IN THE midst of one of the worst droughts Queensland has faced, the Traprock sewers group formed as a lifeline for local women on the land.

Twenty-one years on and the group is still going strong.

The Stanthorpe Border Post caught up with the Traprock sewers group at Art in the Woolshed at the weekend, where they'd almost sold out of all their hand-crafted wares.

Although some of their members may have moved or passed on, and while the drought may have eased, those who remain say the group is still as important now as it ever was.

Life member of the Stanthorpe Agricultural Society and original member of the Traprock sewers group Beth Finlay, who now lives in Stanthorpe with her husband and fellow SAS life member Lloyd, was raising a family on the sheep property, Reatta, when the group first formed.

"We were in a terrible drought, and just needed a social outlet," she said.

Knitted tea-cosies. Photo Emma Boughen / The Bush Telegraph
Knitted tea-cosies. Photo Emma Boughen / The Bush Telegraph Emma Boughen

The group started off meeting monthly, taking turns at hosting the event at each other's homes, but these days Beth said the group, which has about 12 regular members in its ranks, all enjoyed the meetings so much they now meet fortnightly.

"We usually turn up at about 9.30am. The host provides morning tea and depending how long you stay you bring your own lunch," she said.

"We all bring our own work and just sit and talk about anything and everything but we still feel productive, I think that's important - well for most of us anyway; some just come along and talk the whole time."

The most common topics of conversation Beth said were babies, families, friends, new craft skills they had learnt since their last meeting, and of course travel.

"You name it, we talk about it," she said.

Melinda Toms from Beltana fashioned these hand designed and made children's wings. Photo Emma Boughen / The Bush Telegraph
Melinda Toms from Beltana fashioned these hand designed and made children's wings. Photo Emma Boughen / The Bush Telegraph Emma Boughen

Most of the wares they create are given to friends, families or sold at markets such as the biennial Art in the Woolshed event.

Not satisfied at creating the same thing over and over again though, the girls set themselves challenges to learn different crafts and techniques, even inviting guest teachers out over the years.

"I never knew how to patchwork before we brought someone out," she said. "Now we can all pretty much do anything."

For Beth, the group still holds an element of stress relief.

"We all look forward to the meeting. I hate to miss it," she said.

"Sometimes it's nice just to get away."

Not restricted to just sewing the girls also practice leather-craft. Photo Emma Boughen / The Bush Telegraph
Not restricted to just sewing the girls also practice leather-craft. Photo Emma Boughen / The Bush Telegraph Emma Boughen
Stanthorpe Border Post

Premier to PM: Fate of thousands in your hands

Premium Content Premier to PM: Fate of thousands in your hands

Annastacia Palaszczuk’s plea to Scott Morrison on JobKeeper

Climate cost: State’s disaster bill to hit $60b a year

Premium Content Climate cost: State’s disaster bill to hit $60b a year

Climate change to cost Queensland $60b every year by 2038

Outpouring after granddad’s sweet quest to learn Spanish

Premium Content Outpouring after granddad’s sweet quest to learn Spanish

When a soon-to-be Stanthorpe grandfather asked the community to help him speak to...