British Red Cross volunteers are a talented bunch. Not content with taking sponsored baked bean bathsskydiving and shaking buckets in the name of fundraising, one group of nimble-fingered ladies recently won a national award for a stunning quilt they made and then raffled.

The quilting trio (Caryl Larkins, Marion Topp and Catherine Millar), called ‘Fusion’, from Somerset, toiled all winter to make the quilt, with each member making four tiles each. To help with the design, they even enlisted the help of an artist – Tim Millar – Catherine’s son.

Their efforts were rewarded with first prize in the charity group section of the Quilts UK 2010 Competition, in May.

The resulting William Morris-inspired quilt was won by Red Cross trustee Sue Brown (pictured, with Marion), and raised more than £1,000 towards 12 workshops the Red Cross is holding in the county later this year. As well as training people in first aid, the workshops will encourage communities to make plans for how they would cope in an emergency.

Marion said: “We’re thrilled to bits because last year we won a second and third prize in the group quilts but this is our first ever first.” It would be difficult to calculate how many quilts all the members of Fusion have made altogether, she confessed. She alone has been quilting for 12 years and has made a whopping 30.

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