Susan Abood first took up quilting in 1984 - four decades later, her hobby is still giving her a sense of community and keeping her mind sharp.
The 72-year-old is a member of Concord Community Quilters Group. The group is set to host its first quilting expo at Concord Library from October 13-14. The expo is being hosted as part of Sydney Craft Week.
Susan, who will showcase three of her quilts at the expo, first took up quilting in 1984 while living in Kempsey after a patchwork shop opened up in South West Rocks.
She went on to exhibit quilts at the local show in Kempsey for the next 20 years.
Susan has been a member of the Concord group since its formation in 2016. She met the group's founder Leonie Kaletsis at an exercise class after overhearing her talking about quilting with some friends. She struck up a conversation with the women, who asked if she could show them some of her work. Soon after, the ladies decided to form the group.
She said there were a number of things she loved about the patchwork craft.
"You keep your mind going - when you see a new pattern, it's challenging, even to use colours you've never used," she said.
As a quilter, Susan is always trying to challenge herself. She is well versed in American reproductions and soft blended designs from the 1930s, but in recent times she has been exploring the brighter colour palate of Kaffe Fassett designs.
A true student of the art form, she has attended workshops with renowned quilters such as Jenny Doan, Sue Davies and Dianne Johnston.
She loves being a part of the group, which she says is a friendly and mutually supportive environment.
"I've made some lovely friends. Sometimes it's very cliquey when you're in a women's group, but not in this one."
Members are not all seniors, some are in their forties and relatively new to the art form. Susan said the more experienced members love the opportunity to share their knowledge.
Susan said quilting has changed in many ways over her four decades of quilting, and is now much more user friendly.
"When I started off, I only had one ruler, you couldn't buy patters and had to draft them on graph paper," she said.
"There were no templates, we had to glue the graft paper onto sandpaper.
"Now all our rulers are marked with triangles, squares, diamonds, everything. They make it so much easier."
She added the craft has played a huge role in keeping her active and engaged in retirement.
"You can't just sit around and watch TV, and at my age, where am I going to go?" She said.
The quilts Susan will exhibit at the expo include a needle turn applique, woven fabric design by Japanese quilter Yoko Saito and quilt made out of fabrics from women's fashion house Liberty.
Presented by the Australian Design Centre, the seventh annual Sydney Craft Week Festival will take place from October 6-15.
Sydney's only city-wide festival dedicated to presenting the latest in contemporary craft, this year's event will showcase work from 57 participating groups across 152 events, taking place in 37 suburbs.
The festival will feature exhibitions, workshops, markets, open studios and more.
The theme for this year's event is Time - encouraging participants to reflect on the time it takes to create, to learn new skills and the timeless quality of handmade work.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.