One of the wonderful benefits of being a member of The Guild is the opportunity to attend our fantastic members-only special regional events. In February, lucky Guild members from across the UK had the opportunity to attend a free and exclusive Liberty launch event held at Winterbourne House and Garden, University of Birmingham.
At this event, Liberty Fabrics, in collaboration with EQS, launched a new range of quilting fabrics inspired by Winterbourne House and Garden. Members enjoyed a meet and greet with coffee and tea, before being led on a fascinating tour of the house by Collections Officer, Henrietta Lockhart.
Winterbourne House is a beautifully restored Arts and Crafts House, designed and built in 1903 by Joseph Lancaster Ball, a Birmingham architect and a champion of Arts and Crafts style. A rare surviving example of an early 20th century suburban villa and garden, the house was built for John and Margaret Nettlefold, of Guest, Keen & Nettlefold, a Birmingham firm of manufacturers specialising in nuts, bolts, screws and fasteners.
Nettlefold was a pioneer of town planning who carried the ideas seen in his own home to the less wealthy areas of the city.
Sadly the house did not remain in the Nettlefold family for very long. In 1944 John MacDonald Nicolson, the last private owner, bequeathed the house and garden to the University of Birmingham. The garden then became the University’s Botanic Garden. Both the beautifully restored house and gardens are now open to the public. The estate also has it’s own nineteenth century printing presses which are used for workshops, demonstrations and for paperwork sold in Winterbourne’s gift shop. For opening times please see the Winterbourne House & Gardens website.
In advance of the event, our generous sponsor EQS gifted Region 11 with samples of the (as yet unreleased) Winterbourne range with which to make quilts for the launch. Event attendees had the chance to view this marvellous selection of member talent.
Members were then treated to the rare opportunity to hear about the design process from a Liberty quilting fabric designer. Elle Gager gave a fascinating presentation on Liberty’s history, the design process and the inspiration behind the Winterbourne House range.
Our lucky members each received a goody bag, courtesy of our sponsor, EQS, before enjoying a delightful lunch catered by Winterbourne House.
Once our members were fully refreshed, they had the pleasure of being the first to peruse and shop the new Winterbourne range with Karen of Quilters’ Den in Warwick. A Guild member discount was available, of course!
“I have just returned from a delightful morning at Winterbourne House. It was a very interesting and informative day. The designer, Elle, from Liberty gave a very good talk, the quilts were delightful and the lunch delicious. Please pass on my thanks to all involved in making it such an enjoyable event.”
“We had a wonderful day today, warm welcome, fascinating presentation by Elle, super informative tour by Henrietta, oh and a sandwich and goody bag, and shopping for the new fabrics. Please convey our thanks to all concerned.”
Sue Hope & Anne Endersby
Members will also be thrilled to find out that we have a members-only Bumper EQS Liberty Giveaway Bonanza planned! See below for the fabulous prizes which are available to members over the coming months thanks to the unbelievable generosity of our sponsor, EQS. Join The Guild now to be in with a chance of winning! We will be getting in touch with members shortly with details of the giveaway.
Header image: Winterbourne House and Garden, University of Birmingham.