NOT A PATCH ON THEM: Sunraysia Patchwork Friends Inc. members, Maxine Gathercole, holding an entry submitted under the exhibition challenge of ‘feathers and flowers’, and Chris John, with one of her hand-made quilts. 

By MADISON EASTMOND

THIS weekend exquisite craftwork will be on display as the Sunraysia Patchwork Friends Inc. hosts its biennial quilt exhibition.

In a new venue this year, the walls of Sacred Heart Hall will be covered in a range of colours and fabric, which has all been lovingly created over the past two years by local talent. 

“This year we will be featuring more than 80 quilts!” Sunraysia Patchwork Friends Inc. member Chris John said.

“It is an exhibition we hold every two years, so we have a lot of amazing work to display to the public.”

With a range of displays and activities, Mrs John and the members of the club can promise two days of fun for the whole family.

“There will also be a display of vintage items we have been able to resource for this year’s exhibition,” she said. “This includes old wedding gowns, christening dresses, old sewing machines, books and much, much more.

“We will also be offering a workshop for younger people from eight years old to 14, who we hope will come along on Sunday morning for a free ‘sit down and sew’ from 10.30am to midday.

“Our members will also be holding a trading table where they will be selling hand-made items, and along with profits from our raffle prizes these funds will be going to a good cause. It is one of the ways we love to give back to the community.”

Giving back to the community is something the Sunraysia Patchwork Friends Inc. members hold very dear, and consider crucial to their club.

“We meet at MADEC every Tuesday night, and one Saturday a month to sit down and sew together,” Mrs John said. 

“Of course the goal of the club is to further our skills in terms of patchwork and creativity, but it’s also a goal of ours to support women in the community, and support each other.

“Each year we give an annual donation to a local charity, particularly focused on women and children in our community.

“We also regularly make charity items for local businesses and causes, past examples being bags and cushions for breast cancer survivors, placemats for Meals on Wheels recipients, and quilts for young children in distress…all of those type of things.

“And I guess, the exhibition is a way we can showcase some of the amazing work these ladies do, and acknowledge their talent!”

Celebrating the group’s 30th birthday this year, Mrs John said it was the friendship above anything else that has kept her a committed member of the group for more than 20 years,

“I have always loved creating, and it is so addictive!” she said.

“There is nothing better than taking a piece of fabric, cutting it up and then placing it back together again.

“Of course it’s the creativity that led me to this group, but it’s the connections that all the women have made which has kept me here.

“It’s more than just sewing quilts. This is a fabulous group of ladies, and it is a support network that is very important to all of us. 

“We sew, laugh and just enjoy each other’s company, it’s very special – plus it’s a night out and a bit of fun!”

Encouraging everyone of all ages and skill level to come along to the exhibition, the members of the club also welcome anyone with a creative itch to sew to join them and create.

“We have people who join virtually on the point of sewing their first quilt, then we also have people who join that have been sewing for years, but just never knew about the group. Anyone is welcome,” Mrs John said.

The exhibition will be held from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, and then 10am to 4pm on Sunday, in the Sacred Heart Hall, Langtree Parade Mildura. 

Tickets prices will begin at $5 for adults, and then $2 for children aged between five and 14 years old. For more information on the exhibition or Sunraysia Patchwork Friends Inc., contact Chris on 0429 122 402.