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. .