QuiltFest Entries due by Friday

Don’t forget to send your entry forms for your quilts to hang in this summer’s Quilt Fest exhibition.  Sue Wakefield needs your forms by Friday morning, 21st April.

The entry form and further information is in Sue’s recent e-mail to members.

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Latest News


For those of you who didn’t manage to get to the meeting here is a photograph of the hearts we made.  Members started on the two simple ones at the bottom and then some brave souls had a go at some of the other shapes.


We also saw the results of the Chinese Whispers challenge – pictures to follow.


I know many of you managed to go to the show and I hope you agree it was worth attending.  Congratulations to Stephanie Crawford who won the Best Machine Quilting prize with her quilt By the Light of the Moon and Liz Hewitt who was the Art Quilt Runner Up with her piece Anthology.


This is Stephanie’s quilt and she has written a few words about it:

By The Light of the Moon is of a purely imaginary harbour scene at night.   As the viewer is looking in from the other side of the harbour, they can use their imaginations to decide what is happening.  It is painted with fabric paints on white cotton, with appliqué and lots of free machining.


On a wild, wet and windy Saturday the best place to be was at Christine Seager’s workshop!

We all had a wonderful day learning new techniques and challenging our skills.  Excellent tuition ensured we felt confident and supported throughout the day.

The new venue worked well with lots of parking.

Looking forward to seeing some finished pieces at Show and Tell next month.


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Work by Sue Norman, Ruth Ellams, Sue Wakefield, Helen Thomas, Vikki Bradley, Ruth Case, Di Bell, Paddy Henessey and Natalie Taylor.


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This is the map for the workshop venue at Almondsbury Scout Hut.


As those of you who came to the January meeting will know, there was a significant change to the programme.  Kathryn Chambers was to be our speaker but, due to an oil tanker spilling its load on the M5 and all the roads in the region being gridlocked, Kathryn was unable to get to us.

Fortunately we were rescued by Sandie Lush who nobly stepped into the breach and gave us a fantastic, illustrated talk on her work.  She brought along lots of quilts (and her husband who did great work with the projector).  Many, many thanks to Sandie.  You would never have known that she had just two hours’ notice!

Kathryn will now come to us next year!

Keen website visitors will notice that there is now a new page within the Members’ Only area – Quiltfest 2017.  This currently contains the info about voting for a charity which Quiltfest will support.  Sue Wakefield is heading the exhibition team and will be adding information as and when needed.  Eventually it will transfer to the Home Page for the public to access.  In the meantime, please send your votes to Sue.


Ann Rippin would be very grateful if you would take a little time to respond to an electronic survey about your patchwork and quilting activities following on from the visit of Marybeth Stalp.

Below is a link for an online survey:

October 3rd

A Day with Marybeth Stalp.

About 40 of us enjoyed a fascinating day with Marybeth Stalp at the Friends Meeting House today.

Marybeth is a professor of sociology at the University of Northern Iowa.  She is also a quilter and is especially interested in how quilting affects women’s lives.  Ann Rippin of Bristol University (and Bristol Quilters) arranged for Marybeth to spend some time in Bristol talking about her work and doing further research into her subject.

In the morning we had a lively, illustrated talk from Janet Haigh of Heartspace Studios in Bristol – who many Bristol Quilters know.  Janet was talking about crazy quilting and how we can find design ideas for crazy quilting in all sorts of places.   She has been influenced by time spent in Japan and the designs on old kimonos.  She showed us lots of examples of how hand embroidery can enhance crazy quilts and other examples of a modern take on crazy quilting using ribbons to edge the shapes.  Janet has been working with Kaffe Fassett and has used his fabulous, colourful fabrics and ribbons in her work.  She teaches crazy quilting at Heartsease for those interested in finding out more.

Marybeth is very unusual in that she is an academic studying how patch working and quilting impacts on the lives of women.  She talked about the “stash” and how so many women feel obliged to conceal how much they have from partners and family.  She has done a lot of research into the subject and, indeed, continues to do so.  Her talk was fascinating and she is an excellent speaker.  She has very kindly donated a copy of her book “Quilting, the fabric of everyday life” to Bristol Quilters’ library.  I asked her to sign the book and she did so with the words “Embrace the Stash”.

We had a Show ‘n’ Tell session after lunch and saw some fine examples from Bristol Quilters including recycling, stash busting etc.   Also a wonderful quilt made over a century ago for an old lady by her servants.

We then did what quilters do best and spent some time sewing together – working on our own project or making things to be sold for St Peter’s Hospice.

A delightful day.  Many thanks to Ann Rippin, who worked so hard to bring it together and to Marybeth Stalp and Janet Haigh.

July meeting

Gina Ferrari was our speaker this month and her subject was very unusual and intriguing.  She has made a series of corsets based on figures from history and from fiction – Anne Boleyn, Marie Antoinette, Frida Kahlo, Miss Havisham from Dickens and Persephone from mythology?  They all involved different techniques using all sorts of materials.  Persephone’s corset was made using lots of those plastic netting bags fruit comes in, although you would never know it.  Marie Antoinette’s bodice was knitted and she also had an amazing wig made from lots of knitted cupcakes which Gina modelled for us!

