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!