Sunday, 26 August 2012

Still alive and kicking

Hi everyone,

I am slowly getting my life back.  This year has been exceptional in many ways.  From being able to participate in an Open Studios event, to helping publish a book for the Contemporary Quilt Group, and having suddenly to take back the reigns of organising the group's gallery and stand at the Festival of Quilts here in Birmingham, UK.  The group, which is a specialist group of the Quilters' Guild of the British Isles, has 650 members and is celebrating it's 10th birthday this year.  Hence having our own proper gallery for the first time ever. - that means solid white walls where the quilts hang like pieces of art.

Glimpse into the gallery

23 of the 60 pieces submitted by members were juried in.  The inspiration was a black and white photograph taken by Tony Howell of a Cornish tin mine (tin is the 10th anniversary symbol).  The exhibition was extremely well received by the visitors who were taken by how many variations could result from one image.  The group decided to publish a book to include the quilts from the exhibition (two pages for each quilt) and a gallery of photos of quilts and events that the group has been involved in for their first ten years - over 500 full colour photos.  A small team of graphic designers, editor and dog's body (me) got it published in three months - not bad for a bunch of amateurs.  I loved every minute of it but it meant I was out of it for the three months - I even went on a quilt retreat with the laptop to carry on ploughing through the photos and getting them prepared for publishing!

Cover of the book (back and front laid out)

It was certainly CQ's year at the Festival of Quilts with the group taking many of the top prizes - our own Linda B being one of them!  I wish you could have been there, Phil, as I hardly got to see any of the quilts or galleries at all - I could have done with seeing your photos...  From a personal point of view it was frustrating and disappointing to be so tied up in the running of the gallery and stand, but from the group's perspective we had a truly great year.

On top of this I had promised to make a quilt for Makower and I finished up having to slink off to my hotel room each night and sew until nearly midnight - a single bed size quilt full of triangles - madness - but I did manage to break the back of the quilt and posted it off in time to go to a trade show in Europe this week.

I am now packing my bags again - and you are all going to be green with envy:  a 5 day workshop with Jan Myers Newbury!!!!  Over at Claire Benn's new Potters Bar Studionear Dorking, UK.  let you all know how I get on when I get back next weekend.

This all leads neatly to asking your forgiveness because I am not going to make the deadline this time.  I promise to get my piece in asap and am prepared to do any forfeits you make me!

Meanwhile, Linda F, can you please choose who is next to choose a theme?  Left in the mix are:  Michele and myself.  If you could pull a name out of the hat please.



  1. Congratulations, Hilary, for all the formidable achievements. Hope you can post a photo of the Makower quilt soon. Would also love to get my hands on a copy of your book. Meanwhile, have a super workshop. We look forward to more news in a couple of weeks.

  2. And it was an excellent exhibition and book too - well done and many thanks to you! I was feeling very sorry for you having to stitch the Makower quilt in the evenings but since I got to the bit about the workshop I am merely jealous!

  3. Wow Hilary, what a year. Don't feel guilty about not making the deadline, you have accomplished way more than most people! Have a great time at the workshop!

  4. I can vouch for the intensity of Hilary's involvement in all things CQ - you all know that she does not do anything she takes on by halves.

    Hilary I'm delighted that you've found a bit of time for yourself - I've only recently re-discovered JMN imagine you'll have a great time, not to mention a well deserved rest!

  5. well done dear - tremendous. a beautiful art space and great achievements all round. and yes, please tell us how we can order the book

  6. Sounds as though life is pretty interesting. Congrats on all the success.Have a great workshop!!!!! Sorry to have posted early by accident.

  7. Thanks for forgiving me.
    The Makower quilt was the second I have done for them where the design has come from the States and I was just making the sample for them to to trawl around the shops - so nothing I had a hand in. These jobs pay for my 'habit' and not having to design and write the pattern is a bit of a treat - until you realize that the designer did it all on EQ without any regard to the fact that it consists of a zillion little triangles!

    I'll send Dianne a copy of the book so you can all enjoy it.