HomeCommunitySpecial gumnut babies quilt presented to libraries

Special gumnut babies quilt presented to libraries

library quilt
Sew N Tell group members (from left) Elaine Johnson, Donna Forbes, Lorelei Sellwood and Pat Medland present Youth Services Librarian Jaala Beauchamp with a May Gibbs-inspired quilt they created.

A quilt donation means children participating in select Bundaberg Regional Libraries activities can now immerse themselves in the world of May Gibbs’ Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

Scenes from Gibbs’ famous children’s books about the adventures of her gumnut baby creations Snugglepot and Cuddlepie and the Australian animals they encounter, have been captured on the quilt presented to the libraries by Bundaberg group Sew N Tell.

Sew N Tell group member Lorelei Sellwood, who designed the piece and hand drew the design on to the quilt, said the artwork had resulted from group members wanting to create an item that children could use.

“We’re all mums and we wanted to do something that involved children,” Lorelei said.

“It was Donna’s (group member Donna Forbes) suggestion that it go to the library.

“It’s been in the process for over 12 months because we’ve been doing a little bit at a time.”

Fellow club member Pat Medland, who completed the embroidery work, said the scenes depicted in the quilt were intended to stimulate children’s learning about native fauna, including kangaroos, emus, koalas, and possums.

“There are Australian animals in it, which is good for the children,” she said.

“There are lots of different insects I put on there so children can find how many ants there are, how many caterpillars and how many butterflies.”

Peta Browne, Manager Library Services at Bundaberg Regional Library, said she was delighted to accept the quilt on behalf of the region’s libraries.

“It’s absolutely a beautiful piece,” she said.

“We appreciate the Australiana theme.

“The hidden elements in the quilt are fantastic, for adults and kids – we all enjoyed looking at it and trying to find the little animals and bugs hidden in there.”

Youth Services Librarian Jaala Beauchamp said Gibbs‘ Snugglepot and Cuddlepie books remained popular more than 100 years after the first one was published, passing from generation to generation.

“The generations that grew up with the books are finding them again and reading them to their children and grandchildren,” Jaala said.

“The parents and grandparents remember the adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie with fondness and are passing the stories on to the next generation.”

The quilt was intended for use as a wall hanging but due to the lack of available wall space within the region’s libraries, Jaala said the library would find other ways to utilise the piece.

“This quilt will be used when reading Australian themed stories during Story Time sessions in all our libraries,” she said.

“The quilt may also be used for other children’s activities when our library hosts events in parks, schools, and other locations.”

Lorelei said Sew N Tell was a small group of a dozen members looking to spread goodwill where it could.

“We all enjoy sewing, embroidery and patchwork and we are very much involved with the community with little things that we do,” she said.

“We’ve done dignity bags for the homeless, birthing kits for New Guinea and we always give donations to the Salvation Army and CentacareCQ at Christmas.”