Sewing For Sydney – FAQ

Well, Glitterati, it’s time to show the world what we can do together. The response to last night’s post has me completely overwhelmed. I expected with the holiday rush that I’d reach a few of you, but nothing like what I’ve seen in the past twenty-four hours. Comments, prayers, thoughts, and good deeds are still rolling in, and I am comforted by your generosity! Quilters rock! Now that I’ve got a better idea of what I’m coordinating, I’ve created the following frequently asked questions list below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s going on?

Start here for my Help for Sydney Heroes post. It’s time to join forces and make comforting quilts for the families of those most severely affected by the Sydney siege. It will never be enough, but it will be something.

Who’s getting these quilts?

Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson lost their lives in the Sydney siege. At the very least, I will be making two quilts, one for each of their families. If there are enough blocks to make other quilts, I would like to create quilts for Katrina’s three daughters, and Tori’s partner. Yes, that is six quilts.

Update: Based on the current outpouring of help, six quilts are being created!

What type of blocks are we supposed to make for the quilts?

Hashtag quilt blocks using this tutorial. (<– Click there!) Use any white fabric for the background, and a solid or tone-on-tone fabric for the front. Ideally, the hashtag should read as a single colour. Please do not send other types of orphan blocks, as I wouldn’t be a great parent right now!

How big is the hashtag block?

On paper the block will be 5.5″ unfinished, but depending on your seam allowance it may finish slightly bigger, or smaller. Do your best, and I’ll work with what you send!

Update: You may want to consider measuring your quarter inch seam prior to starting this, or any block. I often find sewing with a scant quarter inch seam helps me achieve better results.

How many hashtag blocks do you need for each quilt?

I would like to make 60″ x 75″ quilts, which would mean a formation of 12 x 15, or 180 blocks per quilt. This may change, as that’s 1,080 quilt blocks needed. Whoa.

Update: I’m pretty sure we’ll get there!

How many hashtag blocks should I send?

As many as you would like. 1 to 100 and beyond!

Should I sign my hashtag blocks?

No. Purely to keep it simple. A label will be made explaining that these quilts were created from the global quilt community.

When do you need the hashtag blocks by?

Please post/mail/ship your blocks by 02 January, 2015. However, I would like to receive as many as I can as soon as possible so that progress can begin. If your blocks are received after 19 January, 2015, I can not guarantee they will make it into a quilt top. But they might!

I don’t live in Australia, can I still send hashtag blocks?

Of course you can! Please do so!

Where do I send them?

Joshua Helms
201 / 20 Dunkerley Place
Waterloo, NSW, Australia 2017

Also, Julie from Intrepid Thread in California has agreed to post a batch of blocks from her shop. This is great if shipping to Australia is cost prohibitive for you. Grab a local stamp and get them to the Intrepid Thread by 31 December, 2014.

Intrepid Thread
1709 S Main Street
Milipitas, CA, USA 95035

I can’t get quilt blocks to you, but I want to donate money. How can I do that?

You can Paypal to “” any amount you like! Any funds collected will be used for quilt materials, shipping and handling charges, long arm quilting fees, and/or other associated costs. Any excess funds will be used on further quilt charity projects. I am willing to disclose my Paypal transaction history to anyone donating money. Keepin’ it honest!

I can’t donate money, but I can donate time, materials or other services. How can I do that?

You are so generous! Email me at and let’s make something happen.

Update: All longarm quilting positions have been filled. 

What do you need help with, Molli?

Thank you for your generosity of time in making and sending blocks to contribute!

If you are Sydney local, and would like to help stitch blocks together, we should have a stitching party! If you have a long arm and want to work some magic, let’s talk! If you are the fastest binding stitcher in the Southern hemisphere, well come on down!

Update: Volunteers local to Sydney would be appreciated for quilt assembly and binding services.

Ironically, is there a hash tag?

Why, of course! Try these out: #hashtagblock #GlitteratiToTheRescue #SewingForSydney

If there’s something I haven’t addressed, leave it in the comments, and I’ll add it to this page as appropriate. Once again, the Glitterati shines!

40 Responses

  1. leanne says:

    way to go Molli ! I'm making blocks tonight and sending – making for Katrina's 3 daughters is awesome !

  2. Some Terra Australis Hashtag blocks will be in the mail tomorrow. I also read in the comments under your original Instagram post that Marni from Frankenstein's Fabrics kindly offered her machine quilting services. Anything anyone else can do, don't be afraid to ask and delegate! xoxo

  3. Pat says:

    Good for you, Molli. I'm leaving town too soon and returning too late to contribute blocks, but I'll be visiting your PayPal account.

  4. Amanda says:

    Blocks on their way today from Maine!

  5. Debra says:

    Blocks in the works from Texas!

  6. memmens says:

    I've just posted 10 blocks off to you, I guess they should be with you before the end of the year! As a mum of three children my heart aches for those girls – thanks for organising, big sparkly hugs to you. x

  7. Tara Celeste says:

    Starting some blocks today in Rhode Island, USA!

