Gill’s Memory Quilt Stories

The following are the stories for Gill’s Memory Quilt Blocks.
Block 1   Gill, Marlene’s Student  (By Marlene W)     Size:  8 x 8 inch  
       Gill, Marlene’s Student  
  My block incorporates animals that Gill has always had in her life from when she was little to becoming a vet nurse. The horse and horse shoes for Gill’s Western horse riding and the rainbow for her Rainbow Bridge poem she gave to people who lost their beloved pets.
  Block 2     Father’s Day Cake  (By Judy J)     Size: 12 x 12 inch  
   Gill, Marlene’s Student
  Six months before Gill’s passing I met her in Coles where she had purchased a Better Homes & Garden magazine. The magazine was adorned with this cake on the front cover. Gill told me she was going to make it for her Dad (Gary- my brother) for Father’s Day. Apparently she took all day completing the job and it “looked exactly like the picture”. I met her again in Coles after Father’s Day and she had photos in her phone she carried around hoping to show me her finished cake. This was the last time I saw Gill. She was very, very, very excited about showing me her cooking skills. It was incredible!
  Block 3     Gill’s First Car  (By Michelle Mc I)     Size: 8 x 8 inch  
        Gill, Marlene’s Student  
  Michelle, a close friend, remembers Gill getting her first car. Gill was ever so proud. She told Michelle, with a quirky smile on her face, the number plate of her new “Colt” and what it stands for.
 PDW Pretty Damn Wicked!
  Pretty Damn Wild!  
  Pretty Damn Wonderful!  
Lots of laughs followed!!!  

Block 4    Collecting Wood   (By Gary C)     Size:  8 x 8 inch  
       Gill, Marlene’s Student  
  One of Gill’s idiosyncrasies was collecting fire wood. She would spend many hours (usually roping the family in too) using her small chainsaw, always wearing pink gloves and completely filling her trailer. Her woodshed had to be full by late autumn. Then over the coming cold winter months she would happily go home after a busy day at work knowing her home was warm and cosy. This made Gill happy and content.
  Block 5    Captain Running Full Tilt   (By Torty C)    Size:  8 x 8 inch  
   Gill, Marlene’s Student
  “When I think of Gill, I think of Captain and both their big smiles. For one year I was lucky enough to live in the beautiful little miner’s cottage on Gary and Annette’s, Gill’s parents’, property. Gill had previously lived in the cottage then moved out after the purchase of her own home however she frequently came to visit her parents. The first thing I would see as I drove up the driveway would be Captain running full tilt towards me, waiting to be able to plant his big paws on my chest.”
  Block 6    From My Veggie Garden  (By Ginny & Mike B)     Size 12 x 12 inch  
   Gill, Marlene’s Student
  While working at the Montrose Veterinary Clinic Gill would meet lots of people. One particular older gentleman took a real fancy to Gill. He had an unwell dog so when bringing the dog in for treatment he would also bring Gill some of his home grown vegetables. How delightful! Sadly the dog passed away, however the gentleman would still call in to the clinic, bring Gill some more veggies and have a friendly chat. Then one day someone noticed that the strawberries Gill received had a supermarket label on them! He was so fond of her. I’m sure he misses these special times with Gill.
   Blocks 7A, B & C    Terrie from Cann River  (By Terrie E)    Size:  8 x 8 inch  
   Block 7A   Terrie from Cann River    Size:  8 x 8 inch  
Block 7B    Terrie from Cann River   Size:  8 x 8 inch
   Block 7C    Terrie from Cann River     Size:  8 x 8 inch
   BLOCK SPONSORED BY Noorinbee Natural Berries and Produce
Even though Terrie, a close friend, lives at Cann River she wanted to be part of Gill’s Memory Quilt. Having never sewn before didn’t stop her making 3 beautiful colourful blocks. On a trip down to visit family Terrie proudly called in with her finished blocks. We shared many stories about Gill, Terrie and their friends, hearing about many of their escapades. It seems there was always lots of laughter, chatting and getting up to healthy mischief!
  Block 8    High Point Chair  (By Travis C & Alan K)     Size:  8 x 8 inch  
 Gill, Marlene’s Student  
After a gruelling day of competition it was time to award the High Point awards. The High Point Junior Youth trophy was a folding chair with a pink canvas backing which was engraved in bold letters - High Point Junior Youth. Winning this chair was a wonderful achievement for Gill. She loved sitting in it and proudly displayed her winning trophy. Travis, her brother, remembers these happy times for Gill. He would watch her putting in hours of hard work and dedication which flowed into achieving many awards. Her training techniques showed an ability to look outside-the-square and re-think difficult problems. Gill was a true horsewoman. Alan, a close friend, remembers a one-eared bridle Gill had brought back from America, so he created a handmade replica which hangs proudly from her chair.
