Archie’s Army is a group of local and national sewers and quilters who distribute quilts to sick children and kids who have suffered trauma in their life, such as the death of a parent.
The group was formed in September 2015 after the tragic death of Vicki Lovell’s grandson, Archie Armitt.
Archie was the son of Amanda Lovell (now Perkins) and Shaun Armitt. Archie passed away on the 5th of September, 2015 from Mitochondrial Disease aged 8 years. He spent the last 5 weeks of his life in Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick.
During his stay at the hospital, Archie was given a quilt by Maria from Palliative Care based at the hospital. The quilt went everywhere with Archie whilst he was in the hospital - tests, theatre, walk in his wheelchair around the hospital and stayed on his bed until the end. Amanda now treasures that quilt that was Archie’s comfort whilst unwell.
Vicki, being a quilter and having a very dear friend also a quilter, Sue Chesworth, formed Archie’s Army as a way to keep Archie’s memory alive.
They started holding quilting weekends, with people travelling from everywhere to help get them started. On the first quilting weekend, the group made between 80-90 quilts with the help of 15-20 ladies. These quilts were taken to Sydney Children’s Hospital and given to Maria, who originally gave Archie his quilt.
Over the past 4 years, the Army have produced close to 400 quilts, sent all over Australia, with one even heading to New Zealand. Everything is donated, material, binding, panels, thread, money, mailing satchels and time and effort.
Sewers and quilters in the Army are located in nearly every Australian state, with people from Harden, Boorowa, Young, Cootamundra, Gundagai, Tumut, Talbingo, Eugowra, Rylstone, Marulan, up and down the South Coast, Canberra, Melbourne and an anonymous regular donator from Western Australia as well as others.
Vicki, Sue and the Army will keep producing quilts to honour Archie. Visit the Army’s Facebook page Harden Murrumburrah Archie’s Army at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1648217828784833/ for more information or to help out.
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