Friday, 23 January 2009

Meeting up

One of the things about living in the part of the UK that I do is the lack of sewing supplies. Or rather that you really have to make an effort to obtain them. We do have a haberdashery and a fabric stall on our market. But that is held on Friday and Saturday.There have been people who have tried to make a go of a regular shop, but the shops where you can afford the rent are in the area where people are happy with low cost ready to wear.

What if you need a certain colour thread or what have you on Tuesday?

You have to go some distance for 2 shops, one where you used to be able to get a wide selection of all sorts, and fabric at astronomical prices and which has been cutting back its fabric department slowly but surely.... and the other which has an interesting selection at cut rate prices (which cause some to wonder at the quality), but which is very hard to get to for parking. Generally, then, I wait til I go to the sewing or quilting shows and stock up. So, essentially, I shop from my stash. (But we will save the conversation about whether or not to have a large stash for another day.)

So, anyway, along with no dedicated sewing shops, you have to really look hard to find other people who sew. well, you'd normally meet them in fabric shops, wouldn't you? Most of the people I know in this area who sew (not just fashion or quilts, but anything!) I met through online groups. Even my friends I have mentioned before - Gabrielle and Helen.

And having worked at making textile art in this vacuum for sometime, I finally decided that if I was going to be able to find like minded people for this part of my life, I had to facilitate it!My first calls for getting together last year was helpful in getting our small group with Jane and Merete, now called EquilARTeral. This has been great, but I thought there must be others wanting a more active larger group.

So, to make a long story short. Tomorrow is the first meeting of the Region 6 Contemporary Quilt Group at the Birch Hill Community Centre in Bracknell. Region 6 is Berkshire and Oxfordshire. Everything started falling into place. Judy Fairless the British Contemporary Quilt Group Co-ordinator has relatives in this area, so she is coming to say a bit, as is my friend Margaret Cooter, who lives in London (and does a great blog I would encourage you to investigate.) and who does the membership and publicity for British Contemporary Quilt Group. And besides that, we have had around 18 people interested. One or two can't make it this time, but want to come in the future! So, that is cool.

So, today I am getting stuff ready for my bit tomorrow. Besides people bringing journal quilts to show, Jane is doing the registering. Merete is running the "Ugly Fabric Swap". I am running off at the, I mean, I am the one who will be up front doing the blathering and hoping to keep things on time.... also trying to get some ideas for the group to go forward.... and as well, we are having people bring their favourite stamping object, which they can use to stamp on their newly aquired ugly fabric or plain stuff if they like. Which reminds me, I need to get some out of the cupboard. Oh, and find my ugly fabric!

By the way, I have done similar events before....Including a few Sit 'n' Sew days at the community centre and an event with Ann van der Kley from Australia in 2007 at South Hill Park near here. But for some reason, this one seems more intimidating.

Photo of the day with Anne.

Speaking of quilting groups... check out this link

I wonder if our day will end up anything like this?

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