Gift quilts

Gift Quilts

2023 Wellington Airport Community Awards 

We were recently announced joint runners-up in the Porirua - 2023 Wellington Airport Community Awards.  These awards are announced annually to recognise the work carried out by community groups in the wider Wellington region.  The focus of the awards is to celebrate volunteers for their valuable contribution to society.  Coastal Quilters was nominated for their generous donations of gift quilts made by members for community groups and they continue to carry on with this very valuable tradition.

Welcome Quilts was formed in July 2010 (now known as Gift Quilts) when Isobel Whooley became the Welcome Quilt co-ordinator for the club.  She was looking for a gap in the community where they could make a difference and offered quilts to the Red Cross Refugee Services. 

Since then many quilts have been given to Refugee families  who arrive in NZ with very little. In September 2012 Refugee Services' Porirua office celebrated the 100th handmade "welcome quilt" with a morning tea for Coastal Quilters members. Since then many more quilts have been provided. In May 2015 we provided a quilt for girl from Columbia who was reunited with her family, then 11 quilts in October for the children of refugee families from Burma and Columbia being settled in Porirua. We have provided 17 for the children of Syrian families who arrived on Friday 26th February. In April 2016 another 17 were handed to the Red Cross for distribution 46 in the last 9 months! 

From 2016-2022 Marge Hurst was the co-ordinator and Coastal Quilters continued to provide a quilt for younger members when a new family settles in the Porirua area. This could not have been achieved without the dedication of members who donate fabric, piece quilt tops, assemble quilts, quilt them, stitch bindings. It is a proud tradition for quilting guilds to make quilts for charities as a contribution to the community.  In late 2014 we surveyed our members to check whether they still wanted to do this.  The decision was “yes” but the committee made the decision to make quilts for the children only to try to keep the numbers of quilts manageable – just as well we did given the recent demand!  Naturally it is entirely up to members whether or not they choose to participate.

In 2022, Alison Spurdle took over as the Gift Quilt Coordinator (with the help of Prue Cooke-Willis) and we continue to make quilts for our selected charity with as much enthusiasm as when we first started.  A work day is usually held each year in July to have a coordinated effort to sort/quilt/bind and generally complete as many quilts as we can.

2012 Refugee Service Raffle Quilt