Eddie Mustill uses her sewing skills in her role as a wildlife carer.
Eddie Mustill uses her sewing skills in her role as a wildlife carer. File

Taking quilting to the wild

WHEN Eddie Mustill emigrated from London to Whyalla eight years ago she never dreamed the sewing skills she acquired in the quilting group there would come in handy three years later in a totally different way.

"My husband, Bryan, and I came to Bundaberg in August 2007 when he took a job as radiographer at the hospital and we eventually bought a house on five acres at Bungadoo."

Two years ago Eddie was driving away from their property and saw road kill, a pretty-faced wallaby.

"When I looked back I saw legs sticking out of the pouch, so I shook everything out of my cloth handbag onto the car seat, reversed, and pulled the baby out and took it to a vet.

"They said they would get it looked after by a wildlife carer; I got in touch with them and I've been doing wildlife caring since."

Eddie's first patient was a swamp wallaby but her three toy poodles were too inquisitive about the wallaby and the wallaby about them, so Eddie decided to stick with looking after possums.

"I keep the tiny ones in cages in my sewing room, and eventually they go into the cages downstairs under the house and from there into the wild.

"I've sewn little pouches for them, and although they are very inquisitive they don't want to be touched or picked up, but if they're hungry they bark at you as though they've missed a feed.

"We have Pickles and Basil, he's the baby, down in the cage, and Roscoe, Rosie and Percy have gone back to the wild. Percy had fallen and squashed his nose in and couldn't smell and he had to touch everything before he could kind of smell it."

As a member of Bundaberg Quilters, Eddie helps make comfort quilts which are donated to the hospitals or people who need them, and Linus Quilts for handicapped children, as well as "Little Blankets of Love" which go into the intensive care units for ill babies and babies who have died.

"It's a comfort for the parents to have the blanket for their baby," she says.

When not quilting or wildlife caring, Eddie helps at the Gin Gin Courthouse Gallery.

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