Thursday, 17 January 2008

Scrap quilts explained.

To start the year off with lots of inspiration, we were lucky enough to hear a talk by Margaret Torrance entitled 'Scrap Quilts'. Margaret is a well-known local quilter, and until recently had a shop in Leicester, where many of us used to go for fabric, advice and inspiration. Her talk showed many different ways of using scraps, from simple four and nine-patches, to snowballs, pineapples and snail's trail. She also gave us tips along the way, such as making sure that every quilt had plenty of dark, medium and light fabrics in it, that yellows must be used with caution and that putting scraps in a carrier bag and shaking them about is a sure way of getting a good mix of fabrics and colours in every block.

Here are some of her quilts, handily draped over a table tennis table! The beautiful courthouse steps is actually made from animal prints. You can also see another courthouse steps quilt with a scrappy piano keys border, a cot quilt in pastel colours made from nine-patches on point and some pineapple quilts on the table. Margaret was very generous in letting people examine and touch her quilts. That's often the best part of the evening, when you can see the quilts close up.

I don't know what has made Ann laugh so much, but I'm guessing it's something Stephanie has said, rather than one of Margaret's hilarious quilts!

It was also good to be able to chat to Margaret (on the left) after her talk, ask questions and clarify a few things, or just catch up with her news and family gossip.

Jenny Rolfe came and brought some examples of the kinds of things which will be produced in her 'Tiny Works of Art' class on 15th March. It is always a change for quilters to work in a small scale and make something which can be completed in a day. Quilts are usually a bit more time-consuming than that! This class is now full, although names can be put on a waiting list.

It was wonderful to see so many people had turned out in the cold and dark to hear Margaret's talk, and lovely to have quite a few visitors as well. I got so excited when I heard there were over 50 people in the hall, that I couldn't keep the camera still! Either that, or Beth and Chris were serving more than just coffee!

The evening finished, as usual, with show and tell. Quilters always like to see others' work, whether it is extravagant or simple. We were all beginners once, and remember clearly how proud we once were (and still are) of quilts which we now would regard as pretty basic. Paula showed some Linus 'Dancing Gingerbread Men' quilts she had made from scraps.

Quilters are very generous people and often use their fabric and time to make quilts for others less fortunate than themselves. This quilt is for one of the many babies born in prison. It is no fault of theirs that they end up in that harsh environment and sadly they have to leave their mothers behind when they are 18 months old, and either go to relatives or into care until their mum's release. Hopefully their quilt will act as a momento of their mother until they are reunited.
Our next meeting will be when Jenny Rolfe will demonstrate machine quilting. Unfortunately it won't be possible for everyone to have a go, but if you are very keen to take advantage of jenny's advice, you can put yur sewing machine in the car, and we will do our best to accommodate you. Either way, it will be an interesting and informative evening.

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