"It takes ages to finish a quilt you're not working on!"

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Quilt donations for babies in PNG.

Yaso and I are overwhelmed with the generosity of quilters far and wide who have offered to send us quilts for the babies in PNG.  So far there are seven donors in Australia, two in the USA and two more that I've had emails from, but I don't know yet where they live.  A few details for anybody wishing to donate quilts: the dimensions are not important.  These people do not have cots or beds, so all they need is a small quilt to wrap up a newborn baby for the first year or so.   I am holding the donations at my home until Yaso is ready to either ship them over to PNG or take them with her on her next trip, which may not be for a few months (see below).  I am keeping a record of everyone who donates - name, town, state (country) and email address, and as the quilts arrive, I'll photograph them and keep the details of the donor with the pictures, so Yaso will know exactly where they come from.  If you need my postal address, email me from here (my email address is on my profile details) and I will get back to you.

The following is an email to me from Yaso which she has suggested that I post here, to give my readers an insight into her work.  I think I stated on a previous post that she worked for the government.  I got that wrong!  Her work is partially funded by the government.  Anyway, this will explain it:

Hello Gina, thanks. if the quilts can collect at your place, that would be great.  I am still working out how I transport etc. And it won't be anytime soon - possibly nearer end of October. Thank you for your contributions and the others you so easily draw in such a practical and useful way.

Please find below two paragraphs which might be useful for your blog.  (We are writing a book together - and in spite of their remoteness and simple practical needs, their knowledge and capacity to work through many issues and questions of the modern world humbles me). 

The Patea (Kukukuku) Tribal Community, which has an approximate population of 98,000 people, stretches from Kaintiba District in the Gulf Province, Menyamya District and part of Bulolo/Wau District in the Morobe Province of Papua New Guinea. This tribal community has been working with researcher Yaso Nadarajah and team on developing an innovative remote sustainability model called the Patea Eco-Enterprise. This Enterprise has its genesis from the several community mobilization activities that began in 2009 together with the  researcher and her team at RMIT University; and activities such as the Patea Theater group have enriched efforts to revive, as well as create stories important to the Patea community culture and wellbeing. 

In 2012, a small seed funding grant awarded to RMIT University’s work with the Patea Tribe, enabled us (Patea and RMIT) to commence ground work towards establishing this shared idea of a Patea Eco-Enterprise. Amounts from this seed funding was given directly to ideas that the Patea groups came forward with. This also meant that community members had the chance to work on their ideas, build at their pace, invest their own resources and knowledge; and in time, identify the skills, partners and research they needed to establish these ideas as viable business and trade. Members of the tribe have shown that they can create useful projects and relevant projects with even the smallest collaboration. Within a year, several ideas have taken root; many now thinking about the next stage of production and trading.  As the project develops, it is vital that new and trusted partnerships and relationships that mutually benefit both partners grow in combination with the project. This can also serve to deepen understanding of different cultures, ways of lives and the way combined efforts enrich the lives of everyone involved

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My baby quilts arrive in New Guinea.

Back in March, I wrote a post about Yaso (the wife of one of Ken's cousins) who works with people in third world countries.  To save me repeating it all here, you can read about here by clicking on this link.
Today I received an email from her with photos showing the people in Papua New Guinea who were given the two quilts I gave Yaso for their babies.  Here is what she said, and her photos with the mothers and their babies are below.  What do they say - a picture is worth a thousand words?  Hopefully these pictures will spur some of my quilting readers to make up a small quilt or two from their scrap stash...

We asked in the first village  Akwanje for the most recent child born. The mother was still feeding the child as I gave her the quilt. She cried for a long time with happiness. 
Then we went to the next village Yakepa.  These two villages are so very remote and only a handful of outsiders have been there. Took me and my team more than 36 hours to get there (by truck). It was such a beautiful ceremony and the little ones were crying and then when I wrapped the  quilt around each, they started laughing and holding out their hand to me. The people loved the loving gift from someone who has known about them. They know your name - and send their gratitude. I will get the names of the children and the parents for you very soon. In the midst of so many things to respond to, I forgot to write them down.  One of the child (Yakepa)  has Albinism. More quilts would be glorious.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Janome is working hard!

I decided that this will be the week when I make Ken's bike quilt. I bought the fabric at the quilt show in February, but when the Singer machine died, I put the fabric aside until I got it fixed or got another machine. Winter is setting in here and Ken needs something to cuddle up under while he's on the couch having a snooze, so I thought I should get a move on with his quilt! I had made myself a promise that it would be the first thing I'd make on my new machine, so I cut out the fabrics, set the machine up and off I went.
Here are three layouts for the blocks, with the four patch blocks in varying configurations. I still have to put a black border around them before I attach them to the bike blocks, but this is just to give us an idea of possible layouts. All comments will be greatly appreciated as always!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Update on peacock sampler.

I've done a bit more on my sampler.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Another successful talk given.

I'd never been to the Mill Park library before today, and I was very impressed when I arrived to find a large modern building, very spacious inside, with a space already set up for me to give my talk about collecting and preserving vintage linens. It was very wet and cold today, but all the seats were filled for my presentation, and the audience (all middle aged and older ladies) seemed to enjoy my talk and seeing the linens that I brought along.  A staff member operated the projector while I stood at the lecturn and spoke while holding up the linens I brought.

