I went to my second ever Quilters’ Guild regional day yesterday, in the pretty town of Chipping Sodbury. The talk was given by Maryke Phillips, who runs Batiks n Beads – she talked about her quilting ‘journey’ and showed many quilts, as well as beautiful stitched books worked in felt, thread, lace, beads… For me the talk was somewhat marred by her speaking to her audience as if we were all down-trodden women who had to hide their spending on fabric from the husbands who keep them. As a single woman who has earned her living life-long, I felt a bit excluded and patronised.
There were opportunities for shopping: Batik n Beads were one of the traders there, along with Mulberry Silks and Cotton Reel. It would have been easy to buy any amount of the stuff on sale, but I came away with one metre of fabric and some threads – for a tree project I am planning.
There was a Show-and-Tell session, where people bring along, and talk about, recently completed work. Amongst others, we saw beautiful and complex quilts that are being raffled at the Montpelier Quilters’ show in November and at the Quilters’ Guild AGM in 2015.
During the day I noticed there were a few people who had come alone and didn’t seem to know anyone. Perhaps an ice-breaker activity at the start of the day, to introduce people to their neighbours, would have helped people open up a bit and provide topics to talk about at the lunch break.
The afternoon activities were piecing and stuffing 3D robins or making name badges to identify ourselves with at future events. I chose the latter activity. I noticed quite a few people chose to do neither, but had brought some hand-stitching of their own to do, and sat with friends and chatted. I wonder if that is what they actively wanted to do, or if the activities on offer just didn’t appeal.
One of the interesting encounters of the day for me was a brief chat I had with someone who is involved with their local women’s refuge, working with the women on stitching. The idea of actually offering stitching sessions to our local refuge women is an interesting one. To be discussed.
Tea and cakes rounded off the day. I can personally vouch for both the banana cake and the coffee and walnut. Delicious!