Have you caught the quilting bug yet? It’s a happy habit for Maggie Gallop, vice chairman of the Norfolk Federation of WI.
Catching the quilting bug
Next week I’m off to France. My sister and I are spending a few days in Alsace. We are visiting the 25th European Patchwork Festival - now that will not inspire you unless you are (like Cathryn and me) patchwork quilters.
I have been sewing most of my life. My mother was a seamstress; therefore, it goes without saying that we were taught to thread a needle at a very early age.
People think that just because you enjoy stitching, you are going to enjoy doing all types of sewing. I once had a friend who presented me with a couple of yards of material and thought she was doing me a favour when she asked me to make her a blouse. Also ‘him indoors’ thinks that I can replace an enormous zip in an extremely heavy fencing jacket in the blink of an eye. But no, that is hard work, not the pleasurable pastime of taking some perfectly good fabric, cutting it up into little pieces, and sewing it back together to make some perfectly good fabric!
Over the years I have made many quilts in all sorts of designs and colours. When embarking on a new project, the ‘fencer’ has been known to ask “Do we need another quilt?” No, we don’t ‘need’ another quilt but as my daughter once stated when out shopping: “Mother, it’s not about need, it’s all about want - there is a difference”.
It’s about challenging yourself to make something with your hands - to design a pattern, choose a colour theme and see what happens when you put it all together. Some people enjoy making up new recipes, then try to ‘poison’ their families with their concoctions; others like to slap oil on canvas and call it art. Me, I like to sew, I like to stitch fabrics together and see what happens.
Like all quilters, I have two or three UFOs (unfinished objects) tucked away. The problem is, we get side-tracked. We see something new at a show or festival and before you know it we’ve bought the necessary necessities and off we go again, making yet another quilt.
I’ve no doubt, that once we hit Alsace we will be trying to find space in our luggage for more materials and patterns. Can’t wait!
We, here at the Norfolk Federation of WIs are to blame for encouraging more patchwork quilters. We have over the past two or three years been putting on classes for budding ‘wannabe quilters’. Once a month on a Saturday we have been holding lessons for our members to learn the ‘art’ (yes, it is an art) of traditional patchwork quilting, and they will, before long be spending their sprogs’ inheritance on fabulous fabrics and pretty patterns. Welcome to the club.