Monday, 27 August 2012

An appeal for help ...

Hi I'm Danielle Coolbear Jenkins I blog over at DJCoolbear and my email address is danielle@djcoolbear.co.uk.  Lynne has given me the honour of a guest post in order to share a project I am working on. So to start I'll give you some background on the project.
   
On February 24th 2012 my birth father lost his battle with Prostate cancer he was 60 years and 3 months (to the day) old - he is survived by his almost 90 year old mother; he was meant to live a lot longer than he did.


 We never had the conventional father/daughter relationship as we never lived together. When I was 22 we spent a month together in Turkey which was the start of a better understanding of who he was. He was also present for the few weeks before A was born almost 3 years ago - and luckily A arrived the day before he flew back to NZ. Not long after he returned home, he was diagnosed with the cancer - but it hadn't been diagnosed early enough and had spread to his bones.


Being the son of a GP he was pretty good at going to see his Dr but a vital test was not made PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen); which is an indicator as to whether there is cancerous cells present in the prostate. I was talking to my mum - who had reconnected with my father and re-established their friendship after 20 odd years - and she said that she was angry at his Dr for not picking up on the cancer sooner. My father's family has a history of female reproductive cancers - which we had been discussing when he was over before A was born - but there had been no occurrences of male cancers, little did we know that his body was already riddled with cancer that started in the prostate. When he was diagnosed he was given a prognosis of 5 years – he survived less than 2 and a half.


In December last year he went into hospital, and only came out to move to the Hospice – where he died. Although we didn’t have the normal father/daughter relationship – we were starting to form something new. I was looking forward to my 3 sons getting to know him – my eldest shares his birthday – 24th November.


From this anger and a need to do something constructive about it I suggested that we do some fundraising for both Mary Potter Hospice (which is fully privately funded) where he spent his last few weeks and for Movember charities.  My suggestion was of course Quilt related - as my mother is also a quilter and has a large group of quilty friends.  So this project is very much International; a quilt will be made in NZ and a quilt made by me here in the UK.


So the big question is who would be interested in contributing to a quilt to be raffled off with the money raised going to Movember and The Mary Potter Hospice (Wellington, NZ). Mary Potter Hospice is where a lot of family members including my father and his dad my Grandpa, and friends have spent their last days – it is a beautiful and calm place not like a hospital.


What I need help with is to make some blocks – I have named the project ‘Can’t Grow a Mo’ Sew a Mo’ (tho’ of course those who can grow a mo’ both male and female – I can't yet just chin hairs... - are welcome to contribute blocks) and basically aim to make a lap/single bed sized quilt. I had a lot of fun making 5 blocks the other day and have also drawn up some famous and not so famous inspired Mo’s that are available as a PDF on my website. (To make the mos symmetrical fold paper in half, draw one side and then cut out – they can also be cut freehand from fabric in the same way.)  Can you guess whose they might be?


The blocks can be very improvisational – but need to fit with in a few guidelines to make them easier to pull together into a top: Blocks are to be square or rectangular - as it will make it easier to fit all the blocks together whilst maintaining a rogues gallery look. The finished block sizes - anything up to 12 inches, so 12.5 inches with seam allowance. The finished block must have a frame, of any design - as simple or fancy as you like. Any colours you like. Draw inspiration from the Mo's of the men in your life or from famous Mo's.

Mo's can be made of what ever you want to use; felt, faux fur - blocks and frames however need to be 100% cotton as it will make it easier to piece the top. Machine applique with topstitch is probably easiest - especially with some of the fancier moustaches. The blocks will need to be back to me by the first week in October at the latest. I know that there is only about 6 weeks until my deadline for return of the blocks – but I’m hoping that the generosity of the Quilty world extends to the short notice.

If you email me at danielle@djcoolbear.co.uk I will let you know the address to send the blocks to. I have started a Flickr  Group – so please join and add your blocks. And here's a button to help spread the word.
   
   

I will open the raffle for the UK quilt at the Start of November and the tickets will be available via my website – although not applicable outside the UK; unless you are willing to pay postage.  I will also have the details of the NZ quilt for the Antipodeans among you.   I look forward to hearing from you all – maybe we'll end up with enough blocks for 2 quilts?

Danielle - email danielle@djcoolbear.co.uk

19 comments:

  1. Good cause Danielle, think I could manage a block for you, might even use my OH as my model!

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  2. In there for you, sweetie. I'm in Canada but I'll have 1 or maybe 2 blocks in the mail tomorrow for this wonderful tribute.

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  3. Excellent cause Danielle - my father in law has prostate cancer. I'll make some moustaches for your quilt when I get home from my holiday.

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  4. I will definitely try my best to Sew a Mo for your quilt Danielle.
    My sincerest condolences are sent your way too.
    xxx

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  5. I will sew some for you Danielle, I'm sorry to hear your sad story, it seems cancer touches everyone in some way or other. Will email for your address. Angela

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  6. My grandad died of prostate cancer, my dad had a radical prostatectomy and my uncle, a close family friend and a few colleagues have battled it too - anything to help research and care cannot be ignored.
    My hubby has grown a mo' for the last 3 years Movember too, it's a fantastic cause. And my sister lives in Wellington - I think I have all bases covered!

    I will definitely make you a couple of blocks xxx

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  7. I would like to help, I lost a friend last year and another has recently been diagnosed.

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  8. I was sorry to read of your loss, very sad. I undertstand how you feel as my Dad died last September of Cancer. He was given up to a year but it was all over in 27 days! A massive shock. He did not look himself but we really did not think it was going to be as quick as that. Male colleagues at work grew a "Mo" last November and raised lots of money. Not sure if I am going to be able to meet your deadline as the school term starts next week (I am a teacher) and I live in the UK, can take quite a while for post to reach you from here. I would like to blog about this and add a link to see if I can generate more participants for you. If this is an annual idea I would love to take part next year.

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  9. HI,
    Just been to your website and you are in the UK! I might be able to meet your deadline. Sorry obviously go confused with the UK/ NZ quilt bit. Off to see your pattern again.
    x

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  10. I can sew you a block. I lost my dad when he was only 47 and it's been over 3 years and I am still devastated as we were very close and he was literally ripped out of my life with no chance to say goodbye. I will base it on my OH's mo!

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  11. My grandfather battled prostate cancer, but it spread to his bones. He desperately did not want to die from cancer - at 88 and with a heart condition he participated in a 3 mile Crop Walk fundraiser, shoveled his driveway, and even shoveled his neighbor's driveway hoping to trigger a heart attack. He was a stubborn man, though, and lived to be 91. My uncle recently went through a prostate cancer scare (caught early and dealt with) followed by a rare form of cancer that has been tougher to deal with. He's worn a moustache for as long as I can remember, so it was odd to see him totally hairless. I literally didn't recognize him the first time I saw him. That cancer is now in remission and his mo' is back. For them, I'll send you two blocks.

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  12. Wonderful cause. I will contact yOu soon danielle

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  13. I would love to participate. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  14. Nice idea, Danielle, I had no idea Mary Potter Hospices were spread over different countries. We have one here in Adelaide, South Australia. My Mum spent some time there before she died 20 years ago and they were lovely there.

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  15. Oh my goodness. A cause so close to home. A Mo will be winging its way very soon. well done you

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  16. What a touching tale Danielle - last November was the first when I realised there was a 'male cancer awareness month' campaign, when moustaches started appearing on TV commentators upper lips .... what a great cause - I'll be in touch later in Sept

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  17. I'm a EPP fan. I love GFG quilt.

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  18. I'm in! Where do I send these blocks? :)

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