Macarthur quilters create patchworks of love for bushfire victims

Some might say the fabric of society was made using the kindness of others - and Macarthur's quilting communities are proving that a little bit of kindness goes a long way.

What started out as a project to provide lovely, handmade quilts to every family who had lost their homes across the Wollondilly and Wingecarribee shires has grown to help other fire-affected regions across Australia.

Picton's Country Womens Association (CWA) led the charge to ensure blankets made by the Stonequarry Quilters at Tahmoor, Camden Country Quilters and Bargo's Waratah Retirement Village Quilters were delivered to people in need of some comfort.

Picton CWA president Sue Donohue said it was wonderful to see quilters from across the country coming together to bring smiles to lots of faces.

"The work they have done to date is stunning," she said.

"They will continue to work hard until all victims receive a very special gift made with love."

It wasn't long before Bowral CWA's Pamela came on board and offered their services as a drop-off point for quilters from Quilts NSW, Illawarra Quilters, Windsor Community Quilters, Maitland Patch Workers and Quilters, Maitland Patch Worker, Southern Highlands Quilters and the Kiama Quilters.

Handmade quilts were delivered to the residents of Balmoral, many of whom lost everything when the Green Wattle Creek bushfire ripped through the shire.

More than 50 quilts were handed out to fire victims in Bargo, Buxton, Wingello, Exeter and Bundanoon - overall more than 200 quilts have been delivered to date.

At a recent gathering of Picton CWA a cheque for $1500 was handed over to Stonequarry Quilters to help them continue this excellent work.

The Stonequarry Quilters is a group of 25 women who meet each week at Tahmoor.

President of the group Hilary Best said the Stonequarry Quilters make quilts which are then handed out to members of the wider community.

"In the last 12 months we have donated quilts to families and individuals, as well as to a respite house for adults with disabilities," she said.

"Since the bushfires severely affected our area we have also donated quilts to that appeal.

"We welcome new members, especially beginners. We don't teach lessons as such but will happily help people get started.

"We even have basic equipment at our meeting room, so you can 'try before you buy'.

"The Stonequarry Quilters are very appreciative of the recent donation from the Picton Branch of the CWA and this money will be put to good use continuing our Community Quilts project, concentrating on quilts for men and teen boys."

Quilt donations were also made to single teacher schools on the south coast at Towamba and Quaama - small, rural communities that were affected by bushfires late last year.

Picton CWA members gather every couple of weeks to wrap more donations as they are received with a recent shipment coming from far north Queensland.

Mrs Donohoe said that even though the quilters had gone through tough times with the drought they felt that they could help others and themselves by keeping busy making their quilts.

"We'd like to give a huge thank you to all the wonderful quilters for their efforts to support our fire survivors and their families."

These quilts will be heading to single teacher schools at Cobargo, Bemboka and Wolumia.