Liberty and Winterbourne in Region 11

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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.

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Collections Officer, Henrietta Lockhart, talks to Guild members about the history of Winterbourne House and the Nettlefold family during a house tour. Winterbourne House and Garden, University of Birmingham.

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Guild members explore the house and its interpretation displays. Winterbourne House and Garden, University of Birmingham.

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.

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Winterbourne House and Garden, University of Birmingham.

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Guild members peruse John  Nettlefold’s study. Winterbourne House and Garden, University of Birmingham.

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.

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Region 11 member quilts from left to right: Sadie Yeomans, Jenny Hall, Helen Clark.

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Region 11 member quilts from left to right: Eleanor Marsden, Mary Lowe, Jane Bartlett, Sheilagh Webb, Sheilah Daughtree, Amanda Wright.

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Region 11 member quilts from left to right: Sheilagh Webb, Sheilah Daughtree, Amanda Wright, Sheilagh Webb, Ruth Dobbins

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Quilt made by Region 11 member Karen Mcllwraith

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.

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Elle Gager, Liberty quilting fabrics Designer, talks to members about fabric design and launches the new Winterbourne range. Winterbourne House and Garden, University of Birmingham.

Our lucky members each received a goody bag, courtesy of our sponsor, EQS, before enjoying a delightful lunch catered by Winterbourne House.

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Member goody bags!

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A chance to catch up with Guild friends over lunch. Winterbourne House and Garden, University of Birmingham.

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.”

Jillie Couriel

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Guild members enjoying a bit of retail therapy with Quilters’ Den. Winterbourne House and Garden, University of Birmingham.

“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

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The Liberty Winterbourne range.

The Guild is hugely grateful to Winterbourne House and Garden, the University of Birmingham, Liberty and EQS for running this fantastic event for our members.

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.

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Header image: Winterbourne House and Garden, University of Birmingham.

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