Help for Sydney Heroes

Hi everyone. While I grew up in the US, after nearly ten years here, I now consider myself a Sydney-sider. It was with utter devastation yesterday that I watched the Sydney siege unfold a block away from my office building. While I was completely safe on the sixteenth floor, and my employer took the utmost care in making sure we all arrived home safely, my thoughts through the evening never left the events unfolding.
Upon waking this morning to find that two of the hostages had been killed by the gunman, I sobbed. I sat on my couch and reached for tissue after tissue. Terror was suddenly on my doorstep, a situation–living far away in Australia–I thought I was immune from. As a full account has emerged, the two slain victims in this horrific ordeal are the true heroes. I am compelled to play a part in recognising this, and sharing my gratitude with their families for protecting the lives of others in the Lindt cafe, and the sanctity of free human life.
So what can I do? I can make. I can make quilts. And I’m asking for your help. I already have the #NGAQB sending rainbow, tone-on-tone, hash tag quilt blocks for my month of December as King Bee. So do you want to join us in contributing to what will be two seriously awesome, rainbow quilts celebrating the lives of two seriously, wildly deserving people? I hope so.
The tutorial for these 5″ finished (5.5″ unfinished) blocks is here:
They are super easy. They take ten minutes max. You can use your scraps. You can make one. You can make one hundred. You can help. 
I’m still formulating details, and I’ll share them as soon as I can–and I’ve figured them out myself! Leave your thoughts in the comments, and share this with as many sewists as you know. 
My address to send blocks:
Joshua Helms
201 / 20 Dunkerley Place
Waterloo, NSW, Australia 2017
Thank you Glitterati for your support. Thank you for your thoughts for our city, our country, and the affected members of our society. Let us love each other. Let us help each other. Let us show the world how we truly sparkle.

67 Responses

  1. Such a great idea, I'll join in and get some made

  2. Lis Martion says:

    Oh, Mollie! You have just made me cry again with your 'heart warming' gesture to the families who lost their luved ones today in the horrific 'Lindt Cafe' hostage situation. I would more than luv to make some thing to contribute to the quilts. Please every one…Luv one an another, no more hate, hold the ones you luv dear, hug them and kiss them, tell them every day how much you luv them…… xo

  3. Done…fabulous gesture xx

  4. What a beautiful idea! I will be making and sending some blocks to you tomorrow! It is such a sad day, and I cannot begin to imagine the utter devastation facing the families of those lost…..

  5. Ang says:

    More than happy to contribute to the sparkle, I'll see how many I can make this week. What a wonderful person you are Joshua!

  6. Sooli says:

    Great idea, I just know you'll end up with more than two quilts. We need to dwell on the positive now and not let a nutcase change the way we live. Nothing better than wrapping someone in a quilt made by many hands sending their love.

  7. Pip says:

    More than happy to contribute a block or two, wonderful idea and such a great way to contribute something positive.

  8. Kim Howe says:

    Thank you for organising this, I'll contribute a couple of blocks.

  9. Dawn says:

    As soon as the numbness subsides…. Blocks are on their way.

  10. I'm sending you some orange hashtags made from the Terra Australis fabric range. I couldn't think of a better purpose for it than to go towards a quilt that celebrates true Australian spirit. My tears and my heart go out to the families xx

  11. Peaches1003 says:

    I'll try and whip some up tomorrow night. It is good to be doing something and not just feeling helpless and out of control. Great idea – thanks for putting it out there

  12. I'm in too. My brother was only a block away too and walks past the Lindt cafe every day. I am so saddened by this whole situation, and feel so terribly for the people killed and their poor families. So horrendously sad and unbelievable. I will sew the blocks Thursday and post on Friday. Cat

  13. thanks for organising, I'll send some along too

  14. Sandy W says:

    What is your background colour suppose to be? I would love to help

  15. Lisa H says:

    Happy to make a couple of blocks; its sad that terrorism and the death of innocent people is the reason they are being made. I hope the victims' families are comforted in some way by the love and sympathy that will be sewn in to each and every block of the finished quilts. Thank you for organising this and for immigrating to Australia and truly understanding the Aussie spirit. May the two victims rest in peace, they and their families are in my prayers.