  Block 9    Clover and Wattle  (By Jane C)     Size: 8 x 8 inch  
 Gill, Marlene’s Student  
This is a snippet of Jane’s story.

“With my love of plants and flowers I had already chosen to embroider a square with the national flower of Australia-Golden Wattle, and of Denmark-Red Clover, for Soren, Gill’s much loved partner.”

Jane and other Steels Creek Stitchers members have completed many delightful blocks for Gill’s Memory Quilt.
  Block 10    The Brightest Block  (By Chrissy C)     Size: 12 x 12 inch  
 Gill, Marlene’s Student  
Being “a horsy girl” and making a quilt block didn’t quite mix well with close friend Chrissy. However after seeing some of the completed blocks and talking to friends Chrissy walked away with a deep feeling inside. This combination and her love for Gill, gave her the courage to “have a go”. “I want my block to be the brightest” said Chrissy. There was a lot of thought put into the symbols chosen and heading off to Annette’s for sewing classes needed Chrissy to finely juggle her over loaded schedule. The result was definitely worthwhile.
  Block 11    Going for a walk with Captain and Toby  (By Matilda)     Size: 8 x 8 inch  
 Gill, Marlene’s Student  
While watching mummy (Chrissy) sewing her quilt block for Aunty Gill’s special quilt Matilda, aged 5, would play and draw. The pictures were mostly of Aunty Gill, but also included drawings of herself, Matilda, and Gill’s dogs. One that Matilda particularly liked was of her and Aunty Gill taking Captain and Toby for a walk. This eventuated into Matilda’s own block, enthusiastically learning how to sew and thread the needle. Matilda loved to help thread the needle, always over-eager to do the “wetting the thread part”!!
  Block 12  -  Please go to Block 23  
  Block 13    Gathering in the Kitchen  (By Meg W)     Size: 8 x 8 inch  
  Gill, Marlene’s Student  
  Many a wonderful time has been had in Gill’s kitchen, cooking, eating, laughing, children wandering through, chatting about life and lots of hot cuppas. With a little help, Meg, and two of her young children, Charlotte and Rylie, got together in Meg’s kitchen, chatting, eating, drawing and sewing, making quilt blocks for Aunty Gill’s quilt. Gill loved the gatherings evoked by warm-hearted family kitchens  
  Block 14A & 14B   Charlotte and Rylie with Aunty Gill  (By Charlotte & Rylie W)      
  Block 14A   Charlotte with Aunty Gill  (By Charlotte W)       Size:  8 x 8 inch  
         Gill, Marlene’s Student  
This is Aunty Gill taking Captain for a walk in the garden.  
Often Gill would have Captain and Toby, her beloved four legged children, with her when she visited the Wood’s household. Having a warm and vivacious personality, Gill always won, 9 year old, Charlotte’s heart over from the minute she walked through the doorway. “What will we do today, Aunty Gill” Charlotte would ask. “Let’s take Toby and Captain for a walk, through the garden then down to the creek,” Gill would suggest. So off they would traipse, hand in hand, and not far behind would follow Rylie and Mitchel, Charlotte’s brothers and their parents Pete, and Meg. Life can be so easy sometimes!
Charlotte has written a small verse describing Gill.
  Garden Cakes
  Interesting Outdoors
  Likes flowers Nice
  Love Rescue animals
 Block 14B  Rylie and Aunty Gill   (By Rylie W)     Size: 8 x 8 inch  
Charlotte and Rylie with Aunty Gill  
This is Rylie and Aunty Gill playing with play dough.
Obviously Rylie and Aunty Gill spent many happy times together, one in particular is when Gill, Rylie, Charlotte and young Mitchel spent an afternoon moulding play-dough. I can hear the laughter now, Gill would make some bizarre creature which would get the ball rolling, and then everyone would be in fits of laughter, all making weird play-dough animals. This would be a young boy’s dream.  
   Block 15    Childhood Fun  (By Louise C)     Size:  8 x 8 inch  
 Gill, Marlene’s Student  
This is a block about girls growing up, friends riding their horses, caring for and loving their four- legged friends, playing in the paddocks, talking about secret things, all the innocent things that being young and safe should offer. It is not surprising that Louise created a quilt block for Gill, depicting these childhood memories. Jan, her mother, said “I didn’t know you could sew”!
  Block 16    Four Colours  (By Jan S)     Size: 8 x 8 inch  
 Gill, Marlene’s Student  
When Gill was about thirteen or so, she wanted to paint her bedroom. She chose four colours for the walls, pink, green, blue and mauve. She did all the work herself, ending up with a cheerful, bright and happy bedroom. A friend of Gill’s mum, Jan, questioned the use of these different colours. However, all these years later, Jan has chosen Gill’s colourful bedroom as a memorable story to portray in Gill’s Memory Quilt. Jan is not generally a person who sews either, but because of her love and admiration of Gill has spent many hours getting the quilt block looking exactly how she remembers the room being.
