Sunday, April 3, 2011

Time to Push On!


Thank you seems hardly enough but I'm so very grateful to all of you who took the time to write. It was especially lovely to hear from the wonderful Mum's in Christchurch who wrote about what the quilts mean to their children. I guess I needed to hear it and be reassured that all the work I put into making comfort quilts is worth it to the recipients. I guess the question should also be "why donate quilts anywhere?" I make so many that they are doing me a favour by taking the donated quilts as I've finished off 108 so far this year. Of course this is only possible because of all, the generous donations of tops and QAYG blocks.
Making the quilts does more for me than the recipients would know. I've had a difficult 14 years with two of my children and myself being sick with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. One of my children was so sick that they told me they thought she wouldn't survive and the doctor told me that I would most likely get MS or Cancer.
We had to travel to Melbourne weekly for treatment and I had to insert intravenous needles every day to give my child and myself experimental drug treatment. It was a hard time and one of the few things I could do was to sew a little most days. I found that focusing on others helped me to stay positive.
We all recovered eventually but I had to abandon my PhD studies and lecturing position with the university. I decided to continue to make and donate quilts because I get the fun of playing with fabric and I love finishing off other people's UFOs and making them into something useful. I know it's sacrilege to say it to quilters, but I think fabric is only beautiful and useful if it's made into something people can get joy from. Owning quilts doesn't bring me joy but making them does.
So there you have it- more information than you probably wanted to have but that is why I quilt for others. It helped me through a very difficult time and I hope it brings comfort and joy to others. I also knit and crochet and have made some hats and scarves for Christchurch too and along with the quilts they will be heading across the Tasman to NZ this week.
My other blog shows the quilts I've finished for the last two days and now it's time to push on and get more quilts out there.
Thank you all for your kind and considered words and your feelings about donating quilts. I only talk about the donation of quilts because I know it can have a ripple effect and encourage other people to use their talents to help others.
Thanks for stopping by and letting me know your feelings too.
Love and hugs Jan Mac

7 comments:

willywagtail said...

thankyou for sharing your story. it is good to know what motivates others. glad to hear your daughter made it too. cherrie

kaite said...

hi Jan, that's a beautiful story, thankyoufor sharing. I understand the sense of purpose and joy and making and giving can bring, it's very healing.

Katie said...

I just wanted to add one more thing. . lol. . I'm part of a facebook group called "quilts for Japan" it originates in Canada, but they have members from all over. . that are basically sharing information as they receive it. Just yesterday a lady posted a photo of a picture her daughter drew. She made a quilt, and her daughter wanted to make one too, so she colored a picture of a quilt, in all her favorite colors, and wrote a sweet little note to add with the quilt going to Japan.
A Japanese woman commented underneath and said this:
Chiho Suzuki - "Thank you for sharing this very touching story, and for extending love and support to the affected in my country. I am a quilter myself and hope to make a few once I settle down (in the process of moving from one city to another at the moment). The region affected by the earthquake and tsunami (Tohoku region) is known for a traditional quilting technique called SASHIKO."

Maria said...

Was nice to read your story Jan.I so pleased that you are now both well.
Like you I just love to stitch for others. I don't see any reason to have a pile of quilts just to look at.

Merilyn said...

Thankyou Jan for sharing your story! Your last post left me quite stunned!
One of your respondants commented that she felt ashamed to be a NZ'er, I must say I felt the same!
I've spent the past 24hrs thinking about it and it made me question the reasons I have donated thus far!
I also spent the best part of yesterday afternoon sewing on the binding to a child's quilt I intend to send to Christchurch and wondered if it would be seen as charity, or would it be appreciated as a gift of comfort! In the end I thought what the heck! I made it for a child, does it matter whether that child is here in Australia or New Zealand. It'll go where I intend it to go, and how it is received is not my call, my only responsibility is to follow my heart and do what I know is the right thing to do! The negativity of the comments made, belong to that person not me!!!!
The child's quilt and other QAYG blocks from the girls in my Quiltbee group will be sent out to you this week!!
Again thankyou for all that you do Jan!

makeitgiveit said...

That is an awesome story. It just goes to show that creativity and generous have their own healing properties. I LOVE you work. You are very clever!

amandajg said...

love the bright kids prints. I have just finished my first QAYG quilt and I am not happy with it - my sashing has puckered and ende up with tucks in it - doesn't look anything like yours! Guess I'll have to make another one.