Sunday, August 31, 2008

IN ABSENTIA MIRANDA - made in Australia

In the 14 months that my sister and I were caring for my mother in
Australia , I felt I needed to quilt and make bags at night to give me some
tenuous link with my life before caring for my terminally ill Mum who eventually
passed away from cancer.

This quilt is called "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" ......where I feel she is now.

I worked on 3 quilts (One was lost in all the moves and the other is still in
progress)- one was finished in time for my mother to enjoy using it right ujp to her last day. It was a source of interest at the hospice where nurses and strangers would come in to look at it and ask her about it, and she would then chat with them.

It was a healing quilt for me after Mum passed away I would wrap myself
in it when I wanted to be close to her. Now I've gifted it to my daughter.

It's a three generational quilt already. In fact all three of us had a hand in making it. Mya and mum snipped off the endless numbers of cotton threads. If you've made one of these quilts that is chenille blocks , you'll know what iI mean about the sewing threads! They're still popping up no matter how many washes it gets.

After making lots of 'THANK YOU BAGS" for friends who were being
exceptionally supportive, I started making bags for Charity. They sold like hot
cakes and the money went to Eastern Palliative Care and to Caritas Cristi; the
two organisations that helped both my mother and my sister and I through this
tough time.

The organisations were most grateful. I had hoped to start a quilt for
each cancer patient in the hospice, but due to Australian Laws, they were not
able to accept quilts: The laundry contractors could only wash their own plain
white hospital covers!! I was glad to have found a way to support the charities
without causing "OHS" problems.

In all, I made 23 bags for charities (my sister cleaned up after me), ran free workshops where the participants then donated the bags to the charities and I lost count of how many "thank you" bags I made.

As all of you know, a lot of love and thought goes into something hand made for someone special - especially if it is a thank you gift. It gave me great joy to give the bags away. Thus I have none for show and tell in Singapore - so I've put them here in the blog to share this special time with you. .

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Betty just e-mailed me with the wonderful news:

"I got a call from Courtney's dad this morning saying that Courtney had a
boy a few days ago, he came a month early. So the baby shower is off for
tomorrow until she some other time soon. All are well and maybe I will get
to see Courtney at the Wesley hospital which is where I volunteer every
Tuesday. The baby has to stay in the maternity ward for a few more weeks
but Courtney is going home either tomorrow or Monday, but naturally she will
visit every day."

I just received more news. Hamish is doing well - has reached his birthweight but is still in hospital.

I hope we'll get some photos soon, and I'll post them for the clucky ones amongst us.

By the way here is Betty's banner.....

Sandra will be sending photos of her bags soon.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Here are some photos that Janice has sent from the Birmingham Quilt show. She'll add some info on them when she comes back.

Birmingham Festival of Quilts August 2008

After the fantastic show in Tokyo last year, I really didn’t know what to expect despite knowing that this is one of the largest shows in Europe. Well I wasn’t disappointed! Having persuaded a friend to join me who is a lapsed quilter who learnt in the States, I was relieved to see that European quilting is alive and thriving and is not restricted to the old fashioned patchwork I remembered.

These are a few trends I noticed at the festival – Sue went the day after me and it will be interesting to see what she thought. There were a lot of quilts incorporating printed pictures or screen printed images and painting on fabrics used for all or for part of the quilt. Some of the most beautiful quilts were single coloured fabric eg cream with coloured quilting forming the picture and patterns. There were some stunning long armed machine quilting done with coloured threads which I could easily live with (so long as someone else could make them!) Hangings were in abundance and often in 3 pieces. Some pieces incorporated felting and the work of Jacqueline Heinz was just amazing and she even wore some felted and quilted pieces she had made as well as showing the best hangings in the show as far as I was concerned. Unfortunately she doesn’t have a website!! Ricky Tims was there with a variety of his quilts and of course his cowboy hat. Kaffe Fasset was also there but I missed him as there was so much to see.

There were so many workshops to do but as I only had one day I thought I would just look around and of course I didn’t get to see everything by closing time – there isn’t enough time and after a 5am start from home, although the mind was willing, the body was done for at 5pm! The shopping looked good and I found a couple of different things of course but it was a bit short on old Japanese fabric so Betty, Sandra and Miranda would have been disappointed !! Generally I had a great day and my friend has been inspired to tackle her UFOs and try some new ideas so what more could I ask for? Better try and work next year’s holidays around the festival.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008




Courtney is having her baby shower in Queensland this weekend. Invited to the shower is Betty Kerr also a recent past member of ANZA Quilters. Betty won the Singapore Quilt challenge last year with her "Out of the Blue...Steve Irwin Died" quilt where she pieced several thousand 1 inch squares in colour wash of Steve Irwin and a crocodile. Since leaving Singapore Betty has featured Steve in a Quilting magazine in Australia and several State Quilt shows. She is currently working on a banner for a family reunion. Knowing Betty's skills it'll be something to behold. She's promised to send us a photo of the finished product. She has also sent us some phoots from the quilt shows in Brisbane and Melbourne.