  Block 17    Pancakes  (By Lynda H)     Size:  8 x 8 inch  
 Gill, Marlene’s Student  
Occasionally Gill would drive the family car up the road to a neighbour’s home to babysit their three girls (who were only a few years younger than Gill herself). As you can well see by now, cooking was a past time Gill enjoyed. Together they would make pancakes, not just simple pancakes, but fabulous pancakes. Gill would make pancakes depicting each of the girl’s names, L, J and K. They had so much fun. This is a story that lives on with the girls now. Often Gill would have to roll start that old Dodge before she could drive home. She was about fifteen at the time.
  Block 18    The Stephensons   (By Gio, Myee, Erin & Christopher)      Size: 8 x 8 inch  
 Gill, Marlene’s Student  
Not long after Gill’s passing when we decided to make a memory quilt for Gill, as a way of keeping her memories alive, it was a time for all of us to heal. I let people know, not sure of the response or how long the whole project would take the Stephenson family, were clients at the vet clinic where Gill worked. Their feelings for Gill were so strong they wanted to make sure they were part of Gill’s memory quilt, being the first people involved. This block is full of special characters including an owl for wisdom, a happy girl with a pretty dress, like Gill, and other sentimental items. Also each person has written a small message, about Gill, for the back of the quilt. Gill said, “Christopher gives the best hugs”.
  Block 19    For the love of farm animals  (By Iris C)     Size: 8 x 8 inch  
 Gill, Marlene’s Student  
Iris is a life member of Steels Creek Stitchers and when she found out about Gill, she wanted to contribute to this special memory quilt. Iris has known Gill’s mum for many years working alongside her at many Stitchers gatherings. Knowing about Gill’s love of animals, particularly farm animals, encouraged Iris to make a block specifically including these much loved farm creatures. Iris is the eldest member of Stitchers, and is a gentle, deeply caring, thoughtful and knowledgeable person. She will shortly celebrate her ninetieth birthday and has much to pass on to others.
  Block 20    The Rainbow Bridge  (By Michelle R)    
  Gill, Marlene’s Student
  There is a poem called Rainbow Bridge, it is because of Gill’s use of this compassionate poem, and reverence for life, that Gillian’s Rainbow Bridge programme was named. This block was made by using happy, bright and cheerful colours, created a strong bridge to cross, and has many lush grassy fields to play in. Just this side of heaven is a crossing, like this, for all the loving animals that look forward to meeting their beloved owners as they cross into heaven never to be parted again.

The black bird, perched on one of the bridge posts, is singing “Pretty Woman” a song Gill loved.

We use this block as Gillian’s Rainbow Bridge logo.
  Block 21   Bird's Nests  (By Annette)     Size:  12 wide  x 8 high inch
  Our Cottage Garden is full of native birds many making exquisite nests in spring. Then in autumn, when I got back into gardening after the heat of summer, I would come across deserted tiny fragile nests no longer in use. Many would be buried deep in the foliage of a thorny rugosa rose or tucked away, high in the branches of a vigorous climber. Gill loved to see these treasures, often adorned with feathers and horse hair. “Look, Gloria’s mane! So soft! So lovely!” Gill would say.
  Block 22   Xmas Aprons   (By Annette)     Size: 12 wide x 8 high inch
  Xmas was an exciting time for Gill, she loved all it entailed. Each year I would make gifts for the family, a photo album, a quilt, a mosaic pot and the last Xmas we shared with Gill was a collection of aprons. One for all occasions! One for gardening, one for serious gourmet cooking and, of course, one for looking pretty in the kitchen! Gill was besotted by all of them
  Block 23   Four Pots    (By Soren)     Size: 12 wide x 8 high inch
  Pottery enabled Gill to express her creative side. She claimed an area in my shed and would spend hours there engrossed in this new found skill. Sitting at her new wheel, always with a huge smile on her face, Gill was in paradise. Her happiness was reflected in all the pottery she made. She loved to show us her latest additions.
  Block 24A, B, C & D   Hearts for Gill  (By Annette)     Size:  8 x 8 inch
  Block 24A  Hearts for Gill     Sixe: 8 x 8 inch
  Block  24B   Hearts for Gill     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  Block  24C   Hearts for Gill     Size:  8 x 8 inch
  Block  24D   Hearts for Gill     Size:  8 x x8 inch
  For me hearts can sometimes seem a little over the top but in this case we couldn’t have too many. Gill loved pink, all shades of pink, so a combination of deep cerise, magenta, and a soft pale pink together with complimentary blues seemed the perfect answer. Fabrics also included garden designs, birds and butterflies all working together to give an expression of deep love.
