CRAFTY IDEA: Carol Clark has learnt new skills at the QCWA.
CRAFTY IDEA: Carol Clark has learnt new skills at the QCWA. DEIRDRE SMITH

Sew crafty chat at club

THERE was no good reason for Carol Clark to join the craft club at the QCWA in Stanthorpe.

A new resident of Stanhtorpe after moving from Brisbane, she didn't sew, knit or crochet. And when she wanted some jam, she bought it.

However, a friend convinced her to go along and, 18 months ago, she joined in, bringing a knitted scarf "so I looked like I knew what I was doing”.

"I don't do craft,” she said.

After six months, she liked the atmosphere so much that she joined up and "slowly got into it”.

The Queensland Country Women's Association reports that membership has grown by 10 per cent in the past six months, with the reopening of Yeppoon and Winton branches plus new branches in Burpengary, Beech Mountain and Sandgate.

The QCWA was set up in 1922 and attracts women interested in forming friendships, learning new skills, fundraising or being involved in advocacy research and presentations.

It now has more than 3800 members across 240 locations state-wide and is Queensland's largest women's group.

Carol said even though most members were in their 70s and the oldest, Millie Marsden, is 91, the organisation was still looking to the future.

"Any group with older members has got to look at how it transitions to younger members,” she said.

Deciding that she couldn't fake it any longer, Carol was inspired by a demonstration of broomstick knitting she saw in Townsville and so bought a broom and got going, much to the interest of women who followed the more traditional skills.

And even though the device is foreign to them, she admires the skills and expertise held by the other members.

"If people don't learn some of the skills these women have, they will be gone,” she said.

And it seems her daughter has continued in her own two-thumbs tradition.

"She's the only person who can make a holey jumper out of a pattern that has no holes in it,” she said.

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