The team at Bellarine Sewing graciously donated $3,110 to Kids Plus Foundation thanks to their 100 Quilts in 100 Days initiative. We thought we’d have a chat to John and Zoe behind it all to find out some more information.
Links to purchase the quilts can be found at the end of this article.
What sparked the idea to make 100 quilts in 100 days?
John and I have run our business for the past 11 years. Over that time we have grown considerably. We have been able to grow our business because of the support we receive from our local community. Without their support we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Zoe has been making patchwork quilts for 28 years. She has published 4 books and has 21 patchwork template sets and over 300 patterns. As a result of making all of these quilts Zoe had 14 scrap fabric boxes – oops!
We had made a decision to bundle up the fabric into packs and sell it as scrap fabric bags but one day Zoe decided that a better way to use up the scraps is to make some scrap quilts and sell them to raise money for local charity.
It was important to John and Zoe to donate money to a foundation that looks after children and in particular a foundation in Geelong. We did some research, spoke with Hayden and Milly from Bay FM and as Kids Plus are one of the foundations that do not ‘shout’ about what they do but quietly achieve, we decided that was the direction we wanted to take.
So far how many quilts have been made and sold?
So far we have made 107 quilts. We have had an amazing team of volunteer’s in store cutting and making kits and then our customers have been taking the packs home to make the quilts.
How long does it roughly take to make each quilt?
It can take up to a week to make a quilt from start to finish.
What is something people mightn’t realise about making quilts?
Most people who do not quilt, don’t understand the time and cost involved in making a quilt. Unless you have been through the process you really don’t see what is involved.
Each quilt is completely unique, how are the designs chosen?
Zoe has designed the quilts and written instructions for our ladies to make them up. Some of the designs are from Zoe’s books.
What are the plans when the 100 quilts are sold after the year is out?
The ladies have all enjoyed this process so much that we have decided we are not going to stop. We hope to make 100 quilts each year and continue selling them for fundraising.
What have been the sort of stories of people buying the quilts so far?
We have had quite a variety of people purchasing the quilts. Some are for new babies, some for family members in retirement villages, some for people in hospital. Some for wedding presents. It is great to see that these quilts appeal to so many different people for many different reasons.
Beyond the 100 Quilts in 100 Days, are you able to please fill in our readers about your business and the services you offer?
Bellarine Sewing Centre is situated at 395 Moorabool Street, South Geelong (opposite the football stadium). We have been in business for 11 years (commencing as The Blanket Box in Newcomb). John Thorpe and Zoe Clifton are the owners of the business of Bellarine Sewing Centre.
John has 35 years experience in the industry and joined the business 7 years ago. John is not only business partner or an amazing sales person with his knowledge of sewing machines but also is the mechanic doing the service and repair of all makes and models of sewing machines.
Zoe established the business (The Blanket Box) and we changed the name 3 years ago when we moved to our new larger premises. Bellarine Sewing Centre runs classes for all skill levels for patchwork and dressmaking. We service and repair all makes and models of sewing machines. We have 3,500 bolts of patchwork fabric. We sell Brother and Elna Sewing and Embroidery Machines together with the Grace Q’nique Quilting Machine/frame and also Horn and Tailormade Sewing/Craft room furniture. In store you will find a wide variety of fabric, books, patterns, kits, equipment and so much more.