Hello everyone, from Brisbane. We are back in the “civilized” area – back on the bitumen, as they say here (on the paved roads). Yesterday we drove through what I hope are the last non-hexagon friendly roads (lots of bumps and potholes and construction/road works) on this trip. There has been so much rain and flooding in the entire state that the RCI (road comfort index – I live with a road engineer!) is shocking. We saw whole bridges that had their footings knocked out by the floods, closed and awaiting re-building. But we also saw lots of boab trees and emus along the way, and it makes me wonder why it has taken us so long to get in from the coast and explore. We’ll be back again someday.
Our destination was Gatton, home of Sew Creative quilt shop and Ground Zero for the World’s Biggest Hexagon quilt. Remember last year when we stopped by, I interviewed Gail Chalker and the gals there who worked so hard to create this quilt? They gave me a piece of it (#100/115), hoping that I would write a song about it. I don’t usually need to be given a quilt to write a song; this was very persuasive!
They asked us to come and give a concert in the shop.
Can you read the line on the poster: “Debuting her song ‘The World’s Biggest Hexagon Quilt’”? She had this printed before I wrote it!!! (No pressure…..). If you’ve been following this blog for a while, I have mentioned this song before. During this tour I have been singing snippets of the song, just so I could practice a bit before the big night. I am happy to tell you it went very well!
We had about 30 quilters attend, and I was delighted to see 3 of the 6 remaining pieces of The Quilt were to be our backdrop for the show.
I saved the new song for almost the end of the show. Gail Chalker was there, of course, the instigator of the whole thing. Here is what I sang:
Gail made me do it, I didn’t think I could
“Hand” was a 4-letter word, “Fast” was something good
It was how she said it, the fire in her eye
Before I knew it, I was hooked and the months flashed by
Gail made me do it, I found her on the ‘Net
I sent a few along and wondered how many she’d get
I’m one of fourteen hundred from many different lands
And I always wanted to be part of something grand
You build the World’s Biggest Hexagon Quilt one piece at a time
You build it with love, you build it with heart and hands and time
If there’s a reason bigger than you
There’s a reason to do all you can do.
Gail made me do it, I didn’t have a clue
I’d quilt 15 metres, that was all I had to do
The hexagons kept coming, and before you know
108 metres later, it was finished for the show
What do you do with the biggest quilt when the show is over?
You cut it up and give it all away
Whatever you have lost, there’s a piece of love to hold you
Nothing like this quilt to help you face the day.
Gail made me do it – she gave a piece to me
Hoping that I’d write a song to keep the memory
If you live, you love; if you love, you give
Gail made us do it, what a great thing that she did
THEY LIKED IT!
Afterwards, I spoke with some of the women who had contributed so many hours of time and handwork to make the quilt a reality. They have since moved on to other projects that Gail has talked them into: flood quilts and pillowcases. She tells me she’s got an idea for a new project, but wouldn’t tell me what it was. I guess we’ll all have to wait to see.
As always, there was a door prize at the end of the evening. This time it was a very special one: I pulled the ticket, and here is the winner, with her very own piece of the WBHQ.
We had a great evening with the gals from Gatton. Today we drove into Brisbane and did a house concert for our friend Jan Rhoades. Several of the audience members had contributed hexagon rosettes for the quilt. One of them looked closely at my piece and SHE RECOGNIZED SOME OF THE ROSETTES SHE SEWED!
What are the chances of that!?!?! The quilt has 153,000 hexagons in it, and was huge. I’m delighted to have met one of the people who helped to make my part of the quilt.
Here are the gals at Sew Creative in Gatton, after the show last night. What a great bunch they are – they make all us quilters proud.
If you’re ever driving through Gatton, Queensland, stop by at the shop and have a cuppa and a bikkie. You won’t be sorry. And please say hello from me.