Sunday, 1 July 2018

Fabulous meeting!

Our July meeting had to be brought forward slightly to June 30th, as our venue will be having building works during the school holidays.  This meant that some people were on holiday, but we still had a very good turn out. 

We were very pleased to have The Sewing Cafe from Hinckley as our trader.  They brought some lovely unusual fabrics and a great selection of plains.  I hope they had a good time. 
In the morning we had three demos.  Paula showed how to make quilted hexagons, all ready to join together for a quilt or placemat.  She has made hers into a gorgeous quilted jacket, but I didn't manage to get a photo of it. 
Julie showed how to join the ends of your binding. 

I'd always wanted to get o grips with this mitred method, and now feel confident enough to try it. 

Caroline showed disappearing four patch. 

She had all the stages carefully prepared, plus a small one she had made into a coaster.  A great technique. 

And the main event was our speaker, John Cole-Morgan.  He came into the hall around lunchtime, and immediately made himself at home. 

He had brought his hexagons to work on, just in case there was time, and indeed there was!  He is using a lot of Stuart Hillard fabric, and so far it is looking great.

He really did us proud by bring loads of quilts for us to see.  His recent fad for wanting a front and a back was intriguing. 

Here is John with a cushion block he has designed.  He was a fabulous speaker, thought provoking, inspiring and hilarious.  He showed us the 25 quilt tops he made in 28 days, his BOMs and (this is secret) his entries for the Festival of Quilts.  He also warned us about some of the pitfalls of posting photos on the Internet and showed his FUGLY quilt!  We didn't think it was too bad, but had to agree that his more recent work was much better!  He runs a Facebook group called The Beginner's Quilt Support Group, which is well worth joining.  Most of the members aren't beginners, but we can all learn from each other, and John is so encouraging and dynamic. He is running a retreat later in the year which should be great fun.  We look forward to running into him at the FOQ and having him as a speaker again very soon.  

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Change of plan

I can only apologise to those people who came to our May meeting hoping to hear a talk by John James needles.  Unfortunately, they had to cancel as they no longer have anyone who can do talks, so we had to find another speaker.  I tried five different possibilities, but fortunately sixth time was lucky and I was able to book Amanda Hall from Monkey Buttons. 

Here she is, busy pleasing those who were buying her fabrics and patterns.  She specialises in Japanese taupe fabrics, but had plenty to tempt everyone.  She is particularly known for her bag patterns - at one time she designed one every month!- but makes wall hangings and quilts too.  

This is a photo I've borrowed from her Facebook page, as it shows the range of her work.  I couldn't resist buying a gorgeous bag pattern based on African baskets.  Amanda's talk was a trip through her life as a designer.  She showed lots of examples of her bags, with lots of tips about their construction, and ways to make handles and insert zips.  Her quilts were a mixture of appliqué, foundation piecing and piecing, and were mainly traditional, which is just what we like!  Thank you for stepping into the breach, Amanda!  We thoroughly enjoyed your talk. 

The hall was very busy for the meeting, and we had just one demo, a zippy bag with a plastic front and our ever popular sales table. 

Here is Hilary with the raffle table.  Proceeds from the raffle go to our charity.  
One member drew our attention to the charity TWAM.  This is Tools With A Mission.  They need all kinds of working tools to help people overseas to start their own businesses.  Go over to their website to see the kind of things they want, but particularly relevant to us is their need for sewing machines, knitting machines, sewing equipment and haberdashery.  It would be great to feel that an old sewing machine could help someone to support their family!  
Now a return to the subject of technology.  Julie has successfully transferred our newsletter to the new  company, but some peoples' computers think that the emails are spam, as there are a couple of hundred sent out at one go!  If you didn't get a newsletter on May 4th, check your spam folder and let your computer know that the newsletter is suitable for your inbox.  If it's not in your spam folder, I suggest you go to and sign in using the box at the top of the page.  If all else fails, I try to keep the web page up to date, so check there for current developments!  See you in June! 

Sunday, 11 March 2018

March meeting

We had some extreme weather at the beginning of March, with temperatures in the minus range and a certain amount of snow.  Fortunately, by our meeting date, all was resolved and the temperatures - in double figures!- seemed positively balmy!  We certainly had to open quite a few windows in the hall, to keep us all comfortable.  We arrived to find a stage area in the middle of one side of the hall, which made us have to put out the tables in a different arrangement.  It certainly made the hall look more spacious, and didn't seem to affect people's comfort.  If the stage is a permanent fixture, we'll certainly do this again.

Here you can see the space!  We didn't have any demos this time, so I suppose that gave us a bit of extra space, but it was lovely!  (Please consider volunteering to do a demo, as what seems old hat to you will be a revelation to any newer quilters.  Plus, you get free entry and a fiver for your trouble!) 

It was table top sale time, and there were four people selling stuff at bargain prices.  I couldn't resist adding to my stash! 

And the highlight of the day was our lovely speaker, Gilli Theokritoff, who had come down from Nottingham.  Not only was she an interesting and entertaining speaker, but the majority of her work was traditional, which we all like seeing.  Add to that her recent foray into pixel quilts, exemplified by her fabulous 'David' which you can see behind her.  Everyone enjoyed her talk, and one member commented that we needed to book more boring speakers, as in the last two meetings she hasn't been able to have her afternoon nap!  She was joking of course, and she was not alone in her praise of Gilli. 
Our UFO Challenge is a great success, not only in clearing out UFOs from cupboards and boxes (the oldest one so far was 35 years old!) but in providing us with lots of show and tell.  Many thanks to all the people who took part in this, and keep up the good work. 
Our changeover to the new newsletter deliverer went very smoothly.  The only problem was that some computers thought the group email was dodgy and put it into spam folders!  If you didn't get a newsletter this time, check your spam folder as I bet it's hiding in there!  See you in May. 