This is what I faced when I was talking - more people wandered in from the back to hear me, once I got going!  Later edit:  Sorry - that was not what I meant!  I did have an audience in those seats!  But more people turned up during my talk.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Embroiders Guild of Victoria Headquarters.

This is a picture postcard depicting 'Embroidery House', the headquarters of the Embroiderers Guild of Victoria. I received the card yesterday with a $50 gift voucher as a thank-you for being the guest speaker at the June meeting.
I mention the Guild quite often on this blog, but I don't think I've ever stated how proud I am to be a member. The founding members, and all those who have followed in their footsteps - have done an incredible job keeping the Guild financially viable. This house, in Malvern, an affluent suburb of Melbourne, was built about 1885. The Guild members - all volunteers - worked very hard to raise funds to buy it in 1982, and after extensive renovations and an extension, it was officially opened in February 1983. I was not a member of the Guild at that time, but I have read the history of it, and how much work went into making this lovely old house the permanent home for the Guild, which includes the library, collection rooms, gallery and class rooms. I've heard from various sources that we are greatly envied by many other Embroidery guilds around the world, as not many of them actually own their own premises like this.

We have a wonderful library; I don't know how many thousand books there are, but the collection covers every possible facet of the subject of embroidery as well as other craft related subjects. Members can borrow books and magazines for a month before they need to return or renew them.
A group of dedicated volunteers keep the front garden looking beautiful all year round, and the duties of librarian, front desk hostess and gallery hostess are all carried out by volunteers on a roster which is made up at the beginning of every year.
There are dozens of groups catering for members with specific interests, and they meet monthly on a set day at Embroidery House. There are workshops and classes held every month, as well as an annual weekend retreat, Intermediate Classes which run for six weeks, Master Classes which run for 15 weeks, and various shows and open days.
The details of our next Open Day are below, and I am promoting it here because I assume most people who are reading this blog have some interest in embroidery. The Guild needs new members to ensure its future, so if you are in Melbourne (or not!) we would love to see you there. Mind you, the Guild is open 7 days a week from 10 am to 3 pm on weekdays and 10 am to 1 pm on weekends, so if you can't make it to our special day, do consider dropping in at any other time.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Peacocks at the Guild.

I'm happy to report that my presentation today went over without a hitch - the power point set up worked perfectly, my linens looked good displayed on the boards, and I had lots of nice comments.  Best of all, my niece Susan and two bloggy friends were also present - thanks girls!
I didn't have a chance to take detailed pictures of the display, not even one of me with it!  But Mel and Christine took some, and they have promised to post their photos on their respective blogs.
Here are the pictures I took...darn camera, these still look wishy washy...

Below - Christine and Mel on the right, talking to another Guild member.

 A tablecloth draped over the top, Lakshmi's peacock on the right, my CQ block under that, and four versions of one Semco pattern in differerent colourways on the left.

 Small cloth at the top left, pillow slips, and on the lower right a runner.

 Small table cloths at the top, beaded shawl underneath and a runner on the bottom right.

 Table runners (the Americans called some of these  "piano scarves" on their eBay sites), and a cushion cover on the bottom right.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Another lecture about my Aussie linens.

It's a busy week ahead.  On Saturday I'll be at the Embroiderers Guild talking about my embroidered peacocks, as I've already mentioned here previously.  Next Thursday I'll be doing another talk about my collection at Mill Park Library, but I've just seen the write up about me on the Whittlesea Council website, and I'm going to have to do a quick rethink about my presentation!  The description is:

Come along and learn more about the hobby of collecting, and see some prized collection pieces.
Find out what it takes to manage a collection including seeking, locating, acquiring, organising, cataloguing, displaying, storing, and maintaining items that are of interest to you.
Collector, Gina Wilson will share her collection of vintage, hand-embroidered linens includes tablecloths, doilies, aprons and tea-cosies.   Gina has a particular interest in pieces that mark milestones in Australian history, as well as native flora and fauna.

 EEK!!  I was led to believe they wanted me to just talk about my linens, but this looks like they are expecting something far more professional.  I have NO expertise in cataloguing, and as for seeking, locating, acquiring, organising and displaying....well, all I do is find my stuff at opshops, garage sales, or eBay, or have it given to me.  It is washed, ironed and packed away in a cupboard or chest of drawers! 
Guess I'll just stick to the last part and show the audience some of my favourite Aussie linens and tell them where I got 'em...

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

My ginghams on display at The Guild.

Last month, one of the Guild ladies who is responsible for the displays in the Gallery contacted me to ask if I would consent to having some of my linens displayed for the month of June.  Apparently they didn't have enough items to cover all the display boards for June, and didn't want to leave them bare.  E. has seen my collection (well, some of it) and remembered the gingham cloths and aprons with Chicken Scratch embroidery. 

So I took my ginghams along today as I was on volunteer duty, and we pinned them all up on one side of the gallery.  Gosh, it is going to be 'Gina week' there on Saturday!  I'll be pinning up some of my embroidered peacocks on the other side of the room on Saturday for my talk!  But they'll be coming home with me again later in the afternoon.
 Here they are along one wall of the gallery.

And here they are a bit closer: aprons.

 Table cloths.

I don't know what was wrong with my camera today.  These photos looked all washed out, and even though I've tried to fix them with the computer's photo fixing facility, they don't look much better.