  16. Leanne says:

    I will send off a couple of blocks tomorrow.

  17. Skootchover says:

    This was such a heartbreaking event. Thank you for organizing this. I'll be sending a few from California.

  18. I'll make one (or more)!
    Hugs from New Jersey, USA.

  19. Ileen says:

    This is awesome! I have a special connection with Australia having just found relatives there. I will be sending you blocks from San Diego, California. Hugs from all of us.

  20. ~Diana says:

    If excess blocks, one gal had three children…perhaps a quilt for each child?

    • ~Diana says:

      You know you're going to be inundated with them…you will probably receive enough to make 50 quilts! Your "SPARKLE CHILDREN" will come through for you~

  21. You are super awesome! *running to my stash right now* The sooner I make them, the sooner they will get there!

    P.s. I am so happy that your employer was as awesome as you describe. Sending love and good vibes your way. xx

  22. Anita says:

    I am so sorry for your sadness and that this tragedy has happened. Getting sewing right away on this.

  23. Pamcakes says:

    You are amazing for doing this. Quilts can be so comforting and I love the community rushing to help each other. We will be sending blocks from our MQG in Arizona on Saturday. We are in the US, so I hope they don't take too long to get to you. Sending you hugs and prayers for all that were affected.

  24. Julie says:

    We are on it. I am collecting if anyone is unable to pay the shipping to Australia they can send them to me.

  25. Beth Strand says:

    I'm in! Thank you for doing this. It's such a sad situation but we can all do our little bit to try to comfort the grieving.

  26. greeneggs says:

    Thanks for organising this. Such a tragedy. Such a senseless, delusional crime. I'll be sending blocks ASAP.

  27. Jenny says:

    I just saw Julie's post that she will collect them in the US until Dec 31. Since people are still being directed here all the time, you might want to post an update at the end with that shipping information. Just a suggestion.

  28. Susan says:

    What a wonderful idea – I am from Sydney (now n Brisbane) and cannot believe that we have this sort of horror in Australia. Thanks for organising this – I am most certainly in.
    And I will keep visiting your blog).

  29. The O's says:

    My sewing machine will be unpacked this weekend and I will have some in the post for you on Monday. You are the most generous kind hearted man I know. Mr Sparkles too. You are a good match for each other and I am blessed to be a part of your sparkle family xx

  30. Lisa E says:

    Sending good thoughts from Silicon Valley, California. I will be bringing a few blocks to the Intrepid Thread.

  31. MsMidge says:

    I will get to it ASAP love. x

  32. Carol Q says:

    As the only person I "know" in Sydney I thought of you yesterday and wondered how you had been affected. I would love to make some blocks.

  33. Your post has tears running down my face. It is nice to knoe that thers ars ard still kind souls out there. I would love to send a couple of blocks, but am on crappy shifts, so soon as I get a moment I will whip up a couple. I am a nurse in North West Queensland, thousands of klms away from the seige, but this has rocked me to my core.

  34. Lisa S. says:

    What an excellent way to channel your anger/compassion in such a situation. I'll be working it too Molli! You have a beautiful soul.

  35. Di says:

    Oh Molli, I shared your reaction at hearing the shocking news, and I'm very keen to help. Just a suggestion … I know you will certainly receive many, many more hashtag blocks than you will need to make 2 quilts for the families of those innocent people who were killed. If it happens that you are inundated, why not consider making quilts for the other hostages who will be traumatised and feeling fragile for a long, long time, if indeed they ever recover. I'd be happy to help with sewing blocks together in January, if that isn't too late. Good on you!!!! It will help us all to work through our grief xxx

  36. Sewing as we speak! Hugs xxxx

  37. Thank you for giving me a way to show I care!
    I'd love to see quilts given to the three children of Katrina Dawson, the parents of Tori Johnson and perhaps one could hang on the wall in the Lindt Café?

