Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The finish line’s in sight

With less than 24 hours to go, Linda is way out in front and looks set to win a $1000 grant so she can make a DVD of her Stitchin’ Mission classes.  Thank you so very much for getting her there!
It hasn’t been easy.  Many comments critical of Linda have been left on both her entry, and that of her nearest competitor, by folk who feel she should not be there (in spite of the fact that her entry was accepted by the organisers and falls fairly and squarely within their rules and regulations).
We all know what wonderful work Linda does through her Stitchin’ Mission - you’ve heard me chattering on about it often enough <grin> – so I’m asking you to please cast your final vote for her right now.
You have until 2.59pm Wednesday (Sydney, Australian time) or 11.59pm Tuesday(Iowa time)  but there’s no time like the present!
Just click here - image[8]   (And while you’re there you might send her some love by leaving an encouraging comment. )

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I voted ... TWICE!

Once in our Australian Federal Election today.

And once for Linda, so she can win a grant of $1,000 with which to make a DVD of her inspirational Stitchin' Mission beginner quiltmaking lessons.

Please join the hundreds of quilters getting behind our wonderful friend, and vote by clicking on the button in the top right hand corner of this blog - once every day for the rest of the month.

Thanks a million!

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Stunning finishes

There was progress aplenty to be seen when the English Quilt girls gathered at Gail’s today.  Whether crossing the finish line, breasting the tape or just sprinting steadily towards the end of a quilting journey, everyone has been incredibly creative over the past month.IMG_7545 Remember Robbie’s scrappy applique quilt?  It’s finished!  IMG_7546 Doesn’t it look as fresh as a Sydney spring day.IMG_7547 IMG_7549 IMG_7548 She’s already made a start on her next quilt using these gorgeous Liberty fabrics, and I can’t wait to see it.IMG_7551

More happy endings

Gail decided that although her Frederika Josephson hexagon quilt  was all but finished it needed a little extra flair.  So she’s added these pretty pieced and scalloped borders to two sides.  Nice!IMG_7522 IMG_7526 Gail’s new project is this delicate confection featuring the palest pink roses on an ivory background.IMG_7523 Fresh from taking in the “wagga” display at the Hunters Hill Quilt Show last week we were pleased to see that Lynne was on the home stretch with hers, stitching the binding on today.IMG_7515 IMG_7513I’ve hand quilted half my Candied Hexagon quilt.  Gosh, I’ll be pleased to have this one finished and put to good use as a TV rug.  I’m not at all sure I like it any more.IMG_7528 Anne’s beautifully planned Frederika Josephson quilt is almost there!  IMG_7530 Don’t you just love her fussy cutting?IMG_7533

Finally, Jill spent the day designing and embroidering a label for the first  quilt she ever made – and yes, there is a story behind the quilt’s name :-))IMG_7553

… and Whirligig work in progress

Rae’s stunning Whirligig quilt centre is waiting for the naive floral applique borders she’s been working on. IMG_7540 IMG_7535 More fussy cutting here too, and Rae’s using our preferred method of preparing her applique pieces using a glue stick and Floriani Stitch and Wash.IMG_7518IMG_7524 IMG_7536 So now you’ve seen what my inspirational quilting buddies have been up to this month!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Stitchin’ Mission - Voting starts now!

