by George Clark
Members of the Waimate Patchwork and Craft Group have been hard at work with a lockdown-themed challenge to inspire creativity and new technique amidst Covid-19.
The group typically met on the first and third Saturdays of the month for a day of sewing and companionship, and president Clare Saunders-Tack said isolation had been a great chance to hone skills.
“We have quite a few embroiderers who are learning patchwork, some patchworkers who tend to stick to the same techniques that they have known over the years and some members who are new to it all.
“A lot of people work on their own projects.”
Mrs Saunders-Tack had been patchworking and quilting for many years, and heading into lockdown she thought it would be a good idea to set up a challenge each day to make a 12-inch (30cm) block using a particular technique.
“The idea being that 12 inches is a small project and if they did not like it that is all right, we wanted to challenge them with new techniques as they go.
“A lot of people think it is a bunch of old grandmas sewing something to throw over a bed which it is not. There are a whole heap of techniques that vary from complete handwork to complete machine work.”
She wrote up a worksheet with a lockdown theme – a different technique for 28 days – and urged members to share with friends.
“Some members got into it every day, some got stuck in every second day and some just enjoyed receiving the emails every day,” she said.
“When Easter came up the girls made a patchwork block with easter eggs on it and put them all together for an Easter card.
“There was a particular technique called ‘cathedral windows’ that we did with teddy bears, another technique for Anzac Day and another for a day called ‘all dressed up and nowhere to go’.
“We were constantly thinking about using what we had at home, rather than going out to the shop, which was all quite fun.”
In the coming weeks Mrs Saunders-Tack hoped those involved would start bringing their blocks together for a quilt to remember the pandemic and show that they had learned some techniques along the way.