Monday, 28 October 2019


It's 250 years since James Cook arrived in NZ. Many people have chosen not to celebrate this. Cook and his peers were arrogant English colonizers who did immeasurable damage in the Pacific. But it is our history and we can neither change nor ignore it. This history is being commemorated with Tuai250 - a flotilla of tall ships and waka including a replica of Cook's Endeavour.

"Tuia250 asks us not to dwell on the past but to be proud of it, and then to look over the horizon again. It's about weaving the cultures and histories together. This stands as a reminder for how courageous and brave our early voyagers were. 

We are a nation that is not afraid of going over the horizon."

Thursday, 10 October 2019

a bit of a rant - auckland symposium

I have just returned from the Auckland Quilt Symposium. I've never attended an Auckland Symposium before as Symposium to me has meant travelling to a part of NZ that I don't visit regularly, unlike Auckland where I have family. So it was a less exciting experience overall staying with family and not being quite so caught up in the occasion.
I did a two-day class with Chris Kenna, her Millefiore quilt which I really enjoyed and intend to keep working on. It's a bit out of the box for me but I have this 'collection' of fabrics that need using up and this could/should be the answer. My daughter called my one block completed in the workshop as a 'bit of a migraine' which is hilarious as it is a real mind **** making it! See below.

However, I have to comment on the Symposium exhibition. I do not mean to be disrespectful or unappreciative of all the work that went into the Symposium, (I have been on an organising committee myself previously) however the exhibition was, in my opinion, a step backward in professionalism regarding the display of quilts in NZ. It was truly disappointing to the point of being disrespectful to the quilts entered. That's harsh I know was hung in a rabbit warren of classrooms and hallways. There was no overall stepping back and looking at the exhibition as a whole and going "wow" as there has always been before at NZ Quilt Symposiums. I have never been disappointed by a Symposium exhibition before.

That's enough negativity, it was what it was, however, it does raise the whole issue of symposia in NZ which is probably the real point of my comments. Firstly I think I expected more from Auckland possibly even than from the rest of NZ (you'd have to be a kiwi to understand that comment) but was delivered considerably less. Realistically Auckland is not a good location for a symposium. It is too expensive and the traffic issues have a huge impact. There just does not seem to be a suitable, affordable venue. Smaller locations around the country offer more realistic prices, easier access and in many cases, better venues.

I suggest it is time to consider a national group to oversee the running of our national symposium and they should be held in locations with the best venues and access. These key organisers do not have to be locals as they have historically been. So the next logical step is to think that possibly Aotearoa Quilters could take on this responsibility?

With the demise of the NZ Quilter magazine,  the need for national coverage is great and AQ provides this.  It is excellent to see that Guilds can now take out a membership in AQ. Is it now time for AQ to step up to the plate and take on some 'overseeing' role of the symposium?

Wellington, at the last minute and probably under duress, put their hand up for the next Symposium as no-one else had and possibly it was just one small group that has taken this on, not the Guild. It is not for another 3 years - maybe a three-year turn around is a good idea. With the AQ exhibition and a symposium every 3 years, that would be a great national framework for NZ quilting.

It does not mean that local guilds would not be involved. Envisage a system where smaller local groups would be able to seriously consider hosting a symposium because of the AQ support whereas at the moment, the task is too overwhelming. And this commitment by AQ would surely result in our national body growing and becoming stronger. The average quilter needs to understand that maybe they need to support our national body if they want such amazing events as Symposium to continue.

My migraine and work from the class below. 

Saturday, 30 March 2019

give. nothing. to. racism.

It's been a hard two weeks here in NZ.
The terrorist massacre of innocent Moslems at prayer in Christchurch has stunned NZ and the world.
50 people were killed. That's huge anywhere in the world, but in NZ where there is no culture of this kind of event, it's incomprehensible.
Our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has modelled to the world how to respond in such a situation and of that, we can be proud. She has outed it as white supremacist terrorism and will not speak the gunman's name. It has had the opposite effect of what 'that person' set out to achieve. We are now all more informed, accepting and tolerant of difference.
It has broken our hearts but it has not broken us.

They didn't show this amazing performance by Marlon Williams and his Aunties in any of the international broadcasts - he is amazing.