On Thursday Helen Thomas and I were in London for a meeting with Marilyn Lovett (in her capacity as President of the Quilters Guild of the British Isles), and the organisers of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad quilting projects, ‘A Gift of Quilts’ and ‘Quilts 4 London’.
Jenny Rundle and Sharon Garrick from ‘A Gift of Quilts’ (www.agiftofquilts.co.uk) told us that they have now passed the deadline for the submission of quilts to be presented as gifts to each team competing in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The project has reached its target of more than 400 quilts and has involved more than 10,000 people. All the quilts have been photographed and the book of photographs went to the publisher this week and will be published to coincide with an exhibition of all 400 quilts at Olympia in London from 15 – 18 March 2012. Sharon mentioned some of the messages that had accompanied the quilts including one that said “I am an old woman and I won’t be able to get to London for the Olympic Games but if my quilt goes to London then I’m taking part in the Olympics.” Irene Heathcote and Angela Sullivan from ‘Quilts 4 London’ (www.quilts4london.org.uk) said that in August they had passed the halfway mark towards their target of creating 14,000 pennants as gifts for each athlete competing in the Olympic and Paralympic Games and they have now amassed more than 8,000 pennants. Many of the pennants will be on display at exhibitions in Macclesfield, York, Newbury, Luton and Bath early next year, as well as at the Olympia exhibition in London in March. Thousands of people across the country (and some from further afield) have taken part in the project, encompassing an age range from 2 years old to 97 years old.
Both projects are truly amazing and have succeeded in involving masses of people across the UK in the Cultural Olympiad. At Thursday’s meeting we discussed the handover of the quilts and pennants to the visiting Olympic and Paralympic teams and athletes next summer. We are keen to ensure both that the gifts reach their intended recipients and that the handover achieves the best possible publicity for the projects.
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