Monday, April 25, 2011

The last goodbye

Easter Day different for me this year. Instead of attending church here, Sarah and I drove up to our family’s holiday house in the Blue Mountains where we spent the day with members of my extended family.

There was plenty of laughter, especially during the Easter egg hunt.


Though the “children” are all more than 17 years old they insist on continuing the tradition!


Then six of us went for a short walk through the bush.



The path was overgrown and is seldom used by anyone except locals who know the beauty in store at the end.


After a 10 minute tramp the scrub suddenly cleared, and we found ourselves on a wide level expanse of rock ending with a terrifyingly sharp drop into the wooded valley hundreds of metres below.


My father loved this spot. In fact the family named it after him – though you won’t find it on any mapBe right back

dad 2006-2

He had no fear of heights,and was a fearless mountain-climber as a young man.

dad 1940's

However others didn’t share his confidence that he wouldn’t topple over the sharp precipice and my mother was always trying to hold him back.

dad  1990

It seemed the perfect place for us to dispose of his ashes.

Having to engage in a little team work of our own provided some welcome moments of light relief as we said a very emotional goodbye.


I know he is with the Lord, and these were merely his mortal remains, but for me it was a very hard moment.


I miss you, Pa, but thanks to the promise of Easter I know we will see you again one day in a much better place.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Friday, April 15, 2011

A naughty Friday Flaunt

Naughty, because if she knew I was trumpeting her latest piece of quilty brilliance Di B (who has no blog) would give me a little smack on the hand and blush with embarrassment. Embarrassed smile

Nevertheless here it is – Lemon Cheesecake!


Di started this beauty as a relatively new quilter in a class with Sue Ross in February 2010, and she’s done a magnificent job. She would be the first to tell you she’s learnt many lessons along the way.


There have been moments when she could have consigned it to the “too hard” basket. But she pressed on and  little by little it has come together.


The Australian sunshine and the blue waters of our oceans, as well as the green of our countryside, are all represented in this quilt.


It’s become a very special gift for two people dear to Di, and since it will be going to live in Holland there are tiny touches of orange.


Linda Billett of Artisan Quilting was responsible for the creative machine quilting.


And feathers! They really show up on the back against the vivid blue fabric Di chose especially to represent the sparkling clear water of Sydney Harbour on a summer’s day.


Who’s this getting in on the photo shoot?  It’s young Matilda, Di’s golden retriever (worthy of a flaunt herself)!


Di deserves this unauthorised flaunt for a fabulous job. Her quilt took over a year to complete but it’s destined to become a family heirloom and I couldn’t be happier for her. Winking smile 


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Two and a half weeks old Red heart

April 13

From small beginnings…

In April 2009 there were exactly two quilters at our church – Di B and myself – but by November 2009 after Linda Hungerford had taught her Stitchin’ Mission 5 week beginner’s quiltmaking course, the quilting population at St Mark’s had grown to nearly thirty!

For some the experience of creating their Stitchin’ Mission quilt was fun, but they were happy to stop there.

But for those who wanted to carry on St Mark’s Quilters was formed, and we’ve since been joined by a few more willing hands, so that these days around a dozen enthusiastic quilters regularly attend our monthly Saturday workshops.

We’ve come a long way.

Liz joined us as a beginner this year, and has proved a ‘natural’ as a quilt designer! She learnt the quilt-as-you-go technique at our February workshop, then went out and bought some colour co-ordinated ‘scraps’, and created this beautiful quilt as a gift for someone special in her life.  Here’s her “show and tell” from Saturday…


So many exquisite fabrics lovingly cut and sliced and sewn together to make a rich pattern we thought had a real vintage feel.  Liz, you’ve made a spectacular beginning to your quiltmaking  journey.


Some of us worked on sewing tiny scrappy pieces into more crazy quilt blocks for New Life quilts. Few scraps are too small for these quilts, and it’s amazing how these humble fabrics that might otherwise have been consigned to the bin can make a colourful impact once sashed and bordered and bound.



Others were happy to keep going on quilt-as-you-go blocks.


Little by little Amanda and Margaret applied their long scrappy strips, and by the end of the day there were quite a few more blocks to add to those we’ve already sent Jan Mac of OzComfort Quilts and Corrie of retromummy


A brief chat at a Southern Cross Quilters gathering was the beginning of Cath’s association with us, and on Saturday she brought along two lovely large quilts which will go to people in need.



From small beginnings we’re growing together, increasing our numbers, gaining skills and creating some very attractive quilts out of humble scraps.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Where are your Stitchin’ Mission quilts now?

It’s taken me a little while to be sure we have permission to publish all these photos of the young recipients of some of our Stitchin’ Mission quilts.

As complete strangers, personally giving the children their quilts would have been far too unsettling for them. Instead they were handed out by staff at the KU Marcia Burgess Autism Specific Early Learning & Care Centre at a special barbecue a couple of months ago.

You can see more photos here.

I hope you agree it was worth the waitSmile

Dartagnan KU& Church (Small)

Dartagnan looks delighted with the bright quilt Marilyn made for him.


Noah KU & Church

Like most little children, Noah appears more interested in the wrapping paper on his smaller gift, but I’m sure by now he loves the quilt Coral made for him, with its trains and railway signs on yellow, backed by bright tropical fish.

Coral 2

Noah KU & Church 2

Isn’t that Moo’s lion folded on Pam’s lap while she shows Noah his quilt? I wonder who Pam gave it to?


And Averil should be very happy to see her butterfly quilt in sweet little Rehanan’s arms.

Rehanan KU & church

Averil 1

We plan to keep topping up the kindy’s supply of quilts so that every child who attends can have their own quilt to keep forever.

It’s a labour of love Red heart

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Quilt inspiration takes many forms

I’ve just spent the weekend in the Southern Highlands where autumn’s nippiness has definitely arrived, along with some of its glorious colour.


After our summer rain everything was looking green and lush.


Perfect weather for the wedding we attended.


The ponds and lakes were full.


And those picturesque beasts at the end of the pond were right out of Central Casting for Cattle. They’re very special wagyu cattle, and at the wedding reception we ate delicious fillet steak from some of their relatives. 


There was a little time to explore Bowral’s bookshops, including The Brown Bookshop in Bong Bong Street where I found this copy of Sarah Fielke’s new book “Quilting … from little things”.


Filled with quilt patterns showcasing her fresh new fabric range, “From Little Things”, it’s been popping up in bookshops all over the place. Take a look at Sarah’s blog to read about other reported sightings Smile


Hmmmm.. I think I have some Kaffe Fassett fabric just like this!