Sunday, December 20, 2009

Those Quilts Have Been Hung

This message comes from Di Jobbins, one of the two Di-s who were Stitchin' Mission coordinators at St. Mark's Anglican Church in Sydney, Australia. Please visit Di's link, below, and scroll, scroll, scroll through her blog to see all the beautiful quilts hanging in their beautiful church.

As I think you might remember, QDU'er Linda Hungerford, from Lutheran Church of Hope in Des Moines Iowa taught a faith-based 5 week beginner quiltmaking class at our church here in Sydney in October/November this year, the plan being to make children's quilts for an autism specific kindy opening in Liverpool next year. Yesterday we hung 51 quilts in our church and they look magnificent! I've blogged about them, with lots of photos, over 4 separate posts, so scroll down to begin reading the first one.
Happy Christmas, everyone!
Cheers, Di in Darling Point, making a list (and checking it twice!)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Stitchin' Mission Down Under in the News

An article about Stitchin' Mission #19 at St. Mark's in Darling Point (Sydney) appears in on on-line issue of the Wentworth Courier.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Stuff Happenin'!

Recapping several Stitchin' Mission activities.
  • Stitchin' Mission #19 in Sydney (Darling Point, specifically), Australia, ended November 22 and those quilters have until Sunday, December 13 to turn in their finished quilts. At last count, 48 quilts have been made! These will be displayed at St. Mark's Anglican Church through the holidays, and given to a preschool for autistic children, due to open in June 2010.|
  • The two Stringing Colors quilts made for Australian bush fire relief were mailed to Jan McFadyen on October 27. Our quilts were received and will be delivered to people in need who live in Kinglake, Victoria, an area most heavily damaged by February 2009 bush fires. On you can read a blog post about those quilts here.
  • On December 1, the 11 member Mission Kinshuko team gave a presentation with wonderful photos and videos of their experiences at C-on Kinshuko and in Tokyo.
Here, Norma Hamilton (right) introduces Kumiko who is the person who saw and photographed Stitchin' Mission quilts at Lutheran Church of Hope. Kumiko returned to Japan and showed quilt pictures to her pastor, who then asked us to make quilts for C-on Kinshuko! Kumiko is our "connecting link" and who could have guessed where it would all lead. Below is a photo, taken at C-on Kinshuko, of the missionaries, and Quilt Camp and English Camp attendees. The quilt being held is one of the 101 quilts made for the camp. This one has the Lutheran Church of Hope logo in Sashiko, as the center medallion.
Click here to go to the C-on Kinshuko website and view photos of the camp and our missionaries' activities. From the home page, go to the bottom bar and click on the second button from the left.

If you participated in Beyond Stitchin' Mission to help make a quilt for C-on Kinshuko, the camp sent home a gift for you. Contact me to arrange to get yours.

Stitchin' Mission #20 Begins in January (five years after the first Stitchin' Mission!)
The 20th series of Stitchin' Mission beginner quiltmaking lessons will start Tuesday, January 12 (6:30 pm) at First Federated Church here in Des Moines.
  • Donations of 100 percent cotton fabrics are gratefully being accepted.
  • You're invited to register now, either as an individual who wants to learn quiltmaking, or as a Rebekah (helper) with quiltmaking experience who is willing to help others learn. Everyone is welcome! Click here to register.
Stitchin' Mission on the Radio
On Thursday, January 7, 2010, I will again talk about Stitchin' Mission on the radio. If you're in the Des Moines area you can listen to Maxine Sielman's program, "Update Today," from 8:00 to 8:30 a.m. on station KPSZ, Praise 940 AM.

It's beautiful to see how Stitchin' Mission, and what you are doing, is touching the world. Blessings!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Video Interview about Stitchin' Mission

On my last day in Australia (Thanksgiving Day), Di Jobbins, Di Bracey and I met with Pam Holland at the Four Points Sheraton in Sydney's CBD (Central Business District) for a video interview about Stitchin' Mission.

Pam is a quilter, tutor, lecturer, author, judge, pattern designer, photographer, cinematographer (Her business card says so!) who lives in Australia. She has won Best of Show at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, is a frequent instructor there, and travels all over the world teaching her quilting techinques. Pam creates film clips and is compiling stories for a documentary about what women are doing with quiltmaking.

(L-R) Di Jobbins, Di Bracey, Pam Holland and me (Linda Hungerford) met for several hours,
seeing some of Pam's own incredible artistic quilt work,
and WIPs (work-in-progress). See more on Pam's blog.
She video-interviewed us, individually and together. When I know exactly where and when you can see what Pam has done with our interview, you'll be the first to know! It's so exciting that Stitchin' Mission has "gone global!"

