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Quilting Group Stitches Up Best of Fringe

T.O.W.R.A.G.S  were
stunned to hear their visual art show The Princess and the
Many Quilts had won the top award
Click to enlarge

Press Release

9 March 2010

Quilting Group Stitches Up Best of Fringe

Wellington quilting group the T.O.W.R.A.G.S. (Totally Organised Women Religiously Attending Group Sex Stitching) has won the Best of the Fringe Award for 2010

At the awards ceremony on Sunday night the seven members of the T.O.W.R.A.G.S were stunned to hear their visual art show The Princess and the Many Quilts had won the top award.

“Unbelievable,” said T.O.W.R.A.G.S member Ngaira Sewell.

“I never dreamt we would win anything!”

Earlier in the evening the group secured two other awards, Best Visual Art (Supported by Resene) and Most Original Concept (Supported by Springload)

The unconventional quilting group was formed in 2000 and has a reputation for doing things a little differently. They describe themselves as ‘cougar-aged quilters’ with the average age of the group a closely guarded secret but is estimated between 50 and 70.

“We have always wanted to do an exhibition together but did not want to do a traditional quilt show” says Debra DeLorenzo, the youngest member of the group.

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“Just hanging them on walls was never going to do for us.”

In the show, 71 quilts are piled up on a bed in the billiard room of a private historic house. The quilts are revealed one by one as the group tells a story of a princess in search of a prince. After the exhibition the audience was treated to delicious home baking and a chat over a cup of tea. Later, audience members were taken on a tour of the historic residence.

The nine shows were completely sold out and the T.O.W.R.A.G.S is considering a second run of the show.

“We are just a group of friends who loved quilting and thought no one would even come to the show. It was only after we were granted Kakano funding from Creative New Zealand that we began to get some real confidence. We gave it our best shot and were overwhelmed by the audience reaction and reaction of the Fringe judges,” said Mrs DeLorenzo.

“It is not how old you are it is the age of the person you are feeling, and if I am lucky that will be a 21 year old rugby player!” said T.O.W.R.A.G.S. member Patricia O’Grady.

The group hopes to use the awards as a launching pad for other activities with the development of a website and even T.O.W.R.A.G.S merchandise.
“Quilting and crafts in general are huge both in New Zealand and internationally,” says Jeanie O’Sullivan.

“This award is a great acknowledgement of the huge amount of time, love and effort that has gone into the making of our quilts and we are so pleased that quilting has been recognised in such a positive way.”

ENDS

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