A group of quilters has been visiting the island this past week on a special interest tour organised by Travel Agent Maree McClelland, who has had a very long association with this island.
Maree has always been very "crafty" herself, and has even conducted mini-workshops for local craftspeople in the past during her visits. But this time she brought along well-known teacher Rhonda Coates from Windermere Quilting in Kilmore, Victoria.
An opportunity to shop is always welcome! I was able to buy some variegated cotton machine thread that I have wanted for ages! Eight other ladies travelled with the group, and were joined by a number of local quilters for workshops with Baltimore Applique during the week.
The quilters used the spacious conference facilities at Governor's Lodge, where there was plenty of room to spread out supplies, display quilts and works-in-progress, and provide for space for a mini-shop (set up by Rhonda with lots of quilty goodies) - and of course the necessary cuppa always on the boil.
Bianca, who is the wife of our acting Administrator, was delighted to see photos of quilt shows that our "Pine Needles" quilt group has held in Government House in the past.
No doubt the highlight of the week was Thursday and the Great Quilt Crawl. Local lady Raewyn Maxwell had organised this from the Norfolk end, and the group spent a leisurely day travelling to a total of six homes, shops etc to see the work of the local quilters and needleworkers. At most venues, it had been organised to have the work of more than one person on display, so a great deal of our local talent got an airing.
They came here to Devon in the morning and stopped for morning tea. Raewyn had decided that I would have more than enough of my own work to show, and she was right. For one thing, I have been at it for years! And because I mostly work on small items like bags, and do not have the patience for really fine work or detailed projects, I have probably churned out more than most. The trouble is that much of it ends up in drawers and cupboards.
So it was good to bring some of it out into the light of day, and better still get some positive feedback - sometimes a little lacking in this male dominated household!
I am kicking myself that I forgot to take any photos, but I made up for it later in the day when I joined the group for the last two stops of their journey.
In the afternoon we went to Raewyn's lovely home where her own work was displayed, along with many items made by embroiderer cum quilter Denise Reeves. Now both Denise and Raewyn do exquisite work, have enormous patience and eye for detail, and will not rest until their piece is "Exactly right". They have set a high standard for us all!
This is just some of Denise's work, laid out in the Maxwell guest bedroom.
In Raewyn's dining room, admiring her recently completed table cover.
Ooh-ing and aah-ing over the beautiful Pansy quilt, a gift to Raewyn from her quilter mother-in-law, Connie.
To finish the day we went to the Two Chimneys Winery, where Noeline McAlpine and her sister Cheryl Rayner had lovely work on display. There were also items from Jan Pearson who lives along the road.
Since opening the winery, Noeline has had little time for handwork, but there are some beautiful pieces just waiting for their finishing touches - and I hope Noeline can find a little "me" time soon to do just that!
Maree admires Noeline's Crazy patchwork with its exquisite stitching and embellishment.
What better way to finish a wonderful day than with a glass of chardonnay in front of the fire in one of the "two chimneys"!!
As a finale, I must show you this magnificent quilt that Rhonda brought along to show us. It is done using Hawaiian designs in reverse applique. The maker is a very busy young single mum. What an achievement!
And what a wonderful bond we needleworkers have! It never ceases to amaze me how we can gather together like this, even though we may never have met before, and laugh and enthuse about those skills, passions and eccentricities we all share!