National Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week #NVW2019 is an annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers.  This years theme is ‘Making a World of Difference’.

Tiny Sparks is entirely volunteer run.  Without our volunteers generously giving thousands of hours each year we would simply cease to exist. Every week our volunteers who live not just in Perth, but all over Western Australia, put in countless hours managing our operations, packing and delivering Care Packages, answering enquires, coordinating community events, attending Coffee Mornings, running our online Support Groups, knitting, sewing, fundraising and more!

We are so grateful they choose to support Tiny Sparks, they really do ‘make the world of difference’!

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Christmas Quilt Drive 2018

We can't believe how quickly this year is flying past.  We've had lots of enquiries already about our Christmas Quilt Drive, along with requests for project options, so we are releasing all of the information a little earlier than usual.  Here is everything you need to know...

We are thrilled to announce that this year you can choose between two options!  Quilts or Stockings, and if you are enthusiastic maybe both.  Please read right to the end to cover all of the instructions and FAQs from past years.


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Christmas Quilted Stockings

We are grateful to Amy Smart who blogs at Dairy of a Quilter for providing permission for us to use her 'Easy Quilted Stocking Tutorial'. You can find the instructions to make your Christmas Quilted Stocking here.


Christmas Quilts for Tiny Sparks WA

This pattern was kindly designed by Jill of Patchwork Place in Albany. You can download the instructions here, or find them below.

Size 16" x 24"
 Or
41 cm x 61 cm

Requirements

Piece backing approx. 18" x 26"  (45cm x 65 cm) - white or cream
Piece 100% cotton light weight batting/wadding same size as backing piece.
Small amounts of Christmas coloured fabrics.

Suggestions

Any basic 4"  or  8" block pattern

No borders.
Keep blocks simple.
Avoid using yellow or gold.
Use conventional quilt binding or a commercial satin or pre-made binding or finish by “bagging” then turning through to right side. Top stitch around edge if using last method.
100% cotton fabrics (though not essential) are easier to work with.

A - Basic 4" Block - Total of 24 squares cut 4 ½" x 4 ½ "  in Christmas colours

  1. Arrange design into 6 rows of 4

  2. Join together into rows with ¼ " seam.

  3. Press seams in row 1 to the right, in row 2 to the left, row 3 to the right etc

  4. Join the rows together.

 
Basic 4" Block - 2 alternative designs

Basic 4" Block - 2 alternative designs

 

B - Basic 8" Block - Cut 6 squares 8 ½" x 8 ½ "in at least 2 Christmas colours.

  1. Sew into 3 rows of 2.

  2. Press seams in alternating directions then join rows together.

 
Basic 8" Block

Basic 8" Block

 

Finishing Quilts

Finished Quilt created by Jill of Patchwork Place, Albany

  1. Lay the backing right sides down, place the wadding on top and finally the pieced top right sides up. Pin together and quilt.

  2. Prepare binding by joining the 2 bits end to end with a mitred (angled) seam.

  3. Press in half lengthways. Sew onto the right side of the quilt having ALL raw edges level. Mitre the corners as you sew.

  4. Trim off the excess from the edges.

  5. Handstitch the folded edge of binding over onto the back of the quilt.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How many items will you need? - We will need a minimum of 220 items to mail out across 20 neonatal units state wide so that every baby in a neonatal unit on Christmas Day receives a gift.

  2. Can I deviate from the instructions/patterns/specifications? – No, we ask that you follow the instructions carefully. They have been set out for a reason. The hospitals have very specific guidelines about what can be around the babies in the NICU and SCN. In particular please ensure the backing for your quilt is white or cream.

  3. What material should I use? – Quilting fabric, 100% cotton (or very close please). No flannel.

  4. Should I prewash the material? – Either way is fine please.

  5. What cotton should I use? - Cotton or poly/cotton blend is fine.

  6. What designs can the material have? – Anything that is in the Christmas spirit, please make sure the design is child appropriate. The backing for your quilt must be white or cream.

  7. Can I add a personal touch to the stocking? – Yes! Embroidery and applique is fine.

  8. Can I add my name, sewing tag to the stocking/quilt? – Yes, we just ask that you keep it small.

  9. Can I contact you to make some other arrangements? Given the volume of donations we handle we cannot make individual arrangements.

  10. Will I get a personalised response about my donation? We will attempt to acknowledge all donations sent in, although we are only able to do so if you provide us with your name and email address clearly written inside your package. We are unable to mail a response due to limited resources. Please allow for up to a month for us to acknowledge any items posted or hand delivered.

  11. How many stockings/quilts can I make? – We would prefer that each person make no more than 10 items each.

  12. What else can I sew for you? – We need sewers and knitters all year round. If you’d like to help further, please see the details here.