Friday, 19 January 2018

New year 2018!

It was lovely to get back to a Rocheberie meeting and have the weather cooperate with us!  I remember a few years ago when the snow was so bad, Laura and I cancelled the meeting, as no one could get their cars out of their drives!  Nobody had any trouble attending (even though it was the AGM) and they were rewarded by a fabulous meeting. 

We were delighted to welcome Willy Goldschmidt, chair of the Friends of Saint Cross, our charity for 2017, and husband of our late committee member and friend, Muriel.  He was presented with a cheque for £600 and gave us a brief outline of all the activities of the Friends.  Thank you very much for coming Willy.  You are an inspiration! 

Our speaker this time was the talented Anja Townrow.  She gave us a talk called Private Collection, which consisted of many of her personal quilts and samples.  She brought a stunning collection of quilts to display and share, and was a fabulous speaker, as usual.  She even tolerated our microphone headset which had been squashed, I think, and kept slipping about irritatingly.  What a star! 

Here is the interest of the members after her talk.  Wonderful. 

We also had a challenge for the year.  You have to find five UFOs (that's UnFinished Objects) from your workroom, be they quilts, wall hangings, runners, bags, cross stitcheries or whatever, and agree to bring a finished UFO to each meeting this year.  Everyone who does this will get a prize!  The aim is to have fun, finish some stuff and increase the show and tell.  Email Lynda on if you missed it and want to be added to the list. 

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Great November meeting

The November meeting was very busy and very successful. We had the talented Susan Briscoe as a speaker, several interesting demos and the reveal of our challenge fabric competition.  And I missed it!  I was gadding about London with my family celebrating my husbands birthday, but I wished I could have done both! 
Julie and Caroline kindly took some photos of the quilts.  There were 50 kits of two half yards of fabric and a cot wadding taken, and 37 quilts came back.  Susan Briscoe was so impressed with the display that she said it would be worth contacting Grosvenor exhibitions, as she thought they would like a collection like this to display at one of their shows!  I'm sure people would be fascinated to see the variety of responses to the same fabric. 

We had the clever idea of using skirt hangers to display the quilts along the corridor, which worked a treat. 

It allowed people to see the quilts with ease. 

The variety of the quilts was fabulous! 

And the quality of the work was amazing. 

Some of the quilts were hung on the wall bars.  

Here are a few close ups of individual quilts. 

Cute little owls. 

Some crazy patchwork here. 

Flaking leaves. 

And the winner is Jacquie's beautiful quilt.  Well done to all the entrants!  

Saturday, 16 September 2017

September meeting

Now the summer is over, thoughts turn away from the garden towards quilting!  We had a lovely day at the Crescent School and we're very impressed at their renovations!  The hall was bright and cheerful, and the new lighting system was almost too bright!  We were concerned that we might be struggling for tables, but despite several pasting tables being dug out from garages and sheds, we managed very well! 

We had Mo demonstrating a very effective slice and dice block.  This one is perfect for leftover squares and scraps. 

Gwyneth and Madeline showed how to do patchwork of the crosses, first made by Lucy Boston, and ideal for those who like English paper piecing.  This is also a great opportunity for fussy cutting!  

We had 50 sets of free fabric and a cot wadding for our latest competition.  There are two different half yards of fabric for you to make up into a quilt top.  You have to add fabric of your own and bring it back to the November meeting.  There will be prizes for the ones liked best by the members.  It will also be a master class on how many different ways there are to use the same fabric!  I already have plans for mine! 

There were also two sales tables.  Julie had gorgeous fabric bundles for sale, 

And Jacquie had books to sell for her charity. 

The main event was the talk on Baltimore quilts by Sandie Lush. She told us how American women used expensive imported fabric to make Broderick Perse quilts, which were then emulated by the middle classes using cheaper plain fabrics to make similar results.  She had lots of slides and then some examples, including an antique block with beautiful small stitches.  She was an interesting and amusing speaker.  Thank you very much, Sandie! 

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Lots of stitches

.Our May meeting was full on!  We had our ever popular sales table, followed by a workshop for everyone to participate in, coupled with opportunities to buy fabulous hand dyed threads and fabrics, then our usual raffle, show and tell and speaker(s)!  We barely had time to eat our cake! 

Here are the lovely Hazel and Terri from InStitches in front of Hazel's City and Guilds final piece.  These ladies were full of inspiration and encouragement and showed both their responses to challenges from the Quilters Guild Contemporary Quilt Group, of which they are both members.  It's always fascinating to see different outcomes from the same starting point.  I particularly liked seeing their journal quilts, made month by month for a year.  Neither of them had managed to last beyond April!  Sounds so familiar! 

Here they are at the start of their workshop, setting off to inspire.  I must admit, that hand embroidery isn't my preferred medium, but I thoroughly enjoyed having a dabble.  Some people took squares for Linus, and here are the results of some of them. 

I will join these up to make a pretty Linus quilt.  

Here are people having fun choosing from the luscious threads and fabrics on offer.  The day was another lovely one, and we look forward to seeing Hazel and Terri at the Festival of Quilts in August. 
One small point about the sales tables.  One member bought a dress pattern recently, and was disappointed to find that not all the pieces were in the packet when she started to cut it out.  Please can you try and check items for sale are complete, or mark them as incomplete so any prospective buyer is warned.  Thank you. 
See you in July!