30 March 2009

My Quilt

My neighbour is washing her windows
and scrubbing and washing her floors ....
But my home is all topsy turvy
and dust is behind all the doors.

My neighbour she keeps her house spotless
and she goes round all day at a trot
But no one would know in a fortnight
If she swept it today or did not.

The task I am at is enticing,
My neighbout is worn to a rag
I am making a quilt out of pieces
I have stowed in a pretty chintz bag

And the quilt I know my descendants
will display with great pride in their heart ...
"So lovely - my grandmother made it
An example of patience and art."

But will her grandchildren remember
her struggle with dirt and decay?
They will not ... they will wish that she had made them
A quilt like I'm making today!


26 March 2009

Quilts for Victorian Bushfire Survivors - Update from Rhonda Coates

Dear Sandra,
I would just like to take the opportunity to thank The Craft Mailbox for making my details available to quilters throughout Australia. The response for quilts for those effected by the recent bushfires has been amazing. I have been receiving phone calls and packages from far and wide. One group organised eighty quilts in three weeks! As people are now settling into semi permanent accommodation and getting back into a routine I believe it is now an appropriate time for us to give our quilts. Friends have expressed their hesitation in taking donations as it is not in their nature. They say it is may easier to give and to receive. Because of this I have decided to concentrate on the schools as a starting point. I believe they are often the heart of many small communities. I also have a number of ladies in the area alerting me to anyone they think would benefit from a quilt. Today fifty quilts were given to families whose children attend school in Kilmore. Next week I have an appointment at the Kinglake primary school. Each child and each staff member will be receiving a quilt. That is 110 in total! All are packed and ready to go. After that we have Kinglake middle school and Kinglake West primary school to cover. About 170-180) We have six families at the Upper Plenty primary school, St Mary's in Whittlesea and then off to Flowerdale. I believe it is still too early to tackle Marysville but in a couple of weeks time I hope to be able to offer quilts to ladies in that area to distribute. Last Saturday my daughter and I delivered four quilts to some friends whose property is tucked in behind a pine plantation. Two of their young teenage sons were home alone when the fires came through. Part of the house was burnt and all farm sheds, equipment and a huge number of stock was lost. How those boys survived is nothing short of a miracle.Driving through the plantation and along their driveway was one of the most surreal experiences I have ever had. It is an image that will never leave me and I feel so much for not only this family but all the families in those areas as they are faced with those sights everyday. Fortunately we have had a tiny bit of rain and so the black is starting to show patches of green.One 83yr old lady was so excited to finally receive a quilt. She has always wanted one but thought it ironic that she had to loose her house to get. I have tried to let everyone who has sent a quilt know where they are going.Email addresses are great. I am so grateful to the donors of these quilts and I understand the time, effort, emotion and cost that goes into them. I consider myself a caretaker of these special quilts until a home can be found for them and feel very humbled by everyone's generosity. I am currently out of quilts for teenage boys and so if any of your customers can help out that would be great. I have also delivered a number of patchwork and craft items to the Kinglake craft group and the Flowerdale patchwork group. These items arrived from Western Australia and NSW. Each of their ladies received a special "gift" when they came back to their first gathering last week. They were overwhelmed.
Thank you again and please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any queries. I will keep you updated as we get the quilts out.
PS. I have attached a photo of the quilts so far. The little mariner's compass in the top left hand corner arrived from England!
Rhonda Coates
Windermere Quilting36 Kellys Lane, Kilmore Victoria 3764Email: windermere@internode.on.net