Monday, August 26, 2013

Quality Quilting

Lots of fun was had over the summer with kids and young adults, family and friends. Clearly though there was also fun happening at the sewing machine as much quilting has been done and the results show just how much fun and interest we all have with our sewing.

Birthday blocks

Marianne has put together her birthday blocks and they look great. She has had some issues with spray adhesive so is patiently unpicking but it will look great when she has finished.

Sandra's gift

Sandra has been working on a quilt for a friend and it turned out to be quite large indeed. Only a few colours but very effective and beautifully pieced. Sadly for all, Sandra is returning to Australia shortly but we are sure she will have many happy memories and funny stories from her time here in Singapore. We wish her and Cyrus a wonderful retirement and more quilting projects. Maybe baby quilts????

Amazing diamonds

The story that goes with this quilt top is very interesting. Jess cut and pieced and chose wonderful colours. She struggled a bit with dimensions and finally through her hands up in the air and asked if any one wanted them. Rhonda came to the reuse and offered to "square them up" which is ironic seeing as they are triangles, but even so took them away and some weeks later returned with this amazingly near perfect top. Much admiration and oohing and aahing went on and all were impressed. Now it is almost at completion stage, we ask for suggestions as to which charity/cause we will donate this too and how we should go about that. Maybe a local disadvantaged school, hospice, deserving person, local charity??? Get your thinking caps on as Jess has offered to quilt this if others can find a home for it. Well done Jess and Rhonda, an outstanding effort from you both.

Kath's baby quilt

Kath's dessert

Kath is a fun member of our group who loves to listen to our inane talk and laughs at our silly jokes. She does very fine handwork but recently whipped this baby quilt up in a day for a friend. Great choice of beige fabrics and then the added splash of green and brown. Kath has a good appetite which is much appreciated by the staff. She is whip thin so can happily munch on dessert, this time banana fritters from the Hollandse Club kitchens. Others enjoy the wonderful dutch pea and ham soup (one person has it EVERY single week), the Nasi Goring or as her children call it, nasty goring, there are great salads and fruit platters so none of us starve during our quilting Tuesdays. We are most appreciative of the space and the company each week and are very aware that the organisation has been most generous to us in allowing us to meet there each week rent free.

Kathy I's racy jelly roll quilt

Some of the group had a speedathon to see who could finish a jelly roll quilt in the fastest time. Not sure who won but here is Kathy's fine effort. Wonderful colour scheme and even though it is completely random piecing, it looks perfectly colour proportioned. Kathy does wonderful work with art quilting and is very creative. More of that in a later blog. Not all quilts take years but I think some or most of us have some that are unfinished from the 90's! Speed quilting might be the way to go.

Freaky Batiky

Quilters here in Singapore have been known to take a day trip across to Bali just to buy fabric. A reasonable 2 1/2 hours away, the fabric is about S$3 per yard and so this makes the trip viable. Carole recently went with some fellow quilters and friends on such a trip and the result is this colourful blend. So much fun buying and then playing with colours. This top needs some quality quilting and will be ready for cheering up a winter household back in Australia. The pattern is available if anyone wants to try.

There are tentative plans afoot to take some of our group back to Bali for some fabric buying as well as pampering and fun time. Hopefully in the new year there will be enough people to go Bali Batik hunting and indulge in some R&R. More details to come. Who is up for it?

So Singapore is gearing up for the wet season. It is humid and occasionally oppressive and if mango madness doesn't get us we should be stuck inside producing more quilts for sharing. Oh, what a shame! For those who want to venture out, a visit to the Pottery Jungle in Jurong is worth a few hours of your time. It has a dragon kiln, a long stretch of bricks which fires up every so often. Most of the pottery is from China and some is OTT but you never know what little gem might be waiting for you. Might just be the perfect match for some of those quilts.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Mia and Toby

Mia's quilt
As a group we have been touched by the plight of a little 4 year old named Mia who has a terminal condition that will see her only able to enjoy the love and happiness of her surroundings for another couple of years.

Time was of the essence and we had an amazingly small window to create a quilt which would not only wrap her in love but be a beautiful reminder of her time both here in Singapore and during her palliative care back in Australia.

As a group of women there was a powerhouse of energy on a regular Tuesday outing at the Hollandse Club. They came with machines, cutting boards, irons and energy and within a day we had all the pieces sewn, the colours were perfect and the satisfaction immense. The pattern was a disappearing 4 patch.

The best part though was the teamwork, the sense of purpose and the fun that we all had. Fabric was donated, machine quilting beautifully done, binding hand sewn perfectly, piecing done fast but expertly and squaring up done in an almost meditative state.

sewing sweat shop

cutting and squaring up

piecing the jigsaw

perfect work

The top finished in a day

The best part of all though was knowing that Mia would be wrapped in warmth and would have just a small piece of comfort from women who could all feel her family's pain and had no other way to express our immense sadness at their situation, so we sewed. Doing what we do best.

Quiet by chance Mia's mother was in the club, was able to view our sewing frenzy and was overwhelmed by our generosity. To us, it was a humbling moment and we were just happy to offer some love. The finishing touches were expertly done and with much devotion by everyone, all made an amazing contribution. We were all equally committed to making this a special surprise for a dear little girl and her family.

Mia has a younger brother, Toby and as the younger brother he is also acutely affected by his older sister's illness as are all those who care for this family. So after a brief hiatus, we are off and running again and have decided that Toby should also have his own special quilt to cuddle up to his sister with.

He is probably too young to fully understand but again we have no other way of expressing our acute sadness and just want to offer comfort. The colouring and pattern for Toby's quilt is very different from his sisters and we are having some fun playing with brights. This has only just started for us but already some have been diligent in their homework and have produced exciting colour combinations. We are putting together an uneven 9 patch and star pattern for him.

a starting point

popping colours

great piecing

So we are off and running and hoping to just add a bit of sunshine to a family in turmoil.
We love to make quilts but as most quilters are even more delighted to gift our offerings and bring just a small amount of pleasure to a recipient, whether that be for a birthday, an ageing parent, a charity or just for love.

Go well Mia, Toby and family. Your journey will be a hard one but know that our thoughts and love and stitches will be with you for a long time to come.