Last month I became a member of another sewing group, the Lindsey Patchworkers, who meet twice a month at the Conoco Rooms in Louth. It’s a very varied group with some ladies preferring the traditional style of patchwork and quilting, while others are keen to work in a much freer and more contemporary style.
At today’s session we got to view an interesting collection of work entitled The Handbag Collection. Created by The Miniature Quilt Group, one of five Specialist Groups that form part of The Quilters Guild, ironically this is smallest of the specialist groups with 140 members nationwide.
The minute detail in these pieces is impossible to appreciate from photos. I couldn’t imagine working on such a minuscule scale and I’m sure tweezers must play an important part! The techniques used in these miniatures are as varied as those for full size quilts but in order to achieve the necessary accuracy at such a small scale members often use foundation piecing or English paper piecing. I believe all of the quilts we saw were no more than 30cm on any one edge, some being much smaller….incredible!
According to the group the most successful fabrics for miniature quilts tend to be the finer cotton fabrics and it naturally follows that fine threads and needles, hand or machine, are also used. For the sandwich layer the group recommend a very low loft wadding or one that can be peeled into thin layers.
Further details about the Miniature Quilt Group can be found on The Quilters Guild website www.quiltersguild.org.uk
Last Saturday I was fortunate to attend the Quilters Guild Area Day at Sitting Ducks in Branston Booths where Susan Denton appeared as guest speaker. Having only just joined the Quilters Guild this is the first time I have attended such an event and I really didn’t know what to expect. What I wasn’t aware of when booking is that Susan is an internationally acclaimed quilter whose highly regarded work is displayed in shows and museums in a number of countries around the globe…..I was in for a treat!
Susan’s talk took us on a journey from her home in Cornwall, up to the Western Highlands of Scotland and across the oceans to far flung places including Iran and Australia. Her travels, and the sights and people she has met, have inspired many of her wonderful quilts. The photograph below is one of a trio entitled “Making the World a Safer Place”. In this she has used the colours of oil, terracotta and turquoise (a combination often seen on mosques) to represent the invasion of Iraq in the form of looted, ancient vases. I found this particularly inspirational, both in design and execution.
Susan Denton shows a selection of her work at the Quilters Guild Area Day.
Everyone was intrigued by the next quilt depicting the seafront at St Ives. We were fascinated by how Susan had created the sky and the sea, which was to become a little clearer during Sundays workshop when we learnt about using grids to create movement and perspective.
During Sundays workshop Susan explained the process of foundation piecing and we all had the chance to try our hand at designing and sewing blocks using this method. We also learnt about tessellating blocks and using grids, both of which open up limitless possibilities for designing and quilting.
The weekend seemed to pass in a flash and during the journey home I found myself wishing I had booked onto Susan’s Colour Workshop which was being held in Louth the following day. Having spoken to Sheila Evans, the regional coordinator, I discovered there was a space available so, at the very last minute, I managed to get myself booked in!
Once again I wasn’t disappointed. We spent Monday and Tuesday learning about how we can manipulate colour values to create schemes for our quilts. Although I was aware of the colour wheel and have always felt confident with putting colour schemes together I have to say that Susan’s workshop allowed me to take my understanding of colour to another level. The following photos show the group hard at work and some of the fabulous colour schemes being developed over the two days.