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Australia Stitchin' Mission - Last Class

Sunday was the last Stitchin' Mission class at St. Mark's Church in Darling Point (Sydney). The entire series of lessons couldn't have gone more smoothly, nor have been any more enjoyable to teach. I felt like royalty!
Thanks go to Di Bracey (below left) and Di Jobbins (right) who were not only organization personified, but provided nearly all my teaching tools because I was unable to bring everything with me. Down to the last detail, they had their act together! On top of that, between them they've made a dozen quilts! It was a priviledge to share SM with these enthusiastic, Spirit-filled women.
In spite of 98 F (37C) temperatures (no air-con here, Americans), we had a delightful, and somewhat emotional celebration. While many SMers were fondly remembering Marcia Burgess - the woman for whom the new autism preschool is named, and the place that will receive the quilts - we also reminisced about the lessons. newfound quilting knowledged, and friendships we shared. It was a beautiful experience.

Last class party treats were enjoyed. The cupcakes... ...were made by Jess. Thank you!

Personally, this was a very special Stitchin' Mission because it's the first time I've taught outside the Des Moines, Iowa, area. Admittedly, I was a little anxious at the first class, as were Di and Di who confessed they didn't know what they'd do when no one showed up for lessons! All our concerns were unfounded.

By the second lesson, I knew I was "at home," and that Aussie quilters are not one whit different than American quilters. We all speak the same language when it comes to making quilts. Taking SM international has simply confirmed its effectiveness wherever in the world it may go. Stitchin' Mission:

  1. Brings people together in a common effort (quiltmaking)
  2. For a common good (mission).
  3. Proclaims and practices that Christians, no matter what denomination we claim, believe in the same Lord, Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit.
  4. Effectively teaches the craft of quiltmaking.
  5. Encourages new friendships.
  6. Often leads to the formation of new quilting groups.

God sure came up with a marvelous concept, didn't He?! All praise and honor to Him for what He has done.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More Blogging

Don't miss Di's blog posts about Stitchin' Mission #19 in Australia! Go HERE.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Australia Stitchin Mission - Fourth Lesson

Stitchin' Mission #19 at St. Mark's Anglican Church in Darling Point, New South Wales, Australia, is successfully moving forward. We're into the home stretch with only one more lesson remaining. Coordinators Di and Di are asking that finished quilts be turned in by December 13 for hanging and display in time for Lessons and Carols, and through Christmas Eve.

Today's lesson four was about how to make and sew binding to a quilt. Not having an opportunity to take photos until the lesson was over, here's what I have to share.

My ten year-old grand-daughter, Celina, trimmed the embroidery thread ties on one of my quilts.Before the 5:00 p.m. worship service we had a look inside St. Mark's. Pictured are, left to right, Margaret Gorham, director of the Kindergarten Union Marcia Burgess Center for Autistic children (the group that will receive our mission quilts), Di Jobbins, Di Bracey, and Celina. St. Mark's was built in 1852 by the well-known Sydney architect Edmund Blacket. Of course, I first noticed the floors. Throughout Sydney you'll find sidewalks, porches, and entries covered with patterned tiles that look - of course! - like quilt blocks.
Inside, looking toward the back of the sanctuary is an upper gallery used as congregational overflow. Across the beautiful decorated railing Stitchin' Mission quilts will be hung.
Looking toward the front, at the altar.
Though it won't be possible to see the Stitchin' Mission quilt display in person, Di and Di will assuredly make photos available that can be shared with everyone.
Thank you Australian Stitchin' Mission-ers for your dedication to this quiltmaking effort.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pictures to see!

Don't miss Di's blog. She's writing about Stitchin' Mission lessons in Australia, and is showing lots of pictures and great information.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Australia SM - Third Lesson

Lo-cal sandwich making was the order of the afternoon at St. Mark's Anglican Church (Sydney, Australia) third Stitchin' Mission lesson.

Digging in and offering assistance not only in class, but outside of class, coordinator Di Bracey looks as happy as a quilter in a room full of free fabric.
Being a little shy on tables, everyone pitched in to help each other get their quilts basted or tied.
It's heart-warming to see young friends sharing the learning process.
Most quilters will tie their quilts, and some quilters are opting to try machine-quilting.
More than one quilter, intending to make one quilt, purchased additional fabric to make a second quilt! Thank you! This new quilter, Debbie, is thinking and working ahead to make twin doll quilts for her two daughters.

Once again, Stitchin' Mission is proving its effectiveness in being an environment where eager learners are embracing the fun and satisfaction that happens during quiltmaking. There's already talk about a possible group forming at the church! God's definitely at work here, and we praise Him for it.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Australia SM - Second Lesson

It was another successful Stitchin' Mission lesson, number two, at St. Mark's in Sydney, Australia. Key lesson components were rotary cutting and how to sew the quilt top.

If facial expressions are any indication of understanding, everyone seemed to grasp the concepts in spite of my Americanisms and accent (Ha! Really, who has the accent?!)

