The Sydney Berner Buddies Quilt Fundraiser

Results -19th Nov.2006

"What an amazing fundraiser this has been.

So many were involved in the actual making of the quilt, creating the websites, selling tickets and folding them for the draw.

The quilt and cushion cover "in the flesh" are stunning - such an amazing piece of work!

Fortunately I had a huge box to put all the tickets in for the draw. We enlisted the smallest person present to draw out the winning ticket, the beautiful 15 month old daughter of one of our original Berner Buddies members, Andrew Leeman. It took quite a while for the winning ticket to emerge as the huge box of tickets provided a wonderful sensory opportunity with hands running through the thousands of small pieces of folded paper. Then the winning ticket emerged and the Quilt is off to the USA!!!!!!!!!

Congratulations to Maria Crifasi winner of the FIRST PRIZE - the beautiful quilt is all yours.

We then enlisted the second smallest person present to draw the second prize ticket, this time a 3 year old boy. This was a slightly quicker process, and you wouldn't credit it, but the SECOND PRIZE of the handpainted Berner cushion cover was won by Joye Neff - I am soooo pleased that this prize is going to such a deserving home.

Another small boy drew the THIRD PRIZE ticket and Bernd Gunter's book, The Bernese Mountain Dog, A Dog of Destiny will be sent to Australia. It was won by Andrew Leeman from Sydney

Andrew had also donated 2 more prizes for the draw, a replica collectable Motor bike and a huge Jigsaw puzzle. This time, I drew the tickets from the box and Dave Barpenter (? spelling) won the Motor bike and Barbara Pamphilia (? spelling) won the jigsaw. Their two tickets were sold by Annie Bell, so these two prizes are now on their way back to Canberra with Annie.

So now to the funds raised - until I have all the pledges in and the $US from Joye converted, I can't give you an exact figure, but would guesstimate we exceeded the $3000 mark by at least $300

So well done everyone and thank you all for your support. I photographed the quilt with Annie and Frankie (the rescue girl that inspired this fundraiser).

For those pics and more of the Centennial Park Picnic on November 19th where the raffle tickets were drawn

<click here>

Here are the results again:

First Prize (the quilt) Maria Crifasi
Second Prize (the cushion cover) Joye Neff
Third Prize (the book) Andrew Leeman
Fourth Prize (toy motorbike) Dave Barpenter (?)
Fifth Prize (jigsaw) Barbara Pamphilia (?)

Amount raised by the fundraiser - over $3,300 (Aus)

Take care Gael, Ellie and Tara
Sydney, Australia"

The Syndey Berner Buddies Quilt

The Story of the Berner Buddies Quilt

We hope you enjoy reading the Sydney Berner Buddy Quilt story and why people took part. The quilt concept started when Annie Bell, a new patchwork convert participated in the making of 2006 USA Berner Quilt. An idea took hold and a desire to do something for Australian Berner Rescue became the motivation. After talking with Gael Goldsack (Sydney Berner Buddy Coordinator), it was decided that any funds raised should go to the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of South Australia (BMDCSA).

In 2005 the BMDCSA (in the absence of a functioning New South Wales (NSW) breed club) rescued a Berner girl puppy, "Frankie" from a broker in NSW who was planning to sell her overseas as a brood bitch, despite the fact that she has a blue eye and cannot be registered. Anne-Maree Rogers posing as a genuine buyer purchased "Frankie" who was caged, unkempt and afraid of humans. She took Frankie home and started the long process of gaining her confidence and socialising this poor girl with the aid of her two elderly Berners, Vogue and Oaky. Once Frankie was ready, the BMDCSA and Anne-Maree set about the difficult task of finding the right forever home. Frankie has now taken up permanent residence with Berner Buddies member, Janet Cameron and her Berner boy, Harley, in Sydney.

Frankie and Harley

Harley (L) and Frankie (R)

Frankie is a different girl now but still a little shy. She has attended a Berner Buddies picnic. BMDCSA bore the costs of this rescue and subsequent veterinary treatment so it is hoped that this fundraiser will finally reimburse the club fully for this rescue.

Fabric was sent to Gael Goldsack, Vanessa Hodgson, Ros Murchison, Gillian Humphrey, Nicole Miranda in NSW. Shane Millard and Lindsay Ryan in SA both had quilters in their family. Many participants had never quilted, or total experience in patchwork was less than 12 months. The Berner cushion centrepiece was created by Nicole Miranda. It was a block that was unique and made a fabulous second prize.

