Lockdown Quilt 2020

Okehampton prides itself on having some of the most impressive Christmas lights in the area. They are very expensive to put on every year with 120 lighted Christmas trees alone. And so it came to pass that at the beginning of 2020 Ockment Quilters decided to make their very first group quilt to help raise

The National Needlework Archive

I recently went with a group of friends to The National Needlework Archive, based at The Old Chapel, Main Street, New Greenham Park, Newbury, Berkshire, RG19 6HW. It is not a large venue, but is most interesting – they have two small exhibition rooms where we viewed “A Passion for Applique” which is the current

140th issue of the Magazine

At our last committee meeting it was pointed out that this issue of the magazine would be the 140th. It all started back in 1983 when members of the Quilters’ Guild formed South West Quilters as a separate group for the South West region. The Guild’s Executive Committee felt that the organisation was not ready

Strawberry Fayre end of an era

Strawberry Fayre Chagford Devon TQ138EN www.strawberryfayre.co.uk tel 01647250 Jenny & Alec are retiring after 45 years and closing down Strawberry Fayre “We started Strawberry Fayre in Oct 1972 as a craft shop in Stockbridge, Hampshire. Patchwork Quilts soon became a big part of the shop. Quilt exhibitions, classes and workshops with visiting lecturers from USA,

Christmas Meeting 2017

After a cold and frosty start to the morning we headed for Exeter Racecourse full of anticipation for the South Devon Quilters meeting. Coffee first then a look around the stalls saying to ourselves “we do not need anything” but who can resist some more material etc to add to the stash. The traders this

Killerton Apple Quilts

The story of Killerton’s orchards schools quilts – article included in a National Trust internal newsletter reproduced with their permission. “Staff and volunteers worked with nearly 200 pupils in six local schools to create quilts inspired by the story of Killerton’s orchards. Weekly workshops in schools were funded by South West Quilters in memory of

Quilts for Grenfell

To bring you up to date on the Quilts for Grenfell. I will not deny that finding a reliable connection for your quilts to reach their intended destinations, has been extremely challenging. Hopes raised then dashed, it has been a real roller coaster. With the help of BBC Radio Cornwall, we have made the amazing

Australian Trip

My husband and I took a leap of faith in March this year as we embarked on a three month house swap with a couple from Foster in NSW, Australia that came about through an enquiry via the Cornwall Bridge Association which my husband picked up. After a lot of deliberation and soul searching, quite


Our new venture started on the Wednesday evening when we went to Fraddon village hall to set up tables, hang sample quilts and have everything ready for the morning. Thursday arrived and the first on a very Cornish rota started sewing at 9.00am, all very excited and given pre-cut fabric and the pattern to start.

Summer meeting

The day was more like April than July but a sunny atmosphere prevailed inside. One vital component of the two talks was Andrew our sound and vision man for the day as both talks relied heavily on digital presentations – he did a sterling job. Rick the sewing machine “doctor” was the morning speaker. Although

2016 Spring Meeting

Our speakers left us all with a lot of food for thought – Sandy Chandler our morning speaker is a professional long-arm quilter. What a feast we were given, Sandy told us that she had begun long-arm quilting quite by chance after moving to Cornwall. Some of her wholecloth quilts were a good 110″ square

The Castle Drogo Quilt

At Goosey Quilters, as you will read below we were involved in making a quilt for Castle Drogo. I heard during the middle of November 2014 the go ahead had been agreed, in the hope that the quilt would be completed by March 2015, and a meeting had been arranged for 30th November. I was


This is a much looked forward to event – the whole day is viewed with excited anticipation! Meeting old friends, catching up and viewing stitchery – dipping into purses for yet more fabric, and this is before the day’s proceedings get underway ! Well, what a great day we all had – our Mistress of


Every year we meet up with friends, taking it in turns to choose the venue for a long weekend. When Portsmouth was chosen I was thrilled to think I may get to see the above. I felt it to be serendipity when our hotel turned out to be opposite the museum in Southsea where it

Saints of Cornish Churches

Saints of Cornish Churches ~ from the perspective of a steward ~ In 2012 Mary Miller, a quilter from Falmouth, had the idea to put together an exhibition, in our lovely Truro Cathedral, to celebrate the lives of some of our Cornish Saints. From the Isles of Scilly to Bude and from Launceston to Zennor

Summer Day at Westpoint

[photos of Janet Williams and Janice Gunner] We arrived for the summer meeting to be welcomed with coffee and homemade cake – delicious – and still had time for a quick look at the traders, Exeter Sewing Machines had a marvellous display of their machines to try, and Step by Step’s stall looked very attractive

As The Quilting Goes!!

