Hilary Spilsby May 2021: Lucy Boston – Patchwork of the crosses

Val Wright (Chair) opened this month’s meeting with some encouraging news. The Exhibition Sub Committee have secured the use of Cottingham’s Civic Hall for next year’s exhibition, which will run from Friday, 29th April until the 2nd of May, 2022. Val explained how this venue provides great opportunities, in terms of a large, open and ‘blank’ space, which will allow for a separate sales area and a space to enjoy refreshments. The Sub Committee also are hopeful that there will be space for a demonstration area. The Exhibition Committee will design the exhibition. Val said that help would be needed for displaying items, stewarding and providing refreshments. In the meantime, Val asked that we take stock of all the projects we have completed throughout the last year, with a view to putting them forward for the exhibition. She reminded us of her lockdown challenge – Close To Our Hearts. This is a 3-D project, 5” x7” in size, depicting anything that has especially touched us during lockdown.

Lynn Benson spoke to us next, introducing a challenge for a Society Display for the exhibition. Lynn’s challenge is to create a piece to fit in an embroidery hoop. The hoop can be any size and Hilary Goldsmith told us that there are plenty of hoops available in the EYELETS stash. Lynn wants us to be experimental with this piece, using any fabric or thread or stitching technique. She is asking us to just ‘go for it’ to produce a piece about anything that inspires you.

Lynn had a little time to show us a couple of hats she has made, each one exuberant, with an abundance of feathers and a 3-D one, which can be worn at any angle!

Jacky Ward Lomax: From Drawing to Quilt

Jacky’s background is in sculpture and she is a self-taught quilter. Jacky explained that the leap from sculpture to sewing and needlecraft was a stretch, although, as a teenager, she would draft her own patterns and make her own outfits.

Jacky began her talk for us by explaining that her inspiration comes from a range of sources, including; images from ones own imagination, research from the computer, books and photos, and tracing images from birthday cards and such like.

Jacky showed us a beautiful selection of pieces and explained how the process worked – from inspiration to end result.

The first piece Jacky showed us was a wall hanging of a pine tree, inspired by a dream. Jacky explained how she draws a grid over her initial drawing so that she can adapt the image to the size she wants. This done, she can choose an array of fabrics and threads and get to work.

We were treated to a vibrant and colourful wall hanging that Jacky created for a friend, celebrating the joy of singing. A Tibetan singing bowl with flowers produced a joyous piece of work.

Jacky is a regular visitor to our sales table, keeping her stash topped up, and even the most unpromising fabrics clearly gain a new lease of life in Jacky’s skilled hands. We enjoyed a Klimt inspired wall hanging of Burton Bushes in Beverley, with spindly, stylised trunks and stylised flower patterns in gorgeous hues.

Other pieces were inspired by Jacky’s visit to Pearson Park, with its exquisite displays of flowers and a birthday card with a graceful trio of horses cantering along the beach.

Jacky’s work is clearly inspired by the world around us with all its colour, texture and joy. Her final piece for us was a bright and very beautiful sunflower!

You can download Jacky’s PowerPoint presentation here:

Hilary Spilsby: Lucy Boston – Patchwork of the crosses

For the final part of our afternoon, Val introduced us to Hilary Spilsby.

Hilary was seated in front of a spectacular quilt which was inspired by the work of an extraordinary woman, Lucy Boston, 1892-1990. Hilary spoke of Lucy’s background as the child of Wesleyan parents and, during The Great war, as a nurse in a French military hospital. She later became the author of the Green Knowe series of children’s books. During the ’30s, we learned that Lucy returned to Essex, after studying painting in Vienna, and set up home in Hemingford Grey. It was here that Lucy started to create quilts of great detail and eclectic in mix.

Hilary was so inspired by Lucy’s work, that she bought the patterns and paper pieces needed to create her own Boston Quilt. Amazingly, the quilt is made up from only two shapes – 24 honeycombs, framed by 1” squares!

Hilary explained that she wanted to make her quilt for her wedding anniversary. She showed us how playing with colour and shade, each square can look completely different. Hilary uses fat quarters and regular metres of fabric for in between. Antique sheets, which aren’t so stiff, are used for the background. Always ready to explore, Hilary has honed her ‘fussy cutting’ technique, selecting tiny images and motifs and cutting them out to insert into her designs to add another layer of delight!

Hilary spent three years on her quilt, taking it on her Anniversary Cruise to Iceland.

Many ladies were interested and, probably relieved, to learn that Hilary leaves her tacking in when making quilts!

You can download Hilary’s presentation here:

An inspiring afternoon, delivered by inspirational women, was enjoyed by all.

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