Sunday, 21 October 2007

October's Linus Evening (and AGM)

October is the month when we hold our annual AGM - a necessary part of any group's calendar, but not one we intended to protract!

The highlights of the evening were the Treasurer's report - delivered in Stephanie's absence - and Chairman's report. The group's funds were shown to be in a very healthy state, and have allowed us to buy some ironing boards, irons and extension leads for future use. We will be able to book some well-known (and thus expensive!) speakers for next year. Di gave a round-up of the year, and it was amazing to hear what we had packed in, from a visit to see some of Birmingham's old quilts to our own exhibition. Our workshops had been very popular, and we are already planning some for next year. Andrea and Bunty gave a report on the exhibition, which was a great success. We had 120 visitors over the weekend, and have more than covered our costs as well as giving a lot of people (including ourselves) a lot of pleasure. The Visitors' Choice labels were won by Andrea for 'Country Sampler' and Bunty for 'Back to the Henhouse'. This aspect of the show proved very popular, with 38 out of the 73 quilts being chosen as someone's personal favourite.

Di agreed to stay on in the chair, and Andrea, Bunty, Gill and Paula also agreed to continue as committee members. Lynda had decided that after 7 years on the committee, it was time to let others with fresh ideas take her place. The committee gave her a beautiful bunch of yellow roses and some gift vouchers as a thankyou for all her hard work.

Next, sewing machines were fetched and the Linus boxes were raided for kits of blocks , wadding and backing. Margot decided to put some gingerbread men blocks together, sashing them with yellow.
Chris helped with the arrangement and pressing of the blocks.
Jackie and Eileen won the prize for the fastest team, managing not only to complete a top, but wad and tack it ready for quilting too!

Elaine was doing a bit of un-sewing (some blocks that had been sewn together incorrectly at another time) and Di was giving her some moral support.
Ruth had become intrigued by the Mile a Minute block, and had chosen pretty pink, purple and blue fabrics to have a go at this technique. Lots of people were interested in watching her progress, and she had soon assembled a large team of cutters, pressers and general advisers to help her!
On the night we completed two tops (Jackie and Eileen's and Margaret put together a t-shirt top as well) and started several others, which will be completed for the next meeting. Those people who hadn't brought their machines were able to help the sewers and have a look at some of the possible simple quilts which can be made for this worthy cause.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Exhibition success!

This weekend has been our exhibition and it was a great success.
The committee had several meetings to plan it and have thrashed out such weighty matters as where to put the refreshment tables, who has got the white gloves, who can make an 'A' board and how much to charge for teas and coffees! Seriously, the planning beforehand made the whole setting up of the exhibition, not exactly stress-free, but well organised. Unfortunately, we couldn't set up until 9pm on the Friday night before the event, so people were hard at work till midnight, erecting quilt stands and hoisting quilts, then back at 9am the next morning to add the last few quilts, put the finishing touches to the sales table and add to the other displays. Luckily, we had plenty of helpers, and all was ready for the chairman of Harborough District Council to cut the ribbon and declare the exhibition open at 11 o'clock, bang on schedule!
Here is the banner in place, to welcome people to the hall (and reassure them that they were in the right place, as some had difficulty finding the hall, despite our 'A' board on the main road, and lots of other signs.)
Lots of visitors came to look at the quilts (and have a natter).
We even had some male visitors - I think they really came for the cake!
I hope that lady isn't touching the quilts, as there were plenty of notices to warn, and white gloves in case you felt the need!
At the back of the hall we had a display of cushions, bags, Christmas decorations and small wall-hangings, in fact, all the things which were left over!
Quillows from the recent quillow workshop were much admired, and we were kept busy showing how to fold them away and get them out again. Challenging stuff!
There was a lot of interest in the sales table, as quilters never visit an exhibition without taking their cheque books - just in case!

Final stop for most people was the refreshments room, where teas, coffees, squash and a wide selection of home-made cakes were available. (I was amazed to find that my cake sold out on Saturday! It's usually still hanging around at the end, and then I have to bring it home - and eat it myself!)

By 4pm on Sunday we had had over 120 visitors, all of whom enjoyed their visit. There were many positive comments in the Visitors' Book, and we look forward to welcoming more quilting enthusiasts next time.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Exhibition excitement!

We are getting ready for our exhibition on Saturday and Sunday 13th and 14th October from 11-4 in the Walcote Memorial Hall, and trying hard to get everything right! We have had exhibitions before, but they have mainly been as part of Artsfeast - a celebration of the arts in Lutterworth during its annual Feast Week in August. There were lots of advantages of being part of a larger event (not least the fact that we had free publicity and no venue charges) but there were disadvantages too. St Mary's Church is a spectacular setting for quilts, but it was very difficult to hang quilts safely. Also the timing of Feast Week (in the middle of August) meant that people were often away on holiday, making manning the exhibition problematic.

So, we have decided to go it alone! We have hired the hall for the weekend and will be hanging quilts on Friday night. Although I haven't seen all the quilts, I know from show-and-tell that visitors are in for a treat! There will be a sales table - so make sure you bring your purse - and refreshments (including home-made cakes).

Here is a glimpse of some of the items I am gathering together to take with me on Friday. Looking forward to a great weekend!