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"Airing of the Quilts"
Northampton, Western Australia.

October 14th 2006 saw the 10th annual "Airing of the Quilts" festival held by Hutt's nearest Australian neighbour, Northampton, Western Australia.

This festival, "Airing of the Quilts" follows on the age old U.S. custom whereby the winters warm quilts, made by the women folk, were hung out to air in the sun for a day or so prior to their being "packed-away" for summer storage.
In 1996 (or thereabouts) some of the local ladies in the Northampton district got together and decided that they would hang their quilts in the American tradition to promote the "crafty-ness" of their skills in the large number of home-made quilts that were known to exist in the local area.

This being decided these ladies hung their quilts along the main street, Northwest Coastal Highway and it's now part of local history with well in excess of 350 quilts having been on display throughout the town in each of more recent years and the festivals fame has spread far and wide with the U.S. Consul General to Western Australia Robin McClellan attending last year and bringing a number of her quilt collection with her. Ms McClellan also took an opportunity to Visit HRH Prince Leonard in the Principality with HRH only too pleased to receive her whilst she was in the area and guide her around the Principality buildings.
This year saw Ms McClellan forward a large number of her quilts to Northampton for this years airing, many amongst them dating back to the early 1800's in the USA and even Hawaii, a delight for all to see and I saw many a ladies jaw drop upon seeing the fine hand-work that obviously went into making these quilts (I do mean hand-work, no machines with some of these) back in the days of the Wild West when these quilts were a necessity of life.

The festival consists of a day of entertainment and celebration throughout Northampton, family entertainment such as music, choirs, bands and a large market atmosphere with market stalls selling local produce and goods located throughout the townsite as well as the hundreds of Quilts displayed for viewing alongside various local organisations joining in with the celebrations and providing and operating various food and drink stalls to help with ever needed fundraising and all culminates in a street parade during which the Northwest Coastal Highway through Northampton is closed to northbound traffic for a short while as the street procession marches and proceeds for about 1Km north up the highway.

As has also become custom, this years parade main body was again led, by a keen supporter of the day, HRH Prince Leonard.
Travelling in a chauffer driven white Rolls Royce, HRH Prince Leonard greeted the crowds with a hand wave from the open rear window whilst proceeding through the town proudly flying Hutt's Standard from the front and with Royal emblems and Crests affixed (see photo's).

Some members of the Hutt's Royal Family along with other overseas citizens of Hutt could have been found 6.00am Saturday morning helping Northampton locals in preparing the town and hanging the huge number of quilts that were to be aired this year.

Following, you will find many photo's taken on the day that I hope are found of interest to many of you, clicking on any of the thumbnails will result in a much larger image for viewing. This is a day that I would strongly recommend those "crafty ones" amongst you to come spend a bit of time in the region, visit Hutt and take in the Airing of the Quilts in Northampton this time, next year!

P.S. For all those other blokes out there, this is a great day on which to drop of the partner and take-in the local history found in any of the nearby pubs!


"Airing of the Quilts 2006"





For more Photo's of the "Airing of the Quilts" click here!


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