Also in Queensland is Lyn McClellan who will be remembered by long term members. Lyn and I are friends (we lived in the same apartment block in Indonesia) where I taught quilting and Lyn helped tremendously to introduce her quilting skills and Knowledge to a group of expats and locals in Jakarta. Lyn is now in Queensland and preparing to head off with her husband on a huge sailing trip to Phuket and Ambon- we're trying to get her to come to Singapore and visit her old quilting group.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Alison's Crispy Noodle Salad
1 medium red capsicum (200g)
100g baby curly endive (or
lettuce/spinach/radicchio etc)
100g crispy fried noodles
1 small red
onion (100g) sliced thinly
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh mint
tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh coriander

1/3 cup
(80ml) peanut oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 clove garlic,

Cut capsicum in half lengthways. Remove & discard seeds and membrane; slice
thinly. Trim endive & discard hard ends of leaves.
Combine capsicum & endive with noodles, onion, mint & coriander in large bowl.
Add dressing, toss to combine.

Dressing: combine ingredients in glass screw top jar and shake well.

*Note: add noodles & dressing at the last minute, as noodles will go soggy if
left for long


We met at Sandra Y's today. Thanks for the lovely hospitality and thanks to Alison for providing the lovely fare. Alison's Yummy recipe is in the group's recipe file further down in this blog.

Welcome back to Lorraine who has been away for a while and welcome to Judy Crispe. We'll ask Judy to let us know a little about herself in the next blog.

We circulated the current mailing list and I'll attempt to update the amendments and circulate that soon. If you have any updates and were not at today's quilting meeting, please let me know as soon as possible. As the blog is not private we will not be posting the contact list here - it will come to you separately in an email.

Those who have been with the group for a long while will rememebr when we used to get large newsletters with photos sent to our email addresses, but most internet hosts would reject them because of size and disallow dowloads - therefore some received them and others didn't.

To alleviate this problem and to centralise information this blog has been created. It doesn't get downloaded to your computer, you read it on the web and you can chose to participate/read/contribute, or not.

It was agreed today, when there were blog updates, that a quick email should be sent to all members.

Please remember to bookmark the site and refresh - for quick access in future.
Thanks to Sandra for showing the blog via her computer today.

The Show and Tell photos will still continue to appear in shutterfly and the blog, but the blog will give the quilters an opportunity to explain their quilts and pass on any handy hints on techniques etc. with a brief description as it used to be in the old days of the Show and tell photo album - but done digitally on the blog now.

I had mentioned I'd try and give everyone "writers access" and block the site from outsiders, but I've just realised what a huge job that is creating separate email address and passwords for every member. Maybe in the future when I have more time and depending on the use of the blog. For now any amendments, articles, ideas etc can come to either myself (Miranda) or Sandra Y, who as of today has agreed to be a back up editor for the blog.

A request was made for a few small quilts to be brought to the next quilting meeting so I can take some to the ANZA Newcomers Morning where newcomers are introduced to Singapore and the activities of ANZA (including groups like ours). Good PR for our group.

Janice is still in England looking after her mum and will be returning to Singapore next week. Please direct any queries to me in the meantime. When Janice returns and finds her feet again, we'll ask her to put up some of the photos of the Birmingham Quilts show she attended and we look forward to hearing and seeing more from Janice in person soon.

There were a few volunteers put their hands up for hosting and refreshments for the next few weeks. Can you please check the list and see if you can chip in somewhere if you are currently not on the roster for hosting or refreshments. Thanks everyone.

Look forward to seeing you all next week at Maureens.

Warmest regards from

Monday, August 18, 2008


Work in progress - brought to the group for some lay out suggestions.


This is a block swap quilt. A group of 10 people all made the same block, so each person keeps one of their own blocks and gives the other 9 to the others in the group. Once you get the ten blocks, you put it together as you wish. There was one common fabric in this block. You will note that it is 3 by 3, (9 blocks) and the tenth block has been cut in four to help in squaring of all the blocks.

The centre piece of the quilt.

The reverse was commercially quilted - gorgeous.


This was made with an Amy Butler free pattern available on the web with Amy Butler fabrics.