Meet a Member: Susan Grimes

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Get to know The Guild 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 and Miniature Quilt Group member, Susan Grimes.

What are you working on now? 

I live in South West Scotland, in Region 16. I’ve been quilting for thirty years, but only in last fifteen have things got serious. I’m currently finishing a Birthstone quilt. It’s a block of the month project and it has dragged on due to fabric shortages, but I’m about to cut out the last block. I also have one row of a Lucy Boston hand pieced English Paper Piecing patchwork to sew together; another long term project nearing completion. I’m a craft-a-holic so I also have wool spinning, knitting, crochet, cross stitch and fifteen other quilts in various stages, from doodles on envelopes to fabric selected ready to cut, or scraps that just need backing all on the go.

What is your favourite miniature quilt that you’ve ever made?

My favourite miniature quilt is just a little nine patch that lives in a jam jar on the shelf. Odd I know, but it’s the jam pot from my first trip to FOQ in 2019 and the jar is engraved. I get a thrill every time I see it, and during the recent pandemic I’ve held onto that jar and remembered the fantastic time I had at the show. Another favourite is my piper, made at a class with Paula Rafferty. It’s actually a drawing of my son turned into a mini quilt, and hangs in my craft room. I think this was why I joined the Contemporary Special Interest Group, but I decided it wasn’t the way I wanted to go long term.

Who are your quilting heroes?

Quilt heroes is difficult, as I’m rubbish at names and like so many types of quilts! But I do love watching tutorials and follow Jenny Doan and Karen Brown of Just Get It Done Quilts. Ann Hill is my ‘real life’ hero for all the work she does with Alzheimer Scotland, all for free. Her enthusiasm also got the most southerly quilt show in Scotland off the ground at Shambellie House. Her encouragement has been amazing, although my husband would argue she isn’t his hero, as I often come back from seeing Ann with fabric – oops. She encourages me to push myself to aim for the top and keep thinking outside the box when I am designing my quilts, and without her I’d have never joined The Guild and discovered so many more ways to put two pieces of fabric together than I could ever have imagined!
 
Can you recommend a good quilting read? 
 
A good read? Now you have me! I’m Dyslexic so reading isn’t my thing; it’s frustrating and takes up too much time. But I buy books – not just quilting ones – if I see one and can read the first few sentences, and I’ve seen the author plugging it on TV. I have bought Stephen Fry’s book ‘Fry’s Ties’ because I admire his use of the English language. I am enjoying it but some words I can’t read. I might still be reading it next year, but I’ll get there. I do have Miriam Margoyles ‘This Much Is True’ on audio book; it’s rather fun having her voice talking away in my craft room.
 

What do you love about The Guild and your membership of the Miniature Special Interest Group? 

I joined the Miniature Special Interest Group this year to try something new, and to challenge myself to do things on a smaller scale, and more accurately. My dear husband thinks it involves less fabric, but we won’t spoil it for him! I think miniature is a way to feed my imagination without always making big quilts. People say it’s just traditional made small, but I’ve discovered so much more. I’ve enjoyed the few Zoom sessions I’ve taken part in and hope to be able to meet up with everyone one day. I enjoyed making my Christmas wreath in the Zoom class.
 
I have won a prize for my quilts; a ‘Highly Commended’ at Glasgow in 2020, just before all this virus started. I’m pictured with a folded patchwork Baby Quilt that gained a Judges Merit at the old Edinburgh show. I actually cried when I saw the rosette hanging with my quilt, as I never thought I was good enough. I’ve just given it to my eldest son for our first Grandchild, who is due in June, to use.
 
I hope you enjoyed this brief glimpse into my life as a quilter!
 
Susan Grimes
Region 16

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Appliqué is a sewing technique that allows you to create designs by adding layers of fabric. This is the process of cutting pieces from a second fabric – or a selection of fabrics – then positioning and securing them to the main piece to form a larger pattern or design.  Continue reading

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Collection Focus: 40 Layers of Quilting, by Jo Avery

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