Wessex and the Girl Guides at an event organised by JDRF UK (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation)

Barbara Fynn contacted me earlier in the year after seeing my work on my website, asking me if I would be interested in donating my time to quilt a quilt being made by the Girl Guides to raise awareness for Juvenile Diabetes.  One of her daughters suffers with Type 1 diabetes.

Having been a girl guide myself years ago (too many to mention) it was a fond childhood memory and I felt that it was a worthy cause to become involved in, and having the diabetic link also was such a good cause.  So I agreed to quilt the quilt, and offered to donate the backing fabric, wadding etc,  not knowing at this stage what the quilt was actually going to look like, or be like. 

I truly believe that me having been in the girl guides saved my life and my house from burning down when I was 13.   I set a chip pan on fire by accident at home (why I was cooking crispy pancakes goodness knows why) I learned at Girl guides how to put out a chip pan fire with a damp tea towel, and had that not have been the case by the time I had reached my Dad at work about 10 minutes away our house could easily have been engulfed in flames.  So truly this is a cause close to my heart.  Thankfully because I had been to girl guides I managed to put the flames out by myself then I went to get help.

Before arriving with me there were lots more people involved in the SEW1 project.  The girl guides in various parts of the UK were sent instructions made up by Maria and Claire at Beautiful Things in Brentwood, who organised simple four patch blocks to be constructed by the girl guides who created beautiful blocks with various appliqued hearts, birds, girl guiding symbols such as the Trefoil, and other symbols relating to London also.  All were beautifully made by the guides some of whom had never sewn before.

The blocks were assembled by Barbara and other volunteers, supervised by Maria (a patchwork teacher) before being completed into the quilt top ready to be sent my way for quilting and binding.

Once I received the quilt, I was relieved to see that it was so well made and put together and laid nice and flat ready for quilting.

Barbara then bought the quilt over to my studio to be longarm quilted, and we talked about different quilting options.  The variety of fabrics used and the lovely scrappy nature of the quilt lent itself better to an allover quilting design rather than custom quilting.

After removing the buttons (the birds eyes) so that I could quilt it without damaging them, I proceeded to quilt it with an allover Clover design which resembles the girl guides emblem the Trefoil remarkably well.  I initially had thought a hearts design would look nice to compliment all of the heart appliques on the quilt, but then I was inspired by some of the applique shapes on the quilt in the Trefoil emblem.  Having been a girl guide I then started to remember the Trefoil and its meaning, I thought it had more meaning to the quilt.  Then of course the buttons went back on.

I chose a lovely Hawaiian Blue thread to blend into the quilt so as not to overpower the quilt too much so that the girl guides hard work could shine through.  I then attached the binding, and hand stitched it down.

When I have access to the official photos at the Palace (no cameras allowed inside unfortunately) I will share them here too hopefully in a couple of days.

It was lovely to also meet and chat with Claire, Maria, Barbara and her three daughters, and Julie and all at JDRF in London, and to put names to faces of all the emails shared over the past few months.

The most exciting day I will have in a very long time..  thanks Barbara and girls for being my travel buddies for the day too.

HRH Sophie Countess of Wessex sewing the final few stitches on the label attached to the back of the quilt
HRH Sophie Countess of Wessex sewing the final few stitches on the label attached to the back of the quilt
Official photograph of today at Buckingham Palace
Me today in the rain before going into Buckingham Palace for the event
Me today in the rain before going into Buckingham Palace for the event
Girl Guide quilt for SEW1 project
Girl Guide quilt for SEW1 project
pieced by Girl Guides, Barbara, Barbaras Mum and Aunt, Maria, Clare, quilted by J-Quilts
Me with the completed quilt in my studio
Me with the completed quilt in my studio
(excuse my studio clutter !)
Barbara Fynn at my studio collecting the quilt
Barbara Fynn at my studio collecting the quilt
Barbara had the idea of creating a quilt for fund raising purposes for Diabetes awareness
Lovely Zebra block
Lovely Zebra block
made by a girl guide
Sweet Bird block
Sweet Bird block
made by a girl guide
Heart block
Heart block
made by a Girl guide
Cute elephant block
Cute elephant block
made by a Girl guide
Sweet bird block
Sweet bird block
made by a girl guide
Colourful blocks
Colourful blocks
made by a girl guide
Lovely scrappy nature of the quilt
Lovely scrappy nature of the quilt
Quilting by J-Quilts




1 Comment to My day at Buckingham Palace with HRH Countess Sophie of Wessex, The Girl Guides, and JDRF :

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Val Beecham on 19 November 2014 21:49
Hi, I'm Barbara's aunt and we met when we brought the quilt to you for finishing. Just wanted to let you know what a stunning job you did, the completed quilt was wonderful. Many thanks for your generosity and support!
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