Completed Second Prize

In August following an email to the Berner-l to Karen Beyer the USA quilt coordinator saying ‘Look what you started downunder!’. Joye Neff the international fundraiser for Berner-l offered to coordinate the international effort. After talking with Gael, Joye, Pat Long (Berner-l) and Jean Cheesman the arrangements and website were up and running within three days. Without these people the story would be so different and thankyou does not cover the myriad of things that have been done by them in the background. The rest as they say is history.

Here are the words of the block makers:

Vanessa writes: I have created these quilt blocks in memory of my beloved first Berner ‘Harrison’ who introduced me to the wonderful world of being owned by a Berner. Harrison taught me that food is very important to Berners and that they certainly are our constant companions, wanting to be with us whatever we do (even making quilts)!! The construction and design have been heavily supervised by ‘Windsor’ my second Berner who assures me that he is a qualified member of the Quilt Quality Assurance Department.


Harrison (L) and Windsor (R)

Nicole writes: The photo shows two of my gorgeous inspirations: my daughter and my Bernese Mtn Dog, Bernie. About Bernie: He is so overwhelmingly full of love and devotion, strong and sensitive. If he were a man he would be an ideal specimen!! He sat next to me amused as I painted the square for the cushion.
The following sums up how I and we feel about our beautiful dog: "He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."

Nicole, Bernie and Ruby

Jillian writes: We (Bonnie and I) took the opportunity to do a few pieces for the quilt (Bonnie knocking all the pieces on the floor and me trying to put them back in the right order) knowing it was going to help Berners in need.

Bonnie on the A Frame

Gillian with Bonnie on the A-frame

Ros writes: It is a great idea and I wanted to be part of it. Chester supervised and approved all my blocks. He thinks he is the dog in the kennel


Peter, Ros and Chester (Nicole Lennon pic)

Lindsay writes: I am delighted to be part of the Sydney Berner Buddies Quilt Fundraiser for Rescue of Bernese Mountain Dogs. Luckily my mum's new hobby is quilting and she was able to make 4 blocks for me to contribute....they are even part of the centre piece! My dogs mean the world to me, I am truly enamoured with Bernese. I am all for raising funds toward Rescue that way we can ensure that any Berner in need can be helped quickly.

Lindsay Ryan, Angus Handsome Pants and Gemma

Gael writes: The patchwork block with Berner head on the red background: The idea for this came from a fridge magnet of a St Bernard I saw years ago. I adapted the pattern and made the markings are similar to my first Berner girl, Kiri (1990-1999)

The Berner puppy fabric cut outs on the diagonal white stripe and patchwork background: I had some pieces of old Berner puppy print fabric. I always thought 2 of the 4 the puppies on this fabric resembled Ellie as a pup. The rest used some paw print fabric I had and a piece of the fabric sent to all participants.

{short description of image}

Gael and Kiri ................. Ellie as a Pup (Nic Lennon pic)

The Berner head on paws was adapted from the Berner Craft and Project Book produced in 2000 as a result of the 1999 Berner Health Fund Quilt project. The original pattern was submitted by Dino Candelaria. I adapted the pattern to reflect Tara's markings.


Annie writes: I am self confessed Berner tragic happily owned by Harry Brat, Gideon von Wink and Special Spike. I feel a need to contribute to the breed in a small way. Participating in fundraising for Australian Berner Club Rescues, for me, is the answer.

Annie with Harry Brat, Gideon von Wink and Special Spike

<click here> for Annie's story on the makings of the Quilt

Shane writes:  When I saw that Berner patches were wanted for a quilt, I knew my mum was/is currently going through a patching 'phase', and I suggested that she do a Berner patch. A family friend in Melbourne (also into patchwork) had made a patch with a black Labrador (their family dog) - similar to the Berner on the BMDCSA logo. The logo is a simple outline but looked so right for the Bernese quilt. So I asked Mum if she would try - and like all mums she was willing to have a go! Mum had to have a couple of special lessons but the end result was much more than I or she expected.   Mum knows little about Berners (she sees Zelda as a grand-daughter!). I think she will be overwhelmed if she realised how far this quilt has gone - from a simple idea to an international fundraiser. I'm very proud of my mum for making something chosen for the centerpiece. On behalf of my Mum thank you very much! Here's a pic of Zelda and Micah. Remember all those early morning toilet trips, puddles on the floor and those razor sharp teeth? :-) Wouldn't miss it for the world! Shane Millard South Australia

The Story of the Quilt in the Making

Just so you know, the quilt is likely to be a square.

