This Project aims to connect women in our region, to encourage
and trust, and to create an outcome that is evidence of the networking
There are five stages :
- workshop in creative writing - the participants wrote their own
- workshop in bookbinding (the stories will go into a book)
- photograph of each member - print images onto fabric using cyanotype
- workshop in quiltmaking
- the squares of fabric made into a quilt.
CREATIVE WRITING : JULY 10 :
We met at Meeniyan Uniting Church Hall, the venue in-kind.
Bert van Bedaf gave an overall introduction to the aims and intentions
the workshop, then had us work in groups to create a mission statement
We then put the mission statements on the board and
consensus mission statement :
"This quilt celebrates the diversity of women in South Gippsland, the
stages and paths that bring them together, creating a blanket of support
We were asked to bring something to spark an idea for a story (eg.
and were put in groups of four to interview one another, utilizing the
object as a basis.
This inspired such an outpouring of energy, that the stories were really
easy to write.
We began writing, then went to lunch, where the synergy was palpable.
After lunch we finished writing our stories, then one by one, read them
to laughter, tears and much applause.
There were some women unable to attend that day, but they were sent
of other letters, and have since written their stories.
OUTCOMES FOR CREATIVE WRITING :
The creative writing day was empowering for us in different ways.
some, it was the fact that they could write at all, that they found the
confidence to articulate thoughts and feelings; for others, that they
able to connect with an item (eg. Susan brought her grandmother's
and realized that it was through her grandmother that she had learned to
and to create beautiful fiberworks); for Helen, that she could end the
with a story despite dyslexia; and for others, the surprise that they
actually had a story to tell, that their story was valuable.
- The idea that this could be broadened and deepened to include telling
stories about family etc.
- The support that each of us received from the others was deeply
- Friendships and networking flowed on from there.
WORKSHOP IN BOOKBINDING, SATURDAY, JULY 31 :
Peter Lendon, from Yarragon bookshop came at 9 am to the workshop behind
Meeniyan Art Gallery.
Ten women attended and we were shown
of books that could be made with bookbinding techniques that would be
covered during the day.
We were given a kit and began work - folding 8 pages times 7 : clamping
sawing grooves for sewing : sewing the book together : creating the form
the hard-back cover : marbled papers onto the cover : buckram,
endpapers, index ribbon, headband : finishing the book.
We learned about glues, materials, papers, threads, knots, stitches, and
asked lots of questions, all of which Peter answered in detail.
We learned about traditional bookbinding, including the culture
it, what the females were allowed to do, what the males were allowed to
It was wonderful, and, at the end of the day, the women gave accolades
Peter, who had himself thoroughly enjoyed the day, and each of us went
with a beautiful hardback book to treasure.
OUTCOMES OF BOOKBINDING WORKSHOP :
- Sense of achievement - some women thought they would have to observe
(particularly Avril, who has just had her wrist taken out of plaster),
each person was thrilled with her finished book.
- Level of enjoyment - everybody raved about how much fun they had had.
- Ripple effect - many of the women bought another kit to make another
and many said they would visit the Yarragon bookshop to purchase more
- There was a deepening of relationships among the women :
Beverley has set a date to work with four of the women to give them a
three women have joined into the VicWalk group, discussed during the
friendships have spread and women have organized to get together
- There was a lot of discussion about how we will create our book for
we want to do a papermaking day (Meg to teach, in-kind), to make the
for our book
we will discuss incorporating extra blueprint photographs onto the
cover/inside the book
we will discuss increasing the scale of the book (we made half A4 size
GENERAL OUTCOMES OF THE QUILT PROJECT :
- The quilt, the book and the story of the development of the quilt
available to tour to South Gippsland Shire Council Chambers, other
and to State Government in Melbourne.
- Quilting bees were, traditionally, a way for women to achieve close,
supportive relationships whilst creating beautiful quilts - they remain
- a valuable and symbolic collaborative experience is achieved.
- the workshops in creative writing, bookbinding, blueprint onto fabric
quiltmaking will assist women in identifying skills that they may not
been aware they had (ie. aesthetic presentation, creative thinking and
problem solving skills).
- these skills can be further developed toward career/business
- women contributing to community life and being effective is a valuable
lesson, a visible example to inspire children, grandchildren, peers and
- ripple effect : skills developed can be passed on to interested
the community - women in the community seeing the quilt project may
create a similar collaborative project, and could appoint members of the
project to tutor them.
- in-kind involvement. Please refer to the budget. The in-kind
contributions are $1930.
- self-esteem is strengthened by recognizing and developing skills.
- self-confidence is sustained by ongoing projects that are the outcome
- we have already built a valuable network of trust.