More about that quilt

'Threaded friendship' quilt by Felicity Higginson, Alison Moore and Amanda Ogden

Two weeks ago I mentioned the quilt pictured above – exhibited at the (virtual) Festival of Quilts this year – that three quilters made as a group. You can read that post here. This week, I’m going to fill you in with a few more details. Maybe it will inspire you to consider making a group quilt with friends of yours…

The three linked friendships represented in the quilt were formed like this: In the early 1980s Felicity and Alison became friends in Durham where they both lived. In 1988 Felicity moved to Cambridge, where I then lived and we became friends. A year later, we left Cambridge and moved to Newcastle, but kept up the friendship with Felicity and her family. In 2000 I moved to Leeds and then in 2008 to Durham. Felicity came on a visit and introduced me to Alison.

At the first meeting Alison showed us a beautiful double-bed quilt she was making and from then on, Alison and I were friends too. So this quilt represents these interlocking friendships spanning several decades, hence the title (coined by Felicity) ‘Celebrating Threaded Friendship and Looking Ahead’.

The ‘looking ahead’ part of the project refers to discussions we were having between the three of us, while on an enjoyable short break in the Yorkshire Dales, about what would be necessary to us in order to ‘age well’. On return to our respective homes, we compiled a list of ideas which included the phrases you can see embroidered around the border of the final quilt: ‘morning walks’, ‘hearing (enough)’ ‘remaining open’. You can see the others if you enlarge the photo at the top. The lettering is ‘Biome’ a compact, modern typeface that fitted well into the narrow border. The embroidery is done in chain stitch with two strands of stranded cotton, in colours to coordinate with the nearby blocks in the quilt.

The embroidery in the borders

The hexagons were made during September to December last year. There are three hexagons in each of ten colours (so, thirty in all). Every hexagon (as seen above) has two equilateral triangles contributed by each of us. We cut triangles from our own stock of fabric and posted them out to the other two makers, so there was an interesting serendipity about the combination of fabrics. We imposed a rule that no new fabric should be bought for this part of the quilt.

We had a meeting together in February (before lockdown) to lay out the hexagons and decide on their placement in the quilt top, to agree the fabric that would lie between them and what the border would be like.

During lockdown we set out about embroidering the words to the border. Felicity pieced the quilt top and posted it to me. I layered it up and then handed it over (socially distanced) to Alison, who quilted it.

Close-up of the quilting in the ditch and shadow quilting in the navy blue filling triangles

Alison sewed part of the border on, then we did some of it together, whilst sitting outdoors in her summer house in our coats – obeying the Covid-19 rules.

The backing fabric has printed equilateral triangles on – a happy find.

Sadly, our names did not appear in the Festival of Quilts listing – only the group name is given. I entered it as ‘The Three Friends’ but really it should have been ‘Three Old Friends’, to include the double meaning of ‘old’ in this case (longstanding friendship and people who are no longer ‘young’!)

So, I would like to say here publicly, that this quilt was made by Felicity Higginson, Alison Moore and Amanda Ogden. This week the quilt will make its way by post to Felicity, who will be the keeper of the quilt.

Thank you for reading my blog. Quilt patterns are here, Fabrics are here, Classes are here.

Published by Amanda Jane Textiles

I am an artist, designer and maker living in Ramsgate, UK

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