In 1995, twenty-five quilts mysteriously appeared, hanging from first-floor verandah rails in Braidwood. Since then, the fourth weekend of November has been the time for Braidwood quilters to air their quilts and celebrate their craft.
Braidwood’s major event of the year is on again this weekend (23 and 24 November), featuring the Airing of the Quilts. With the historic town’s 19th century verandahs hung with hundreds of beautiful quilts from far and wide, visitors come from around the country – and even from around the world – to witness the spectacle.
The Airing of the Quilts is on Saturday, while many related exhibitions continue for the whole weekend. This year’s theme is ‘Silver Threads Among The Gold’, referring to the 25th ‘silver’ anniversary of the event in the historic gold mining town.
The two-day Exhibition and Competition Quilt Show is held in the National Theatre on Wallace Street, and is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm both days (with gold coin entry).
For many years, the hub of the event was The Braidwood Quilt Store, whose owner, June Weatherston, was also patron of the Braidwood Quilters Inc.
Multi-award-winning quilter from Wamboin, Bronwyn Hill, now owns the store. She’s been working with textiles in one form or another for over 40 years. Her practice focuses on art quilting, colour, pattern and unique designs. Handcrafting skills run in her family. Her father is an upholsterer and motor trimmer by trade, and her aunt owned a haberdashery store in the 1950s and 60s.
The Braidwood Quilt Store has traded continuously for the past 30 years and, with this tradition in mind, Bronwyn has exciting plans for the future.
The new store offers a wide range of workshops for both children and adults in various textile, colour, yarn and embroidery techniques, catering for all levels of competency.
Unique handmade quilts, soft furnishings and handmade yarn items will be on offer as well as custom quilting and finishing services. Knitting and crochet courses will be provided by Kim Senior.
A wide range of Bronwyn’s original textile art will be on display and orders for commission pieces are always welcome.
Two special exhibitions will be held at BRAG (Braidwood Regional Arts Group) Community Arts Centre further down Wallace Street (entry also by gold coin entry). The June Weatherstone Challenge, simply themed ’25’, will be on show along with the NSW Quilters Guild Travelling Exhibition.
Braidwood’s biggest Saturday Market Day will be held in Ryrie Park with plenty of quilt and textiles-focussed vendors. Further stalls will be in St Bede’s Primary School hall next to the park on Saturday and Sunday. Freddies Fabrics from Cobargo will be at the Anglican Hall in Wilson Street.
A firm favourite of the Quilt Event is the Gundillion Ladies Christmas Fair held on the verandah of Landmark Real Estate (116 Wallace St), offering homemade Christmas pudding, biscuits, treats and crafts.
St Andrews Anglican Church in Elrington St will display quilts and handicrafts on Saturday only from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
St Bede’s Catholic Church will host an exhibition of toys, games and books of yesteryear on Saturday from 9:00 am to 4.30 pm.
St Andrews Uniting Church in Monkittee Street will open their ‘Op Shop’ in the grounds on Saturday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.
There is also an Open Rose Garden with a spectacular variety of roses at 1 Llewellyn Drive (off Glenmore Road) open on Saturday only ($5 entry).
The Braidwood Auto Club will be putting on a display in the grounds of St Bede’s School while olde-world charm will be provided by Roscommon Carriages’ carriage rides.
Many of Braidwood’s well-known galleries will be open, and a free bus will run on Saturday to transport visitors between venues.
The Grand Opening of the indoor quilt exhibitions at the National Theatre will be on Friday, 22 November from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
RSVP for catering purposes to [email protected] or by phone on 0450 997 940. As this year is the 25th Airing of the Quilts, the Braidwood Quilters Incorporated are honouring their patron, June Weatherstone, and her dedication to all things quilting in Braidwood.