Monday, 23 November 2009

Christmas Social

This month's meeting was a nice relaxed way to start the Christmas season. Lots of time to chat and socialise, a free raffle, lovely refreshments and three demonstrations to inspire, and of course, not forgetting show and tell!

Here are the raffle prizes, tantalisingly wrapped. I wonder how many have survived temptation to be put under the tree? I know mine didn't!
Here are people taking the opportunity to catch up with the latest news - or gossip - while sampling the goodies on offer!
Liz was demonstrating some very clever flowers which would look fabulous on bags or as brooches. She had a couple pinned to her coat to show the effect.
'Fairy slippers' was the title of this demo. It was a chance to make some really original Christmas tree decorations, and use up some of your special sparkly bits at the same time.
And here Margot shows how to make a simple wrist pin cushion (she's modelling it too!) for times when you need to have your pins really handy!

Show and tell came round really quickly and was suitably kicked off by Gaynor, showing the fabric crackers she had made. All she needs now are some small gifts to go inside, and a more attractive container! She'd also made two Father Christmas dolls. Although they were identical, their faces seemed to have quite different expressions.
I showed the diagonal strippy quilt I'm making for Linus. It was a technique I showed last month, so I thought people would be interested in how it had turned out. I just need to bind it now.Paula made this bright quilt for a young relative from strips of pictures. It looks really cheery.

Ginnie's rainbow quilt is for her daughter. She had a bit of trouble getting the colours in the correct sequence, but it turned out beautifully.

Many of us have seen Sylvia working on her Patchwork of the Crosses, as it has taken her a long time to complete. It is completely hand sewn over papers (except for the borders) and is destined to be a wedding present for her grandaughter, who will soon become Mrs Cross! Sylvia has wisely decided to have it professionally quilted by Ann.

Bunty has made this charming Christmas wall-hanging at a Jenny Almond workshop,

and this sophisticated brown and turquoise streak of lightning design as well. A bit of a departure for Bunty, colour-wise!

Ruth had made a quilt for soldiers, using some old duvet covers. Very masculine.

She had also had a go at flower ponding. I'm amazed that she managed to find so much colourful material in her garden at this time of the year! She has embellished the designs slightly with embroidery to make this gorgeous cushion cover.
Ruth has also been busy organising more outings for next year. Saturday 10th April we will be going to Quilts in the Garden at Trentham Gardens. Saturday 29th May to the Patchwork School House demonstrations & mini workshops at Threads & Patches. And the one everyone will be loking forward to, the 300 Years of Quilting Exhibition at the V&A in London. Dates will be chosen from March 20th, June 19th or June 26th by members at the January meeting. We are going by coach on all these trips with pick up points at Market Harborough (8.30), North Kilworth (8.45) & Lutterworth (9.00). Put these dates in your diary and sign up for them in January.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Annual General Meeting

AGMs aren't usually very well attended - I know some groups who try and tempt people along by offering cheese and wine or other bribes. However, we don't need to do this to get people along to a Piecemakers AGM - they're interested in the group and what's going on!

Di gave us a brief outline of all the things which happened in the last year. We had well-known speakers such as Jenny Almond, Jenny Raiment, Felicity Howatson, Sandie Lush and Linda Rudkin to enthuse us, and several of these also ran workshops for us. We had outings to Redditch Needle Museum, Hemingford Grey and Chilford, which were all meticulously organised by Ruth, well-supported and enjoyed by all. We held the bi-annual exhibition of our work which brought nearly 200 visitors and raised a substantial amount for group and charity funds, apart from raising the profile of patchwork and quilting generally. We made a group quilt, 'Up, Up and Away' which we exhibited at The Festival of Quilts at the NEC and we also raised money for the Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance, apart from supporting other charities, notably Project Linus and Help the Heroes. We were sad to hear that both Di and Stephanie were retiring from the committee, but thanked them very much for their work over the years.

Next year looks to be as interesting. Speakers include Anja Townrow, Angela Madden, Susie Corke, Margaret Shah and Ferret and there will be at least four workshops, one of which will be specifically for beginners. Ruth has the members' wish-list of possible trips, including the Redditch Needle Museum (again!), a museum with old quilts, a National Trust property, the American Museum in Bath and a day workshop at Threads and Patches. She will investigate these and let us know. Membership fees are to remain the same for the next year, and it would be useful if members could bring their £15 in an envelope with their name on to the January meeting, to speed up the payment system. Receipts and membership cards will be given out at the February meeting.

Ruth did a demonstration of Manx log cabin, while I was demonstrating a diagonal strippy technique. Unfortunately I didn't manage to get any photos of us, but perhaps that's not such a bad thing! Then on to show and tell.

Muriel showed this lovely chevron quilt in bright colours - shame my photography leaves a lot to be desired!

Nik revealed that she and her husband have been having some difficulties in the bedroom department. Apparently there is some tugging of covers going on, so she made this large quilt to stave off divorce proceedings. We were really impressed with the front,

and then we saw the back! The batik prints are to be found on Milton Keynes market at a bargain price! They are fabulous!

My New Year Resolution was not to make any Suffolk puffs this year, but Doreen's lovely trees are very tempting. And this cheery wreath (which sent her to the charity shop for more buttons!) is a super idea.

Alison had made this sweet cot quilt (and a starry project under her arm).

Gaynor brought the wall hanging she had made in the Jenny Almond workshop in September. It's perfect for the festive season.

Here is another Jenny Almond Christmas table runner with Father Christmases at either end.

I always find it fascinating how the arrangement of even simple blocks can make very different results. Here is a prime example of how straightforward diagonal blocks can be put together to produce very varied blocks.

Sylvia brought a couple of quilts which have been made to give to wounded troops and made by a local group. The fabrics must be plain (or at least, not floral!) but the quilts are far from boring.

This one is made from stripes of chevrons and patches and pockets from shirts! This is the essence of patchwork - nothing is wasted!