The London 2012 Inspire Programme recognises innovative and exceptional projects that are directly inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. ‘
 
A Gift of Quilts’ is being organised by Jenny Rundle and Sharon Garrick and is aiming to make a quilt for each country participating in the Olympics, Paralympics and Special Olympics. Its website is www.agiftofquilts.co.uk where you can find information on what can and cannot be included in any quilt made. You can also see photos of the quilts already completed. The group is aiming for 350 quilts from 40” square to 54” x 78” and have 276 registered so far. There is a wide range of groups and individuals taking part - from a village cooperative to a prison group, Young Quilter groups to family groups and Royal School of Needlework students. So far 14 have been completed and 20 are with long arm quilters for quilting.
 
 
 
The group is also making quilts for the Special Olympics as the grandchild of one of the organising team is disabled. They anticipate they will need 150 quilts for this.
 
‘Quilts 4 London’ is being organised by Irene Heathcote and Catherine Hill. This project is aiming to make a pennant for each participant in the Olympics and Paralympics. On its website, www.quilts4london.org.uk you can find instructions and templates to download and pictures of the many pennants already made for inspiration. The group needs 14,000 pennants to give one to each Olympic participant. This project also has various groups and individuals signed up to make pennants, from schools to church groups, from day centres to lace makers and a prison group - even braidmakers and the Association of Woodturners. These last two groups are making braids and rods with which to hang the pennants. ‘Quilts 4 London’ has already collected about 800 pennants and have another 1,000 promised.
 
 
 
Both projects have an amazing array of groups and individuals already involved. However, they are still seeking more people to get involved with these two very exciting projects.
 
Marilyn Lovett, President of The Quilters’ Guild, said ‘In years to come when your grandchildren and great grandchildren ask “Were you involved in the 2012 Olympics?” You will be able to say “Yes” . When they ask wide-eyed “Did you run the marathon?” You will say “No, but I took part in the Cultural Olympiad. I helped make a quilt for each nation and a pennant for each participant.” ‘
 
These projects are all made in the spirit of friendship with the world and with enthusiasm for the Cultural Olympiad. Friendship is sewn one stitch at a time.