A specially-made quilt could raise thousands of dollars for charity at this year's Quilting and Needlework Exhibition.
The Quilters and Patchworkers of New England's annual event will be held at Legacy House, Faulkner Street, on March, Saturday 16 and Sunday 17, to coincide with the New England Festival.
Every year, the group raffles a quilt for a local charity, often raising more than $3000. This year, their choice fell on BackTrack, helping troubled youngsters become work-ready.
"Back Track's had quite an airing this year," organiser Robyn Wood said. "And some of our ladies are involved," president Jennifer Richards explained.
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The group held a working bee and sewed the patches in a weekend, then gave it to Meredith Budd (Dragon Quilt Services, Kootingal) to professionally quilt.
The raffle will be drawn on Sunday afternoon. Tickets will be sold on the weekend, and have been on sale at Armidale Central and Kmart for the past six weeks.
Nearly 120 items are also on display at Legacy House. The group's work for the year includes quilts, bags, and embroideries, as well as lap quilts that will be donated to RFBI Armidale Masonic Village (formerly Ken Thompson Lodge).
The group has also created an Easter corner, with rabbits (rather than their usual Christmas season), and a sea-themed entrance quilt, "Neptune's Garden".
Antique quilts from 1861 and 1930 are on sale, while school students' work is on show in the junior section. Meg Owen from Misty Threads, Dorrigo, will sell fabric, and gifts, books, and demonstrations will be available in the trading room.
The Quilters and Patchworkers of New England have run since the early 1980s. They meet every week at the Masonic Village - the day group on the first and third Thursday of the month, the night group on the second and fourth Wednesday. They are always willing to have new members, and there's plenty of talent to help people, Ms Richards said.
"Quilting and needlework is a very tactile thing, with beautiful fabrics," Ms Wood said. "We all learn from each other, and get inspired by seeing what someone else is doing."
"People do such a variety of things," Ms Richards said.
The Quilting & Needlework Exhibition will be held at Legacy House, Faulkner Street, on March Saturday 16, 9am to 5pm, and Sunday 17, 9am to 4pm. Entry: Adults $5.00 (includes tea and coffee); children under 10 years free. Sandwiches and slices available. Contact Robyn Wood on 6772 6368, or Jennifer Richards on 6772 8796.