SWI keeps traditional skills alive
LOCHABER ladies have been learning how to make something new out of something old at the April meeting of the women’s institute.
Several members of the Lochaber Federation SWI met at the Salvation Army Hall, Fort William, to learn the craft of patchwork.
Led by Barbara Collins of Lochailort, an expert quilt-maker, the women were shown two different ways of making patterns.
Although most of their materials were new and specifically designed for patchwork, their grannies and great-grannies would have saved old clothing and cut out the less worn pieces to turn into quilts.
On the first day they worked on the well-known log cabin pattern, using strips to make squares which were then sewn together to make larger pieces until they reached the required size to make into something such as a cushion cover.
On the second day the ladies sewed a square of material together to make larger squares which were then cut and re-positioned to make a variety of patterns.
Martine Young from the SWI said: ‘Barbara was an excellent tutor and her skill and patience were much appreciated by her pupils.
‘The ladies had a lovely time choosing the best fabrics to make their patterns while catching up on the news. It was very satisfying to see the finished squares and what everyone had achieved.
‘It was a real exercise in keeping traditional skills alive, an important aim of the SWI organisation, and recycling, just as necessary now as then, even if for different reasons.’
Some of the ladies with their crafts.