When we were thinking about the quilts and who would be the first community to receive a quilt the decision was simple.
The Joanna project has been close to the heart of Joy for many years. Joanna (a name from the Bible) works in Holbeck with women caught up in street prostitution, supporting and befriending them in the hope that they can find a way out.
Some time ago they managed to fund a safe place in the managed red light area, a home where women can come for food, support, advice, washing facilities and much more. It was important to have a space for women that was safe and yet close to the area they work, it’s an oasis on the edge of a desert.
One of the rooms in the house is used as a quiet room, where they gather for prayer, to talk in confidence or sometimes to get some rest. A perfect place then for a quilt to reside.
It’s taken many months to get people to make squares, perhaps because this is the first quilt and the vision for the end result hasn’t yet been seen, but we’re there. The front quilt piece has been made and the frame for quilting has been made.
It’s looking good and it was lovely to receive mail containing the squares, sometimes with notes and sometimes with nothing to say who made it. What was wonderful was seeing the variety of ideas and messages, especially from people who had never used a sewing needle before. It just shows that anyone who can hold a needle can take part in the project.
The next stage is the quilting, the front piece is added to a quilt ‘sandwich’ with a layer of wadding and a backing layer, then added to a frame, taken to community events and sewn together.
We’re needing places to sew and have one event in a few weeks for Leeds Carers which is for members of the carers group, then a community event in October open to everyone.
But we need so many more. If you’re in a position to open your venue, craft group or church to a quilting workshop please get in touch!