This quilt represents 130 quilts my quilt club and I made for the Victorian Bushfires in 2009. What a time that was. I received quilt blocks from all over the world to make quilts for the people of Victoria, Australia who had lost their homes and possessions. I naively reached out via the Internet and blogs and Flickr to see if a couple folks would send me a block or two so I could make maybe 3 quilts for the Bushfire victims. I received, literally, thousands of blocks and quite a few entire quilts and quilt tops. I still have the spread sheet on my computer with data on all the blocks that were sent. Such an outpouring of love and support. I put aside especially wonderful block so I could put them all into one special quilt. I quilted it with a very dense swirling design that has become my signature. I wanted it to be raffled or auctioned off to raise a bit of money to transport all the quilts from Alice Springs to Victoria. Anyone who has ever run a quilt drive or charity of some sort knows that no matter how good your intentions are you have to have some money to support your operation. This quilt was going to be a way for us to raise some money. My husband and I had already poured our own money into the project by buying batting and backings for some of the quilts and my quilt club pitched in money and batting as well. Two of the ladies quilted over 80 quilts on their frames. I quilted a ton on my Bernina too.
By the time all the quilts were quilted, bound, boxed up and ready for transport to Victoria our own movers had come and gone. You see, my own little family was in the midst of a PSC (Permanent Change of Station) back the the USA). I was so pleased with how this entire operation had gone down. And relieved. So very relieved that all those quilts were on their way to their new owners. I pray to this day that they are still bringing comfort to the people they were given to. Anyway, all we have left in our house is our suitcases and our plane tickets, right? Well, a couple ladies show up from the qult club and say they have something for me....It was the quilt I had given them to raise money with! They wanted me to have it so I could remember all that I did for Australia. I really don't think I did anything much for Australia...and I certainly just gave the wonderful quilters of Alice Springs a ton of work that they would not have had to do without me and my idea. I truly adore this quilt and all that it represents. This quilt is all that is good in the world...all the love, all the wonderful thoughts and prayers, all the hope for a better tomorrow. This quilt does not get packed with the rest of our household goods when we move, it gets packed in with our suitcases or it covers the kids in the back of the van and is one of the first quilts to keep us warm and give us comfort in each of our new houses as we move each time. For a while I felt guilty about having this wonderful quilt, but now it is one that I am the very most proud of.
You can read more about the Bush Fire Quilt Project on my other blog HERE
and you can see pictures of the quilts we put together and collect HERE and HERE
I still LOVE this liberated star. It is one of my very very very favorite quilt blocks.