The Hastings community is knitting together to help the Wauchope Patchwork Quilters after heartless thieves stole home-made quilts bound for hospital patients.
The group's president Helen Clunas put out a call for help on October 4 after 15 quilts, equipment and a Janome sewing machine were stolen from the Rotary Youth Hall on September 28.
Ms Clunas said the robbery was disappointing because each quilt was being donated to patients at the palliative care ward of Wauchope District Memorial Hospital.
"Every patient has a quilt placed on their bed to help make their last few days a little more homely," she said.
"We had just collected them all up to take them to palliative care, when we received a letter to display them at the Wauchope Garden Club as a special program. Now they've been stolen we have missed out on both counts.
"Not only disappointing to the members but also to the staff at palliative care and the families of recipients who would have received these quilts."
Each quilt uses about $100 worth of fabric to make and involves at least 20 hours of choosing, cutting and working fabric.
Around $700 worth of quilting equipment was also stolen after the hall was broken into during June last year, according to Ms Clunas.
Members of the public have come forward to donate quilts and materials, to offset the cost of replacing the quilts.
"The quilting community spreads far and wide It's just unbelievable how the message has just spread everywhere," Ms Clunas said.
"We have had offers of sewing machine replacements and volunteers to make replacement quilts. We couldn't have imagined such a response."
Fabric supplier Spotlight and quilt store, Stitched 'n' Framed have both come forward to act as drop-off points for any donations towards the patchwork group.
Stitched 'n' Framed shop assistant Kylie Wood said the quilting community is very interconnected in the Hastings.
"Many of the ladies in the quilting groups are connected to a few of the groups. They are like-minded creative people working together," she said.
"Through our whole Hastings area quilting is quite big, many people travel up from Taree and Harrington to participate in workshops and groups.
"A lot of the ladies working on these quilts are donating them to charities such as nursing homes and hospitals. It's a very giving community so to have things stolen is very sad."
A NSW Police spokesperson said police are aware of the incident and inquiries are continuing into the matter.
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