GIRGARRE quilters have been busy during the past year creating an heirloom quilt.
Next Friday will be the unveiling of the Fabric of Girgarre, a five-panel artwork which depicts the stages of development of the town.
From pre-white settlement to soldier settlement, the development of industry and present day through to the plans for the future, it’s all painstakingly documented on the quilts, which are about 1mx2.5m.
The plans have been in the pipeline for about two years, with the quilters spending countless hours throughout the past three months working on them under the guidance of world-renowned quilter Gloria Loughman.
Gloria worked with the quilters to develop the designs and hand-dye the materials, which the ladies are now stitching on.
“We’ve had five teams of four working on them and have put in more than 1000 hours I’d say,” Girgarre Quilters’ Gillian Schoenborn said.
And the research which went into the pieces is nothing short of remarkable, from the exact plots of the soldier settlers stitched out to culturally significant pieces of art being incorporated.
Gillian was the team leader for the pre-white settlement quilt.
“We went over to Kaiela Arts in Shepparton and spoke with the aunties to work out exactly how the landscape should be portrayed and what symbols should be included,” she said.
“The women at the gallery came up with the broad-shelled longneck turtle, which is significant to the Yorta Yorta people, they drew up a sketch for us and we’ll be incorporating that.
“I’ve spent the better part of three days on one lower section.”
She said the pieces will be hung in the Memorial Hall and on display during events throughout the year to showcase the past and future of the thriving town.
“Our quilt has a lot of wildlife and flowers because that’s what was here at that time, then we move through the other quilts to the future and it will have the same because of the botanic gardens,” she said.
The unveiling will form part of a busy weekend in Girgarre, as Gloria will be running a two-day workshop on Friday and Saturday before the Mother’s Day Classic, monthly market and chook auction on Sunday.
■Tickets to the two-day workshop are $250, which includes morning tea and lunch both days. Visit girgarre.com.au for more information.
■The official unveiling of the Fabric of Girgarre is on May 11 at the Girgarre Memorial Hall, 6.30pm for a 7pm start with a light supper provided. This is a free event.