In August 2012 some months after losing my beloved Tim it was time I thought, to come out of that black hole and try to get back to my sewing again. It was suggested that a trip to the Festival of Quilts would be therapeutic and would perhaps inspire me again. So it was that

Spring Meeting with AGM

Spring Meeting with AGM The Spring meeting and AGM ran to time despite the microphone playing up and the business part of the meeting was swiftly dealt with. Our morning speaker Sian Cornish – told us how she came to set up her Cornwall based outlet for organic fabrics sourced from around the world following

The Quaker Tapestry

The Quaker Tapestry Whilst on holiday in Cumbria in our caravan we visited friends who are Quakers. Have you seen the Quaker Tapestry in Kendal? I was asked. I had to admit to never having heard of it let alone seen it. Knowing I was a sewing enthusiast Josie assured me that I would find

Wheelchair Lap Quilts

A few weeks ago I was happily reading my copy of the magazine Australian patchwork and Quilting, which I take monthly, and to my surprise I found an article on a group of ladies known as the Betty’s. They had been making quilts adapted specially for people to wear in a wheelchair and donating them

Poppy Project

British Legion Poppy Project My name is Adrienne Howells and I am an Art and Embroidery Tutor in Exeter Devon – I have approx. 70 students altogether in my classes. My father fought with the Eighth Army in Tobruk, El Alamein and Monte Casino – I was fortunate he came home. The government requested we

The Amy Emms award – Part II

In order to manage my stress levels, the task of opening the suitcase which came with the memorial cup was postponed even later than planned. I had intended to open it once Exeter Quilters’ exhibition was out of the way in mid August BUT was somewhat deflected by the need to spend the following 6


South West Quilters’ Newsletter is 30 years old – how did it begin? By Jane Syers The Bigger Picture A revival of interest in patchwork, applique and quilting during the 1970s led to the formation of a national organisation, the Quilters’ Guild, in 1979. A network of Guild Regional Co-ordinators and Representatives was developed across

Summer Day Meeting

6th July Kings School, Ottery St. Mary What a difference a year makes – flooding in Devon on Summer Day in 2012 and a heatwave for our Summer Day this year (as booked by Christine). Lyn Carr stepped in to the breach as our morning speaker and encouraged us to experiment (ie play) with different


Many years ago a Japanese man named Yusai used to come to Exeter each year to teach workshops on Sashiko and to learn all about lace making. So it was a great surprise to be invited to Barbara Janssen’s house on Sunday, October 11th, to meet up with Yusai again and to meet four charming

Journey of Quilting with Elaine Buckley

January started well with Dorrie’s 17th talk arranged at Bovey Tracey. Elaine Buckley took us through her journey of quilting, telling us anecdotes and stories along the way and proved to be a wonderful quilter and raconteur re her quilting life journey. Members came from far and wide, enjoyed the talk and shopped at Serendipity

What a summer!

I think the weather for the Summer-day meeting is the worst we have ever had. Most people west of Ottery St Mary managed to make the meeting whereas those travelling from Sidmouth, Honiton or further east were unable to get there. This did cause problems as a trader and various committee members were unable to

Summer Day Meeting at Colyford 3rd July

The Saturday of the Summer Day meeting at Colyford was indeed a lovely summer’s day. On arrival it was reassuring to be greeted by a nice gentleman directing the car parking. Our chairman Sue Enderson welcomed everyone. The first speaker, Ruth Murray, gave us much food for thought with her talk on Fair Trade Fabrics.


by Jane Syers My friend and fellow-quilter. Julie Shaw, was asked by one of her long-time buddies. Judy Bristow, to make a double bed quilt Judy did not want an intricate patchwork pattern and Julie enjoyed quilting so they decided on an Amish quilt. Julie sketched a simple diamond design and together they bought cotton

