Join Philippa McCray in her quest to craft a lasting memory for those who lost their lives in the First World War.
Most of us enjoy making gifts for loved ones, but a stitched memento is also a touching way to remember a family member who is no longer with us. That’s why family historian Philippa McCray decided to organise an epic international quilt project to honour the memory of those soldiers from the Commonwealth Forces who sadly lost their lives during the First World War. Those taking part in the project are stitching a square with the details of an ancestor who lost their life in this conflict, and the finished squares will then be combined and made up into a quilt.
As well as being an avid crafter, Philippa is also a keen family historian and writer, so what better way to combine her two passions? “I wanted to set up a scheme I hoped family historians would like to be involved with too, and indications so far are that they certainly are keen!” she reveals. “The project allows people to commemorate a family member or someone from their local community, and create their very own personal tribute to them.” And for those who are interested in taking part but are unable to stitch the squares themselves, Philippa has recruited a group of kind volunteers who have offered to complete the squares on their behalf.
Philippa is aiming to raise as much money as possible from the sale of the fabric packs, and all the proceeds will go towards UK military charities Help for Heroes and Quilts for Injured Servicemen (Q4IS). “It was very important to me that the money raised went to help those who are serving or who have served with the forces,” she says. “Help for Heroes was an obvious choice, but Q4IS is a small, non-profit making charitable organisation dedicated to bringing comfort, warmth and smiles to our brave, young injured heroes.” In fact, one of the founder members of Q4IS, Brenda Lincoln, has become instrumental in the project, as she’ll be putting the finished quilt together with Philippa. “We’ve lots of ideas on the design but we’re keeping an open mind at this stage. We’ll wait and see how many squares we get in total, I think!” explains Philippa. And with the number of squares growing daily, the quilt is most certainly going to be a unique piece of art.
If you’d like to take part in this project, which is set to run throughout 2014, visit www.spanglefish.com/FirstWorldWarCentenaryQuilt to download an order form. Each pack contains pre-cut fabric, thread and instructions, for which a minimum donation of £3.50 is being asked (including P&P). For more information, you can email Philippa at firstname.lastname@example.org or search for ‘WW1 Centenary Quilt’ on Facebook, where you’ll also find examples of finished squares.
This interview originally featured in issue 190 of Crazy - click here to buy a copy!