Mole Valley Quilters – what we’ve been doing since Christmas

p1Mole Valley Quilters first meeting of the year followed the same format of previous years – discussion for ideas for future meetings and an opportunity to show fellow members what we were doing during 2015.    We saw some wonderful work ranging from hand-sewn hexagons through cushion covers and first quilts, right up to full size bed quilts both machine and hand sewn. Very sadly one of MVQ’s founders Pat Salmon died in September. Pat had been an inspirational quilter ready to share her skills and knowledge of colour and design with all new to the craft. A sale at the January meeting of Pat’s stash and books allowed MVQ’s to send a cheque to The Princess Alice Hospice.

February’s meeting was a ‘Four Corners’ evening with a patchwork or quilting related idea being demonstrated in each of the 4 corners of the Harrison Room.  In one corner we were shown ‘stitch and flip’ with the quilt as you go technique to use up all the scraps of both wadding and fabric you have lurking in your fabric stash.  Jane demonstrated how even the smallest of pieces could be utilised to make a log cabin style cushion. In another corner members tried three different techniques of using variously coloured foils on fabric and went home with a gilded gift label. Kate showed a variety of gadgets including a turntable cutting mat, acrylic templates for cutting custom patches and an excellent pair of scissors with tiny serrations for cutting small pieces of fabric without fraying. Eleanor demonstrated a wreath using scraps of multi-coloured fabric.

Chris, Jeanette, Mary and Cath have been acting as mentors to a group of beginners in some ‘taster’ quilting sessions run by Jan Godding for the Quilters Guild. More taster sessions in the Autumn. Ruth recently exhibited in the Thames Valley Contemporary Textiles exhibition “Worn Threads”. The instruction for the exhibition entry was to create a piece inspired by a garment which could be an item of clothing, shoes or handbag as a wall piece or 3D. Attached to Ruth’s exhibit was the label – Take one pair of my son’s outgrown military trousers hanging in pieces in my workroom awaiting the alterations I knew would never be done! Add the gift from daughter of a ceramic poppy from the fields of Blood at the Tower of London. How would I display this wonderful gift? In a container made from the redundant trousers!

 At the March meeting members heard about Big Stitch Quilting in All Its Guises from Carolyn Forster. Like many quilting techniques the use of big stitches to join a top, wadding and a backing has wide geographical origins. In Japan they size stitches as per the length of a grain of rice, in Australia Wagga Wagga quilts have big stitching as do Indian Kantha quilts and Durham quilts in the UK. This is quilting that can be seen at a distance. Stitches are longer than usual often using variegated threads and decorative stitches such as cross stitch and cable patterns. Buttons and ties are also used. In this way the quilting becomes a major feature of the work. The technique is all about size and proportion and the good news is that generally it’s a quick way to a finished quilt.  Carolyn showed us many of her wonderful quilts including ribbon quilts and some made using the quilt as you go method demonstrating the quilting techniques earlier explained. It was an inspiring evening for those of us looking for new ways to finish quilts and to do so just a little more quickly.

At time of writing still to come:

7th April is our AGM with ‘Sit and Stitch’ – lots of hexagons to be stitched together for a charity quilt.
5th May Val Little will tell us what’s happening with ‘Project Linus’.
2nd June Janice Gunner is giving a talk titled ‘From Pastime to Profession’.
7th July Paula Doyle will be telling us about the magnificent ‘Magna Carta Quilt’ exhibited locally at Guildford Cathedral last year to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta.

There’s a World Textile Day exhibition on Saturday 4 June in King’s Sutton, near Banbury, Oxfordshire with special guest speakers lined up to inform and entertain you. Full details at

Sue Pindar

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