You’ve possibly gathered from my blog posts that I'm passionate about my friend Linda Hungerford's Stitchin' Mission <grin>
Now Linda has the opportunity to win a grant of $1000 which would enable her to produce a DVD of her lessons.  Up until now she’s been limited to leading Stitchin' Misssions at churches she could travel to within her home town (Des Moines, Iowa).  We were fortunate indeed to have her lead ours while she was here in Sydney on holiday.   Linda 3 A DVD, with Linda herself doing the on-screen teaching, would enable others anywhere in the world, like Di B and me, to lead Stitchin’ Missions encouraging beginner quiltmakers (and others) to use their talents to help others.SM Group 3-2 Linda explains it here.
The quilts St Mark's Quilters handed over at the official opening of the KU Marcia Burgess Autism Specific Early Learning & Care Centre on the weekend are just a small part of the harvest of 895 children's quilts made by Stitchin' Mission quilters and sent worldwide over the last 5 years. IMG_2542
Please vote for Linda once every day for the next 2 weeks.
Voting opens 3.00am Tuesday 17th August (Sydney time) and finishes 3.00pm Wednesday 1st September (Sydney time).
Click on this image below, or on the Stitchin’ Mission voting widget in the top right hand corner of my blog.
Better still, get the widget from Linda’s blog and  spread the word by blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking, or whatever.
Cast your first vote HERE NOW!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

It’s officially open!

IMG_7465 The sparkling new, state-of-the-art KU Marcia Burgess Autism Specific Early Learning & Care Centre at Liverpool was officially opened yesterday morning, and look who was there.IMG_7461L to R – Margaret, Marjorie, Di, Di, and Di (no, my keys aren’t sticking – there really are three of us!)
IMG_7488           We were joined by Ruth (far left), Louise (4th from the left) and Cath (far right)

Marcia Burgess was a friend of ours, a dear lady very much involved in our church family, who worked for more than 50 years with KU Children’s Services ensuring that allchildren, particularly those with special needs, were able to access high quality childhood education and care. She died three years ago, and her work has been honoured by KU naming this new kindy after her.

It’s been a whole year since Di B and I first dreamed of continuing Marcia’s legacy by providing a quilt for every child who would be enrolled at the kindy.

With a grand total of TWO quilters in our congregation (us) it seemed like an impossible dream last August, but with much prayer and the help of Linda Hungerford and her wonderful Stitchin’ Mission – 5 weekly beginner quiltmaking classes – St Mark’s now has 23 more quilters and a new group, St Mark’s Quilters.

We’ve held two huge quilt displays in the church, at Christmas and Pentecost, and our stash of quilts now numbers almost 90!

In addition, one of our quilters, Averil, facilitated a train of events resulting in Westfield donating $50,000 to the kindy.IMG_7459  
There were a few happy tears shed yesterday when Di B and I officially handed over the quilts and were surprised by a beautiful, framed certificate of appreciation from the kindy staff and children.

We hope the children love all their quilts, but especially this one.  Little Chloe made this miniature quilt at Stitchin’ Mission classes with her mummy, Debbie, and next week as they play in dolly’s corner the children will have a bright new quilt to keep their dolly warm :-))

  Debbie 3IMG_7484
It’s our prayer that, as each child snuggles into the softness of our quilts, they will feel all the love that has gone into them.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Spectacular quilts, treats from Material Obsession – and yummy scones!

No brown paper bags, no affiliations … just a satisfied visitor to this stunning exhibition of quilts yesterday.IMG_7440  10.00am – 4.00pm Saturday and Sunday

Hunters Hill Town Hall

Alexandra Street


Admission $6.00 including catalogue

You can buy a ticket in the raffle – the centre top quilt in the photo below is one of the two gorgeous prize quilts – but my friend Helen has already told me she’s going to win <grin>

Hunters Hill Quilt Show 2010 [The reason I went yesterday was that today the Other Di and I, along with a small band of excited Stitchin’ Mission quiltmakers, are off to  a VERY special event!  More soon….]

Friday, August 13, 2010

Making an exhibition of myself

Do you remember this quilt?  It’s been quite some time since I’ve given my Roebuck Quilt an airing, but last week I brought it out for a small sewing exhibition at my club. 

While I was there as a hostess I was able to make some progress with the hand-quilting and it caused lots of interest with visitors who were curious to see how it was done.IMG_7403 The rest of the time it was displayed as a work-in-progress, with a small photo of the original quilt made by Lizzie and Margaret Roebuck in 1861, from Dr Annette Gero’s book.IMG_7384 IMG_7382 IMG_7388 I call this one a slow-burner – don’t expect to see it finished soon :-))

Sunday, August 8, 2010

City to Surf

Church was a little different this morning, with helicopters circling overhead, the noise of their rotors at times almost drowning out the sound of the preacher. 

