We’ve had a few enquiries recently regarding Project Linus and its absence in the exhibition.
I first heard about Project Linus in 2003, when I lived on the Isle of Wight. The headline ‘Blankets of Love for Sick Children’ was followed by a news report detailing how volunteers had presented a pile of quilts to St Mary’s Hospital children’s ward and neo-natal intensive care unit. As a mother whose twin daughters were born prematurely, but needed little in terms of intensive care treatment, this act of generosity touched my heart.
During the course of my research for Quilts 1700-2010 I continually thoughts of ways in which we could represent the work of an International Charity which continues to help children feel secure in times of sickness or trauma. Indeed, it seemed essential that we not only recognise the importance of the charity, and the emotional support that they provide, but to engage with it in a practical way, with a real outcome.
For this reason we will be collaborating with Project Linus on a forthcoming event entitled ‘Patchwork Social’. Over the May Bank Holiday (1-3 May) we will be inviting visitors to activity participate in the creation of a 12 x 12 inch patchwork block by hand or machine. The blocks will then be transformed into a quilt/quilts for Project Linus. As the event will be a series of free drop-in sessions we hope that many visitors will contribute, including those who may not intend to visit the exhibition space. Over the course of three days, the event will provide the opportunity to discover the power of stitch, including the ways in which it can provide comfort and solace as outlined by the work of Project Linus.
Speaking of generosity of spirit. We continue to receive lovely letters and emails for which we are truly grateful. Obviously we know we can’t please all the people all of the time but frankly some of the less complimentary comments would certainly give Simon Cowell a run for his money! However, I wanted to share a very touching letter I received from a lady who describes herself as a ’93 year old patchwork and quilter’. She continues ‘Please accept my congratulations! You are showing some quilts in an exhibition and I am so delighted, because so many people don’t realise what a great art this is….the joy and friends that have come from my hobby is so great – and I just say thanks. Good luck with your show – I’ve spent many happy hours in your Museum over the years – now I don’t go out’.
What a star!
You can find out more about Project LInus at www.projectlinusuk.org.uk