Coordinators Letter September 2017
Welcome to the latest edition of our newsletter “Pieceful Times” and an especially big welcome to all those who have joined us since our last newsletter in May. Congratulations to those who joined at the Festival of Quilts and were lucky enough to get a goody bag....they didn't last long!
It has been a busy summer and congratulations must be given to anyone who has entered a show, prize winner or not. We have had some successes across the region with awards, rosettes and other commendations both at Sandown and at the Festival of Quilts. There were a large number of entries from Berkshire and Oxfordshire residents at the latter which are reasonably easy to spot from the Show Guide.
Thanks must go to Gill Davies, Jean Cozens and Joe Bennison who stepped up and enabled me to send 3 miniatures to the Miniature Specialist Group for their display on the Guild stand at Festival. Unfortunately, there was not enough space for all to be displayed.
The BBC Get Creative Project / Library Open Day in April has produced a small quilt and we have been approached by Wokingham Library to participate in another event in October. Many thanks to Fran Cooke for being the lead liaison in this.
We are still looking for members to join us on the committee and especially for a newsletter editor as Sue Hammond is now producing her penultimate edition of her 3 year term and can no longer continue in this role. The web editor, Joe Bennison, will soon have completed her term too so please think about whether you could join us and take on one of these roles. Shadowing is possible if you come forward soon, otherwise we, as a committee, will have some difficult decisions as to how to proceed. We meet 3 or 4 times a year for a couple of hours, usually on a Friday morning and exchange emails a bit more regularly as needed!
There is also a vacancy for our Young Quilter's Rep, although there has been some interest in this. We are looking for opportunities for outreach in the community, so if you know of a group who might be interested please let us know. Young Quilter's what would you like to do?
If you have any ideas for the workshops at our Regional Days, please contact me. There is an opportunity to borrow Tutor Boxes from the Modern Group of the Quilters Guild and if there were interest, we could hire a hall and get sewing! However, we do need to know that this is what you want.
Can you write an article for our next newsletter? At the moment this is very much committee driven but could be much more about you. We can only write about what we know!
Finally, many many thanks to those of you who opted into our e-newsletter, it has made a small difference to the increasing costs overall although we will be looking at whether this is the best way to continue.
Festival of Quilts 2017
I went to the F of Quilts every day! Curiously it was much less tiring than one visit, but I was very lucky to have a lift every day. I also signed up for a talk/demonstration every day, all were very audible and easy to follow with two screens above the stage and I loved the inspiration and also found it restful and it gave me a chance to have a drink and nibble without wasting viewing time. I also attended the award ceremony and it was good to see photos of the winners’ quilts and very exciting to see Annelize collect her first prize and Sandra Newton, a member of Fitzharrys Quilters, be awarded two second prizes. Susan Brown, Joe? Bennison, Debbie Watson and Gill Towell (Berkshire Modern Quilters) had a HC for their Angel of the North. Well done Region 6!
Biggest thrill was seeing our Workhouse Quilt from the Abingdon Museum exhibition on display and watching people spend some time looking at it. We won no prizes, we didn’t expect to, but had nice comments from the two judges and it was interesting to see the categories they judge on (Design - Visual Impact, Emotional Response; Originality/Content; Design, Composition, Colour; Choice & Suitability of Materials; Surface Design/Embellishment. Construction - Piecing: Construction & Accuracy, Applique: Design & Execution; Quilting: Design & Execution; Edges: Suitable finish, hangs well). These categories are then ticked as Excellent, Good, Satisfactory, Needs Attention & Not Applicable. Pretty thorough! We had Good’s apart from 2 Excellent’s (yippee), and one Satisfactory so we felt very chuffed and full of admiration for the judges – what a huge task they have!
In my Fiddle Finger Quilts role I “wore” some fidget quilts and Karen (my partner in crime) and I had some wonderful conversations as we walked around, making good contacts, learning more and being re-inspired.
The quilts – the whole point of the show – were amazing! So many of them, most humblingly well made and sparking lots of ideas. Even more inspiring, but also rather terrifying, were the quilt galleries showing the work of established quilters – work I felt I could never aspire to, but loved looking at! And the shops, so many of them, and being there for four days I ended up smuggling quite a bit back with me!
The Quilters’ Guild had a good presence, stands as you entered for all aspects of the Guild with examples and people to talk to. They also had a display of historic quilts alongside one of Pauline Burbidge’s quilts.
We are so lucky to have an international show like The Festival of Quilts on our doorstep – I feel topped up for the year ahead now!
In the Spotlight
A Festival of Quilts Gallery to showcase quilters nominated by their regions or specialist groups.
Sometime towards the middle of 2016, I received communication from HQ asking us as a Region to nominate an up and coming quiltmaker to represent the Region in this Gallery at Festival 2017.
Little knowing how the rest of 2016 and early 2017 was going to pan out for her, Annelize Littlefair agreed to accept the challenge of the nomination and was accepted by HQ.
There were 18 quilts from 14 Regions and 4 specialist groups on the theme “No Place Like Home”.
All were very different.
Annelize described her quilt: The title of the quilt is “All journeys lead home” and I designed the centre medallion myself, then used a foundation piecing pattern from Norah McMeeking of Bella Bella quilts for the outer areas.”
After the show, we were all given feedback about our quilts and I was delighted to hear that Norah McMeeking was at the show and had left this in the guest book : “Annelize, I was gobsmacked to see your Bella Bella quilt - Wow! It is wonderful - such a thrill for me to see it! Norah McMeeking Santa Barbara, CA”
This was the feedback given to me by the organiser of the exhibition afterwards :
"I was in the gallery when Norah McMeeking came in and had quite a conversation about your quilt. She said that when she made the design she had hoped that people would build on it and that yours was the first quilt she had seen that did what she had always hoped. She was really quite stunned. It was a very personal accolade, and I just wish you had been there to meet with her and hear her at first hand. In more general terms, visitors to the gallery were really enthralled by what they saw as the technical perfection of your piece, and many people quizzed me about your techniques. I pointed them to the gallery folder and I think they went away happy!”
Well done Annelize and thank you!
If you have any success stories or news that you'd like to see on our Region's pages please contact Joe Bennison