When and how can I get my donation to you?

  1. We require all donations by Friday December 7, 2018. This will enable us time to sort and send out donations state wide in advance of the Christmas postal rush. Any donations received after this time will be put aside for next year.

  2. You can post your Christmas items to us at:
    Tiny Sparks WA, PO Box 1114, West Leederville WA 6901
    Please include your name and an e-mail address inside your parcel.

  3. Can you collect my quilt when I am finished? - No, we are a small team of volunteers and unable to collect your donation.

  4. I don't want to mail my donation, how can i get it to you? - Please e-mail admin@tinysparkswa.org.au for metropolitan drop off locations, alternatively you are welcome to come along to our Neonatal November event and leave your donation with us there.

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If you have a question that has not been answered above, please email us at admin@tinysparkswa.org.au  We will do our best to respond as quickly as we can.  Please keep in mind that we are all volunteers and this is a large project to manage so it may take a few days for us to get back to you.

We are so very grateful for your support and thank you for your time and energy in helping us to make Christmas in the Neonatal Unit a special time for our families.

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Christmas 2017 Quilters Needed

We are looking to provide 210 Christmas quilts to 20 neonatal nurseries right across Western Australia and need your help!

Jill of Patchwork Place in Albany has kindly designed a pattern for us to share with our sewers and hope that they might join them in creating some beautiful memories. You can download the instructions here, or find them below.

You can post items to Tiny Sparks WA, PO Box 1114, West Leederville WA 6901.  We are working to provide a NOR and SOR drop off location.  Please e-mail admin@tinysparkswa.org.au for the addresses.

We would appreciate if all quilts could be sent in by the 1st of December to allow us time to distribute state wide before Christmas.


Christmas Quilts for Tiny Sparks WA

 

Size 16" x 24"
 Or
41 cm x 61 cm

Requirements

Piece backing approx. 18" x 26"  (45cm x 65 cm) - white or cream
Piece 100% cotton light weight batting/wadding same size as backing piece.
Small amounts of Christmas coloured fabrics.

Suggestions

Any basic 4"  or  8" block pattern

No borders.
Keep blocks simple.
Avoid using yellow or gold.
Use conventional quilt binding or a commercial satin or pre-made binding or finish by “bagging” then turning through to right side. Top stitch around edge if using last method.
100% cotton fabrics (though not essential) are easier to work with.

A - Basic 4" Block - Total of 24 squares cut 4 ½" x 4 ½ "  in Christmas colours

  1. Arrange design into 6 rows of 4
  2. Join together into rows with ¼ " seam.
  3. Press seams in row 1 to the right, in row 2 to the left, row 3 to the right etc
  4. Join the rows together.
 
Basic 4" Block - 2 alternative designs

Basic 4" Block - 2 alternative designs

 

B - Basic 8" Block - Cut 6 squares 8 ½" x 8 ½ "in at least 2 Christmas colours.

  1. Sew into 3 rows of 2.
  2. Press seams in alternating directions then join rows together.
 
Basic 8" Block

Basic 8" Block

 

Finishing Quilts

  1. Lay the backing right sides down, place the wadding on top and finally the pieced top right sides up. Pin together and quilt.
  2. Prepare binding by joining the 2 bits end to end with a mitred (angled) seam.
  3. Press in half lengthways. Sew onto the right side of the quilt having ALL raw edges level. Mitre the corners as you sew.
  4. Trim off the excess from the edges.
  5. Handstitch the folded edge of binding over onto the back of the quilt.

Finished Quilt created by Jill of Patchwork Place, Albany

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Positions Vacant - Volunteer Today

We are looking for some enthusiastic individuals to join our team in a voluntary capacity.  We are currently searching for a Blog Manager and 4 Social Media Team Members (2 for Facebook and 2 for Instagram).  Please see the advertisements below, feel free to share with your friends.

If you would like to apply please complete a volunteer application and in the 'other comments' note which position you are applying for.

We have an amazing team and hope you will become a part of it!

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National Volunteer Week 2017

Volunteering Australia is celebrating National Volunteer Week and we are too.

As a 100% volunteer run organisation Tiny Sparks WA are dependent on the generosity of our community to deliver our programs.

To everyone who makes a contribution either big or small we are so very grateful and our community thanks you!  From those who Like and Share on Facebook, those who knit and sew, those who volunteer at our events and those who volunteer their time on the Board of Tiny Sparks, you all make a valuable contribution.

Volunteering is...

  • a healthy lifestyle choice
  • a true community builder
  • one of the strongest predictors we have of increasing our health and happiness
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