Sunday, 29 May 2016

Chernobyl Children's Quilt Bee ...

I've said it before - the generosity of quilters never ceases to amaze me. I also think when you are generous of heart, you recognise that quality in others and are drawn towards them. That is true of my Quilty Friends both in Blogland and Instagramland - several of whom I have met in real life - others I have corresponded with, have exchanged gifts with and would love to meet up with one day.

So when I asked for some help on Thursday to make some gifts for a charity I have just got involved with - Chernobyl Children's Life Line (CCLL) - lots of special people put their hands up and said, "Yes, I'll help!" and I am so thankful. 

Just a little background: at the beginning of May, I went to a meeting with my Aunty G where Gerrie Bayley (Chair of the North Wales CCLL) was giving a talk about the charity and what they do. They are part of a national charity that helps children living in Belarus and Northern Ukraine who still suffer the effects of low level radiation some 30 years after the nuclear accident in Chernobyl. 

They are bringing 17 children (12 girls and 5 boys) to North Wales this July to stay with Host Families - whilst here, the combination of uncontaminated food, fresh air and sunshine, exciting trips out and lots of exercise does the children a power of good. 

I was drawn to Gerrie - she devotes so much time to these children and their plight - so we spoke after the talk, I explained I was a hobby quilter and asked how I could help. We spoke again on Thursday morning and have agreed each child will go home with a patchwork tote bag (Pants Bag for the boys?) and a quilted table mat for their Mum / Dad / family at home. Gerrie explained their families really don't have much at all and a little table mat would brighten up their homes.

For all my helpers (our hashtag on IG - #ccllnorthwalesquiltbee), here is my tutorial for a quilted table mat finishing at 16" x 16":

1) Choose any colour palette you want
2) You don't have to follow my pattern - you don't even have to go with 16 patch block (but 16" x16" is a nice sized finish)
3) You can machine stitch the binding if you want (I just prefer to hand sew)
4) I press my seams open but do as you prefer
5) Please add your label if you have one (if not, am thinking of getting some made)


  • Good quality 100% cotton fabric  
  • 16 x 4.5" squares
  • Backing fabric
  • Batting / wadding
  • About 70" of binding

For my design, I chose 4 different fabrics and cut accordingly. I chose the fabric for the 8 squares first because I had 1/2 yard of it so I could use on the back as well - the backing will need to be about 19" x 19" so you could just use a different Fat Quarter for the back if you didn't have 1/2 a yard to use. 

Then, I pulled the other 3 fabrics to co-ordinate ... but again, please use what you have / what you fancy.

I make my half square triangles (HSTs) like this:

and trim them down to 4 1/2":

then I decide on the layout and start sewing the pairs together; I always pin:

because I like points like this:

Once all 16 have been sewn together, make the quilt sandwich using batting / wadding and backing fabric (as you would for a quilt - I spray baste but pin if you think it needs it):

Then quilt as desired - I did some echo straight line quilting:

And I looked at the fabrics I had used and cut 4 strips of the darker orange at 2 1/4" for the binding. This is how I start and finish mine but, again, please do as suits you:

An 'arty' shot from husband:

And one from me:

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart to all my Quilty Friends for volunteering their time and fabric to help me make these gifts for the 17 children and their families and I will be back tomorrow with the Bag Tutorial.

I will try and add a link-up tool here (anyone suggest an easy one?!) but have run out of time today (got a birthday party to go to!)

Update -  I think I've managed to add a link up party!


  1. You are an inspiration! You radiate care in everything you do. Love your table mat and thank you for the tutorial!

  2. Happy to help and it sounds a wonderful cause. Just on timing when do you need to receive these? I'm constantly being made a no reply blogger! My email address for quilty things is

  3. Thank you for a nice and easy tutorial. I will get sewing as soon as my family returns. This together with our weshouldbeesectioned sewing should keep my spirits up after they go!

  4. Fabulous xx will start choosing my fabrics this week xx

  5. What a wonderful way to spread quilty love. The table mats will fit nicely in their luggage or new bags. I think tote bags are fine for boys. My boys all love theirs. They use it for library books.


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