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.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Letter from Kinshuko

One of Kinshuko's camp directors, Tayori Araki, emailed the following about the quilting camp, and the Kinshuko Mission Team:

Dear friends,

Thank you for your prayers! Yesterday the team left here in the morning.

They arrived here midnight on Friday, and we opened the quilts in the morning on Saturday. The quilts are SO beautiful and we are so moved. We hung about 30 quilts on the wall. The campers enjoyed looking at them and we will keep them for a while. Many people will enjoy them and encouraged by the project.

Actually our director Sato said that it is miracle same as we see in the Bible like Moses's and encouragement for us.

The campers enjoyed the camp. They are women so they usually can't join the camp for themselves. They enjoyed quilting, English, fellowship...a lot! The team showed not only how to quiltmaking but also love in Christ in many ways.

A camper who know the quiltmaking by hands was surprised at the way of making the quilts that the team taught. She said the way is rationalized very much. A campers said that she make the quilts for bringing her home but the Kinshuko Quilters make them for this camp. She seemed to know the sacrifice that you paid for us by making the quilts. She was getting to think she want to make the quilts for charity. A camper said Church is like a patchwork and want to be a part of it as it work well. The faces of the campers were shining with joy! We will know more that what happened in them later.

On Tuesday the team and us visited Kakunodate, remains Samurai town, and saw Samurai manor, traditional crafts, foods, clothes, architecture, garden...many traditional Japan. And onsen, too.

On Wednesday they took a walk around campsite, and up to the hill top. The leaves are getting to change their colours. We had a lunch, Asian taste hamburger, outside. After lunch, they went to Onsen and were in colourful Kimono.

We enjoyed their stay so much and it was difficult to say good bye. We said "Itterasshai!" means "come back again(or soon)!" in Japanese. We are glad that they said they want to come back again and said Linda should come next time.

Today they worked for wheelchairs ministry for Asia, cleaning them and making cushion for them in Tokyo. Tomorrow they will go sightseeing in Tokyo and on Sunday afternoon will leave Narita.

We pray that they have good time in Tokyo and for their safe trip to the U.S. and that God bless them and you all!

Thank you so much for everything that you have done for us!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

See Kinshuko Pictures

The Kinshuko Mission team has departed C-on Kinshuko and is headed to Tokyo (eight hours by car) for the remainder of their stay in Japan. They'll be at the World Ventures facility, making cushions for wheelchairs, along with doing some sightseeing. Their Continental flight is due at the Des Moines International Airport at 9:50 p.m. Sunday, October 18.

You're invited to enjoy photos of the quilting camp that have been uploaded to the Kinshuko website. Go to:
On the bottom menu bar (written in Japanese kanji), click on the words that are second from the left. Then, use the right arrow to scroll through the photos.

There are lots of pictures! You'll see photos of our quilters, the campers, and a display of a few of the quilts we sent.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

More from Kinshuko

Norma Hamilton again writes:

Who knew where Stitchin' Mission would go . . . now twenty sessions, the BSM (Beyond Stitchin' Mission) and our work here . . . our GOD is truly Awesome! Every day there is something new and wonderful that connects us in the community of Christ. A simple bible reading for the day turns into a link to the message from yesterday or to some happening that occurred.

We toured a Japanese Samaruri Museum yesterday - well part of it. Very interesting history. Several hours from camp. Yasushi Sato, the camp director accompanied us along with Taka and Tayori and young Itsuki. The other three children were in school. Hiroko Sato stayed at camp and made dinner as well as being here when children came home from school. Many of team went to Onsen - public hot springs last evening.

Today we're walking the Kinshuko land with Taka, and then will go to another hot springs, those who want to go. Others will just relax, doing R&R. Thursday is travel day back to Tokyo - eight hours by Janet's microbus. Friday we'll work on making wheel chair pads, do some touring/shopping; Saturday touring/shopping; Sunday worship at Janet's International Church and then to airport for flight home.

Emmaly Burklund has videotaped the happenings, including the conclusion of the camp, where the campers shared their thoughts, feelings of what they learned/experienced here. Great testimony to God's influence in their lives. Several are going to continue to work at getting quilting started in their own churches here! Yasushi Sato has given me one CD already, and we'll be bringing back more with pictures of the mission trip. We'll get all of our individual pix on CD's to share with each other and with the entire Mission Kinshuko group (and others) when we have our meeting in December.

Norma mentions "our meeting in December." Everyone is invited! If you would like to hear more about the mission team's experiences in Japan, see pictures and video, please attend a Mission Kinshuko presentation.

Tuesday, December 1, 6:30 p.m.
Lutheran Church of Hope, West Des Moines, Iowa
Room 214

A Message from Kinshuko

Norma Hamilton emails the following from C-on Kinshuko, (Iwate, Japan) where the mission team has been since last Thursday:

It's early on Tuesday morning, but I'm wide awake reflecting on the past few days.

