Get to know The Guild better by meeting our talented members. Every year we are so proud to have so many Guild members who are winners at Festival of Quilts. We have reached out to our talented member winners and asked them to share with us their quilting life, why they entered the competition, what their winning quilt means to them and where they get their inspiration. Read on and be inspired. Are you entering a quilt this year?
Meet Guild member Annie Henderson-Begg, who won the City & Guilds Award at Festival of Quilts in 2017.
What are you working on now?
My current theme is Japan, following an amazing textile-themed trip there in early 2018, led by Lisa Walton. I am putting together work for my space in the C&G gallery at FOQ – a double bed quilt in Japanese white fabrics – a new one for me as I love colour – which is pieced but not yet quilted, plus smaller pieces definitely not in white.
What does your winning quilt mean to you?
Travel to exotic places inspires me…my C&G diploma theme was Marrakech. I loved the research part and ended up making a wall hanging (“Right Side Outside”) referencing historic Moroccan Jewish life. The blue background echoes the street layout of the Marrakech mellah (ghetto), bright velvets reclaim patterns from the traditional aknif cape which Jews had to wear inside out (to mark them as outsiders), and the metallic quilting recalls the manufacture of gold thread – a speciality of Moroccan Jews.
Who are your quilting heroes?
Influences come and go and sometimes what seems like a throwaway remark from someone can have a terrific impact. My admiration for Pauline Burbidge’s work has remained a constant. But on a personal level I have to pick my C&G tutor Barbara Weeks, who changed the way I approached so many things; I feel very fortunate to have been part of a great group at Missenden taught by her.
Can you recommend a good quilting read?
I am a bookaholic but without doubt the book I refer to most often is the first I ever bought – Linda Seward’s Complete Book of Patchwork, Quilting & Appliqué; it’s brilliant for technique reminders. Thank you to my first teacher, Valerie Maddison, for introducing me to it many years ago, along with the rotary cutter.
What do you love about The Quilters Guild and the Festival of Quilts?
I was a lurking member for a long time, just enjoying the magazine and the feeling of being part of an organisation that valued quilting heritage. The C&G experience gave me the confidence to take part, and going to my first AGM was a revelation – such a lot on offer and so friendly. I’ve recently started as production editor for the Contemporary Quilt newsletter and am really enjoying it.
We are asking Members to tell us a bit about their sewing life using five simple questions. At the end of the interview each member suggests another to interview. This way we hope to bring you a wide range of makers from all corners of The Guild over the next weeks and months. If you know an inspiring quilter who we should feature, get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send out a copy of our questionnaire.