Sunday, November 24, 2013


virtù - stitches of love - white on white bassinet quiltvirtù - white on white bassinet quilt - stitches of pure love

Eight weeks today since baby Ace’s traumatic entry into the outside world. I’ve surprised myself by how well I’m doing mentally and emotionally, but there are times when it all creeps up on me and I break down into a blubbering mess.

This past week or so my thoughts have been pre-occupied with Latifa’s story.  Latifa, a Rohingyan woman from Myanmar, gave birth by emergency caesarean in Brisbane's Mater Hospital but was returned to a Brisbane detention centre after just four days, her newborn baby remaining in the neonatal intensive care unit. Latifa was only allowed  to visit her baby at the hospital between 10:00am and 4:00pm. How can this be? How can we as a community be so completely heartless?


I am so disturbed by this story. I can’t help but remember the desperate need I had to be with my own baby while he was in the special care nursery. My deep need to be with him, to hold him, to soothe him, to breast feed him. What is to be gained by torturing this mother and her newborn child? Her distress, pain and angst haunts me. My own experience so overwhelmingly painful seems small compared to Latifa’s experience. An unknown hospital, a foreign land, language and culture, a difficult birth, separated from family, no stable home, no secure future… and a sick newborn child. I have shed so many tears for her. I’m filled with shame that my community, my government, my people have allowed this to happen. For what?

virtù - random quilting stitches

And what about the newborn babe? A traumatic entry into this world, sick and needing his mother. Our government  without compassion for a child only four days old. How can it be? Where is the humanity? And what of his older siblings who are also held in detention? There mother would be sick and damaged from such a birth even in the best of circumstances. Were they kept from their mother whilst she was in hospital? Did they get to visit their newborn baby brother?

virtù - ace sleeps peacefully wrapped in love virtù - ace sleeping like an angel

And here lies my babe, just a few weeks older. Safe and secure in his home, with his family, sleeping peacefully in his bassinet wrapped in a quilt made with all his Mama’s love. Refashioned from a pillowcase that was part of cot sheet set, the cotton is lovely quality. He is so blessed, he is so safe with an optimistic future ahead. So much fortune … all afforded to him by luck. Lucky to be born into a family that lives in a safe and secure part of the world. Winners of a geographic lottery.

Dearest Latifa,  I think of you everyday, I shed a tear for you everyday. I am so sorry.


White on White Bassinet Quilt

500mm x 720mm (19.5” x 29”)

Polar fleece batting

100% cotton blue gingham backing

Experimental hand and machine quilting using embroidery thread


  1. Love your quilt, what a terrific piece of work it is.

    & look at your wee one... so peaceful.

    Sorry to hear of Latifah's story. It's just not right!

  2. It is so sad and heart breaking, Sal. :( As a mother...I can't imagine what it must be like for that family.

    A lovely post of significance.

  3. Heartbreaking story :( what a beautiful post though and such a reminder of how lucky we are. And a gorgeous gorgeous quilt too

  4. I saw that story too & was compelled to think of my own baby asleep in her bassinet. I also thought how lucky I was to choose my own hospital & how long I stayed there.
    It's sad when money & the economy dictate the entry of a newborn human being - love knows no borders but apparently the government does.

  5. Sending you hugs, sweet Sally. You little angel is simply perfect.
    Much to be grateful for.

  6. It is a tough case for sure......hopefully there is a great outcome for them all. xxx

  7. Hi Sally,
    The bub is with his Mum now (in the detention centre, in Australia).
    Third last paragraph here:


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