Kilmore Quilters have been meeting monthly on Tuesdays (day) and Wednesdays (night) since 2002. Between 15 to 23 people attend, bringing their own machines and projects. The kettle is always on and there are plenty of friendly faces.
President Jenny Gibson says that quilting involves intense concentration. “It can take as little as a few weeks, or as many as a couple of years to complete a project, depending if it is hand or machine sewed,” she says. Members quilt for relaxation, creativity, fun and friendship. The group share and exchange knowledge and advice and run workshops to help each other develop new skills.
Although the community is almost all-female, one man is brave enough to be a member, Barry from Broadford. Legend has it that Barry bought his wife a sewing machine but she didn’t use it. In a fit of frustration, he contacted the Quilters and has been sewing ever since.
A group of this size is exceptionally productive. Every second year the quilters have a large show where up to 100 of their designs are on public display. There’s a retreat, too: members go on an annual holiday to work on their projects, relax, and spend time together.
Member Heather Smith initially joined for the workshops because they were a great way to learn. “Then I made a whole new lot of friends and kept coming back,” she says. It’s a similar story for Andrea Milne-Hall who travels all the way from Bendigo for the evening sessions. “There’s lots of laughter here,” she says. “We’d like to develop relationships with local schools and introduce quilting to the kids.”