It isn’t every day that quilting gets onto the front page, but recently in the Durham Advertiser (our local free newspaper) there it was: ‘Quilters raise tidy sum for cause’. It appeared beneath a photograph taken by Tom Banks, a professional freelance photographer and son of the person pictured. The piece reported on the recent Durham Quilters’ three-day quilt show. All twenty members of Durham Quilters pitched in with the organisation of the show, which was coordinated by Ann Diggory and Maggie Taylor.
In the picture is Gillian Banks showing her own ‘Challenge’ Quilt to her grand-daughter Georgia. Fifteen of the group members each made a single block 15 times and gave one of these blocks to each of the others. Each quilter then used the collection of blocks in the way they chose. Gillian’s version included borders and panels of stems and leaves.
Gillian’s professional training was in Primary Education, specialising in Embroidery and she became interested in North Country Quilting when she lived in Durham in 1982. From 1985 to 2000 Gillian taught Patchwork and Quilting at various locations in the Durham area. She taught no less than eight members of the current Durham Quilters group and both of the two honorary lifetime members also.
It has made me think (again!) about the influence a teacher can have: many people now living in the Durham area are quilting because Gillian taught them. I am currently teaching a ‘My First Quilt’ course at the moment, which I enjoy very much. You never do know what someone will do with what you teach them…