  Block 25   Sheep, Sheep, Sheep  (By Annette)     Size:  8 x 8 inch
  Gill was always taking care of my wacky collection of coloured sheep. So I had to include them in Gill’s special memory quilt. The design of this block comes from a hand-made card I purchased at the Montrose Spinners bi-annual Spin-in. The older lady who made the card was thrilled to think her design would be used in Gill’s special quilt. Another friend spun and crocheted fleece from my sheep which gives the picture even greater relevance.
  Block 26    A Pottery Friend  (By Sandra)     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  Gill found the ladies at pottery classes both a delight to be with and a source of inspiration. They continued to fill Gill with confidence and joyfulness. I’m sure Gill’s exuberant personality, brilliant smile and caring nature would have filled them with happiness too. Sandra a pottery friend just had to make a block for Gill’s quilt filling it with balloons as an expression of love and symbols portraying happy faces. Sandra said to Annette, Gill’s mum, ”We should all take a page out of Gill’s Book.”
  Block 27   A Cottage, A Birdbath and a Quaint Country Garden   (By Annette)     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  For many years Gill lived in the cottage on our property enjoying all that country life can offer. One day Gill came home ever so proud of her latest purchase- a gorgeous white hand painted bird bath. “What a great find, I want one” I said. The inner bowl had a circle of pansies delicately painted on it. Gill found the perfect spot in her well tended garden, a place where the blue wrens could be seen but not disturbed
  Block 28   Bowie, Loved By All   (Annette)     Size:  8 x  8 inch
  Bowie was an absolute treasure of a dog, full of character and with an endlessly easy nature. Purchased with Gill’s long saved pocket money she gave Gill and her family years of devotion, love and happiness. One of her favourite games was to jump, full on, into the bottom dam after a ball. Bowie had a natural mothering instinct always taking care of young animals that came to the farm and was often found carrying a long stick which always got in the way. We all loved her so. Bowie would certainly have been eagerly waiting on the Rainbow Bridge, her ears pricked, tail wagging and bright eyes intent as she met Gill. I can just see them as they greeted each other, then turned and walked over the Rainbow Bridge.
  Block 29   Blueberry Muffins  (By Kate)     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  Cooking was one of Gill’s favourite past-times and all who knew her, knew that blue berry muffins were her favourite. When Gill turned up with a tray full of hot yummy homemade blue berry muffins and a happy smile on her face, we were all in for a treat to remember.
  Block 30    Victorian Patchwork Heart  (By Annette)     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  Heart shapes are used as symbols to portray our deep love for someone so making a quilt block with a large Victorian patchwork embroidered heart on it was definitely showing the extent of my love for Gill. I filled it with favourite fabrics, intricate embroidery patterns and stitches then embellished it with more hearts and ribbon. I think Gill would have loved it.
  Block 31   Little Miss Sunshine    (By Annette)     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  Little Miss Sunshine is a happy, cheerful character, all yellow and always with a smiling face. No wonder Gill loved her! Even as an adult, Gill would purchase Little Miss Sunshine items and this always made her happy.
  Block 32   Tree of Life   (By Annette)     Size: 12 x 12 inch
  This block, with its reminder of the past, present and future, will help us to remember Gill and what she stood for. To begin with I created a tree with a strong trunk, firm, but flexible branches and sound roots thus portraying Gill’s inner strengths. The many hand embroidered leaves also remind me of Gill, each telling a story of a life full of excitement, challenges and creativity. Then, perching on the branches are birds symbolising happiness and with a message of joy and contentment. Lastly, at the very top, are two blue birds of happiness- Gill and Soren.
  Block 33   Home Sweet Home   (By Annette)     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  It seemed, there was nothing Gill couldn’t do, a coat of paint, a new back step and most importantly, a car-port full of chopped wood. Making her home warm, welcoming and visually charming was important to Gill. Creating a new garden, baking a scrumptious chocolate cake and inviting you over for a meal was what she loved doing. She was proud of these achievements and gained pleasure from owning her own home. This block is a favourite of many who know her!
  Block 34    Xmas with Gill    (By Annette)     Size:  8 x 8 inch
  Xmas meant fun, surprises and an Australian Xmas tree full of decorations, both handmade and diligently sourced. Xmas also meant, getting together with the family, thinking of the very best Xmas gifts she could find for the ones she loved and cooking a selection of Nana’s passed down recipes. Xmas meant finding out what gift mum and dad had organised for her and where it was hidden. Xmas was about being up early, each person full of anticipation as they opened their gifts. Xmas was about working together in Mum and Dad’s country kitchen, making a traditional Xmas pudding and a roast with all the trimmings. Also, setting the table with Mum’s precious “Sarah’s Garden” dinner-set, bon-bon’s and candles then all sitting together, eating, chatting, and laughing. Gill loved Xmas!
