Newsletter - Nov 2012

Hello Everyone

I can't believe it's time for the next Newsletter. Where does the time go? I know where it's gone for me during the last fortnight - actually finishing off quite a lot of UFOs! Yes, really, including a large quilt for Liz, my daughter. I made the top over a year ago at a residential at Foxlease, but it was just getting around to finishing it, as it always is. Now I have to confess that the reason for the heads down and not stopping til it was all done, was the Church Arts, Crafts and Hobbies exhibition this weekend, and as I had actually put in an application form for table space and quilt stand, well I just had to come up with the goods. I suppose I always get things done under pressure! Now I have to make a quillow in the next ten days before I go off to Scotland for a weeks holiday, followed immediately by teaching the quillow at Foxlease the following Monday. Hey ho - life would be dull without a challenge or two.

And talking of my holiday to Scotland, for those of you not at the October meeting, I have to apologise that I will not be at the November meeting, because that's the day we go, therefore we will not be doing the blocks for our Charity quilt. Instead, because it's such short notice, the evening will be a "Sit, Sew and Chat" time for you to bring your own sewing and finish off some of those UFOs. So plenty for Show and Tell at our Christmas evening.

Our December meeting is our Christmas Social gathering, with mince pies and drinks, judging of the Christmas Challenge to make a fabric toy, the Secret Santa event where we all bring a small item we've made ourselves and put it, wrapped, into the Christmas Sack, ready for us all to "lucky dip" and see what we get. We're doing this as the meeting falls on 6th December which is St. Nicholas Day when traditionally gifts are distributed.

Tracey Pereira will be our Trader that evening. - "From Template to the Internet" is our February meeting with Valerie Nesbitt and Isabelle Soulet with their workshop "Foundation Piecing". Glad to say quite a few of you have booked in for this now that we have pictures and more details of the workshop.

The AGM is in March, followed by Jill from Pyne-needles on Candlewick Embroidery. The workshop in March is our International Quilting Day - see my article in the October Newsletter. Do have a good evening, sewing and chatting next week. I shall be thinking of you at our overnight stop to Scotland. Look forward to seeing you all in December.

Enid Mulholland

This month….

  • Articles from our members
  • Dates for your diaries
  • Next meeting
  • Editorial contact

Articles from our members

A recommendation for a couple of very good trips!

In September, 25 of us visited Whitchurch Silk Mill on a sunny morning and went to the National Needlework Archive in the afternoon. The day was perfect and even the more “blasé” of our members had to admit that it was an educative day without being too academic.

Whitchurch Silk Mill is the oldest working Silk Mill in Britain and is a powerful reminder of the Industrial Revolution. The mill nestles on an island in the beautiful River Test and the old water wheel is still in operation. In the lovely town of Whitchurch you will find many historic buildings and interesting specialist shops (doll house shop for example). We had an excellent guide who explained how the silk thread was created by the silk worm and showed us the different types of silks woven in the mill. The machinery is still in working order and the different stages of weaving are fairly easy to follow. After the visit we understood why silk is so expensive!

Whitchurch is in Hampshire RG28 7AL -

Our guide reminded me about the origin of the discovery which I had always assumed to be a fairy tale not the official version.

About 2700-2650 B.C.E., the Chinese began making silk.

The legend is that Lei-tzu (the emperor’s wife) was in her garden when she picked some cocoons from a mulberry tree, and accidentally dropped one into her tea. When she pulled it out, she found it unwound into one long filament. Then her husband built on this discovery, and developed methods for domesticating the silkworm and producing silk thread from the filaments -- processes that the Chinese were able to keep secret from the rest of the world for more than 2,000 years, creating a monopoly on silk fabric production. This monopoly led to a lucrative trade in silk fabric. It was another woman who helped to break the silk monopoly. About 400 C.E., a Chinese princess, on her way to be married to a prince in India, is said to have smuggled some mulberry seeds and silkworm eggs in her headdress, allowing silk production in her new homeland. She wanted, the legend says, to have silk fabric easily available in her new land. It was then only a few more centuries until the secrets were revealed to Byzantium, and in another century, silk production began in France, Spain, and Italy. For her discovery of the silk-making process, Lei-tzu is also known as Si Ling-chi, or Lady of the Silkworm.

