The story of OWN QLD’s Quilt

When members of OWN (Qld) attended the OWN (Australia) conference in South Australia in 1994, they were very impressed by a handsome wall hanging made by local members. It was decided to make one for ourselves that would be displayed at the 1996 Conference here in Queensland.

The first thing we needed were funds to buy the materials. Our craft group and many others rallied to the cause and crafts were sold at the Brookside Markets. Those not sold were used as raffle prizes. We finally raised $500 – not nearly enough to make the kind of wall hanging we had envisaged. Luckily we got a grant from Brisbane City Council for another $500.

Then came the really hard work. First we needed a theme and design. We decided to go for “Older Women at Work and Play”. Thus the design would incorporate a business woman in a wheel chair, a doctor, two teachers, an artist, a golfer and a country woman. We also decided we should have something specifically found only in Queensland. One member who had mastered silk screen art made a created birdwing butterflies and Cooktown orchids. Another member painted the OWN (Qld) logo and Brisbane City Hall. The colours selected were naturally green, purple and white, the colours of the women’s movement.

We also decided that photos would be incorporated and members were invited to send in photos which would show some action or interest of the various groups. Much time was spent finding a photographer who could transfer these onto the fabric.

Infolink provided us with a large table to assemble the piece. Finally we had all the line drawings, photos, interlining and lining together. Then a green and purple braiding was attached. Now the quilting could begin.

At last it was finished but we realised we needed a hanging frame. Once again a member and her husband made one for us which had the advantage of being portable.

We were so proud when our hanging graced the entrance to the 1996 Queensland held Conference and has been taken to several other functions, including the International Year of Older People.