Sunday, June 5, 2011

Gatton in May

Last weekend I travelled to Gatton in the Lockyer Valley, Queensland, to once again teach at Gatton in May. This area is where the devestating floods hit on January 10th this year. The community around this area has really been hit by the loss of houses and friends and there are still children going to school who have nowhere they can really call home and none of the possessions they owned, including clothes, before this date.
The organiser of Gatton in May, Gail, drove me around the area to show me what was left following this devestation. Her own brother had been swept away by the water, without warning. He was lucky enough to be plucked from a tree top, however, not before his home has been washed away - the roof 2 kms away and the rest of his home 3kms. It was only in the past few weeks that his wallet has been dug up from the debris that became his property.
It is hard to comprehend the height that the water reached - in one spot in Gatton it lapped about 4 storeys high at the rear the Aged Care Facility. There is still a little green house in Grantham that reminded me of a children's book I used to read to my four children when they were small called The Little Wobbly House. That is exactly how this house looked. The whole building was on a lean. Around the corner from it there is still a car up a tree. Gail exclaimed that it had falled down the tree from where it had originally rested since she had last driven by. I was told that there was no communication during this period and parts of the community were cut off, even if they weren't flooded. It must have been horrific not knowing whether your family had survived or not and being reliant of the army to drop off food from a helicopter.
I'm sure the people in this area would still welcome any assistance from outside. Sew Creative in Gatton has donated a large number of quilts to people and more would certainly not go astray. I can't imagine what it must be like to not have a needle and thread to sew on a stray button, not to mention any quilting supplies at all.

Gatton in May is 3 days of workshops with 3 tutors each teaching different techniques. On the Friday I taught my new quilt "Gatton Stars". This was my version of a quilt which was designed for me to teach on May 27th. Each tutor made their own version of the quilt which used English Paper Piecing, taught by Sue Daley, Foundation piecing taught by Karen Styles and template piecing and fussy cutting which I taught. My quilt used a paisley fabric which I fussy cut to obtain different effects within the stars. It was great fun to make because, until it was cut and laid out, I was unsure how it was going to look.

The pattern and templates for Gatton Stars will be available on my website within the next week or I can be contacted via email to purchase them. The pattern costs $24 and the templates are available as 2 sets: the centre star templates are $20 and the Le Moyne and Blazing Star template set will cost $22.50 plus postage.

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