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Patchwork of friendships lasts through the decades

BRIGHT HISTORY: Murwillumbah Quilters Inc members Jane Yeoman, Dianne Johnston, Anne Hartigan, Jackie Balk, Lois O'Connor and Gill Andrews are looking forward to hosting the regional event this year as they mark 30 years.
BRIGHT HISTORY: Murwillumbah Quilters Inc members Jane Yeoman, Dianne Johnston, Anne Hartigan, Jackie Balk, Lois O'Connor and Gill Andrews are looking forward to hosting the regional event this year as they mark 30 years. Scott Powick

SOME have been members since the group began in 1988.

Others have been  on the scene for mere months.

But the Murwillumbah Quilters Inc, ranging in age from about 40-90, are united by a common passion and big  milestone this year.

The group is gearing up for its 30th anniversary and for the first time since 2004 has secured the honour of hosting the annual Far North Coast Quilters Gathering in August.

This encompassed the regions from Kempsey to the Queensland border and will see hundreds of quilters descend on the Murwillumbah Civic Centre.

Club president Dianne Johnston has been involved with the club since it began.

"I answered an ad in the newspaper," she said.

"My husband had a very bad accident and was recuperating and it came to the time when he had to learn to be by himself so I occupied myself with quilting.

 

The Murwillumbah Quilters Club is gearing up to celebrateits 30th year in 2018 and will host a huge  regional event for the first time since 2004 ; Jane Yeoman, Dianne Johnston, Anne Hartigan, Jackie Balk, Lois OConnor and Gill Andrews.
The Murwillumbah Quilters Club is gearing up to celebrateits 30th year in 2018 and will host a huge regional event for the first time since 2004 ; Jane Yeoman, Dianne Johnston, Anne Hartigan, Jackie Balk, Lois OConnor and Gill Andrews. Scott Powick

"So I joined... for camaraderie and distraction. That was the 30 years ago."

Mrs Johnston's mother is currently their oldest member, and her daughter the youngest.

She said it was a coup for their prolifically creative club to be able to host the regional event to coincide with their anniversary.

"We're honoured to have it but we'll combine it with our 30th anniversary and we'll all wear our pearls," she said.

 

Murwillumbah Quilters Inc members have built stunning skills over the years.
Murwillumbah Quilters Inc members have built stunning skills over the years. Scott Powick

While some of their founding members have passed away, Mrs Johnston said their legacy would live on in the group.

The group is also planning a bus trip to Kyogle's quilt show next month.

Kingscliff resident Gill Andrews said when she moved to the Tweed Coast from Sydney, she struggled to find a group to feed her passion for patchworking.

But a chance passing between Murwillumbah Quilters Inc member Anne Hartigan and one of her Sydney friends sent her on a new trajectory.

"I was getting really heartbroken because this is my main hobby," she said.

"Anne had been affected by the floods and was staying in Sydney and she went to the shop in Miranda where I always went.

 

Murwillumbah Quilters Inc president Dianne Johnston with her quilting machine.
Murwillumbah Quilters Inc president Dianne Johnston with her quilting machine. Scott Powick

"A friend of mine overheard her say Kingscliff... so she and Anne struck up a conversation and exchanged phone numbers and I was saved."

The club will celebrate 30 years in Murwillumbah in conjunction with the Far North Coast Quilters Gathering at the Murwillumbah Civic Centre on Saturday, August 11.

They meet on the first and third Saturday of each month at Murwillumbah's Anglican Church undercroft from 10am.

They also meet from 9.30am on the second and fourth Thursday at the Bray Park Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Drop-ins welcome, but you can also phone Jane on 0412301931 for more information about joining.

Topics:  craft murwillumbah murwillumbah quilters inc patchwork quilting quilts



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