Look where I've been!
I was invited as guest judge by the Hunters Hill Quilters in Sydney. This wonderful group was celebrating their 30th birthday and had decided a year ago to spend this 30th year doing the Maria Challenge, as set out in my first book, The Maria Challenge Quilt. They followed the instructions to the letter, not allowing the use of irons, sewing machines, rotary cutters or rulers, not even pencil and paper. Furthermore, each participant was given the name of a convict who had arrived on the transport ship Maria in 1818. An amazing 38 quilts were presented last Thursday at the celebratory meeting and each woman stood up and told the story of her convict, as though she was the convict herself. Many took on their characters with great flare and much entertainment, and it was wonderful for me to be a part of it all.
I had to choose three winners from all these quilts, a very hard task indeed because they were all so wonderful in their own way, and for varying reasons. The one I chose for first place was done by a woman who took a great deal of peasure from her challenge and approached it with a terrific attitude. This was the winning quilt:
Second place went to a very simple quilt, and that's why I chose it. Unfortunately I wasn't quick enough to get photos of every quilt that day so I don't have an image to show. It was a simple square in a square using mostly plain fabrics and for me it had the real feel of a convict quilt.
Third place went to a lady who is currently very unwell in hospital, and I'm hoping she will be home soon and feeling much better. Her quilt was beautifully done using the pattern known as Jacob's Ladder. I see it as symbolic of what the convicts may have wished for - a ladder to get out of the hole they were in.
It was truly a splendid day. The women in the group make that happen - they have a terrific sense of humour and fun, both good elements to have in any group. Thanks for allowing me to be part of your special day, and again - HAPPY BIRTHDAY Hunters Hill Quilters.
Here's Iris cutting their cake:
Iris is the President and she treated me like royalty from the minute she picked me up at the airport. I was truly blessed to enjoy such wonderful hospitality. On my return home I was able to open a gift Iris had presented me with just before we left the meeting - a gorgeous hand covered journal. And as I only have a few pages left in my current journal, how timely could it be!