AUDREY Gerrard is an unsung hero.
The retired pensioner has just completed her seventh charity quilt, the proceeds of which will be donated to the oncology unit at Newcastle’s Mater Hospital.
More than 830 hours of work have gone into the appliqué quilt, with every satin panel painstakingly hand-stitched.
Audrey says the quilt is arguably her best ever work.
After retiring in 1994, Audrey and two friends established the Gloucester patchwork club.
The group made a quilt every year until Audrey left the club in 2000 and started doing her own.
While it now takes her longer to produce a quilt, she still manages to produce one every couple of years.
“This one has cost me about $1116 to make and I had to get it commercially quilted,” Audrey said.
“It’s just been valued down at Sydney for a tick under $6000, which will hopefully help ticket sales.”
The first quilt Audrey donated for raffling was to the John Hunter Hospital nearly 13 years ago.
It raised more than $8500 for new equipment at the hospital.
She then started making quilts and raising money for the Mater Hospital after a friend’s cancer battle.
“A lot of locals visit the oncology unit at the Mater,” Audrey said.
“When I first started making the quilts, the unit was in desperate need of new equipment.
“One of my friends was on the hospital guild and told me how hard it was for them to get new equipment and I suggested I could make a quilt to perhaps raise some money and help them out.”
Her most recent creation made more than $5000 for the hospital, which was used to purchase a special hospital bed air mattress for patient comfort.
She said this time around, two quilts would be raffled.
“Mandy and Janice from Town and Country donated about 6.5m of fabric to make a second quilt,” Audrey said.
“A friend of mine, Ann Noell, made the quilt because I simply didn’t have time. Gloucester patchwork club also donated the cost of the quilting.”
The quilts have been on display in Taree for most of this month and will return to Gloucester in October.
They will be displayed at Town and Country and McRae’s Fashion and tickets will be available at both stores.