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October 2015 Regional Day

37 members and 5 visitors, gathered in a lovely upstairs room of this surprisingly extensive building, a new venue for us. We were greeted by the tempting wares of trader Batiks n Beads (with Maryke and Geoff Phillips), and also Buttercross Quilters’ exhibition “Flying Geese Challenge”. After coffee and chat we chose a festive kit from our tutor for the morning workshop. 

Teacher and graphic designer Kate Percival explained that she had designed hanging kits for Easter (with yellow bird), Autumn (with oak leaves), and Christmas - as brought for us. Apparently our Bird and Heart Felt Motifs would be weighted with crystal drops from a chandelier, found on her recent house move and trickily dismantled. 

Kate’s clear guidance and can-do approach soon got us started, as she circulated around the room: “You have instructions and a tutor, so use them!” Reassured, we hand-stitched our thick felt star - joining the crystal weight en route, of course. (Kate was passing as I then fumbled to centre a large crystal bead on both sides of my star, but she commented tactfully, “this is the hardest part”!) Soon we were on to our bird. 

The felt decorations gradually took shape, and just before lunch many ‘birds’ began to appear. 

A few others of us chose to finish ours at home! 

Kate then showed more of her inspiring work, with lovely panels of wool felt appliqué, before stopping for lunch. 

People enjoyed looking at the exhibition, visiting the trader and raffle, and even nipping out to the shops. 

Once settled for the afternoon, we admired a Show and Tell of members’ impressive work. Lillian King acknowledged quilts donated to Project Linus and also bags made for the premature baby unit. 

Melyn Robinson had completed the top of a lovely colourwash raffle quilt for December’s Linus coffee morning. 

There followed a touching presentation by Barbara Kingham of “Ann’s Quilt” to husband Tom Williams; it had been completed by Buttercross Quilters after his wife became ill. 

Our speaker Maryke Phillips entertained and inspired with “My Stitching Obsession”, showing a wonderful array of vibrant fabric books and batik log cabin quilts, while explaining her use of black backgrounds to ‘bring them alive’. Lastly she commented that she had included a different variant of Flying Geese to those in the exhibition – painted ones! 

Afterwards people appreciated being able to handle her work and books, with such comments as “so many ideas for something new to try” . . . “Fantastic”. 

Just before tea we had a quick look at Oxfordshire’s completed side of the Regional Banner, ready to join its’ Berkshire partner. Then, after delicious home-made cakes, the raffle draw, and more chats, people finally took their leave ‘until the next time’. 

Lastly, a brief word of thanks to the Buttercross ‘locals’ for their stalwart support as committee-extras. Members in general said that they had really enjoyed the day, (even “the whole day was great”) – with some mention of ‘relaxing hand-stitching’ soothing an initial problem in finding the car park. 

Sheila Dunscombe