  Block 35   Ginger Megs   (By Annette)     Size: 4 x 4 inch
  Gill and Soren had thought about getting a friend for Captain, their wacky border collie. “Maybe one day” said Soren, who loves cats too! Then one day at work Gill sent Soren a photo of a cute kitten, “What do you think of that little kitten?” Gill asked. Nothing else was actually said. That was all it took! Gill came home that night, proud as punch-“Here he is,” was all that Gill said as she passed Soren their new addition to the family. Both Captain and Megs have helped to fill the void in his life.
  Block 36   Heidi    (By Annette)     Size:  4 x 4 inch
  Over the years Gill worked as a vet nurse, her heart often ruled her head, so home Gill would trot holding a small wriggling blanket, a minute kitten inside, then it would pop out its pretty head. What could I do? Sadly the mother hadn’t made it- Gill was “just” looking after it for the night!! Heidi was a confident active kitten, always keeping Gill company when they lived in the cottage. I used fabric that was a little out there helping to show Heidi’s vibrant personality
  Block 37   A Bunch of Daffodills   (By Annette)      Size: 8 wide x 12 high inch
  Gill loved daffodils and Wordsworth’s “a host of golden daffodils”. She loved all types of daffodils but she had an extra soft spot for Erlicheer daffodils. In early spring Gill would visit and take home a huge bunch of these to fill her home with their fresh and spicy perfume.
  Block 38A & B   Tea for Two or More     (By Annette)     Size:  4 x 4 inch
  Block 38A    Tea for Two or More    Size: 4 x 4 inch
  Block 38B    Tea for Two or More     Size: 4 x 4 inch
  I just had to make some small blocks with tea cups on them for Gill’s memory quilt. I had a wonderful time choosing fabrics that Gill might fancy as well as embroidering handles on the cups and fancy edges on the table cloths- thinking of Gill as I sewed. Gill certainly enjoyed sharing a cup of her favourite tea with a friend.
  Block 39A & B   Which Teapot Today?  (By Annette)    Size:  4 x 4 inch
  Block 39A   Which Teapot Today?     Size: 4 x 4 inch
  Block 39B   Which Teapot Today?     Size: 4 x 4 inch
  After making the tea cups I realised one needs a tea pot. Which one will I sew? Sometimes I am an indecisive person so I ended up deciding on two. One for when Gill is having a cuppa by herself and the other for when she has company. Like the tea cups I chose fabric with Gill in mind and designs she would have chosen. I hope you like them too.
  Block 40A & B  Star So Bright  (By Annette)     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  Block 40A  Star So Bright     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  Block 40B  Star so Bright     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  One night, soon after Gill died I was saying good bye to Marlene a close friend, and Gill’s one-time teacher, when we looked up, and there, as bright as you can imagine, was a star shining down on us. Marlene and I were amazed! I later found out that this star is Venus, the brightest star. I have now named it Gill. Both my friend and I think of Gill when we see Venus in all her glory. Thinking of Gill and Venus we have included some star blocks in Gill’s Memory Quilt.
  Block 41  Heart of Colours (By Annette)     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  This is a heart full of colour, just for Gill. The technique used combines one inch wide strips of fabric sewn at an angle, and when completed, forms a coloured heart-the background is a batik fabric with blue and pink. Anita’s beautiful quilted swirls have added another dimension to this cheerful block. It looks superb!
  Block 42 A, B C & D  Traditional Blocks  (By Annette)    
  Block 42A  Traditional Block     Size: 12 x 12 inch
  Block 42B  Traditional Block     Size: 12 x 12 inch
  Block 42C  Traditional Block     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  Block 42D  Traditional Block     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  After looking at all the amazing quilt blocks people have made we thought a couple of traditional quilt blocks would add a gentle touch, enabling people’s eyes to move easily around the quilt. Holidaying at the beach gave inspiration to one block while peachy pinks and shades of blue motivated another charming block. The other two traditional blocks come in lilac, mauve and a deep purple and in a delightful combination of pinks and blues with a flower centre. They all stand alone, proud of their traditional heritage, and by incorporating fabrics used in other blocks they have enabled the quilt to have balance.
  Block 43  Camping with Gill and Soren - An Experience   (By Annette)     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  Gill and Soren went on holiday together for the first time. Soren didn’t know what he was in for! Gill wanted to make a video of the two of them putting up the Keldac tent-what a laugh. Gill would set up the camera, then race back, making sure she was in the movie too. The tent was one of those ones that only took a few minutes to erect, not those two, too much laughter, too much worrying about the video and too much having fun. The scene in the quilt block looks calm and relaxed, however the video showed a different story.
  Block 44  Inspiration  (By Pam)     Size:  8 x 8 inch
  Doves are symbols of love, peace and loyalty so it isn’t difficult to understand why these two, hand embroidered doves, have been included in this inspirational block. Also Gill was inspirational and gave inspiration to others- even after her death she continues to have a huge impact on family and friends. This saying says it all. “Don’t look for inspiration, be the inspiration.”  
