If you're looking for creative inspiration and a fresh challenge, look no further than the Craft and Quilt Fair opening in Hamilton on Thursday.
Among the exhibitors will be the Waikato Patchwork and Quilters Guild which will showcase members' work in a "Journey through Quilting".
Guild display committee member Julia Vasey said quilting had a long history and served different purposes through different eras from the padded garments to the layered blankets used by working men in the Australian outback.
President Clare Holden said the crafts of quilting and stitching often served a social purpose by giving woman a social activity.
"In the early days women came from Europe, where they were used to living close together in small communities, to America. There, they would find themselves living many miles apart and quilting and stitching provided an opportunity to get together."
Quilting has also provided an opportunity to make bedding materials and garments out of spare and scrap materials.
As buying new material is expensive, guild members become great collectors of old clothing and scrap materials that could be turned into objects with artistic or practical merit.
"Our exhibition is divided into about 12 sections and concentrated on the modern history of quilting from the humble ‘scrap' quilts of the 1700s, through the make-do-and-mend era of the Great Depression to the artistic up-cycling of today. "Today the art of patchwork and quilting is done for pleasure and as an expression of creativity."
As part of the show, quilters have been given a challenge to create a mini-quilt within a 300mm by 300mm square.
The end results will be judged by Hamilton mayor Julie Hardaker, Morrinsville fabric shop owner Milton Wright and Auckland freelance embroiderer and stitching artist Jo Dixey. Prizes will be awarded for finish, technique and interpretation.
The Craft and Quilt Fair will also offer free demonstrations and seminar-style workshops daily to help participants learn crafts including card making, scrapbooking, stamping, quilting, jewellery making, textile art techniques, weaving, felting and crocheting.
Internationally renowned and talented scrapbooker, Louise Nelson from South Australia, will demonstrate her techniques and teach classes daily.
The Craft and Quilt Fair Hamilton is at the Claudelands Conference and Exhibition Centre, Thursday to Sunday, August 7-10, 10am to 4.30pm daily. Tickets: adult $16, senior citizens $13, child (5-16 years) $10, children under 5 years free, family (2x adults + 2x children) $40, group/10+ tickets $13 each.
- Waikato Times