  8. Skootchover says:

    Mailed 6 from California yesterday. Thank you for doing this. Makes me feel less helpless when these tragedies occur.

  9. diane says:

    i'm making blocks today and will get them in the post tomorrow

  10. Carol Q says:

    on the way from the UK!

  11. Yolanda says:

    Thank you for organizing all of this goodness!

  12. Karri Garza says:

    Thank you so much for doing this 🙂
    Will be sending out blocks.
    Karri and the Houston Modern Quilt Guild

  13. Jodie Tawn says:

    Popping mine in the post tomorrow. Will probably take a couple of weeks to arrive what with Christmas, coming from Scotland, UK

  14. Awesome – off to make a paypal donation now 🙂 Glad you thought of multiple ways to contribute!

  15. You're an ideas man Molli, and this is a great one! I will get some blocks in the mail to you as soon as I can!

  16. Sew Jacky O says:

    Molli in light of events in Pakistan is there anyway we can extend this to help offer some small comfort there?

  17. Katy Cameron says:

    I'm sure you'll get plenty of blocks for the 6 quilts, so I'll send over some money for the batting/backing/whatever else since the last parcel I sent to Australia a few weeks ago took 2 weeks, and with Christmas/New Year in between, I couldn't guarantee arrival on the 19th

  18. Danielle says:

    Hi Molli. Such a great idea and great tutorial too. I'm happy to stitch and supply binding if you want to post to Perth and I'll pay for postage. There's some fantastic Liberty binding on the materialiseyourlife website/blog and if you want to choose some you can let me know me what you'd prefer and the amount required and I'll post to you. Wish I was close by for some more hands-on help but I'm a Perth girl now (ex Sydney-sider). Best wishes, Danielle (ig beautifulhandmade)

  19. Farm Quilter says:

    I posted about this on my facebook page here: Mine will be in the mail ASAP!!

  20. I think this is a wonderful idea! As a transplant from Sydney, I'm shocked and horrified that something so terrible would happen in our peaceful little city, but I'm amazed and humbled by the great amount of public sympathy and the way this tragedy has really brought people together.
    I'll get a start on a block or two tomorrow. Just a quick question that I might have missed because it's late and I'm super tired. Should the fabric be washed or unwashed?
    Many thanks,

  21. AMM says:

    Molli, I will be sending some blocks. I did like the idea of doing a quilt for the wall of the Lindt Cafe in Martin Place as well as a reminder that love and compassion will always win.

  22. 6 blocks in the mail from Omaha, Nebraska, USA. 🙂

  23. What a great idea ! We have long arm quilting machine and are happy to quilt or bind. Quilt-essentials in Newcastle

  24. Sooli says:

    I've got mine cut out now I just need to get some time at the machine and they'll be there in a flash!

  25. Rachel says:

    what are people doing with the discarded strip from section 4. of the tutorial… making a 4th square? or did you just cut your first set of strips to 4.5''? does this even make sense? or making a random hashtag block with several colours.. probably no longer a hashtag now that I think about it.. anyway … #illquiltwithyou ?

  26. Maria says:

    Thanks for answering FAQ s …..Will pop mine in the post on Monday.

  27. Susan says:

    Sending 9 on Monday! good luck with this project. and thanks for organising it all. I'll try for some more after Christmas.

  28. Leeanne says:

    Fabulous idea I have made a few, will pop in the post tomorrow. Leeanne in NZ!

  29. Aivosolu says:

    Hi Molli. I tried to make some blocks, but it all went to hell. I don't have inch rulers and what I thought was a 1/4 inch seam allowance clearly wasn't. My blocks ended up closer to 5 inches square than 5,5… I hope you will receive enough premium blocks from other people. If you can find some use for blocks that look alright but are too small, let me know (aivosolunajatukset(at) I'm sorry I don't have more time to re-do my blocks. Snailmail from Finland would probably take too long after christmas or new years… Good luck for the project!

    • Me too, mine were more like 5 inch square too. Will send them off anyway for you to use or not use at your choosing. So sorry about that….

    • Aivosolu says:

      Update. I was able to create a paper piecing template for the block. With that I made 3 blocks that are the right size. No need to worry about my seam allowance anymore! I'll swing by the post office today and I'll send all the blocks (3×5,5" and 4×5") to you. Now we'll just have to see how long the snail mail really takes from Finland to Australia!

    • Aivosolu says:

      By the way… If you happen to have a blog button for this (something like "I participated #") I would like to have one on my blog…

  30. kiwikid says:

    Blocks going in the mail today.

  31. Jo says:

    I'll join in. Not sure how many I will get done..

  32. Hi Joshua, We spoke at the Sydney quilt show last July. I just went to the blog because I'm finally going to tackle the British flags. I saw this and quickly raided my scrap bin to make a couple of squares. They'll be in the mail in the morning from Portland OR, USA. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your countrymen.


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