  Block 45  Daisies for Gill  (By Annette)     Size:  11 wide x 4 high inch
  Gill always found it easy to grow daisies whether it be, pink of white, single or double she loved them all. Pink, as you probably know by now, is Gill’s favourite colour so I focussed on it when I made this ribbon embroidered quilt block. Then after reading about this widely known flower I found a few themes portraying the symbolic meaning of the daisy. Innocence, gentleness, purity, joy and beauty which are all words we could use to describe Gill
  Block 46  Jean's Heart  (By Jean)     Size:  8 x 8 inch
  I didn’t know Gillian but everyone spoke of her love for animals and children. They also spoke of their love for Gillian so I chose to appliqué a heart and Annette chose Gillian’s favourite colours
  Block 47A, B, C & D  Seven Tiny, Intricate Blocks  (By Annette)
  Block 47A  Seven Tiny, Intricate Blocks     Size: 4 x 4 inch
  Block 47B  Seven Tiny, Intricate Blocks     Size: 4 x 4 inch
  Block 47C  Seven Tiny, Intricate Blocks     Size: 4 x 4 inch
  Block 47D  Seven Tiny, Intricate Blocks     Size: 4 x 4 inch
  Block 47E Seven Tiny, Intricate Blocks     Size: 4 x 4 inch
  Block 47F  Seven Tiny, Intricate Blocks     Size:  4 x 4 inch
  Block 47G  Seven Tiny, Intricate Blocks     Size: 4 x 4 inch
  Over the years I had been slowly gathering a small collection of four inch, pieced, blocks. Gill would often see me busily designing, cutting, sewing, trimming and ironing all in the hope of creating a perfect minute block. Gill was always amazed at how tiny the fabric pieces were and how beautiful the fabric was. So I decided I would happily use some of these special blocks in Gill’s memory quilt. 
  Block 48  Two Small Pink Hearts  (By Annette)     Size: 4 wide x 8 high inch
  As friends and family were busy completing their special quilt blocks I would think about Gill and wonder what else she would like in her special quilt. Often hearts would come to mind, so there I went, making not only one but two small pink embroidered hearts. With the love that only a mother can give!
  Block 49 & 50  Getting To Know You  (By Jane)
  Block 49  Getting To Know You     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  Block 50  Getting To Know     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  Steels Creek five Stitchers, Nola, Jean, Iris, Pam and Jane sat around Annette’s table in her wonderfully creative sewing room and listened as Ronda, Judy, Ruth and Lynda talked about Gill and recounted episodes from her life. Gradually we Stitchers came to feel we knew this remarkable, vibrant young woman, Gillian Conrad. Then almost as we were leaving I saw the mounting pile of fabric trimmings on the table, I picked them up. Soon there was one square of crazy log cabin and one stripy, embellished with a “G” in what I had just heard was one of Gill’s favourite colours-purple.
  Block 51A  Morticia and Purr Purr  (Annette)    
  Block 51A  Morticia     Size: 4 x 4 inch
  Block 51B  Purr Purr     Size: 4 x 4 inch
  Over the years we had two other cats which lived long country lives. Purr-Purr was often seen wrapped up in a blanket then placed gently into Gill’s dolly pram. Gill’s motherly instincts were apparent at an early age and flowed into skilled vet nurse status. Then along came Morticia, named after Morticia Addams, obviously a black long haired petite cat. Gill brought Morticia home after her mother had died just after giving birth. Gill was a meticulous mother cleaning, feeding and nurturing baby Morticia, who lived over eighteen content years. In these small blocks Morticia and Purr-Purr have bright green eyes looking attentively at Gill.  
  Block 52  Memories  (By Ruth)     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  Even though Ruth had only met Gill a few times she wanted to contribute a block to her memorable quilt. Browsing an embroidery book Ruth came upon a touching saying-“Take care of your memories, as you cannot relive them”-she thought -maybe I could do this. “That’s perfect.” she said. Several stitches later Ruth’s completed block remind us of Gill and all our treasured memories of her.
  Block 53A& B  Living on a Farm  (By Debbie and Helen)
  Block 53A  Living on a Farm     Size: 15 wide x 4 high inch
  Block 53B  Living on a Farm     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  Debbie and Helen, neighbours, have known Gill and her family for most of Gill’s life so when they decided to make two blocks for Gill’s quilt, what can you imagine, farm scenes, with all the trimmings! The sewing is minute! Debbie and Helen would come over to the family home to work on their blocks, other keen quilt makers would join in, all helping each other, chatting, talking about Gill, all the wonderful stories, some of which Gill’s family had never heard before. Reminiscing about Gill! Warm comforting times. 
  Block 54  Bullion Roses for Gill   (By Annette)     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  A sewing friend contacted me asking if she could be involved in Gill’s Memory Quilt. How wonderful, I thought! Debbie gains great pleasure from completing beautiful embroidery pieces. This was a wonderful opportunity to include a gorgeous embroidered “G” in Gill’s quilt block collection. Debbie sewed pale pink rose buds hidden behind a collection of delicately formed bullion roses that are gently entwined in dainty leaves. 
