Ann's Aussie handiwork patches up a 50 year break with St Helens

St Helens Star: Ann Warburton emigrated 50 years ago Ann Warburton emigrated 50 years ago

QUILTS, bags and possums are a way of life for a Newton-le-Willows woman who was a young girl when she emigrated to New Zealand with her family 50 years ago.

Ann Miller (nee Warburton) was born in Cowley Hill maternity hospital in St Helens and the Warburton family worked in the Vulcan and Viaduct foundries in Newton-le-Willows, Edge Hill and at various railway stations. She tells us the first Warburton to arrive in Earlestown did so in 1850 having made the short trip from Culcheth.

Now living in Brisbane, Australia Ann has been keeping up to date with current happenings in her birthplace through St Helens resident Barbara Iatrou whose Australian-based cousin is a friend of Ann.

“I had known Barbara for a number of years, we were both public servants in the Queensland Government. I knew her parents were originally from the UK but only realised her link with St Helens a couple of years ago when were posting parcels to family in the UK and I noticed Barb's parcel was going to St Helens,” said Ann.

Now through both Barbaras some of Ann’s nifty handiwork has found its way back to St Helens.

“Patchwork quilters and sewers in St Helens might be interested to know that I buy most of my fabrics locally or online from the USA, and I sometimes find interesting pieces in local charity shops that I can include in a quilt,” said Ann.

“I use 100% cotton fabrics - I think they give the best results. I use light weight cotton wadding in my quilts - it’s a bit warm here for anything too heavy!. I also have some vintage embroidered tablecloths made by family members - including my Warburton great aunts, and I have used these to make bags and other craft items.”

Although she enjoys keeping in touch with people in her home town she’s quite happy in her adopted homeland where garden attractions include a possum family resident in her garden.

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