From our inaugural meeting in October 2002 at Community Wise in Old Town, Eastbourne, our group has grown to over 40 members. We are a small friendly group with varied experience in patchwork, quilting, sewing and knitting who meet to share tips, ideas and expertise. Open sewing afternoons hopefully resulting in sociable and productive meetings, with ideas and help flowing freely.
We offer a varied programme of speakers and workshops (both in-house and visiting tutors).
Each year we have an Anniversary Challenge, the subject of which is announced at our AGM in January and revealed at the following years’ AGM. There is always a great diversity in the interpretation of the challenge which range in size and complexity of design.
The 2016 Challenge is “3D” we have asked our members to “wow” us with their creativity!
“Perhaps a quilt of specific shapes and colour which make a dimensional quilt that really “pops”, or a decorated container, cushion, item of clothing, jewellery, picture or a collage.”
We have also made items for various charities including
Linus Quilts http://projectlinusuk.org.uk/
Quilts for Injured Servicemen http://www.q4is.co.uk/
Sensory/Tactile quilts for young children, “Cuddle Cushions” and “Fidget Quilts” for a local nursing home also small incubator covers for premature babies which were donated to local hospitals maternity units.
Secret messages in the form of quilt patterns helped slaves escape the bonds of captivity in the Southern states before and during the American Civil War. The quilt patterns, used in a certain order, relayed messages to slaves preparing to escape. Each pattern represented a different meaning. Some of the most common patterns were “Monkey Wrench,” “Star,” “Crossroads” and “Wagon Wheel.”
Quilts slung over a fence or windowsill, seemingly to air, passed on the necessary information to slaves. As quilts hung out to air were a common sight on a plantation, neither the plantation owner nor the overseer would notice anything suspicious. It was all part of a day’ s work for the slaves.
In 2008, we completed our second group quilt which illustrates ‘The Alphabet’ and has been given to Community Wise for the downstairs hall, where it can be enjoyed by the many young children who visit the Centre.
Our members have exhibited at the Under Ground Theatre Quilt Show in Eastbourne, the Quilters’ Guild (Region 2) Exhibition at Hever (now held at Lullingstone) and the annual Quilt Shows at Crowborough and Ardingly. We also hold our own quilt exhibition every two years. Two of our members have received prestigious awards at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham and also exhibit further afield.