SM grads: Doesn't this look just like home?
In Australia there are:
just as many eager learners (Carol);
blade-wielding newbies (Geraldine); smiling faces (Jessica);

with can-do attitudes (Corrine);
and newbies who work shoulder to shoulder (Michaela and Christine);
as they persevere (Helen);to learn how to rotary cut fabric (Mora).
This group of caring, sharing young ladies and women have quickly grasped what Stitchin' Mission is all about - sharing quiltmaking with one another while we fulfill our purpose to make quilts that bless others.
And today during worship, I was reminded once more just how incredible our God is. Embrace the reality of this: That no matter on what continent we live, wherever we are in the world, we who believe in God and his Son, Jesus, are ONE in the Spirit. Praise to God!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stitchin' Mission Begins Down Under

St. Mark's Anglican Church in Darling Point (Sydney), Australia, today hosted the first international Stitchin' Mission! For the next four Sunday afternoons, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., newbies and Rebekahs will meet to make quilts for autistic children who will attend a Liverpool (Sydney) preschool expected to open in June 2010.

Every registrant received this package containing a name tag, hand-outs, and a lovely pin cushion made by Di Jobbins, one of two well-organized Dis - the other being Di Bracey - who are coordinating this SM.These two industrious coordinators also sewed quilt samples, at least one each of all four patterns, far beyond the usual responsibilities of a coordinator. Their efforts lightened my two-bag luggage load which still managed to total 98 pounds! Thirty-one people attended the first lesson, and everyone made me feel very welcome.

Interestingly, though we speak the same language, yardages had to be converted to meterages,, and the Rebekah Bible story from Genesis 24 about the quantity of water for a camel and in a water jar was converted from gallons to liters.

I was in my favorite place, doing my favorite thing - sharing God's gifts and quiltmaking. I'm looking forward to our second lesson. We all appreciate for prayers for this SM. It's evident God is hearing and answering.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Australia Stitchin' Mission News

From the Wentworth Courier, Australia

Di Jobbins and Di Bracey,members of St Mark’s Darling Point congregation, are on a mission with a difference - a Stitchin’ Mission."The idea is simple," said Di J, “We’re offering five free beginner quiltmaking classes, to be taught by American quilter Linda Hungerford, on Sunday afternoons from 3 to 5 starting on October 25. At the end of five weeks you’ll have created a bright, cheerful child’s quilt which you’re then encouraged to donate to our “mission” - the new KU Marcia Burgess Autism Specific Early Learning & Care Centre opening at Liverpool in mid 2010.”

Fabrics are provided - this dynamic duo has been chasing fabric bargains for the last three months! - and a donation of $10 towards the quilt batting is all that is asked. Participants will also need the use of a sewing machine for out-of-class sewing, and may need to buy or borrow a small number of tools.

Stitchin’ Mission came about when Di learned that her friend Linda Hungerford, originator of the classes, would be visiting Sydney in October and November.

“Linda has conducted 18 Stitchin’ Missions at churches in her hometown, Des Moines, Iowa, and more than 700 quilts have been made over the last 5 years and sent all over the world to orphanages, schools, women’s refuges and to the homeless. At the same time, Di B and I learned that KU Children’s Services was planning to name their new autism specific kindy after a dear friend of ours from St Mark’s, Marcia Burgess, who passed away a couple of years ago. Marcia looked after the interests of Special Needs children in her work with KU, and we felt that mobilising folk to make quilts for these little ones was the perfect way to get involved and help continue Marcia’s work.”

It’s not compulsory to give away your quilt, but Di feels the idea of. ‘paying forward’ the gift of free quiltmaking lessons in the knowledge that a quilt is destined to become a treasured wrap for a pre-schooler, has great appeal. Just how many quilts are needed? “Around 60 to 70”, admits Di, “but we’re confident it won’t be a Mission Impossible!”

To join St Mark’s Stitchin’ Mission email Di Jobbins at, phone the St Mark’s church office 9363 3657, or see the Stitchin’ Mission website,, for online registration.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Stitchin' Mission Down Under

On Sunday, October 25, at 3:00 p.m., Stitchin' Mission #19 begins at St. Mark's Anglican Church in Darling Point (Sydney), Australia.

In anticipation of the quiltmaking lessons, interested participants were invited to the home of Di Jobbins, one of two SM coordinators, for an informational presentation about the organization that will receive SM quilts.

Di writes:
Our quilts will go to a brand new kindy, the KU Marcia Burgess Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre, opening in a south western suburb of Sydney in mid 2010. We've committed to give every child enrolled there a quilt to take home and keep - around 70 quilts in all, though not all will be made during the five week class.
This is Di's lovely sitting room, transformed into a welcoming presentation, quilt-viewing, dessert room. Don't you wish you could have been there too?
Australians, you still have time to register for Stitchin' Mission #19. Just go here to complete an online form.
I encourage you to become a Stitchin' Mission blog follower and subscriber. You'll automatically receive posted updates about all Stitchin' Mission activities.
Come along on this first (and hopefully, not last) international Stitchin' Mission!

Americans - specifically, Des Moinians - go here to register for Stitchin' Mission #20 at First Federated Church, 4801 Franklin Ave., Des Moines. It begins Tuesday, January 12 at 6:30.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Stitchin' Mission #18 Quilt Display

What a flurry of mission quilting activities lately!

This is the Johnston Evangelical Free Church display of Stitchin' Mission #18 quilts.
All 40 quilts are being shipped to a children's orphanage in Romania.
You're welcome to visit the church on Sunday, October 18, for a first-hand look at all the lovelies.