Talk of the COVID-19 virus was in the air when six QUOGs (Quilters of Grahamstown) gathered at my home for a workshop on Quarter Square Circles. It was a good distraction, with much chatting, laughing and humming of sewing machines. The only thing that was different from our previous gatherings was a tacit agreement not to give hello hugs. We noted that, as quilters, we wash our hands anyway.
I can’t but help feeling proud of what we produced — and the pieces are all so very different. Here’s photographic proof, snapped a few days after the workshop when we met again and oohed and aahed over our various creations.
Two completed, large quilt tops
Cut from the same cloth, to make two cushion covers
A work in progress that stunned as all — we did not believe she would manage to avoid upside down or sideways Buddhas in her final arrangement. But she did!
Pinned-up blocks in gentle colours, from two quilters who are making baby quilts
Our group has been meeting for a couple of decades of an evening every fortnight for a chat over hand stitching. Every once in a while we offer workshops to one another when we are inspired by a new design and want to share how to make it. I became interested in circles and stitching curves after doing the Improv Double Wedding Ring class with Joy Clark, and made to Diana Vandeyar’s design. After looking at and collecting images of Drunkard’s Path variations and Modern Quilts with circles, I began experimenting. I soon found that when I tried to cut a curve freehand I ended up with a odd squarish shape, so I made a template to guide my eye and stitched up these samples:
Two colours or many colours?
I used these samples as a teaser to lure the QUOGs for a workshop and a day of sewing together. And I am very glad I did, because it took our minds off the fear and uncertainty that then became a reality with the declaration of a state of emergency and the precautionary measures that have now become part of life. I feel as if I am living in a futuristic novel or movie and find that stitching keeps me grounded.