My Kimono

Several years ago, when we were running our Guest House, a young Japanese lad used to come and stay with us regularly. Each time he visited us he would bring us presents. One time he gave us both cotton Kimonos. We have worn them endlessly ever since and they are reaching the end of their

Olympic Pennants

Olymplic Pennants On Saturday 12th November we organized 13 girls aged between 10 years and 17 to make pennants for the quilts4london scheme. We had helpers from the Lympstone Methodist Quilters to assist. The children learnt lots of skills like choosing fabrics, cutting, fusing, machining, and sewing by hand. Mike and Nic Musgrove made soup

Christmas Meeting 2010

In the bleak midwinter Frosty winds made moan Earth stood hard as iron Water like a stone Snow had fallen snow on snow Snow on snow In the bleak midwinter Long, long ago Well not so long ago – November in fact, just a week before the SWQ Christmas Meeting and we were wondering if

Mrs Peggy Stewart MBE

On a spring morning, Sara O’Hora and I had the great privilege of doing an interview with Peggy Stewart for The Quilter. “Fancy being invited to a Garden Party just for making quilts” said Peggy. Now you and I know that Peggy doesn’t `just make quilts’. South West Quilters doesn’t give Honorary Life Membership to

Flight of the Snow Geese

The beginning I was brought up in a home where there was always sewing, and Gran used to come and stay with us in the north of England, in the spring and autumn, to help my mother make clothes for the next year for me and my twin sisters. It was always said that as


By Joan Smith The maternal side of my family emigrated from Yorkshire to Canada in about 1815, things were tough in those days, all self-sufficiency where they grew all their own food and produced most of their furniture and household goods – including, of course, quilts. The tradition of quilt making was passed down the


Summer?? More like autumn with the rain and the wind. However that doesn’t stop quilters attending a get together. What a very good Summer Meeting it was with great speakers, excellent traders, a speaker system that worked [with help!] and seats, that this year had been tiered as requested. Jean welcomed us all and we

2009 Retreat

Retreat for 2009 in Beer, South Devon 26th – 30th January 2009 I have just returned home from a fantastic week in Beer with some lovely like-minded ladies, who were all making Tiffany style Lampshades and bases covered in painted lace – how wonderful is that?! Jennifer Trollope, the ‘revelation burning’ lady, shared her technique,

Holsworth Quilter Wins National Recognition

‘Stars in the Night’ by Jeanette Orr Earlier this year[2010] at the international quilt show in Malvern, my quilt entitled ‘Stars in the Night ‘from a design by Jaqueline De Jong, caught the attention of the judges who awarded it with a Judges Merit Rosette. It is a foundation pieced quilt and machine quilted with

Quilters hit Houston

In November 2007 Jean Bartlett took a workshop during which she talked of her visit to Houston Quilt festival. After a few minutes Marlene Chaffey came up with the challenge of organising a group visit to the 2008 festival. So… October 26th at 6.00am in pitch darkness we gathered at Exeter bus station. There were

2011 Summer Day

Report on the Summer Day Our Summer Day this year was for the first time held at Honiton Community College on Saturday 2nd July. Having missed last year’s day I was really looking forward to this one and was not disappointed! There was a definite buzz in the air, as people arrived and after some

Article – AGM 2011

 On 16th April many of us made our way to Launceston College to attend our Annual General Meeting, to listen to two special speakers, to catch up with old friends and generally have a Good Day! Having welcomed us all to what was her last A.G.M. as Chairman, Susan sailed through the usual necessities –


Some time ago I sent out a request to the quilters of Devon asking for 12 single bed quilts for a new childrens home being built in Provadia, Bulgaria. An old primary school building was saved from demolition and my son went over with a team of volunteers from Okehampton who fitted new windows in

The Amy Emms Award 2009

THE AMY EMMS AWARD 2009 Quilts UK Malvern Awarded to JEANNE STETSON OF TORQUAY Amy Emms was an English quilter and teacher who revived Durham quilting in England. She was awarded an MBE award at Buckingham Palace for “services to quilting” in 1984 and in 1992 was inducted into The American Quilters Hall of Fame, Marion,

Christmas Meeting 2011

The venue for this year’s Christmas Meeting was Exeter Racecourse. We were all grateful we hadn’t had to brave the snow which we experienced at our last Christmas meeting in Hatherleigh. The racecourse is a great venue with plenty of easy parking and excellent facilities. Plenty of loos is a big bonus when 250 ladies

