Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Report on the 'Maria Challenge' unveiling at the Hunters Hill Quilters 30th Birthday Party

On Thursday the 13th of September 2012, I was lucky enough to be one of those invited to attend the Hunters Hill Quilters 30th birthday celebrations lunch. The guest speaker was Margaret Rowe, author of the Quilt Challenge series. Dr Annette Gero also brought alone one of her recent finds to show us.

Thirty-nine quilters accepted the 'Maria Challenge' and their results were unveiled at the meeting. Each person spoke about how they had approached the challenge, describing the quilt making process they followed and then spoke about the life of the convict woman they had been assigned. If they could not research their assigned convict's life, some created wonderful life stories for her- some hilariously on the spot. After judging had finished, the president handed out prizes for the best coverlets along with a prize for the best storyteller.
See for exact details of the challenge, a photograph of the winning coverlet made by Lindy Messenger and photographs of the 39 entries.

Margaret Rowe then spoke about her self publishing journey, including how her four Australian  challenge quilt novels came to be written. See for the story of her journey, her current work and contact details.
There are 4 books in the "Australian Challenge Quilt Series" -
The Maria Challenge Quilt
The Elizabeth Challenge Quilt
The Caroline Challenge Quilt
The Amelia Challenge Quilt

They are all paperback and $24.95 each. Margaret does not charge postage for private orders within Australia, but overseas postage is unfortunately $10 per book. You can contact her direct by email at and she takes payments by cheque, cash or direct deposit.
Finally Dr. Annette Gero showed one of her latest acquisitions which was found in a Sydney junk shop 15 years ago. It is a simple hexie quilt that has the date '1811' and a name, which she thinks belongs to a convict woman, embroidered on it. Annette believes that the fabrics are correct for that time and and she is continuing further research on it. 

Liz Bonner

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