Monthly Meeting September 2021

8th September 2021 – Quilts 4 Care Leavers Workshop

What a joyous occasion that was – the return to Albury Hall to actually mix with friends with a similar passion for sewing after long months of fighting with computers (or not, for some of us).

Gerry opened by welcoming us all back. At this point we have to congratulate Gerry on holding us together so well, for getting to grips with Zoom and for keeping us up to date with our hobby. One day, during lock down, whilst I was happily chopping up material, my husband said “I don’t see the point of cutting up a perfectly good piece of material into little pieces only to sew it back together again”! He doesn’t understand (I’m sure he has a place reserved for me with the gentlemen in white coats). So it was wonderful to be back with a room full of friends, old and new, who do not think there is anything odd about cutting up perfectly good lengths of material before sewing them together again. It also restored my doubts about my sanity!

We were gathered on this first occasion to make Blocks for Quilts for Care Leavers (Huggie quilts). The idea being that 16 -18 year old children, leaving care, would have something to wrap around themselves to ‘give them a hug’.

The day had been organised by Rita who, in true Blue Peter fashion, had prepared the various stages of the block and had them laid out on the table before us. She then proceeded to talk us through the stages with the help of her chest! Lynda was ahead of the game and had created a beautiful quilt top which gave us an idea of the size etc. (6 blocks across x 4 down). She confessed to me that she had got a little carried away and added other colours and some lovely feature stitching, but that is the joy of patchwork, anything goes and it all looks great.

Then we were let loose……

We had tables of cutters, sewing machines and ironing stations. There was of course the availability of tea, coffee and delicious cakes – provided this time by the committee (You’ve set the bar very high ladies)! People dispersed and started beavering, chattin, drinking tea and coffee and eating cake. There was also the return of the raffle. OK, who amongst us were not hoping to have the first number pulled out so we could select the small pack of material? As if we all don’t have enough! We all have vast stashes, as witnessed by the generous donations on the material table, but it’s a drug, isn’t it?

So blocks were starting to be created. I glance to my right to see Sue sitting in front of her sewing machine gazing into space with a slight smile on her face. Curious. I thought I had better check she was ok. She was fine! She had sewn some strips together, they had then been whisked away by someone to be ironed, from there to be cut, after which they would be returned to Sue to be further sewn. A sort of unofficial production line was forming.

The morning progressed and finished blocks started to appear. Then it was time for “show and tell” – always an enjoyable and inspirational section of the morning. There were two beautiful quilts by Mandy and Jay’s completed triple panels titled Whales and Waves. Then Claire had us open mouthed with her creations from a washed out, turned round and smoothed tomato puree tube (as you do?!) transformed into embossed triangles and an old light bulb turned into a beautiful insect! Her imagination knows no bounds!

After that the finished blocks were gathered up with the plan that some kind volunteer will stitch them together into the finished size to then be backed and quilted. Well done all who took part in a most enjoyable day.

It is GREAT to be back!

Liz Steer
(Pictures in the Workshop Gallery)