They may produce great quilts, but mother/daughter duo Lynne Moodie and Ida Blurton also offer their customers great stories, lots of laughter and generous hearts.
As the faces behind Clifton based long arm quilting business Quiltsalot Embroidery and Design, Lynne and Ida give away far more than they sell, delivering their beautiful handmade quilts to the elderly, infirm and those who just need a bit of hope and cheer. “When I started long arm quilting I needed lots of practice,” Lynne said, “so I put my hand up to sew quilts for this charity, Nannycraft4u. I did 65 quilts and it’s been an absolute joy. They supply everything and I do the work. I love getting the mail. It’s like Christmas, so many colours and patterns. People are so generous.”
Originally from England, Lynne and Ida moved to Australia with the rest of their family in the 1960s. Sewing has always been part of Ida’s life. “I’ve never been an athletic person,” she said, “I’ve always been a sewer.” Ida started back in Derby working in factories for the Singer company, and Marks and Spencer. “In those days there were factories just about everywhere,” she said. “I moved from the factory floor and up to be a factory maid making beautiful nightgowns and things.” When they moved to Australia, Lynne, the apple of her father’s eye, convinced him that Ida needed her own sewing machine. He agreed and Ida never looked back. “I sewed for all the children, for all the grandchildren,” she said with pride.
Creativity runs deep with them both. Their spacious and bright workshop is reached by meandering pathways through lush gardens they tend with care. The workshop itself is an organised wonderland of creative projects from felting and embroidery to quilts, children’s toys and hair accessories. “I keep telling myself to stop making things,” Lynne said with a laugh. “But then I see things I love and think, ‘Oh! I have to make that!’ But everything we do helps fund the charities that we do.”
In addition to the quilts they make for customers and charities, they also do myriad digital embroidery projects from gaiters and onesies to badges and Ida’s handmade cards. In the past they sold their crafts at local markets, but have since transitioned to selling via their online shops and through direct orders from customers. When Ida had a stroke recently, her short-term memory and logical thinking were affected, making it impossible for her to continue the finicky aspects of quilting work. But that did not stop her. Instead Lynne and Ida figured out the aspects she could still do and they are now her domain. “I do the easy parts,” Ida said with a smile. “I join the strips together and I do the embroidery. Lynne is very good; she’s very patient with me.”
Lynne could not imagine doing it any other way. “She’s a great offsider,” she said beaming. “We’re a good team.”
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