Tulip Garden by Jane Hadfield. American Heritage Quilt Collection
Tulip Garden by Jane Hadfield.
American Heritage Quilt Collection

I had a dilemma this weekend, there haven't been any quilt shows in my area for ages, and of course this week, there were two on the same day! I had promised to visit Frodsham Patchers exhibition on Saturday, but there was also an exhibition in Stalybridge that afternoon, and I really wanted to go to both. I don't have a car and it isn't really possible to travel between my home and these two locations easily on public transport, not to mention fitting them both in with everything else I ought to have been doing at home. So I was very pleased when my Mother-in-law, Margaret, said that she would be interested in visiting one of the shows and telling me what she had seen. Margaret is not a quilter, but is an embroiderer and is very interested in textiles so I knew she would love the exhibition. She has visited some wonderful outdoor quilt exhibitions in the USA, so she does have some prior knowlege! My Brother-in-law and his girlfriend live quite near Stalybridge, so the trip ended up being quite a family party, as they and Bill, my husband's Dad, all went along.

Posh Sampler Judith Davy. Work in progress
Posh Sampler by Judith Davy.
Work in progress

Stalybridge Quilters should be very proud of the impression they have left with my family. All four of them enjoyed their visit and were very impressed with what they saw, so much so that Angela has been inspired to take up quilting. I expect that Stalybridge have just recruited their latest member! I felt rather a pang when I saw the photographs, and wished that I had been with them, it isn't quite the same as seeing "quilts in the flesh". I'll just make sure I'm there for the 5th exhibition next time! I'm certain there were lots of wonderful pieces,  I can see that the standard of work on show was very high.  I especially like Dot Aellan's piece "Playing with Curves", and Anne Gosling's gorgeous "Tulip Sampler". I can also see why Margaret was blown away by Jane Hadfield's Tulip Garden. I would like to congratulate Eleanor Gorton, who is learning patchwork as part of her Duke of Edinburgh Award. Her quilt is lovely, and I hope she will enjoy both it and her new skill for many years to come.

Tulip Sampler by Anne Gosling. Work in progress.
Tulip Sampler by Anne Gosling.
Work in progress.

Margaret wrote a report on her experience at her first UK quilt group show, so I'll hand over to her, to tell you all about it. If anyone has a picture of the Stalybridge Portrait Quilt, I'd love to see it, and hear how it was organised and created. Maybe one of the Stalybridge quilters can be persuaded to tell us about it!

Playing with Curves by Dot Aellen.
Playing with Curves by Dot Aellen.

Margaret writes, "I went to this exhibition under false pretences as I dont actually do quilting, or patchwork, (or anything else which demands excellence with a needle) but I was amazed at the variety of the work displayed. As soon as we went in, my eye was caught by a cream and dark red quilt entitled Tulip Garden, by Jane Hadfield. Then, and totally different, was Playing with Curves, by Dot Aellen. There were bags, and small Christmas hangings, and a piece made by 14 year old Eleanor Gorton as part of her Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. Some quilts were unfinished, and some were very much works in progress so the uninitiated, like me, could see how they were made."

Christmas Holly Wreath by Dot Aellen
Christmas Holly Wreath by Dot Aellen

"An unusual quilt was made up of 16 panels, each of which was a portrait of a member of the group, and they were so good that we were able to pick out the originals."

 Duke of Edinburgh Entry, Created by Eleanor Gorton - age 14. A new skill for her Duke of Edinburgh Bronze.
Duke of Edinburgh Entry.
Created by Eleanor Gorton - age 14.
A new skill for her Duke of Edinburgh Bronze.

"We had a cup of tea, and a very nice cake, and as we left, my son's girlfriend said she had been inspired to have a go, and would be looking on the website for ideas for a beginners project."