Sandy welcomed those attending and asked if anyone had anything to ‘brag about’.
Kate Crossley had won 1st prize in Quilt Creations at the Festival of Quilts for her clock. See TVCT page http://www.tvctextiles.co.uk/news/archives/08-2014. This will be exhibited at the American Museum in Bath next year with a series of Kate’s other installations and where she will be teaching a number of workshops;
Jane Glennie had provided the design work for Linda Seward’s new book “The Ultimate Guide to Art Quilting” in which several TVCT members had their work displayed;
Karen Blight had produced a number of knitted tea-cosies which were being sold in a Wokingham shop.
Annie Hamilton had finished another artist’s book in intricate watercolours with a textile cover, which she displayed at the meeting;
Marion Robertson had had an exhibition with her sister Marjory in Scotland over the summer, on the theme “From the River to the Sea”, held in a village hall on the Kintyre peninsula. It had been very successful and local visitors particularly had enjoyed the artwork and small pieces for sale which had reflected the immediate environment; Marion had also received a Highly Commended and Judge’s Choice for a piece of work at the Loch Lomond Quilt Show.
Merete Hawkins encouraged us to brag about ourselves and, if we didn’t already have one, to pick up a catalogue of the work that went to Olympia for the ‘Halfway Between’ exhibition;
It was reported that Margaret Ramsay, although not at the meeting, had received two Judges’ Choice awards in the Art and Pictorial sections at the Festival of Quilts, and a Judge’s Merit at the Harrogate show.
Just Hands-on Tv
Valerie Nesbitt was the morning speaker. Valerie started the quilt shop Creative Quilting in 1989 which is now in its 25th year. In recent years she founded website Just Hands-on tv.
Val has been a sewer since the age of 8 but only began patchwork in the late 1990s. For a while she lived in Wallingford where the shop Village Fabrics provided her with fabric and advice about making quilts. Having had such a positive experience with the shop she decided to open her own in East Moseley, near Hampton Court. This was in the days of mailing information to the customer database by sending notices by post with hand-licked envelopes and stamps! Along with selling patchwork fabric (often in limited amounts as orders from the USA did not always arrive in full) she introduced classes including quite a revolutionary idea of a ‘Quilt in a Day’. Many of Val’s designs were taken from books by Eleanor Burns.
Gradually the selection of fabrics, magazines, books and ideas increased but it is worth reminding ourselves how much has changed over the last 25 years in the textile world! The shop moved to larger premises just down the road and is now owned by Izzy. See http://www.creativequilting.co.uk/index.html.
Val had brought along several of her earlier quilts and a number that she had made as samples to be shown in Creative Quilting plus a selection of fabrics and accessories from the shop for sale.
With not a great deal of IT knowledge Val’s next idea was the website Just Hands-on tv. The aim is for it to be an educational and inspirational site. There are films of exhibitions, interviews with textile artists and workshops for viewers to watch in their own time. Last year she filmed the exhibition ‘Water water’ that Kate Findlay organised in Henley, and if you missed this, or want to view it again, it is available on Just Hands-on tv.
Some information is accessible to everyone but for the workshops you have to subscribe, although there is a free taster to encourage you to join. Subscription is not expensive, at present £6 a month, and you can pay by the month or for longer periods. There is an increasingly large number of entries to view. Val has expert knowledge of all the techniques, materials and gadgets that are available for patchwork and quilting especially - though much of what she uses can be used in other textile activities. See http://www.justhands-on.tv/.
Val says that all her business ventures have been fuelled by a passion for sewing. But she has had to rapidly come to terms with advances in IT as now 80% of customers log in on their smart phones or tablets.
In house challenge
In the afternoon Carol Wilkes and Sandy introduced us to an In-house Challenge. The idea is to spend some time on a piece relating to a specific theme. This will not be for exhibition but generally for our own creative development. The piece of whatever size or medium we chose to use will be displayed at our meeting in January. Carol disclosed that the theme for this first challenge is ‘Nature’.
Four tables of incredibly diverse objects were laid out in the hall to aid our imagination. We were given an A5 paper with four spaces to jot down what these items suggested to us. They varied from sea-shells and pine needles, books with photos of aerial views, an artist’s mannequin, toy penguin, straps, cables and a tennis racket. How did these all relate to the chosen theme? On each table too was a large sheet of paper where we could write specific words or ideas that might be interest to all. This kind of brain-storming activity is always surprisingly useful and especially when undertaken with others. The fact that everyone seems to be writing something down encourages you to do the same even if you think at first you have nothing to say.
After 15-20 minutes Sandy then spoke about the idea of scale. A view of a small item could be expanded, i.e. consider a tree, look at a leaf, look again at the cell in a leaf. Or work in different scales, i.e. the cell of a leaf could be magnified and made into a large piece of work. There is no suggestion that these Challenge pieces have to be a particular size, or that they have to be flat. Large, small, 2D or 3D is entirely for each person to decide.
We then discussed together in small groups what ideas had first occurred to us and how we might take this theme further. As Sandy said, if we can start with the ideas today then we have made a start on this challenge. And there are only four months to complete it! But of course, whether you wish to take part or not is again entirely up to you!