I began my symposium week by arriving the day before it officially opened. My aim was to help out the Aotearoa Quilters committee hang the silver colour challenge quilts and the New Zealand through our eyes challenge quilts. It took me a while to navigate scary Auckland traffic (remember, in my town there is only one set of traffic lights and they are for a pedestrian crossing!) but I made it in time to help Shirley get everything sorted and hung to the best advantage.
From left to right: Donna, myself, Shirley and Mary. I'm not on the committee anymore, but these other women are and they work so hard as volunteers to run AQ, think up challenges, organise the Great NZ Quilt Show, support regional groups, and promote and support NZ quilters in as many ways as they can.
Here's the wall of the silver colour challenges. This year, being AQ's 25th anniversary, the colour was silver. The hexagon shape was to shake it up a bit as some folks were getting bored of the 12" square. We thought there may be a few less entries because of the changes, but happily there were just as many as usual, so good to see NZ's aren't scared of a challenge!
The winners and merit quilts nicely displayed in the centre. Thanks to Mallee Textiles and Cottage Flair for the sponsorship of the awards.
And better shots of the winner, by Kat Martin.
Merit for Fyvie Murray.
Merit for Caro Stewart.
And Merit for Mary Metcalf.
Here's my entry. I decided to have a bit of fun with this one. I hate working with metallic thread and I'm pretty sure there are many others who share my feelings! So I let my frustrations run riot, illustrating what happens to my rolls of metallic thread when my back is turned.
I'm really excited to let you know that we signed up HEAPS of new members at symposium (here's Flicity and Kerry at the AQ table waiting to tell you how awesome the organisation is), which means NZ's are getting behind the spirit of the organisation. AQ's mission is: to provide New Zealand quilters the opportunity to expand horizons, to share work, and to learn. We do this by supporting quilters and textile artists at all levels through offering a variety of classes, exhibitions, regional meetings and professional development opportunities.
Of course, the more members we have, the better we can do that, so it's great to see the organisation growing and thriving.
There was also a short and sweet AQ breakfast to give out the prizes for the suitcase exhibition winners - this is a travelling exhibition of small quilts picked from the main symposium exhibition and supported by Aotearoa Quilters - to meet and greet and to hear some of our life members talk about the history of the organisation. We were encouraged to dress up in silver, and above you can see my scary silver mask I found at the $2 shop!