A cooling idea

A cooling idea

A colourful medley of scraps of fabric has been stitched and sent to communities in fire affected regions around the country. 

Circular Head’s Town and Country Patchwork Quilters have crafted more than six dozen ‘cool ties’ to cool down volunteers doing the hard yards to clean up the devastation caused by catastrophic fires.

The ‘Cool the Vollies’ campaign on Facebook is calling for 10,000 of the water retaining accessories to be donated for volunteers working in sweltering conditions. 

“We thought it would be a simple little thing we could do,” said Gillian Haines, underestimating the task at hand at first. 

“We had a big production line going by the end of it.” 

Cool ties are designed to be worn around the neck to cool the wearer from blistering heat. Each handmade item took up to half an hour to lovingly create, starting with a square of fabric, sewn to the size of a tie, ironed, filled with water crystals and sewn closed before being folded and packaged with instructions. 

Made from 100 per cent cotton, simply soak the tie for 10 minutes allowing the crystals to absorb the water then drape around your neck, over your forehead or on your wrists for a soothing relief from the heat. Volunteers working to rebuild communities and properties struck by the fatal New South Wales, Victorian and South Australian fires are wearing the crafty creations to keep cool. 

“It struck a cord with us as quilters,” said Lynne Gourley. “As something practical we can do to help. Something practical to make a difference.” 

Stored in zip lock bags, ties remain damp for up to three days and only need a few moments immersed in water to reinvigorate the cooling effects. 

More than 80 ties were stitched by 10 volunteers last weekend. The creations were posted to Canberra, Australian Capital Territory last Tuesday to be distributed to volunteers through BlazeAid. 

The group also donated $500 to the Salvation Army’s bushfire relief appeal. 

Town and Country Patchwork Quilters meet on the second Saturday of the month at SCF from 10.30am, where new members are always welcome. 

Town and Country Patchwork Quilters Gillian Haines and Lynne Gourley with handfuls of handmade creations to cool down volunteers while cleaning up the fire damage across the country.