Sunday, August 2, 2009

So You're a Quilter Too!

I came across this poem on BellaOnline as I was trawling quilt related goodies online. It pretty much sums it all up for me :-)

Jenny Riley is a Queensland writer and poet.

So You’re a Quilter Too!

We don’t think you’re a weirdo for we do the same ourselves
We have miles and miles of fabric stacked by color on our shelves,
And we are still collecting, though the space is getting short,
Why we even cross state boundaries for that special piece we bought.
Though we live to be a hundred, we will never use it all,
But we’ve become compulsive; patchwork has us in its thrall.

We buy new fabric, prints and plains, in black or blue or rose,
But before we even stack it, through the washing machine it goes,
Hanging like Tibetan prayer flags, from our fence or hoist or line
And lucky folks with a Queensland home hang it under any time.
It’s colour fast, it hardly frays, we iron out all the creases
Still, we fold it up and stack it before we cut it into pieces.

Now our modest piece of fabric is one of countless numbers,
But we always need that one piece more! How is it so one wonders?
We have picked the perfect pattern, now the prints, the plains, the shades,
We marked the shapes out carefully and cut with eager blades,
NO! We don’t think you’re funny; it’s just the way you’re built.
We understand obsession. We know you have to quilt.

We turfed them from the dining room (in fact, it’s now our own!)
'Gee, Mum, is dinner late again?' the little horrors moan.
But sewing’s moving on a pace, the needle’s running hot,
'Kids, can’t you see I’m busy?' and we’re smiling as we speak,
And we serve an instant dinner for the seventh time this week.
At last we have it all stitched up, and everything looks right
We want to show the world our work but it’s the middle of the night.

Of course we haven’t finished, we tack, we quilt, we border
And conscience sometimes makes us put our messy house in order.
For how could we hang a quilt up or throw it on our beds,
When everywhere we look has dust or pins and scraps and threads
No! We don’t think you’re odd at all. We tread the path you do.
Yes! We’ve been thru’ it all ourselves. We know what drives you too.

So when 'they' say 'How silly to cut and then re-stitch,
And all those odd shape pieces, I can’t tell which is which.
Is there nothing better you can do but sit and sew all day?
I suppose it helps to pass the time in a silly sort of way.'
But we know different, you and I, for it comes from yourself,
And the whole thing starts all over with more fabric from your shelf.

By Jenny Riley

My stash - 2 years ago ... washed, ironed, folded neatly and organized in colours ...
... it has ... er ... grown a LOT since then!

A xo

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bushfire Quilts

Hello lovely people

I know you are all aware of the horror of the fires here in Victoria. The wider Kinglake area is the main 'feeder' area for my school - Plenty Valley Christian College. Many of our families have lost everything, and most of us knows someone/many who have lost homes, and have either lost a friend, family member or acquaintance, or know of someone who was killed, or knows someone who has lost someone. We also have friends who are CFA volunteers, and are still fighting the fires. Needless to say, the school community is in shock, but has banded together to support each other, and those in our wider community. We have a wonderful team of professionals to counsel us, and are coping OK under the circumstances.

As a staff, our main purpose at the moment is to provide our children with the stable environment they need - for some, school is the ONLY thing in their life that hasn't changed. Their eyes are either blank, or filled with visions no child should ever have to see.

There is a heaviness in my gut of being able to do so little - until I thought of quilts. A quilt is a gift of love - and love is a powerful healer. With this in mind, I have been given the go-ahead to make quilts for the children. My aim is to make a 'snuggle' quilt for each of the children from school who has lost their home. The task appears daunting at the moment, but I know it can be done.

My plan is to collect 12" blocks (+ seam allowances) and put them together as a sampler quilt. For this I need help. It's too big for the few of us at school who quilt and sew - so I'm asking for help.

If you are able to help out - either by making a block/s, helping to put the final quilts together, doing the quilting or can donate fabric etc etc - I would LOVE to hear from you and/or any others you know of who would like to help.

If I get too many blocks (how wonderful would that be?) they will be put together and the quilts given to the many others in need of a 'snuggle'.

Please feel free to pass this on to anyone you think may like to help.

I look forward to hearing from you.

You can follow the progress of the quilts on my Snuggle Quilts blog.