Thursday, 16 June 2016

Stitching for Charity 2016

I am lucky enough to have, in my home town, a fabulous shop - Quorn Country Crafts - which, if you are into needlework, knitting or quilting, is a treasure trove. You might remember I recently attended a quilting course there? One result of that course is my rainbow quilt.

(Another result is a huge stash of fabric; a patchwork duvet cover made by J; a hexie quilt for the spare room; AND a patchwork duvet cover for my bed. Plus a few other projects... I'm led to believe that this is one of the downsides of quilting! Though a REAL quilter would not see a huge stash of fabric and unfinished projects as a downside, I bet!)

Anyhow, today, I attended my first ever quilting exhibition, a bi-annual fundraising event held by Quorn Country Crafts in All Saints Parish Church, Loughborough - about a five minute walk away from the shop - in the centre of town.

It was A-MAZE-ING.

Having made my own quilt recently, I was stunned at the hours of work that must have gone into the creations on display. The largest quilt was 100 inches square - twice the size of the one I'd made. Some were appliqued with stunning pictures. There was machine and hand stitching in evidence. There were colour combinations and designs to suit everyone's taste and as a result, the church was filled with colour and pattern.

There was a competition corner, a first quilt section (was proud to have been asked if they could display mine), a cushion raffle, books and magazines and knitted or sewn items to purchase, with all donations going to support Asthma & Allergy UK and Leicestershire Glenfield Hospitals HEARTLINK charities. And refreshments - the lemony shortbread was melt-in-the-mouth, and I overheard several people saying how good the chocolate gateau topped with red berries was.

So, with the permission of Sue, the organiser, I thought I'd share some of my favourite quilts from the prepared for a LOT of photos! I couldn't photograph them all, much as I'd have liked to, but every one was unique and beautiful and needed to be seen in the flesh, as it were, to fully appreciate them. Right - are you ready? Here we go...

Here's just one pew section - there are four in the church - draped in all kinds of quilts or supporting frames to display larger ones. Seeing the whole church decked out in the same way, with barely an inch of pew left 'unquilted', literally took my breath away.

I was reliably informed that circles are actually quite easy to stitch. I'll take their word for it. I loved the richness of the colours in this one.

 This next one used a more muted palette, but I liked the diamond panel features.

Beautiful Japanese inspired fabrics in this one.

You might have to look closely, but a lot of the fabrics in this one feature music notes. Again, another more muted palette, but a striking pattern.

And quilts aren't just for the bed...this next one would lovely slung over a settee during the festive season.

Can't remember what this pattern's called, but it's an octagonal wheel and used some very intriguing fabrics printed with road name signs. I imagine there was a lot of expertise in the cutting of this one, to make sure each triangle had exactly the same bit of pattern on it.

Competition time...last December, some of the customers were challenged to create anything at all out of two-and-a-half inch squares. Everyone received a pack of squares, identical in size and shape from the same design collection. They could add any fabric they liked, but they had to use all of the squares. It was amazing to see the range of items that people had created.

This photo does not do justice to this next quilt. It was huge. It was stunning. It had the most detailed flower and bead applique and it positively glowed against the dark background. This one, you have to see to believe.

Now this one's very clever. Joined strips are cut at an angle, and then the quilting looked to have been done in short sections following the line of the strips...I think!

The outer edges of ts optical illusion is created entirely from small squares of graduating shades joined into strips. And the block in the centre is another illusion, based on six triangular panels to form a hexagon.

Rainbow could've guessed this one would be a winner with me!

Beautiful blended purples and a few curves...

 My kind of colours; aqua, purple, blues and greens...

Children hadn't been forgotten either - these were just a few of the stunning applique quilts on display.

The peacock quilt.! And all the quilting of that central printed panel was done in gilt thread, to pick up the gilt lines printed onto the fabric.

Some really accurate machining needed for this...

The next two photos are from first quilt corner - made by beginners in the craft who have attended one of QCC's workshops. Spotted one you recognise? *wink, wink*

Back to optical illusions with this fab 'cube' quilt design. Every cube used three different fabrics, but didn't need a lot of any single fabric, so perhaps this could be made from scraps?

The optical illusion is lost as you get closer - but then you can see how clever placement of six triangles makes the cube and the box.

Quilts are sometimes made to tell a story; this one tells of the men who lost their lives in the Great War and whose names are on the memorial in church.

One of the largest quilts on display, at 99 inches square - and for sale. I have to admit to gasping when I saw the price tag, but it is so beautifully made and designed, it would be a small price to pay for such an heirloom.

A monochrome design, where the bold flower fabric was used to good effect. And that central twisted square is rather clever too...

I loved this one. A relatively simple design, being just strips and squares, but a lovely mix of colours.

I might have to try that design myself with my Bali Pops jelly roll. Here's my colour mix, though I will need to get a couple of contrasts to make sure I can make it big enough for a duvet cover, which is what I'd like to create with it.

But my absolute FAVOURITE, among all those quilts on display, has to be this one:

The richness of colour, the striking design, the clever curvy quilting...just...perfect. In fact, I like it SO much, here's another photo of it, just because I can!

Not sure that I will ever, in a million years, manage anything of this quality. For a start, I'd have no time to write if I became a serious quilter! But it was wonderful to be able to admire the work of others and dream a little dream...

The exhibition continues tomorrow and Saturday (17th and 18th June) between 10am and 4pm and admission is £2.50 for over 12's. Huge congratulations to everyone at Quorn Country Crafts for an amazing display, and here's hoping you raise lots of money for your chosen charities.


  1. Katherine, not just a brilliant Blogger but the photos are fab too...thank you so much for spending you time sharing this; hopefully we will raise plenty of money for charity and possibly inspire a few more quilters!!!
    See you soon,

    1. Thanks, Sue - and yes, hoping for a very successful fundraiser for you. Already looking forward to the next one and wondering what wonderful creations I'll see next time...