On our Point we were totally isolated by road closures, so only those living in the immediate neighbourhood could make it, and our street – if not the airspace – was blissfully free of traffic.

At the end of the street it was a different story as 80,000 people ran past in the City to Surf, Sydney’s annual fun-run from Hyde Park to Bondi Beach.

IMG_7409It takes a long time for 80,000 runners to pass by.  This was the scene a whole hour after the 8.30am start  - runners of all shapes and sizes as far as the eye could see! IMG_7410

They have a spectacular day weather-wise.  Strangely enough I’ve never been tempted to join them :-) 

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Kindness of Strangers … again!

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you may recall that last year I told you about Lindi’s extraordinary act of kindness to me.  While Lindi and I are great internet pals, we’ve never actually met face to face, so I think I could call what she did an example of The Kindness of Strangers.

Well, it’s happened again, this time with a different kind-hearted stranger. 

My story begins fifteen years ago, when I was more of a knitter than a quilter, and I began a labour of love, knitting an Aran cardigan for my husband.  I enthusiastically knitted the back.  Then a sleeve.  Then a half sleeve.  

And then I stopped.  Life just got in the way, as it sometimes does, and the Aran cardigan took a back seat.
Knitting pattern (This is not us – but I’m more than happy for you to pretend it is!)
As you can see from the picture, this pattern was a wonderful combination of cables and twists – a 39 row pattern repeat in fact.  As time went on my labour of love sat firmly in the ‘too hard basket’ and I completely lost track of where I’d left off in that 39 row pattern. 

Finally, having decided I would never finish it, I put the whole thing up for auction on eBay earlier this year.  It sold – garment pieces, unused balls of wool, tote bag and all – to a lovely young knitter who I’ll call Daisy (not her real name).  

This should have been the end of the story.  However when she came to collect her bundle Daisy, an experienced knitter, gently handled the pieces I’d already completed, said that working out the pattern would be no trouble for her, and generously offered to finish the cardigan for me.  For nothing!  

Even when she brought it back to me last week all finished she was still insisting she wanted no payment.
IMG_7374 She’s done a magnificent job, and I was able to surprise my husband with the cardigan he thought he’d never see.  IMG_7372Everywhere he goes people compliment him on his new cardigan, and it’s keeping him cosy and warm on our chilly winter days.
Of course I returned the money Daisy had paid me - and gave her more for her work, in spite of her protestations.  She is such a special person and a delight to meet.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Who made this quilt?

When I’m long gone I’d like to think anyone asking this question about a quilt of mine won’t be left wondering.  I hope they’ll easily find the answer  on the label. In her recent talk Dr Annette Gero  reinforced the importance of labelling, from the point of view of a quilt historian, and I’ve vowed to be more conscientious in doing this in the future, even with my more humble quilts.

I had to smile when I borrowed two of my quilts from my parents this week to display in a small exhibition of work at my club. I made these quilts in the last 7 years for my parents’ 80th birthdays, and the labels brought back memories of two very happy celebrations.IMG_7327 This was my mother’s, and I forced myself to cut up some of my very favourite Robyn Pandolph fabrics for a special lady.Here’s the quilt label. IMG_7332

IMG_7334I made this bow-tie quilt for my father’s 80th after collecting plaids, paisleys and such for several months.IMG_7340 Here are its two labels, created using photos and text printed on fabric.  It was a somewhat labour-intensive process involving soaking in Bubble Jet Set in the days before fabric printing sheets, but definitely worth it.IMG_7343-1 Those are his wife (my mother), all his children, their spouses, and all his grandchildren.IMG_7345 IMG_7346 Helpers setting up our exhibition felt the labelling was such an important feature that we’ve pinned the quilts back so visitors can read the ‘stories’.IMG_7368