Quilters celebrate 30 years

By Christine Mckay

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The 30th anniversary opening of the Dannevirke Cottage Quilters, president, Pam Smith, left, Sue Langridge and Jill Mills. Photo / Christine McKay
The 30th anniversary opening of the Dannevirke Cottage Quilters, president, Pam Smith, left, Sue Langridge and Jill Mills. Photo / Christine McKay

The 30th anniversary celebrations of the Dannevirke Cottage Quilters owes a lot to Roz Porter who was instrumental in calling together a group of women interested in quilting three decades ago.

Today members continue to stitch memories with love.

"The inaugural meeting held on July 9, 1986 was chaired by Roz and Jill Mills. They were a very enthusiastic group," president and club stalwart Pam Smith said at a cocktail evening to celebrate 30 years of stitching memories.

"This group has achieved a lot in a short time, with the first show in 1988," she said. "In 1991 the first Ronald McDonald House was opening in Wellington so the Dannevirke Cottage Quilters organised a nationwide competition of children's quilts.

"They expected to get maybe 47 entries, instead received 77 from Kaitaia to Invercargill. The show was huge and so successful it was reported in all the national papers and the Women's Weekly.

"I went to see the show in the Oddfellow's Hall in Dannevirke and fell in love with the beautiful quilts and was inspired to join."

Pam told the Dannevirke News she is still passionate about quilting and enjoys the fun and friendship which comes with belonging to the group.

"You're never lonely when you have quilting to do," she said.

Dannevirke Cottage Quilters have 13 members, with the annual show this year featuring work of 11 of those members. There was also a display of work by members back through the decades to July 1986.

Barbara Christian's quilts are all made with special people in her life in mind.

"I'm on a long journey of learning," she said.

Helping on that journey is husband Bob, with the couple living up to the ethos that a quilt is a treasure which follows its owner every where.

Friend and fellow quilter Diana Morris said Barbara has great skills.

"She doesn't send her work away for quilting, but does it all herself and we get together each week and she teaches me how to quilt."

With quilts, bags and cushions on display, there was plenty to admire, life member Margaret Ransom said.

"The work is all different and wonderful," she said.

The anniversary cake, iced by Jim Molloy, was cut by two inaugural club members, Sue Langridge and Jill Mills.

"We've reflected on Roz's passion, that's what this club is all about," Sue said. "She inspired us all."

Dedication to their craft had Jill Mills reminiscing on past efforts, including an all-nighter quilting session which finished at 7am.

And Norsewood's Felicity Ellison knows how long the quilting journey can be. In March 1982 she found the pattern in an Australian Better Homes and Gardens magazine for her Jack's Chain quilt. The style suited the fabrics she had at the time, mainly leftovers from family sewing.

In 1994 Felicity began her quilt, slowly working through to 1998. The quilt sat for a while, then in 2014 she had it quilted. It sat again while Felicity worked out how to bind it and was finished in June this year.

"It takes time for a project to mature," she said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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