A Quilts Journey

A Quilts Journey Castle Quilters of Okehampton SWQ Christmas Day – 2007 at Longdown, Exeter. The prize of Japanese fabrics in the Sunset Trust raffle was won by one of our members, Joyce Brockman. Overwhelmed by the quantity of fabric and true to her generous nature, Joyce suggested we make a quilt for charity. For

Thank You for the Knitted Squares

Thank-you for the knitted squares Following her Mum’s appeal for 5” knitted squares at the Christmas meeting, Ruth Janssen would like to thank the very many people who sent in contributions for the project to publicise the 100 million “missing women”. The squares took up three floors of an old tramway station in Glasgow the


It is believed that the word Seminole comes from the Spanish word cimarrón meaning wild men or runaway men; and thereby stands a tale of success through adversity. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 saw the forceful eviction of many native tribes from their lands as a forerunner to settlement by European immigrants. Many who

Malvern SWQ Traditional Quilt Winner

Jane Rogalski “To Quilt or Not to Quilt” I would like to first of all thank you for awarding me with the South West Quilters Trophy for traditional patchwork. Considering this was my first quilt ever I was really taken by surprise. I was introduced to the Malvern Quilt Show ten years ago when I

Spring Quilt Festival 2009

See below for gallery of quilts from the festival Chairman’s Challenge 2009: From Starvation to Liberation by Linda Baldrey I chose the subject after reading a little bit about the centenary of the suffragettes hunger strike. With further research it was fascinating to realise that the suffragette movement started in the late 1800’s. Their approach


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

The History of a Quilt

At this year’s Summer Day I showed an old quilt. The top had originally come from Wilmington in Ohio. It was for a double bed and showed the “Dresden Plate” design. I have included a photo of it finished (right). Many of you expressed your interest in the story, so here is its history. It

A Gift of Quilts

In 2011 Sandy Marsh of All Saints Quilters, Axminster suggested that we make a quilt for the Olympics. A Gift of Quilts is the project formed with the intention of giving a patchwork quilt to each country taking part in the 2012 Games and Paralympics as a unique gift of friendship from the people of

My Featherweight Sewing Machine

My Featherweight Sewing Machine At the age of 15 years my mother gave me an almost new “Singer Featherweight” sewing machine. Without giving away my age, let me just say that the machine is now old. But what a treasure. Fourteen years ago, on doctors orders, I was grounded for 3 months. What could a

Devon Collection of Period Costume

Over the years speakers at S.W.Q meetings have not only stretched my craft and visual skills but also given me a tremendous amount of fun and interest. The speakers arranged first by Barbara Janssen and in recent years by Jenny Crossland have ranged over many topics. I love obscure bits of information, do you remember

Cornwall New Year Party 2008

SWQ in Cornwall New Year Party on Saturday, 12th January 2008. The promised sun never appeared, and it rained on-and-off all day. This did nothing to damped the spirits of the 46 ladies who arrived at Tresillian Village Hall in anticipation of a good time. Our New Year Parties in Cornwall are legionary. We started


Recycling Star Quilters – Yeovil, Somerset. Question: What can you do with an old bra? Answer: Make it into a bag of course! I recently read an article about the amount of clothing that is sent to landfill sites each year – (the report stated that ‘on average UK consumers send 30 kg of clothing

The Spirit of Beatrix Potter Lives On

The Spirit of Beatrix Potter Lives On It was the telephone call in the 1990’s that did it. Having retired early from teaching, due to ill health, I had filled my time with reading, water colour painting (no natural talent, but fun learning the skills), and bird watching. “I thought you might like to join


Do you remember for the Christmas Meeting 2005 we had a Challenge from Elaine ‘Frosty Days and Frosty Nights’, but even more challenging do you remember the frosty days and frosty nights we actually experienced, and in particular the SNOW on the very day of the Christmas Meeting last November? Well, here in Winkleigh most


5 DAY WORKSHOP/RETREAT WITH PATRICIA MCLAUGHLIN – January 2007 We arrived on the Sunday to find our accommodation in Beer. Two well equipped cottages just off the high street. The hall was around the corner, but a window into a back room of the hall backed onto the cottages. Sewing machines, buckets of soda and

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