There are no chickens as props in today's quilt picture.
There is one slight chicken who took the picture..and made the quilt.
She is chicken about needles and skin being cut and blood...and once upon a time she was chicken about fire.....
When I was 13 I went off to a Youth beach bbq, stayed out late in the cold night air and scored myself a very nasty chest infection. That chest infection proved life changing. If I had been at School on 16th February, 1983 I would have been kept there for the night, unable to go home because the whole area I lived in was on fire. Instead, I was at home. I was on the roof of our house, filling gutters, I was helping mum get my brother and sister home from their more local primary School, I was packing my most treasured possessions in our car before Mum put it in a a sheltered cutting, and I was waiting, waiting for my Dad to get home...... Mum had called him and told him to leave the woolshed he was working in and come home, fire was heading for us. He got the message where he was 40 kms away, and it probably saved his life. He went running from the woolshed and hopped in his ute to head to us, got 4 kms to the end of his road and was confronted with a different fire front. While we were waiting for him to come to us, he was fighting his way home and saving many houses and elderly on his way. He is how I know that when you have no water pressure you just put an axe through the tank...people find that a hard concept!!
Of course, there were no mobile phones. Mum had rung the elderly gentlemen who we rented the shed and paddock off to get dad home. Several days later he was found near the woolshed with Dad's dog, he'd gone to save it and neither got back.
Mum didn't know why dad wasn't coming, but decided to get out, then looked for us and we were missing, I had caught a heap of my poultry and was releasing them onto the dam (some things don't change!) By the time she found us leaving was uncertain so we stayed. I remember every minute of that night, of Dad showing up and leaving again to join up with the fire crew...and of watching fire get to within a km of us on three sides of the house! I can still see it burning in the darkness so clearly.
The next day we went off to the burnt heart of the devastation to help and to see how all my extended family had fared. My Dad's family home was gone. The Singer sewing cabinet that I loved and hope one day to find another to "rescue" and have in it's place had gone unrescued on this occasion -though for some reason the rely's saved the fridge!
As we sifted through the wreckage we found the teapot that is today's quilt prop. It has a slight crack so holds some dried flowers from my 21st instead of tea, but it is a constant reminder to me of that day.
The main lesson it taught me was not to be a chicken about fires. Or perhaps even not be an ostrich might be more appropriate. Although we are in absolutely no danger from the melbourne ranges fire now, living out here and putting your head in the sand is foolish.We need plans, we need preparations and we need organisation. These preparations may not have been enough to save the people up in the dense bush with a firestorm at their doorstep but are still well worth the effort nonetheless. My husband knows that no matter what, i do not leave in a fire, so he always knows where i am.
My heart goes out to all the people who right now, do not know where their families are.
And I want to remind the Australian girls that it is only early Feb., the ground is tinder dry and we need to be organized in case another front like Saturday's comes.
Here is the quilt/blanket I made on Saturday while waiting, and checking, and waiting some more. It is denim, with a "love is all Around" charm pack. The back is pink polar fleece. I have decided it should be for those affected by the fires. I will donate it to someone in need when this fire is settled down, or perhaps if you like it you may want to make me an offer that i will add to our Red Cross donation.
Lorraine, and others have emailed about their desire to help. At this point the Australian Red Cross is a good place to start, in a few days when it has settled a little we may see if there are more tangible ways we quilters can offer assistance.
Keep all thse poor people in your prayers.