  Block 55  A Colourful Basket   (By Annette)     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  Gill often admired my collection of baskets. One day I asked Gill if she would like a basket, but no, she didn’t quite want one as yet, she just enjoyed seeing mine. However I think she might like the one I made for her quilt. Lots of pretty colours and triangular shapes help to make this cheerful basket. 
  Block 56  A Little Pink Basket  (By Annette)     Size:  4 x 4 inch
  Good things come in small packages, so people say, and this definitely applies here. An enchanting small pink and green basket, overflowing with the palest pink roses made of glass-some of the delicate roses have a glint of mother of pearl. Another basket Gill would adore. 
  Block 57A, B & C  Double Pinwheel   (By Annette)
  Block 57A  Double Pinwheel     Size: 4 x 4 inch
  Block 57B  Double Pinwheel     Size: 4 x 4 inch
  Block 57C  Double Pinwheel     Size: 4 x 4 inch
  Using a delicate country garden fabric that I had used in a quilt for Gill when she was about six brought back many memories. “Double pinwheel” is a fun pattern to sew and works well when in a row of three.  
  Block 58  Handmade Suffolk Puffs  (By Ronda)     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  Ronda thought Gill was an absolute treasure and gained great pleasure from being in her company. Gill always had a smile on her face, however you never did quite know what she was up to which could be a bit disconcerting! Completing a block for Gill’s memory quilt was made without question. A natural looking basket laden with handmade Suffolk puffs takes centre stage. Ronda has added antique buttons and a ceramic blue edged bird that has perched itself on the handle of this adorable basket 
  Block 59  Would You Like Another?  (By Ronda)      Size: 12 x 12 inch
  Sometimes simple is the best. This time Ronda chose to use some William Morris fabrics that do all the hard work for you. A deep pink rose sits proudly in the centre then it is surrounded by fabrics that are adorned with flowers, berries and blue birds. This block was certainly made with Gill in mind. 
  Block 60   Love Says It All   (By Nola)      Size: 8 x 8 inch
  Nola is one of the ladies from Stitchers who didn’t know Gill but wanted to support her family. At one of our busy sewing afternoons Nola sat quietly as people talked about Gill. Obviously she is a great listener and could feel that people had a deep love and respect for Gill. What more could you ask for other than love and a warm heart, so this is what Nola created- a great big appliquéd “love” and a “double heart”. 
  Block 61A, B & C   Hope, Love and Protection  (By Lynn)    
  Block 61A   Size: 8 x 8 inch
  Block 61B     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  Hope, love and protection are symbols of birds and their nests. With her newfound skills, Lynn chose to create a symbolic picture including a safe comfortable nest, happy well fed chicks- protection from life’s challenges and always, a bit of fun. These are the things Gill aspired to. 
  Block 62   Sampler  (By Katherine)     -  NOT FOR SPONSORSHIP  -
  Block 63   From A Distance   (By Greg)     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  Thinking about Gill makes me remember her face. Her smile, her laugh, her cheeky grin, her gaiety! Also when I saw her do something mischievous, I would chuckle inside and smile to myself. For Gill’s block I wanted to remember this alluring face, not too far away, perhaps in the sky or when I walked in the bushland I could see her image. These are the things about Gill that I always want to remember.
  Block 64  Wow, What A Collection  (By Annette)     Size:  8 x 8 inch
   Yes, wow, what a collection of fabrics I have in this simple block.  I selected fabrics already used in Gill's quilt then brought them together.  I love it and I'm sure Gill would too.  William Morris fabrics were selected alongside pansies, jazzy batiks and a dash of Lisa Chandler's "Under the Australian Sun" collection.  How do you place them does make a difference, and what a difference!  Beautiful and fantastic!
   Block 65    Being a Local Girl   (By Frances)   Size: 8 x 8 inch
  Being a local girl, Gill chose to shop locally, so was able to build a deep rapport with local store holders. Having known Gill for many years especially through her Nanna, Frances, from our local greengrocers, called in to see how things were going with this much talked about quilt. After chatting with friends Frances knew exactly what she wanted to have on her block. “It is all about Gill”, she said, “a special bunch of flowers, an appliquéd butterfly, a pot of African violets and don’t forget a blue bird of happiness.” Frances is also a good listener making sure she included these important elements. Her careful sewing and choice of colour has given this block real Gill meaning.
   Block 66   Horses Are Our Connection  (By Kate)     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  I did not know Gill very much, but I know we had one thing in common and that was a love of horses. When I visited my horses I would often chat to Gill, near the old barn with the amazing tack room filled with western horse riding gear. Gill’s beloved quarter horses would be close by. I knew Gill was a very skilled horse rider, who had had many successes repliche orologi di lusso competing all over Australia. When I made this block I wanted to celebrate Gill’s love of horses, and especially her talent for western riding- which even took her to America to compete. That is why this block has a horse with an American flag.
