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Dian Smith describes her quilting journey.

16 May

Dian Smith came from Swansea to speak to us in May and told us about her quilting journey using some beautiful quilts. Dian’s work covers every aspect of patchwork and quilting, from large (10’6″ square) bed quilts traditionally pieced to tiny pictorial postcard size miniatures, from chenille teddies to silk evening bags. Kantha, Mola, Trapunto, Applique, pieced and foundation pieced. Although her favourite technique is freestyle and painted quilts, layering and stitching until you achieve the desired effect. Dian does workshops on various things including ‘free motion quilting for the terrified’, chenille, trapunto, lovely bags made out of old jeans and impressionist ‘painting’with fabric and thread.





This is both sides of the same quilt!


Christmas Tree with lights and bags with crocheted ring pull handles. Very clever!


Stunning miniatures and postcards.


Blodeuwedd (a beautiful woman made from flowers), one of the legends belonging to the Mabinogion, a famous collection of old Welsh legends.


Thank you Dian, some inspiring work!


GQ member Keris Howard has finished a quilt that she started 20 years ago which was originally intended to be a cushion! Over the last few years it took on a life of it’s own and became a beautiful quilt. Keris used the scraps from the borders to make a pair of matching crazy patchwork cushion covers!

Signature Month and Sewing Machines!

13 Mar

This month members were treated to a lively talk from GQ member Gayney Jones. Gayney brought along a Signature quilt she won in a raffle to support MS and what a stunning quilt it is! Signed by an array of famous people including Joanna Lumley, Nick Faldo and Victoria Wood, it is beautifully made using 4 inch blocks.


Gayney was 1st prizewinner again when she made this lovely quilt to commemorate the Centenary of the WI. She made best use of the fabrics, colours and design to show off all the things the WI stood for  in the past and carries forward with passion into the future.


Gayney brought a selection of Christmas things she has made to inspire members. We were all eager to have a closer look in preparation for this year!



A rail fence quilt was one of the first things Gayney made. This poppy hanging is beautiful.


Bath Sewing Studio.

 We had a queue of machines waiting for servicing by Mark Pickles of Bath Sewing Studio today.  The service was very thorough with each machine being treated to a good clean, adjustment and a new needle with lots of expert advice on hand for problems. To be recommended! They also brought along a great range of fabrics for us to browse and choose from. A busy day and fabrics too!



Presentation time!

20 Oct

At our meeting on Saturday 8th October we had a visit from representatives of Ty Hafan, Julie Williams and Emma Sankey. Sully the Bear came too, he likes to get into all the photos! GQ Chair Caroline Leonard, presented a check to Ty Hafan for £3000, monies raised at the 35th Anniversary Exhibition in July.


Julie also brought a beautiful quilt with her to show members that had been made by Mary Edwards, her Nan’s Grandmother, who was a professional quilt maker over a hundred years ago.


Christmas Show and Tell.

Members were invited to bring in their favourite homemade Christmas decorations,  old or new, for a Show and Tell session. There were some beautiful examples with such a variety of different things from tree skirts and baubles, to wall hangings and table runners. Lots of ideas to take away and get started on!







Then to continue the Christmas theme, work started on making decorations for the Christmas Tree Festival in Holy Cross Church, Cowbridge. More to come on this next month!

To round off a very busy day Heulwen showed a gorgeous Lynne Edwards quilt as you go sampler she has worked hard to complete. Started in September 2015 and completed September 2016. Truly amazing!


A Great Start to the New Year

6 Oct

Hello all,

I am Corinne Roberts and I will continue to update the Blog going forward. A huge thank you to Monica Dennis for setting up this blog and making it so successful. Please keep your comments coming, I will be interested to know what you think.

Everyone came back refreshed and ready to start on a variety of projects after the summer break, from cushions and hexagons to working on a Welsh tea towel. We’re looking forward to the Show and Tell sessions!


Wendy Floyd demonstrated the last block in a series of nine folded squares to her enthusistic group. Thank you Wendy for your patient instruction, for writing them out and including the paper patterns! We are hoping to see lots of finished cushions in the not too distant future.


It was a busy meeting with members rejoining, filling in the usual forms, paying subscriptions and keeping the committe on their toes.  The programme for the coming year is a full one with some interesting workshops, speakers and events ahead. “Strippy Briads” with Judi Mendelssohn, a “Quilt Suitcase”, what could they be? Mmmmm!

An interesting year ahead and I for one can’t wait! See you all at the next meeting.


A Thought Provoking Start to the New Year

9 Jan

It was lovely to see so many members eager to get sewing again after the Christmas celebrations.

And, our first meeting was made all the more memorable with an extermely interesting and thought provoking talk from Maggie Cullinane from Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Her talk was about the Mothers of Africa charity and the work that Maggie and others had been involved in in Zambia.

Maggie talking

Maggie also showed quilts that had been made to support the charity

Made by students and panels included from GQ members Monica Dennis and Hilary Carney

Made by students and panels included from GQ members Monica Dennis and Hilary Carney

Panels made by members of the Cardiff Met University Art school

Panels made by members of the Cardiff Met University Art school

Digitally embroiderd photographs from Zambia visit

Digitally embroiderd photographs from Zambia visit

A huge vote of thanks to Maggie for sharing her experiences and for making us so much more aware of such a worthwhile charity

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.