Block 20 is an adaptation of the BMDCSA logo. It will be the centre block.

Block 20

Surrounding it will be four more blocks inside a 'frame'. Outside the frame in diagonal corners will be two Swiss Crosses and the two Berners over the Maltese cross and the Swiss cross.

Other blocks will be arranged in pairs to fill in the gaps. Any left over blocks will be turned into cushions.

Some blocks have been made by people who have never quilted before. Others are made by novice (12 months experience including me, Annie) and experienced quilters. One uses cross stitch (Berner in Kennel).

Blocks for the 1st Prize Quilt

Block 1 Block 2 Block 3 Block 4 {Block 5}

Block 6 Block 7 Block 8 Block 9 Block 10

Block 11 Block 12 Block 13 Block 14 Block 15

Block 16 Block 17 Block 18 Block 19 Block21

Block22 Block23 Block24 Block26

Blocks for the 2nd Prize Cushion


The Quilt comes together

Centre Layout Top Row Centre Centre Row Centre 9 patch pane Centre Panel with Border

Centre Layout

Top Row Centre

Centre Row

9 Patch Panel

Centre Panel
with Border

Centre Blocks Outer Top Outer left Outer Lower Centre RHS

Centre Blocks
Outer Top

Centre Blocks
Outer Left

Centre Blocks
Outer Lower

Centre Blocks
Outer Right

After the effort on the weekend and the new blocks coming in from Jillian and Nicole, I had to take stock and have a good think for a couple of days. I now have more blocks and intend to put as many as possible into the Quilt it meant that I needed to rethink the layout of the final 'round'. (I call it a ' round' because I have no idea what the technical term might be.)

My gut said the quilt needed to to have space so that the blocks could be shown to best advantage. So I attached the 'intermediate' round' overnight. There will be a couple of changes to layout. Four of Jill's blocks will now form the corners with the corresponding background colours on the diagonal. The Swiss Crosses will now be placed in the Centre at the top and bottom and the blocks with the Bernese across the Swiss and Maltese Crosses Centre on the right and left. It also means that the pictures that indicate the partial construction of the 'outer round' will change as the dynamic of the layout changes .

BTW I have also asked the people who made the blocks to write some words about why they felt moved to participate and what inspiration or supervision was provided by their Berners. When these are all collated, I plan to put all the comments together and laminate it so it goes with the quilt as a history. (I will ask the contributors separately if they would have any issues sharing their thoughts/inspiration through the website.)

Intermediate round

I laid all the blocks out on the floor and had a good look at what was still needed apart from a second Swiss Cross. There were three other blocks to be made. Here is the photo of first extra block. I think the other two will follow similiar lines as they are quick to make. Photos to follow on Monday. Lesson learned: don't start sewing too early because occasionally you have to unpick! The original sequences for the outer round have had to be dismantled.(Sigh)

Block 27

A lesson repeated all too often but then I'm a slow learner but so much better for the practice. My plan is to get the second 'round' with all the blocks attached by the end of Saturday. I then plan to show a couple of friends in the hope that one has a digital camera that can take a good quality photo for you.

11th Sept. '06

Here are some photos of the quilt that have been taken with a camera other than that inside a mobile phone! They were taken outside and there was a gentle breeze but I think you get the gist. It is looking good.

Centre panel

Centre Panel

Almost completed quilt 1

Almost complete

Almost complete

Almost completed Quilt

26th Sept. "Please find attached a poor quality photo of the completed top. As a Master of Australian understatement - it doesn't look too bad. I have arranged with Nic Lennon to take a better quality shot for the website on Thursday when I swing into Wagga to pick up Nienna and Teddy (Spike's parents) on the way to Melbourne. Thankyou all, for your help in the creation of this it would not be the prize it is without your efforts".

All done!

9th Oct. The quilt before it went to the quilters

Completed Quilt

Sydney Berner Buddies Quilt Fundraiser Home Page, US and other
<Check here for the original page>

Sydney Berner Buddies Quilt Fundraiser Home Page, Australia
<Check here for the original page>