  Block 67   Water Lilies   (By Clare)     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  I can still see Gill on that hot day. The dam, all covered in water lilies, leaves floating lily rounded hearts and flowers open to the sun, looked cool and welcoming. My sister and I had no idea how deep the mud was, but we plunged one foot after another into the muddy, thick floor of the dam. My cousin Gill, always funny and practical knew of this mud, therefore entered the dam the best possible way-on the bare back of her horse right into the water, never getting a single toe sucked into the mud. Now the dam, still covered in water lilies, some twenty years later, reminds me of my gorgeous cousin always.
  Block 68   Three Silver Hearts   (By Kate)     Size: 8 x 8 inch 
  When I was a young, horse-besotted girl, I idolised my cousin Gill. We would go to see her ride in competitions and I fell in love with the whole scene: cowboys, music playing in the background, relaxed quarter horses snoozing and gorgeous saddles and gear. When Gill returned from America, she brought back a matching bridle and breast-plate embellished with silver hearts. I thought it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen and still remember how it sparkled on her horse Hollywood. Gill was the reason that I swapped to riding Western as a twenty year old and she helped me a lot with my young horse.
  Block 69   A Gift of Happiness  (By Michelle R)     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  This one is about gifts to create happiness........Netty was hoping for a “blue bird of happiness” block, one that shows an embroidered image of her favourite bird to impart a warm message about healing and happiness. I could see Mum was overloaded with quilt block deadlines so offered my assistance. Such relief! So off we went, creating, remembering, nutting out difficult techniques and most importantly, sharing this time together.
  Block 70   Fashion and Quilting Unite  (By Liz)     Size: 8 x 8 inch
  An afternoon at Mum’s! Strolling through the garden, talking to a menagerie of farm animals then ending up in the sewing/sitting room sharing a country style lunch is always heart-warming. Of course chatting is a priority and Liz, a close friend of Michelle, and, like her, a fashion designer, noticed a collection of quilt blocks, some strategically placed on a wall others awaiting completion. This brought us to talking about Gill. Liz was so moved by the story she hoped she could contribute. Her fashion and dressmaking history are a reflection of her sophisticated block.
Rainbow Bridge  
Rainbow Bridge  
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is
plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals that had been ill and old are restored to health and vigour. Those who were hurt or
maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times
gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very
special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance.
His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over
the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous
reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the
beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life
but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

(Author unknown)

  • The quilt blocks were made and the stories written by Gillian’s loving family and friends.
  • Quilting by professional quilter Anita Ellis.
  • Photos courtesy of Clare James.
  • Page outline and printing by Michael and Josh, Year 12 Students at Healesville High School.
  • Book Made by Gary Conrad, Marlene Williams and Annette Conrad.
  • Calligraphy by Susi Sheaffe.
Special Message:

The following is a message from Jane, who kindly offered to proofread all of Gill’s quilt block stories.

"Sadly, I never really knew Gill firsthand having only met her briefly when she dropped off a charming pottery cottage that she had made for Annette.

I felt very privileged when Annette asked me to read through the descriptions of the various quilt pieces, and as I came to know Gill in this roundabout way, I could almost sense her embarrassment at all the wonderful things that people were saying and writing about her. It was as if she was saying “If I’m even half the girl that you all say, then it’s because Mum and Dad were just the best parents that anyone could ask for- always loving and supportive but always allowing me to find my own way.”
 The following are some comments made after having seen Gillian’s Memory Quilt.  
  • “Wow! So many people who made this quilt had no experience of quilting. From little kids to older people, men, people who didn’t even know how to sew, friends, and family, it brought everyone in. It turned out so professional”.
  • “Like a movie of some one’s life that is really well made, each time you watch it you discover something else or something new about Gill”.
  • “This quilt is something that you are learning about Gill all the time and you are adding to her story from other people’s stories. That’s what the quilt brought out to me.”
  • “As you are looking and talking to other fellow “quilt makers” you are sharing your stories. Everyone has their slant on Gill she made a different impact or impression on each person.”
  • “I was amazed at the quality, especially when there were so many people, with no quilting ability or experience, involved in making the quilt!”
  • “You could stand all day and just gaze at it and never get bored.”
  • “Each time you look at it you see something new.”
  • “It’s a quilt you want to come back to.”
  • “Full of Chapters”
  • “There is an eye-catching quotation at the centre of the bottom row of the patches that make up the quilt celebrating Gillian’s life. It advises: “Take care of your memories as you cannot relive them.” Tellingly, however, memory after memory after memory IS relived through the quilt. Patch by patch it offers an extraordinary expression of love and grief in a world where many people find it difficult to express how they feel.”