This is my second blog post....April 2018
A quilt lamenting the demise of specialist quilt and needlecraft shops got me thinking about the number of such shops around the country that have closed over the past eighteen months. We head to the internet looking for bargains, but when we bypass our local retailers we risk losing them. If a local shop closes we lose more than just a place to buy fabric.
The local quilt shop offers experiences and services, such as classes, that the internet can't match. While You Tube gives useful demonstrations, there is no substitute for the guidance and input of a real live teacher, who can respond to your particular query and work alongside you to find a solution.
Quilt shops also provide advice and expertise on design, pattern and colour choices. Often employees of a quilt shop are experienced quilters and embroiderers themselves and can thus give good advice when helping you choose thread, embellishments, batting and tools to help you undertake your project. Some shops run stitching groups which become social hubs for those who participate.
By shopping on line you deny yourself the pleasure of actually seeing and handling the products before you buy. I enjoy flicking through the pages of books and magazines at Minerva. I then know what the content is like and if it is what I really want. I love visiting quilt shops. Each one has a different aesthetic. While the internet offers limitless choice, sometimes a judiciously edited, more limited range can actually help you choose. Finally there is no substitute for stroking the fabric.
Fyvie Murray, WQ president
This is my first blog post ...February 2018
Happy new year everyone! The Christmas rush is now a dim memory and the long, hot days of summer stretch before us – not the best conditions in which to quilt, but a good time to think and plan. WQ's have an exhibition coming up in October so it would be a good idea for members to reassess that half-finished project, and think about the finishing touches that will make your heart, and the quilt, sing. Or begin planning a new project that you have really wanted to do but kept putting off. Sometimes having a deadline can galvanise us into bringing a project to the finish line.
I would urge all members to take a look at your work and select something for the 2018 exhibition. I have seen some lovely quilts made by members of WQ. Sadly we are inclined to underrate ourselves and dismiss our work as “not exhibition quality” – whatever that may be! I was one of those quilters once. When I plucked up the courage to show a quilt for the first time at guild show and tell, a vastly more experienced quilter complimented me and urged me to put it into the guild exhibition. My first reaction was that while I was pleased with it, it was not show quality. Her response was that it was worth entering, and did I, or anyone else, really know what “show quality” was anyway. Our exhibition is open to all members. It is about showcasing the variety of things we make and the wonderful stories they tell. These things are interesting. So ladies, get quilting – you all have beauty in you.
We are calling our exhibition “Art of Fabric”. This captures the idea that we craft with fabric to create art. The word ‘art’ references both the process and the product of our efforts. To encapsulate this idea I suggest you take a look at Priscilla Bianchi’s video “The making of Guatemala: Geometric Vocabulary in 4 Looms”. She demonstrates her creative journey for this quilt work from inception to installation. Her work is colourful, beautiful and very accessible and she is just like us. Just click on the link above to see the video.
We have also come up with a challenge for the exhibition titled “Whatever the Weather”. This seemed appropriate given the recent focus on weather events both local and global. It offers scope for a wide range of interpretations, both abstract and pictorial. You could depict a weather event or season, showcase a traditional block with a weather theme such storm at sea, or make a statement about climate change – from poetical to political. The rules are published elsewhere in this newsletter and will appear on the website. The challenge quilt is small enough to enable you to dive into your stash and use up some of those little pieces lurking at the back of the drawer. The small size also allows you to experiment with design and quilting. Please see this challenge as an opportunity to play. The rules are posted on our Challenges page here.
The top of the 2018 exhibition raffle quilt has been completed and is being custom quilted. We look forward to showing it to you as soon as it is finished. On the matter of raffles, we are looking to put together fabric baskets to raise money to meet the costs of our exhibition. It is time to destash! Please pick out some pretty fat quarters for the raffle basket, and bring them to our next monthly meeting.
Fyvie Murray, WQ President