I’m contributing this writeup, as recently quite a few of us ‘old hands’ have realised that a lot of our newer Members have no idea about our Millennium Quilt, even though they may have seen it!

Whilst I was serving as Vice Chairman (some-time early in 1998) it was suggested at one of our Meetings that South West Quilters might do something to celebrate the Millennium, and after leaving my Watering Can around (in those days I’d do anything to bring attention to myself!) I collected a few suggestions, one of which was for a modesty cloth over the huge trestle table that we used on the stage at St.Peters Church School in Exeter, where we held our AGM. Apparently, as we sat there conducting the business, if we wriggled too much it was a bit embarrassing for our audience!

So, over the next 18 months I hassled all the members at regular intervals via the Newsletter, and at all the Meetings, until finally, in late 1999, I had received over thirty 9” blocks, ready to be assembled into a huge cloth to cover the table, in time for the AGM in 2000.

I spent a very busy winter piecing all the blocks together – I did have two ‘late comers’ but they are in each corner, at the front. The quilt is designed to fit a very large table so all the blocks can be viewed from the front. I sent it away to Wales to be quilted on a long arm machine, much to my relief I must add, and we were all delighted with the result.

The Quilt was presented to the Members at the 2000 AGM, and has been in use, in many ways and at many different venues ever since, not least of which it has been on our Stand at Westpoint every year, since Grosvenor Exhibitions first put on the Quilt Show there. Do take a closer look at it next time you see it – I am sure there is a label in one of the corners, saying how and why it was made.

Val Thomas

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