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Social Afternoon at Berwick Lodge


We had a delightful afternoon at Berwick Lodge today in the Mews Annexe.  Although the sun didn’t shine, we were in a very pretty place and those of us who hadn’t been there before agreed it was a great venue for a social gathering.

On arrival we had tea or coffee and then settled down to some sewing and chat.  We brought lots of ready prepared squares of fabric with us and put them in boxes in a side room.  Each of us chose 16 co-ordinating fabrics to sew into blocks (some made two or even three!  I made one).


It was really pleasant to have time to talk to a few people you don’t get to chat with at a BQ meeting.  Sandie Lush, who is currently on a sabbatical, was able to join us and we also welcomed three people from the current waiting list and June Tweney’s daughter.

We earned our cream tea which was delicious.


The fuzzy photos were taken on my I-phone.  The lovely clear ones were taken by Sorcha Torrens – thank you Sorcha.

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We achieved a lot in one afternoon and a number of people got really enthusiastic and took fabric home to make more blocks!  We shall certainly have enough for the quilt and probably for a lot of baby quilts and cushions too!  These are some……


Ruth Case has very kindly offered to host a session for putting the blocks together, adding sashing/wadding/backing.  The quilting will be straight lines, so not difficult.  If anyone would like to offer to do this it would be wonderful!  The One25 Project who are our chosen charity to receive this quilt are planning an auction in November and it would be a very good opportunity for them to raffle the quilt for their funds.  So the aim is to complete in plenty of time.

Does anyone know who originally suggested this charity?  Please let me know if it was you.


Alison Moger, from the welsh valleys, was our speaker at the June meeting. She talked to us about the strong welsh women in her family who have influenced her work. The title was Threads of Memory and she showed us lots of pieces representing the various women from her life.

Many of her pieces start with a recycled tablecloth as she has happy memories of sitting around the table listening to these women talking and interacting and she made us laugh with stories about them.

She works on the tablecloths in various ways – cutting holes and re-stitching them, printing and embellishing. A very delicate piece was about her frail aunt with dementia and another had metallic embellishments representing her feisty grandmother who plonked hot pans directly down onto the tablecloth!

Her stitched pictures and cards have a quirky and humorous element to them and Alison has a funny story to attach to most. It was good to get close to her work and see the detail involved.

Alison Moger

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Textiles can be political!


This quilt by Nedra Clark made the BBC News this week.  You might like to look at the link:    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-37450269

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Grosvenor Shows

Retrospective Exhibition:

Just to let you know that Chris Porter and Stephanie Crawford have collections of their quilts touring various Grosvenor Shows this Autumn and if you are going to any of them you might like to have a look. The quilts will be at the following venues:

23 – 25 September – Inglestone, Edinburgh

30 September – 1st October – Maidstone, Kent

21 – 23 October – Malvern

28 – 30 October – Duxford

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Workshop with Stuart Hillard

The workshop with Stuart Hillard on machine quilting was a great success and you can see the smiling faces below.

Hopefully we shall see some of the results at Show n Tell over the next few meetings.

Natalie, as always, did a brilliant organising job and Chris Porter was a great quilt angel for the morning.  Natalie says thanks to everyone for packing the room away really quickly and efficiently!


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Talk from Stuart Hillard

I don’t remember being at a BQ talk when we have laughed as much as we did last night when Stuart Hillard was our speaker!


We were wonderfully entertained – Stuart is a natural speaker and I suspect he could have gone on for a lot longer but, unfortunately, we have a time limit on the hall.

We heard about Stuart’s early years, his career in primary school teaching and on to his blossoming career following (and a little before) he appeared on The Sewing Bee – all illustrated with hilarious anecdotes.

It was fascinating to get the inside story into the way the Sewing Bee was planned and filmed, including the apparently abundant fabric store actually being mainly a front!

We heard about some of the celebrities Stuart now meets – at book festivals, quilt shows etc. etc.  I particularly liked hearing about Zandra Rhodes, who sounds wonderful.

Stuart also showed us lots of his quilts, starting with his first table runner and through to some amazing quilts which feature in his latest book.

As usual I took a few pictures on my phone –  apologies as always for the quality!

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Weston Super Quilts 2016

Weston Super Quilts 2016
On Friday 9 September and Saturday 10 September 2016
Open friday 10 am till 8 pm Saturday 10 am till prize giving at 3.15 pm with some time after prize giving.
Venue The United Reformed Church Hall, Waterloo Street, Weston-s-Mare, BS23 1LF.
There will be 2 traders Mark Pickles and The Cotton Reel, along with a group sales table. We will be serving homemade cakes with either a cup of coffee or tea.
Entrance £2.50 to include a catalog.
I do hope some of your members will be able to come along to our show.
Best wishes
Karen Llewellyn-Parsons
on behalf of Weston QuiltersWeston Super Quilts

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