Patchwork of good deeds

By Tracey Rudduck-Gudsell

The Tauranga Patchwork and Quilters Group was formed in 1989 after a founding member, Mrs Margaret Hall, put an advertisement in the local newspapers looking for ladies who wanted to start such a club.

Several women joined her, and so began the continual growth and success of the group.

Initially meeting at the the facilities made available in Tauranga Boys' College, they later moved their meetings to the Tauranga Art & Craft Centre in Elizabeth St, renting space and then taking up a share in the ownership of the building.

Their present membership stands at 88, which does not include the breakaway group that has formed at Papamoa.

The Art & Craft Centre was perfect for the group's exhibitions in their early years, but with growing popularity and audience numbers the exhibitions are now staged at larger public venues - both Baycourt Theatre and Memorial Park have been used in the past.

The group's aim is to enhance and encourage the art of patchwork and quilting, to share their knowledge and patterns, and also to make friends and care and support each other when necessary.

They meet four times a month, on two evenings and two days to make sure that all their members' schedules are catered for.

Over the years they have made many quilts, wall hangings and novelty items for various charities - from Ronald McDonald House to The Ruel Foundation, and an auction to raise money for the new chemotherapy department in Tauranga Hospital. They are currently making items for Canteen, which supports young people with cancer.

Each year, the group choose a charity to support and help in simple ways through sewing - hopefully making life a little easier for those who are sick offering a reminder that they are not alone.

The Tauranga Patchwork and Quilters Group have an annual exhibition of their work showing at the Memorial Park QEII Hall from September 23-25, from 10am to 4pm. Cafe facilities will be available as a fundraiser for Save The Children. It really is worth a visit.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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