Festival of Quilts-in review

The inaugural Quilts for Orphans Festival of Quilts concluded Sunday 18th November. The extra hands to pack up were welcome and clever negotiation meant that the bulk supply of product for the Draught Horse Festival was stored at Mont de Lancey ready for the following weekend 24th and 25th November.

The Festival took many months of planning and on 8th November the set up commenced. With the help of Lewis, the display boards were installed and the team assembled the display of Challenge Quilts adorned the walls and centre panels, while the side benches were stacked with Quilts of all sizes. An explosion of colour and pattern.

Karina Noblett, chairman of CWA Yarra Valley Group opened the event. As a newcomer to Australia some years ago, she found the network of women in CWA welcoming and appreciated the friendship and community involvement as a member. She commended our group on providing similar social network opportunities, the quality and variety of our display and the focus of our work providing hope and comfort to those in need. Many hands have touched these quilts in the making process but one pair of hands has touched them all. We took the opportunity to thank Yvonne, who is our sole quilter. Thank you, Yvonne. We couldn’t do it without you.

Lunch in Monty’s followed with plenty of lively chatter amongst the group.

Guests to the exhibition were invited to vote for their favourite quilt from the challenge display, and complete a feedback form which will help us build a database, as well as assess the effectiveness of various methods of advertising. Deb had secured a family pass on Puffing Billy and the winner of viewer’s choice will receive a $100 voucher to spend at Ozquilts. Winners to be announced

There was some congestion in the museum on the morning of the Trunk show with school groups and tour groups arriving. We enjoyed Devonshire tea in Monty’s and later in the Heritage room Janet O’Dell spoke about her collection of old quilts displaying a random collection from the early 1800's to the 1970's. We were delighted to have ladies from Lorne visit with us. They have gifted us quilts in the past and sent two quilt tops into our Challenge. We look forward to a continued association with them. The afternoon ran more smoothly, and Janet presented a slide show of Australian quilts from settlement to recent times, pointing out material and pattern changes. The show and tell session drew oohs and ahhs as we admired tiny piecing, intricate patterns and poignant personal stories of the quilts. Afternoon tea in Monty’s concluded the afternoon.

The exhibition continued daily under the supervision of our dedicated helpers. The craft table did a brisk trade and 8 of our challenge quilts sold, together with numerous cot, lap, and single quilts stacked on the sidelines.

The machinery shed meeting room was the venue for Maker’s Marathon on Friday. Our thanks to Lewis and the boys. We welcomed 3 new faces and a total of 9 ladies hit the machines and stitched for the day, stopping briefly for lunch. Preparation by Christine and Jenny, with buckets of colour coded strips prepared and a design plan, meant that with a coordinated effort a quilt top took shape during the morning and a second design was commenced in the afternoon. Everyone had fun and we all agreed that it was a productive process, which would be worth repeating through the year.

We will take the opportunity to review the event for planning purposes and welcome your thoughts and impressions. Unfortunately the Mystery Workshop was cancelled due to lack of numbers.

We concluded on Sunday with a Thanksgiving Service in the Chapel with the pews bedecked in Quilts. For each one, unique person, part of our group, the local and interstate individuals and groups who know and support our work, for the worldwide community we serve, we give thanks. As we journey through life’s ups and downs, dealing with issues around health, relationships, work, we seek His presence, guidance and comfort, and working alongside others, an understanding and compassion for their story too. We confess our shortcomings in dealing with the bumpy prickly bits in ourselves and others and submit to His guidance and correction to restore us. We anticipate new opportunities to serve Him in serving others, and to be a pleasant fragrance in the community.

My sincere thanks go to the Exhibition Committee and those who went the extra mile to launch the Festival. For the daily helpers, the quilt makers, the event coordinators, Lewis and the machinery boys for sharing their space, the Mont de Lancey team for exhibition space and front desk support for sales, Sheryl and Jono in Monty’s tea room, the groups and individuals who made special excursions to visit us, I thank you all.



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