Saturday, February 28, 2009

Alice and thanks, and a new piece

Alice has so far received a massive EIGHTY parcels. She is utterly blown away by your kindness and all the notes - you are just extraordinary people.

Thank you.

I have news too. I put an entry into the Bernina Friends competition for an 830 - and the CEO of Bernina International, Mr Claude Dreyer, has bought it before the judging.

I am so thrilled.

Below is the blurb,and some images.

You can make Anything on a Bernina - or Anywhere, or Anyone.


This is Mohamed Sa'ad in Cairo, Egypt. He is the caretaker of the
Mosque where he used to do the call to prayer as a muezzin. His voice
wore out and the
mosque is under repair and so he lives here with his wife and
daughter. The door behind him is stunning - dark wood and ornate
bronze and silver.

I wanted to make something special for Bernina as I owe them an
enormous debt of gratitude for help and support over the years. They
have lent me machines in locations all over the world - they have
flown me to classes all over the world. They even delivered a machine
to a hospital hostel for me when my daughter was badly burnt and I had
a quilting deadline.

I wanted something in my style as requested - and that was hard as my
style is pictorial and representational. I wanted something to
fascinate and hold people's gaze, and to pull them in for a closer
look. I wanted something with a different technique - the sort of
technique that might make people wonder how it was done. The 8 as a
theme was a problem and I am aware that I have not made this a theme
in the way that others will - but the stone walls have red numbers on
them for the buildings and though the mosque did not have a number -
it does now!

The quilt is made with cottons, some commercial and a few hand dyed,
the batting is Matilda's Own Wool Mix Batting, I used Mettler and
Signature threads, and silver foiled jersey.



Jenny Bowker

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Firestorm in Victoria

I have just been on the phone.

First - I need to give a bit of background story. A very long time ago my mother remarried. I was grown and married, and so were my new stepfather's children, but our families met from time to time and I am fond of my step brothers and sisters.

Alice and her husband moved to a delightful wooded area in the hills of Buxton in Victoria. I am not giving their full names - Alice is proud and would not like to feel as if she was being given charity.

They set up fire systems, and as fires moved towards them they were ready to stay with their house to fight for it. It was the advice of a neighbour - a man who had a lot of bushfire experience - which made them move. He had cleared fields around his house where Alice and her husband had lots of tall trees - and he said they should get out as they would not have a hope of saving it.

They threw a few things into the car and headed for Marysville.

Now all Australians know that that town no longer exists. All but fifteen houses burnt to the ground. There are terrible and terrifying stories of bodies found and perhaps 100 people died there.

Alice and her husband realised that the town was unsafe - it was being evacuated - and drove just ahead of the fire to Alexandra to the next evacuation point.

It was days before they could get back to Buxton to see if they had a house - and everything was gone. Their tool shed is there so they have garden tools and a lawnmower - but no garden and no lawn.

Alice had started quilting quite recently - and the beautiful blue quilt she was making for her daughter has gone.

They have been offered some temporary accommodation and I am going to send her a machine I can spare at the moment, a rotary cutter and a ruler and mat. What she needs most is activity. I know how calming and fulfilling quilting can be - so I want to try to replace her fabrics so she can work on a quilt.

She was working in all shades of blues and pastels. My idea was to ask if my readers could spare a piece of fabric from their stashes to send it to her.

I would not post something like this without permission so I spoke to Jan, her sister in law and my other step-sister who is in contact with her.

Alice was thrilled with the idea. She does not want to feel like a charity so I am not asking for goods or clothes - only fabric and perhaps some quilt magazines with patterns. Her idea is that if she gets the offered house in Buxton she will start a group for the women there - and if she has some fabric she can share this with others. This means that all colours will be very welcome. I was really touched that she would immediately think of a way to share whatever might be sent.

At the moment she does not have an address so Jan is offering to receive packets for her and will take them to her as soon as she has a place to live.

The address is:

For Alice,
c/o Jan Stinear,
76 Prince Street,
Victoria 3931

Please be generous and send her a fat quarter or a nice piece of fabric - I love the idea of a phoenix quilt group, rising from the ashes.
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