Thursday, 12 December 2013

12 days until Christmas, and what is our total?

This week we collected 55 quilts, and 2 crochet blankets. So our total number of quilts (knitted and crochet blankets not counted) is 354! That is an amazing number, and we have had some amazing quilts with amazing stories donated this week.

Today in class our focus was to get as many tops that were already matched with backing onto the pinning tables and get them pinned ready for quilting. And we also tried to get as many tops matched with appropriate backing as we could. My hat comes off to Irene, Chris, Mary, Margaret, Monika, Judith, Sue, Francois and Beverley for their tireless work today in those two roles. These ladies have done such a good job in getting quilts to the quilting stage, particularly Irene, Chris, Mary, Margaret, Monika and Judith who come to the Wednesday night class as well, that we have now used every decent pin we have. We had one donation of 2000 pins alone (thanks Maree!), so you can imagine how many pins we had altogether at one time. Now they are all holding quilts together in one or the other of the ladies houses while she gets it quilted over the Christmas break. What a fantastic bunch of people to work with!

In fact, it is such a great group, and we have so much fun, that my 10 year old is desperate to come each week. My girls have had to come to the Wednesday class a few times because Ryan is held up getting home from work, and it is always the highlight of my eldest's week. Last night Ryan wasn't going to make it home until very late, and she was thrilled. She was on a mission. She was here, there and everywhere, making cups of tea, unpacking things, sorting, washing up. She just loved being a part of it. She reminds me so much of my lovely Mum when she is all fired up like that. My little tiny Mum is like the Energizer Bunny, and Hannah is just the same. She keeps telling me how excited she is about the school holidays because she is going to make a quilt to give away. It's going to be a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to it, but today I saw something she did that made my throat get a hard lump in it, and I think the quilt making will be even more special.

Today after class, some of the ladies went down to Penrith RSL for our Christmas break up lunch. We had left the hall in a bit of a mess because we were coming back later to clean it up. It turned out that we wouldn't have time to do it before the girls came out of school, so we went out and picked up the girls and then back up to Faulconbridge to pack away and load the quilts into my car. The last thing I put away was the whiteboard, and that is where I found she had written a message on the back on Wednesday night.

Early in the week I had the pleasure of meeting two quilters and their husbands who had travelled to Winmalee to drop off quilts. Anne Perry of The Avalon Quilters came with lots of goodies like fabric, patterns, quilts, quilt tops and backing, and the most fabulous bag of threads which drew a lots of ohhs and ahhs from my ladies. They donated some simply stunning quilts. Many are fully hand quilted. The hundreds of hours invested into each quilt is hard to imagine. If you have a look at the Photo Gallery you will see a couple of The Avalon Quilts quilts which I am sure have been in patchwork magazines before. The Avalon Quilters also sent a cheque for $100 to help us finish some of the tops that have been donated. The also brought a lovely card from the Caroline Bay Quilters with a cheque for $300! How very generous! It will be going towards backings and quilting. Now, Anne didn't really mention the financial donation as such and after they left I was walking down the hallway opening the cards and I stopped dead still with my mouth wide open (attractive, I know!) when I saw the amount. I wished I could have called her back and gave her a hug. Thank you!

And the other couple that came to my door win the prize for the most kilometres travelled to deliver quilts. They came from Toowoomba!! Yes, in QUEENSLAND!! Now there is a town that has had its own natural disaster in recent years, and now they are sending down quilts to us. I was very touched. They have made some beautiful quilts with beautiful quilting. I wish the Toowoomba ladies could have seen the look on my ladies faces when I told them that the quilts were personally delivered from 900km away. Priceless! I have since heard that there is a good patchwork shop in Toowoomba and there was some suggestions of a roadtrip!

Also this week I received a letter from Mrs Laverance, a lovely, Godly woman who, with her husband, were Commanding Officers at Springwood Salvation Army when I was a teenager. In fact, she enrolled me as a Senior Soldier. The group she belongs to is called "The Tuesday Ladies", and they have very generously raised $100 to go to our Quilt Appeal. This is also going to buy backing and to get some quilting done of some of the large quilt tops we have received. Thank you!

What a week we have had! Thanks for stopping by. Stay tuned for tomorrow's launch of the guessing competition!

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