News Article written for Studley Voice September 2020

Studley Quilters and lockdown

Lockdown was, and still is, a difficult time in some way or another for most people but by keeping busy and helping others the time passes relatively quickly for members of Studley Quilters.


Within a couple of weeks of lockdown starting we were asked if we could make ‘scrubs bags’ for the NHS. Staff were taking their uniforms home in plastic carrier bags and then having to unpack it into the washing machine and throwing away the plastic bag, this all had the potential to increase the risk of transferring infection and increasing the use of plastic bags. The fabric bags enabled staff to wash their uniform in the bag reducing the risk of infection and having the benefit of being re-usable.


Over a period of 13 weeks Studley Quilters (and friends!) produced 1421 bags, we also made masks and headbands, in total 2545 items were made.


All of this was achieved not only by the ladies doing the sewing but with volunteers collecting and delivering finished products, people donating fabric and countless hours co-ordinating the project.


Bags, masks and headbands were delivered to hospitals (The Alex, Warwick and other hospitals where staff were transferred such as Kidderminster plus Heartlands and Solihull ), doctors surgeries in Alcester and Studley and Four Acres, Cherry Trees, Meadow View and Salford Care homes. We also supplied Shakespeare nurses and Community nurses and some to the QE and Women’s Hospitals in Birmingham.


Studley Quilters have members who live in Kenilworth and Coventry (it’s a long story!) who also made bags which were delivered to the University Hospital in Coventry and when local organisations no longer needed bags we carried on making them and delivered 393 to various north Birmingham hospitals.


Of course, no one knew how our lives would change in 2020 when at the end of last year were asked to make incubator quilts for the neo-natal unit at the City Hospital so in addition to making items for the NHS we have also been busy making quilts. Much to many people’s surprise (mine certainly!) incubator quilts are quite large, around 50” x 60”, as they envelop the whole incubator and are not used as a ‘duvet’ so we are also making cot quilts for the babies to take home with them and if the colour scheme doesn’t fit in with the nursery at home they make great play mats!


We have also been producing a magazine style newsletter each month, the usual one page update after our meetings being replaced with around fourteen pages. Contributions have been received from Alex Ander-son and Ricky Tims, two very popular quilters from the States, as well as articles from quilters much closer to home. Like all good magazines there has been a mixture of patterns, competitions, special offers and articles on sewing related topics.


Studley Quilters last met as a group at the beginning of March, never dreaming that come the autumn our meetings would still be on hold. We are hoping to meet before Christmas and without any major changes this is now beginning to look more likely, but who knows what tomorrow will bring?!


Obviously not every member of Studley Quilters has participated in every project we have been running, everyone has different interests, likes and dislikes, and that’s the benefit of our group; there’s always someone who can help or point you in the right direction if you want to try something new.