  38. Would love to help! Is there a tutorial up yet? Do I understand you are looking for hashtags to be a solid colour, background to be white? Or are you looking for a specific colour for the hashtag?

    Thanks for organizing this, and so sorry to hear the news and that you were so closely effected.

    Mel Donnett in Vancouver, BC

  39. Laurelle says:

    I'm in for sure. Cannot believe this happened here! I had to turn the Tv off yesterday as it was so awful. I ask the same question as Melissa above, do they have to be solid with white background? Plan to hopefully get time tonight to make some 🙂
    Thanks for doing this x

  40. Jeanette says:

    I'm in as well. Thank you so much for doing this. I lived outside Washington, D.C. on 9/11/01 and it is just heartbreaking to see these attacks on innocent people continue. Sending much love, hugs and prayers to the victims, their families and the people of Australia. <3

  41. Debbie says:

    I'm in and will send a few blocks out in the morning. More than happy to encourage…

  42. What a wonderful idea. Perhaps if there are many blocks, as I expect there will be, a small one could be made for each of the hostages.
    I'm in. I will get to them as soon as possible.

  43. Heather J says:

    I will be happy to send a few blocks to you. We went through our own tragedy on home soil recently and the effects still linger. Thinking of your country at this time.

  44. Maria says:

    Only too happy to be able to do something.. So nice of you to organise this.

  45. Blanca ST says:

    Congratulations for this great idea. Beautiful!

  46. Celene Marie says:

    I would be honoured, what a beautiful idea. <3

  47. carlseapatch says:

    Will make a block and share your post with my GeeTAG group

  48. annieb says:

    Hi Molli, Wonderful idea. I have other unused blocks I made for another quilt. They are not a hash tag pattern. Do you only want hash tag blocks or other blocks as well?

  49. Jeneta says:

    This is so lovely Joshua. I'll do what I can to help. J x

  50. dibracey says:

    an absolutely thoughtful and practical way to help Molli. You are a gem; I'm definitely in.
    We all need to pull together and support one another and this is a beautiful way to show we care

  51. Molli, do you have a group that can help you out with this? I think what started as a lovely idea might snowball into something phenomenal.
    If it does, and you need more hands, it might be an idea to pull a group together to make the quilt tops and I'm sure there are many clever people who are willing to help quilt them.
    I'll put my hand up to put the tops together, but I'm a hand quilter so it'd take too long to quilt it. Happy to post on to a machine quilter though. Kayt in Brisbane

  52. Hi Molli
    Such a lovely way for us to express our love an empathy for our fellow Australians, for this to happen is a real tragedy.
    I've cut up some and will get them together today or tomorrow . Then in the mail soon, do you need donations for backing ?
    I feel honoured to be part of this amazing movement that journey have started .Love will always overcome evil
    Robyn x

    • Queen of Shebah – Thank you for the help! I absolutely do need donations for backing. You're a no-reply blogger so I couldn't contact you back, but email me directly and let's talk! sparkle (@) mollisparkles (dot) com.

  53. More than happy to help – it will be an honour to help; lets show how much love Australians have for each other x

  54. More than happy to quilt and bind if you need . Jenny from Quilt-essentials Newcastle

  55. Like the flowers in Martin Place, I'm sure you will be inundated with beautiful blocks! Such a wonderful thing to do..Thank you for organising. X Lea

  56. kt cos says:

    Australia has lost its innocence. Thank you for doing this . We have spread the word through the Wollongong Modern Quilt Guild so fingers crossed as many are already away. Kate

  57. michmade says:

    I'm in. A small thing we can do to bring some comfort to the families. Thanks for coordinating this amazing gesture of support, love and mate ship. Seasons greetings.

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