The National Needlework Archive is housed in a stark building but the content is amazing. It stores a documentary and photographic record of textiles located in the community throughout the British Isles. The pièce de resistance is “The Country Wife”, a textile mural made in 1951 for the Festival of Britain by Constance Howard. This stunning 5m wide x 4.5m high 3D textile picture requires cleaning and conservation and is on show to the public while the work is in progress. There are temporary exhibitions and at the time of our visit, we admired works from Thames Valley Contemporary Textiles: “whatever floats your boat”.

The NNA is located in Greenham Business Park, Newbury, RG19 6HW




Jo Gough has very kindly offered to burn any images that you may have from the Festival of Quilts at the NEC on to a CD/DVD. Could you either give Jo the photographs on a USB stick or on the original card from your camera as she has a few different card readers she can use (Jo will of course return all your bits to you!).

Please can you either see Jo direct or pop your card/memory stick in an envelope with your name on marked for Jo’s attention.
Thank you.


A visit to York

My husband, Steve, and I were able to enjoy a holiday in York in late June when the weather was good and so we were able to explore without worrying about getting wet. We were lucky enough to see the Olympic torch in glorious sunshine as it went through York whilst we were there.

We visited the quilt museum and having walked from the other side of York, via Dutton’s for Buttons, we found the museum but in need of refreshment we visited the Italian delicatessen, Le Langhe, which is part of the same complex. After a delicious lunch we went to the museum and saw the exhibition “Celebrating Diversity” and “Small is Beautiful” which had several of our own Yvonne Blatchford quilts on display. The diversity exhibition was interesting with two quilts from each the countries in the European Quilt Association, some were very striking, well worth a look and the explanation booklet given to us by the guide was very useful.

St Anthony’s hall is a lovely building and a good place when it was rather warm outside but I can imagine it’s very cold in the winter. After several hours looking at the quilts and talking to the volunteer manning the exhibition we retired to the Italian for coffee and cake very yummy!! Before walking back to our holiday home.

As those of you who have the British patchwork and quilting will have seen the small article on the letters page from the guild appealing top people to visit if they are in York then certainly do so it’s worth it even of the museum is a little away from the main York attractions.



Three months for the price of One!

At our participation evening in November, we are not constrained to a strict timetable, so everyone will have time to chat, sew and have a good look at all the books on the library trolley + novels in a separate box. We also have several items of equipment for hire, which will be on display, to help with various techniques connected with patchwork and quilting, so do have a browse at these.

Various patterns/ project books will be on sale (donations)
*no library before February 2013!


Tracey Pereira at Quiltmehappy is our trader for December.

If you wish to have a preview of what she has on offer, look at her website; she has some very unusual material and trims., N.B. Tracey won’t be able to take cards on 6th December, so come with plenty of cash!


From Kate and Tracy who came to Southampton Quilters in September

With Christmas approaching we have the perfect opportunity for you to get creative and learn how to make some gorgeous unique handmade presents for your friends and family. Details of the workshop via the website link.

What? One Day Print and Dye Workshop £45
When? Saturday 3 November 2012 10am to 4pm

About this workshop. Shibori dyeing has been practised in Japan for over 1000 years and the ingenious methods of shaping and compressing fabrics before dyeing can produce amazing textiles. Throughout the day students will have the opportunity to produce a series of experimental samples exploring a variety of ways to manipulate fabric by plucking, binding, stitching and folding to create different pattern based on both traditional Japanese methods and contemporary adaptations. Students will also be able to create a simple printing block which can be used to create layering effects on their dyed samples.

Port and Lemon



What’s new in the library!
Many people have asked in the past if the library had a book on free motion quilting. There is now: Free-Motion Quilting, a beginner’s guide with 50+ visual tutorials and 6 quilt projects. It is a very good book!

There is a book on painting in the library called “The painted quilt” by Linda & Laura Kemshall. It is a good book but not for a beginner. Quote from the book “Noticing which quilts catch your attention at a show and spending a little time analysing why they appeal is an easy and enjoyable way to develop powers of observation and evaluation. You can find out a lot about yourself and your likes and dislikes this way.”