Gumnut Quilters keep Redland District Special School students warm in winter

QUILTERS: Denise Dwyer with Redland District Special School principal Cynthia Mangakahia and Elke Maloney.
QUILTERS: Denise Dwyer with Redland District Special School principal Cynthia Mangakahia and Elke Maloney.

A LOCAL quilting group is helping others to keep warm this winter, creating unique and specially-designed wheelchair blankets for students at Redland District Special School.

Gumnut Embroiderers and Quilters - a local quilting group made up of about 10 members - is striving to give a handmade quilt to each student in the school's roughly 150-strong cohort.

Last year, 75 quilts were given to students, and 25 were presented earlier in May.

Convenor Elke Maloney said it would be an ongoing job, with students able to take home their blankets after they graduated.

Gumnut Embroiderers and Quilters will also continue to make blankets as the season wears on so every child can keep warm.

Ms Maloney said the quilts, which each had a unique design, could take hours to make.

While members were passionate about quilting, the group wanted to find a way to put their talents towards a good cause.

"The quilts are specifically made for someone in a wheelchair because they're not too wide," she said.

"Because some of the students are in wheelchairs they feel the cold more than anyone else does."

Ms Maloney, who owns and operates Gumnut Embroidery, said she put a lot of thought into quilt designs, coming up with themes and colour schemes that she thought the students might like.

"Children can choose their own quilt and it's special to them," she said.

Redland District Special School principal Cynthia Mangakahia said students were always thrilled to receive the quilts.

"Our seniors all got a quilt before they left school, so now (the quilters are) just working through each student in the school," she said.

"We hold them up and whatever they choose is the one that they like and they want.

"It's such a nice thing too that they can take it home."

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