Get Involved with Get Creative

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The 2018 Get Creative Festival becomes a national week-long celebration of all that is creative. It is a wonderful opportunity to get involved, share your skills and learn something new.

Get Creative Festival is taking place across the UK from 17 – 25 March 2018. The annual festival is a merger of the previous Get Creative Weekend and Voluntary Arts Festival – now joined together to make one huge nationwide event.

Get Creative Festival shines a light on all the great cultural activity that takes place right across the UK on a regular basis and encourages people to try their hand at something new and creative. During the festival arts organisations, societies and community groups are invited to put on participatory creative events that are either free or cost-recovery. The festival is supported by a range of major cultural organisations, including Voluntary Arts and the BBC, but the programme of activities is mostly run by grassroots groups and arts organisations of all shapes and sizes throughout the country.P1030709

Last year (2017) BBC local radio in England and Wales were celebrating their 40th birthdays and The Quilters’ Guild were invited to be involved with this as part of the BBC’s Get Creative weekend which many of you did by hosting small workshops in local libraries.

London Quilters were featured on the BBC’s coverage of the event and you can watch an interview with Marion McCrindle, our Vice President and author, Tracy Chevalier alongside other members of London Quilters and their exhibition at Swiss Cottage Library.

Watch the BBC coverage by clicking on the image below. This will take you to the BBC website. All content is © BBC.

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Although local BBC Scotland radio stations were not involved last year (they celebrate their 50th birthdays in 2018) this did not deter our Scottish quilters in Region 16. Ann Hill, Region 16 coordinator was keen to get involved and shine a light on quilting in her local community and decided to give it a try.

Ann has been holding week-long exhibitions for the last nine years and it was this format that was chosen to celebrate Get Creative, only this time with the addition of taster sessions.

“Here in Scotland we organised quilting ‘come and try’ sessions and also a quilt exhibition to show what was being done in our area of Dumfries and Galloway.  I thought this would be a great way of showing how you can use any hobby to get involved in so many aspects of your local community – we especially enjoyed bringing the young people along and those who are disaffected within our community.”

The event attracted over 200 people from both within and outside the local area. They were treated to gorgeous quilts by quilting pupils, a café and taster sessions for visitors to have a try at different types of quilting.Ann Hill image Dunfries exhibition

After the success of last year Ann has another brilliant event lined up for 2018.

“This year we will again have an exhibition for the whole week.   It will feature memory quilts for those living with dementia – both for show and for sale.   It will also feature the work of pupils who have been invited to show their work at the Glasgow Quilt show the week before the festival.   I am a great believer in showing quilts that are not perfect.   A lot of people are put off by assuming that you have to be really good to be exhibited.   We all have to start somewhere and giving them a little belief in themselves works wonders.”

I asked Ann what she had learnt from her trial run in 2017, she told me “we are better organised for this years events. I am particularly looking forward to bringing others into our region to hear about what we are doing and making our regional day part of the festival week”. More advertising, using Facebook, email and the local press as well as getting more people involved with helping on the event days are also Ann’s list for 2018.

The impact on quilting locally has been a wonderful benefit to Region 16, Ann told me “…being involved with Get Creative has allowed the region to promote quilting further afield into the community and allowed us to set up a group for those needing special support. We are certainly better known. We have also increased the membership of The Guild.”

The show will be held at McFarlan Hall, Clarencefield, Dumfries, (DG1 4NF) from Friday 16 to Saturday 24 March, 10-5 each day. There will be three classes available on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with themes inspired by the local landscape and Charles Rennie Macintosh. Entry is free though there is a charge for workshops, to book please see the event listing and details about how to book on our website here.

A Get Creative event does not need to be a special event or occasion. You can open your weekly group, you might decide to run a beginner friendly workshop within it. The Get Creative Festival has a great tool kit to help you get started, they have a poster to help advertise your event and you can register your event with them online here

If you’re in need for some project inspiration for an event why not pop over to our Young Quilters’ or Youngish Quilters’ websites for those young and young at heart to quilting. You’ll find full, simple instructions and free patterns to download.

If you’re hosting an event please do let The Quilters’ Guild know too using the form below. We’ll make sure your event is listed on our Quilters’ Guild Get Creative website

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