I can't believe that a year has passed by since 'Julia' the Demonstration Secretary of the Solihull Craft Group telephoned me asking if I would like to give a talk about our 'SIBOL' project. Quite honestly this took me quite by surprise. Me? Little Me? give a talk? Goodness me! I'm just a Wife, a Mother, haven't worked for numerous years and here's this lovely Lady asking if I would like to give a talk! Well after the initial 'shock' or 'surprise' you might say I thought well why not! I do have something that I would like to share with others. I am so terribly proud of all the Ladies in my Group that this would be the ideal opportunity to tell others, but I had no idea whether I could actually stand up there in front of a group of Ladies.
I suppose going out to the Homes to deliver our Blankets has given me more confidence, I am always telling them about the talented Ladies in my Group this would be no different 'really!'
We've been very successful in what we have achieved. Raising money for various Charities such as Breast Cancer Care, Alzheimers, Mencap, Prince Williams Gift Fund and not to mention the Sunshine Blankets. So yes, let's do it!
Julia first of all found out about us when a Blanket was given to her Mother at St. Bernards Residential Home. The little card with our details on was how she contacted me.
Of course I have asked our 'SIBOLETTES' over on RAVERLY for some 'presentation' tips and they have been very helpful indeed. Over the past few days I have had great support from the Ladies and they have all wished me the best of luck. To top it all 'jenn1feranne' telephoned me 'just as I was getting in the bath' on Monday morning to wish me the best of luck! It was great to speak to her and I appreciated the phone call very much indeed.
So.....I've been getting the Challenge Blankets ready to take with me. I have been holding on to these for a couple of reasons. First I knew I was attending the Craft Group and secondly we want to try and make some more so that I can deliver a whole batch to 'one' home (So the Elderly don't fight over them!) ha.ha.
Monday was such a bad day with the weather. I looked out on to my garden and saw the snow coming down and thought ......I bet it will be cancelled.
However, I sorted the Blankets out and loaded the car up. When I went outside to the car around 6.30 the windowscreen was frozen with snow. What a dreadful night! I wonder if anyone will turn up.
I arrived at the venue and the gates were locked and about 6.50pm Betty turned up with her daughter and she opened the gates for me. I parked quite near the door so it wasn't far for me to carry the boxes. The car was full of Blankets and our Basket of Butterflies.
As soon as the door was opened to me 'friendship' greeted me. I felt comfortable straight away, what a lovely Lady Betty was. She showed me into the main room and was offered a cup of tea. Before I got the Blankets out of the box Ladies who were arriving came up to me to have a look at them. The first Blankets I showed them were the Marie Curie ones. They couldn't believe how lovely the Daffodils were!
I was asked how many tables I wanted out and we placed them along one side of the room. I started at the one end laying our Daffodil Blankets out. This was the first time I had ever seen all of our Blankets laid out like that and displayed, it really was a dream come true! I know I do my best to take photos but to see them like that really was lovely.
My 'SIBOL' project was started in Memory of My Grandmother so I took along a photo of her to show the Ladies. They loved Nan's Blanket.
I did take all the 'Think Pink's with me but only got two out as space was limited.
Before the talk started I spoke to quite a few Ladies about our Blankets as they were looking at them and I really think this made me feel better too and less nervous. The Ladies spent quite a lot of time looking at the Blankets and it was lovely to be able to speak to them about our work.
While I was waiting for the go ahead to start I took around our Basket of Butterflies. The Ladies had such a lot of fun choosing their favourite coloured Butterflies. They loved the variegated ones.
The time was getting on so I was asked to start. I introduced myself properly and I told them that I was a Housewife, Mother of twin girls living in Hall Green and that I run the 'SIBOL' Group. I explained to them that it wasn't an ordinary Knitting Group where you would meet in a Church Hall it was an internet Group where I met my friends 'on-line'. It was a place where we shared the same interests 'Crocheting and Knitting'.
I explained how the 'SIBOL' project started and how I had invited Ladies to send me 6" Squares 'Knitted or Crocheted'. They were amazed that the Squares came from so far afield. I moved along the tables talking about our Charity work raising money with the Blankets and even showed them some large photos of our Alzheimers, Mencap, Breast Cancer Care etc. fund raising Blankets. They thought they were all lovely.
I also held up Joanna's Blanket to show how we decorated them with the Cards, Butterflies and Ribbon and also mentioned about the important part of 'naming' the Blankets. (I did have a card attached).
I must say the Owl Blanket went down a storm! "Who's going to get this one?" I was asked. Each Blanket I had on display was explained. I held up the ones down the far end of the tables and still everyone absolutely loved them.
One Lady speaking to me said, "I can imagine an Elderly person just sitting their fiddling with the stand out bits on a Blanket such as a Flower!' How true... I could too.
Ladies spoke to me about their own Crocheting and Knitting too and I also told them about the Elderly residents who also like to Knit for 'SIBOL'.
After showing the majority of the Blankets to the Group, I went over and picked up 'creativegranny's' Freeform Wall Hanging and Blanket. I held them both up and everyone loved them very much. I actually think these were two of their favourites. The Lady who Crocheted wanted me to show her the back of the Wall Hanging. She asked how she assembled them. They particularly liked the added beads and Butterflies. They thought it really good how they were incorporated.
I was asked a few questions and then I asked if I could have a Group photo. We decided it would be best if the Group members stood behind the table. They decided to pick something up to look at. What fun we had taking these photos! I have promised to give them a copy.
That's Julia in the middle holding the Freeform Blanket.
I think the evening went well. I wasn't that nervous after all you know. I think the initial 'chit-chat' before hand really helped me get to know the Ladies and I felt more comfortable. They were such a friendly group of Ladies, really easy to get on with, very pleasant indeed. They absolutely loved the Blankets I displayed for them, telling me all the time what talented Ladies we have in our Group.
The 'Sunshine Blankets' are important but as I explained it's the Group that is important too. I explained how the Blankets have brought us all together, and how our 'SIBOL' Group is important for us too personally.
I honestly think they enjoyed looking at the Blankets and hearing about the 'SIBOL' project. I know I enjoyed it very much indeed. Every one were so welcoming and I would like to thank Julia for inviting me and everyone else for making me 'less nervous!'
"Would I do it again?" - '"Yep!" I think so! I had a really lovely evening.
Thanks very much today to Purlygalore and Maria-Jesus for the beautiful Butterflies received. They have been made by the London Knaughty Knitters Group. What a great collection of Butterflies.
For many of the Members it was their first go at Crochet. They were very proud of producing a Butterfly.
They had a great time making them.
Thanks ever so much for stopping by. I do hope you have enjoyed looking at the photos.
I am going to put a Slide Show up. The photos are larger, but I have posted them too because sometimes the Slide Show doesn't work properly. Let's see how we get on.
Bye for now,
x Sue x