The Directors of the show: Patricia MacIndoe, Isabel Paterson and Ruth Higham
The Directors of the show: Patricia MacIndoe,
Isabel Paterson and Ruth Higham

I ran into Ruth Higham, co-organiser of the Loch Lomond Quilt Show, the other day and was fortunate enough to get a preview of forthcoming attractions at this years show (2008). After filling me in on new and interesting developments in the programme, Ruth dashed off to attend to her blogging responsibilities. Since fellow organiser, Patricia, is a selfconfessed luddite and the third member of the team, Isabel, is already computer literate, Ruth has taken on the mantle of LLQS blogger. Its great fun and anyone can post a topic relating to patchwork, quilting or appliqué. Come and join us and blog with the best! were her enthusiastic parting words.

A quick trip to their site at gives you a link to their blog and Im sure they would be delighted to hear from anyone with a shared passion for quilting. For the technophobes reading this article, dont be put off. A blog is nothing more than an online diary. The difference is that readers get the chance to add their comments if something inspires them or strikes a chord. The word blog is simply a contraction of web log and the beauty of this medium is that you can reach a vast audience, promoting the joys of quilting and patchworking worldwide, raising the profile of quilting in the Scotland and the UK as a whole.

Paisley Shawl(c1865)
Paisley Shawl(c1865).
Reproduced with kind permission from
the National Trust for Scotland and
the Paisley Museum

So whats in store for visitors to this years show?

Pauline Burbidge is giving a one day master class limited to just four people. Early booking is therefore essential. This is a new addition to the show and a fantastic opportunity to work directly with a truly gifted artist.

Eight other workshops take place on four consecutive days with themes as diverse as A Taste of North Country Quilting led by Lilian Hedley; Quilting with a difference: A Celtic Theme by Nikki Tinkler; and Scrap Quilts with Margaret Morrow. Attendees also will be fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend a class led by Pat Archibald, who is taking time out from her studio to share her love of Auspicious Symbols. Students will use the format of a long, narrow Chinese scroll to create a montage of a city skyline at sunrise or sunset on which they can stitch their choice of auspicious symbol high in the sky. Pats choice of theme for her workshop was inspired by her recent exhibition entitled Colours of Hong Kong, which took place in October 2007 and was covered in Popular Patchwork.

Paisley Shawl(c1860)
Paisley Shawl(c1860). Reproduced with
kind permission from the
National Trust for Scotland
and the Paisley Museum

In addition to seeing collections from many of the workshop leaders (Lilian Hedley, Pat Archibald, Nikki Tinkler, Janice Gunner, Margaret Morrow and Pauline Burbidge), at the various Church venues in the Vale of Leven, there are several other exhibitions to lure visitors including: Turning Point Textile Design Group; Highland Art Textile Wall hangings; Jen Jones Welsh quilts and Delia Salters The Shipping Forecast. See the website for the full programme.

Clyde Olliver will be exhibiting his incredible collection of embroidered artworks using stone, slate and twine. Ruth said that they are also very fortunate to have US quilter Tina Gravatt as a guest exhibitor. Tina is in Scotland on a study break at University of Stirling and is widely known for her heirloom miniature quilts. The miniature element of Tinas work has worked in our favour as she was able to bring enough of selection for the show within her baggage allowance. For those of you with a passion for hand quilting, Lilian Hedley will be launching her latest template book entitled Borders & Stripy Quilts at Loch Lomond and will be demonstrating on site next to the four antique quilts that are travelling with her to the show.

Know before you go

This years show runs from the 14th to 17th May and you can book up for workshops via the website. Once again, the team are organising a series of evening events with a Scottish flavour, including dinner on the Wednesday night at the Kilted Skirlie restaurant, a cruise of Loch Lomond on the Thursday and a ceilidh and meal on the Friday.

Weavers Cottage in Kilbarchan
Weavers Cottage in Kilbarchan.
Reproduced with kind permission from the
National Trust for Scotland and the Paisley Museum.

There are four competitions and the annual Q in the Park, details of which are posted on the website. Accommodation at Loch Lomond and the surrounding area can be found on Visit Scotland.

For those of you looking for a fulsome textile experience, you might also want to visit some of Scotlands other textile attractions in the vicinity during your trip. Just over twenty miles away is the home of the paisley pattern, named after the town Paisley in Renfrewshire. Local weavers, using Jacquard Looms, adapted designs from silk and wool Kashmir shawls imported with soldiers returning from India. The instantly recognisable teardrop shape is Persian in origin but it was the town of Paisley, known for its intense manufacturing of printed cotton and wool, which gave the pattern worldwide exposure. There are many examples of the original shawls on display at the Musuem and directions can be found by visiting Paisley's Community Website. The pictures shown here are printed with permission from Paisley Museum.

Not far from Paisley is the National Trust for Scotlands Weavers Cottage which is open from March to September (best to check summer opening hours directly by calling 0844 4932205). Built in 1723, Weavers Cottage houses the last of 800 handlooms once working in the village of Kilbarchan. Today, the 200 year old looms are used by weavers who specialise in the making of tartan. They regularly spin and dye their own wool using natural dyes, many of which are obtained from plants and herbs in the cottage garden. See National Trust for Scotland for more information.

And last but not least, the Burrell Collection in Glasgow has tapestry galleries billed as one of the glories of the Collection housing a selection of tapestries displayed in four consecutive galleries. Selected items from Sir William Burrells collection of embroidered textiles and lace can also be seen in a small Needlework Room. See Glasgow Museums.

In the meantime however, if youre sitting at a loose-end, in between quilting projects, why not go online and join the bloggers in Loch Lomond. The more the merrier, as they say.

First published in Popular Patchwork May 2008