We have had great weather, although being inside these past several days, hardly noticed. We'll be sightseeing today around the area, so will be able to enjoy the weather here. God has been so great with his plans for this mission! I cannot even begin to put into words. But we'll be sharing our pictures and stories when we get back. Suffice it to say we always need remember to trust in Him and His plans for us. We don't always know what they are - usually don't :-) - but it works out in the end.

Janet (Brown) led the service here at camp on Sunday, and when I looked at this week's Hope Bible Study - the same! Went back to last week's - again, the same! Not a coincidence - just God's way of keeping us together with our Hope family while we're so far away. Janet's theme was "God's Masterpiece". She began with Eph 2:8-9 - it's God's gift - nothing we can earn - comes to us thru Christ's death on the cross. Ended with Phil 1:6 - our masterpiece is not done - God is still working on us - all our lives until we meet Him. Then I opened up last week's Study Guide - the verse to memorize - Eph 2:8-9 and this week's - Phil 1:6

What a wonderful Father in Heaven!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Quilts in Japan

The boxes of quilts have been opened at C-on Kinshuko. Here's what Tayori Araki, one of the camp directors, emailed this morning:

"We opened the quilts and we were so moved! I can't explain my feeling but it's so amazing!"

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mission Kinshuko, Iwate, Japan

Between April 2006 and May 2007, 48 women from Des Moines area churches met at Lutheran Church of Hope to make 101 quilts for C-on Kinshuko, a Christian family camp in a north prefecture of Japan.
C-on Kinshuko
All the quilts - made 54" X 90" to fit the camp beds - were displayed at Hope during the month of October, 2008.

The "Leftovers" quilt pattern is an original design meant to use up donated fabrics. Each quilt included at least 72 "loaves" (3-inch by 6-inch rectangles) of scrap fabrics.
The quilt's center medallion, 18-inches square, was where each quilter could experiment. Techniques lessons were offered in bias and triangle sewing, Sashiko, machine- and hand-applique, and foundation paper-piecing, among others, during Beyond Stitchin' Mission lessons.
On Thursday, 11 people left Des Moines to deliver all the quilts to the camp. Missionaries are, left to right: Julie Siefken, Rowena Schweitzer, Karin Hamilton, Barb Hyler, Norma Hamilton, Brittany Burkund, Sharon Beerman, Brianna Klaawon, Kim Ogle, Emmaly Burklund, and Anne Regnier.
Quilts were packed in 10 boxes and check onto the plane as missionaries' second piece of luggage.
The boxes also contained 30 softcover Bibles, and pin cushions made by Hope Quilters from the group's fabric stash.
Saturday morning an email was received from Tayori, at C-on Kinshuko, letting us know of the team's safe arrival. Please continue to pray for them as they lead a quiltmaking camp, teach English, and share with 30 campers the everlasting love of Jesus Christ.

Follow their activities on this blog:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Stitchin' Mission in the News

In the Tuesday, October 6 issue of The Des Moines Register is a feature article about Stitchin' Mission. Read it on-line here. Thank you, quilters who spoke with the reporter - and said such nice things! - and who posed for pictures. God truly blessed our efforts, just as the quilts will be a blessing to the children in Romania. Thank you JoAnn Christians and Jane Davis for organizing this Stitchin' Mission!

In a funny twist of irony, I shared with the class the preferred way to pose with a quilt. Then, the newspaper selected a picture that shows just the opposite - the "disembodied head" I mentioned to the class. We all learned a lesson there, didn't we?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

More Stitchin' Mission Photos

Thanks to Susan Cerrillo, who is not only a cookie and cake baker/decorator par excellence, and a quiltmaker, she is a wonderful photographer! Here are individual photos of Stitchin' Mission #18 quiltmakers with their quilts.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

SM #18 - Last Class

This evening was the last Stitchin' Mission #18 class at Johnston Evangelical Free Church. Quilters sewed labels to their quilts, posed for group and individual photos, received a brief label lesson, and then celebrated.

We thank Carole Reeves for making these machine embroidered labels in Romanian and English.
Look at all those smiling faces, and quilts!
And remember the cookie lady, Susan Cerrillo, from the first class? She was at it again. Goodness she's talented! Does this look exactly like the Stitchin' Mission logo or what!?
To everyone's delight, the cake tasted as fabulous as it looked. How thoughtful that Susan made it half chocolate and half white. It was a treat for all of us!
SMers who were unable to finish their quilts to turn in this evening still have two weeks to do so. By Friday, October 16 drop off your quilt at the church office to have it included in the church's quilt display on Sunday, October 18.

Everyone is invited to see the quilts.
Invite your family and friends, and come for worship at 8:00 a.m. or 10:30 a.m.
Johnston Evangelical Free Church
9901 NW 92nd Ave., Johnston

In the Tuesday, October 6 Des Moines Register, look for an article about Stitchin' Mission by Reporter Michael Morain and Photographer Bill Neibergall.

At this time, no other Stitchin' Mission is planned for the Des Moines area. If you would like to host a Stitchin' Mission at your church in January/February 2010, contact me.