Bristol Thinking Futures Day

22 Nov

This was an interesting day organised by Ann Rippin, as part of Bristol Universities Social Sciences open week entitled: Patchwork, Quilting and Keeping it all Together, organised and presented as an academic study.

Julia workshop

Ann welcomed everyone and gave an introductory talk, saying that quilters were not a likely study group, as we were not an oppressed minority, but more likely white, middle aged and affluent. However she felt quilters were a kind of social glue and certainly an important part of the economy. Quoting figures, sadly only from the USA, where the Lehman Group produce a survey every 5 years, Quilters contribute$ 3.6 billion to the US economy, with each “dedicated quilter owning $8542 in books and supplies and $3677 in fabric, also 2.7 sewing machines. There were some nervous giggles of recognition at this point!

There were two presentations, the first by Dr Harriet Shortt, who made a quilt using her Phd. Research materials between handing in her thesis and her Viva, and did actually produce it during her viva saying the pieces of fabric, buttons, photo negatives and notes she had incorporated helped her remember the points she wanted to make while being examined.

The second speaker was Jenny Hall a Senior Midwifery Lecturer, who had made a quilt as her Phd submission using her research findings from interviewing midwives.

We then had a delicious lunch, provided by Kate’s Kitchen, time to get to know some of the other ladies – yes all ladies, and mostly Bristol Quilters attending.

In the afternoon we all got busy stitching squares together to make small quilts for the premature babies at Southmead hospital, while Ann regaled us with some of her Laura Ashley stories.

Would I really like a tablecloth and 12 napkins made for every family occasion!! and Ann really doesn’t like Bernard Ashley.

This was a fun free day with even a few freebies included, a good chance to meet some other quilters and sit and chat, sew and eat.

I would attend another day if one was held in the future, one drawback with the hall used it was in Redlands, and there was residents only parking all around, I had planned to park outside our sons house in Easton and take the train to Clifton, I also used the day to deliver a cot for our new grandchild who will be born at Southmead hospital just before Christmas, we hope.

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