Get to know The Guild better by meeting our talented members! We have interesting and inspiring members all over the country doing amazing sewing and we want you to be able to share their work.
Meet Guild member, quiltmaker and designer, Sandie Lush.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on a second series of hand quilted cot quilts featuring an old paisley design created by May Thomas at the turn of the twentieth century. The first set of 23 cot quilts and a pram quilt were called Paisley Renaissance and were exhibited at the Jen Jones Welsh Quilt Centre in Lampeter in 2016. This second set will be called Paisley Parade and will be on view at Festival of Quilts 2019 in gallery TG9 in Hall 9. The husband is planning all sorts of technical wizardry to provide information about the quilts, so it should be very exciting.
What is your favourite quilt that you’ve ever made?
That’s a very difficult question! I make quilts in various styles and tend to have a favourite of each. Although most people identify me with hand quilted wholecloth quilts, I have a secret life stitching hand appliqué as I love playing with colour. My favourite applique quilt is definitely 2003 Tulips.
I absolutely love Welsh quilts and Fantasy has been my most successful quilt. I am also very fond of making Colonial knots and Pearl Princess has a very special place in my heart. One of my proudest moments was this quilt winning the Visitors’ Choice award at Festival of Quilts in 2016.
I have had a lot of fun over the years creating quilts that look like sweaters. It began with a single bed sized cricket sweater using traditional quilting to create texture that looked like knitting, but soon evolved into using some really interesting fabrics. My favourite has to be Knit in Funky Fur purely for the purple ‘Charleston’ fabric I used.
Who are your quilting heroes?
There are several quilters who have really inspired me. The first has to be Amy Emms. I had never seen a wholecloth quilt until I went to Quilts UK and saw Amy sitting in front of one of her beautiful satin quilts. I was in absolute awe and thought I would never be able to make something like that. When I finally plucked up the courage to speak to her she was so encouraging. Sadly she had stopped teaching by then but Barbara Chainey set me on the path to wholecloth design for which I am eternally grateful.
The other teacher that really inspired me was Dawn Pavitt who sadly passed away last year. I was lucky to be invited to join the small quilting group she taught from her home. Dawn paid great attention to detail and was the master of finishing touches. I learnt so much from her and continued to visit her long after she’d thrown me out of the class to stand on my own two feet!
My final quilting hero is co-author of The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt, Rose Kretsinger. Rose was primarily an appliqué artist who led a small group of quilters based in Emporia Kansas in the 1930’s. She reconstructed designs from fragments of old appliqué quilts as well as designing original patterns. I was privileged to see some of her quilts at the Spencer Museum of Art in Emporia and they were amazing. The quilting workmanship was to die for. I loved her quilting designs around the appliqué but, funnily enough, Rose never did her own quilting – in those days one employed someone else to quilt and that quilter was never credited in case a rival artist ‘stole’ her by offering more money!
Can you recommend a good quilting read?
My favourite quilt related book is Soft Covers for Hard Times by Merikay Waldvogel, which is all about quilting in the Great Depression. Her book Patchwork Souvenirs about the quilts in the 1933 World’s Fair was also fascinating. Both books are now out of print but can be got quite cheaply on the internet.
When did you join The Guild and why?
I joined the Guild in either 1994 or 1995. I started going to quilt shows and had spoken with two ladies on the Guild stand. The same two ladies did most of the shows so we got quite friendly and it was they who persuaded me to join the Guild. A friend and I used to go to all the local area days and any AGM within a three hour drive from Bristol. These were great for meeting like-minded people and learning about the different styles and techniques. We both had great fun finding not only techniques and tips we loved, but also things we never wanted to do again! The Guild has certainly provided fun and lasting friendships over the years.
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.