Aura's talented quilters have friendship all sewn up
Friendships are the fabric of life in an Aura Holdings’ community and one group of residents who have companionship all sewn up are our quilters.
Quilting and various textile crafts are a popular pastime across all our villages. Several of our residents have individually created 100 quilts.
Quilting on the Coast
Barbara Newman of The Avenue Maroochydore says the most memorable and intricate quilt she made took her around nine years to complete and was a gift for a young granddaughter. Every piece of fabric in the special quilt was hand sewn in an English paper piecing style.
While that quilt took almost a decade to finish, Barbara says she can produce a quilt in two weeks on her sewing machine.
She estimates that over many years she has made 100 quilts for a quilting group called Sunshine Linus (after the Peanuts character). The group makes quilts for every foster child on the Sunshine Coast, and some residents of nursing homes and emergency housing centres.
Barbara often brings one of her quilting projects to the weekly craft mornings at The Avenue, although she has recently rediscovered knitting.
Quilting beside a golf course
Lyn Ruttley (pictured above), of Somerset Indooroopilly, describes quilting as a wonderful art form. “Quilting is a passion I have developed in retirement,’’ she says.
“I work most days on my quilts. I have exhibited in quilting shows including the Brisbane Ekka competition and Queensland Quilters Show, and I’ve won a few awards.’’
Lyn regularly gets together with other Somerset residents to work on their quilting or textile projects. “I am really interested in textiles, the techniques and design,’’ Lyn says. “I am usually working on six quilts at a time and I just rotate them. I sew every day if I can but I do have a very active social life as well.
“I have travelled overseas for my love of quilting. I have visited Japan and the US to attend international quilt shows and next year I’m going to France for a textiles tour.’’
Lyn shares her love of quilting with fellow resident Margie Bell (below left and far right). Their quilting connection led them both to deposit on apartments at Somerset around the same time. “We chose the same style of apartment and I think the light provided in both appealed to us for our quilting,’’ Lyn says.
Margie has been quilting since the late 1980s after taking part in a six-week course. “Since then I have learned to do various styles of quilting. I just do it for pleasure and make a lot of baby quilts,’’ she says.
"To produce a beautiful quilt is very satisfying. When I was moving to Somerset I had about 25 quilts in cupboards so I called the family over and they had a choice. My 12 grandchildren all took one and a friend took a few. It’s lovely to give them away to people you love.
“I like to spend time each week sewing but it doesn’t always have to be quilts as I like to make other things like bags as well.’’
Margie belongs to several quilting groups and says she has made many lovely friendships through this connection. "It's so nice to share our talents and ideas,'' she says.
Quilting beside the beach
Robyn Fraser and Vania Cole (pictured above) are keen quilters who live beside the beach at The Pavilion North Kirra.
Robyn says the craft group in the village is a casual, friendly gathering where everyone brings along their own projects. “I might be quilting or even knitting trauma teddies for the Ambulance Service to give out to children. I say there is often more natter than knitting in our craft group but that’s all good, it’s social.’’
Robyn says she doesn’t make as many quilts now as she once did. “I started quilting about 25 years ago after I joined a group on the Gold Coast. They taught me how to quilt and off I went!
“I became addicted to quilting and just made more and more. I’ve given away stacks of quilts usually to family members. One Christmas I made 17 quilts and everyone got one that year.’’
Vania taught herself quilting in the 1970s while living in then Rhodesia. “I found I really enjoyed it and it became my thing where I could just escape into my own space,’’ she says.
Currently Vania is doing felt embroidery but admits she has so much quilting fabric that needs to be used.
“I can’t bear to get rid of my fabrics so perhaps the group here at The Pavilion might work together to use the fabrics and we can give the quilts to charities,’’ she says. “We are a small group but we turn our hands to many different things.’’