Quilt Association City and Guilds Graduates

“I feel quite sad now that it is over. I have thoroughly enjoyed my course, all of it, some parts more than others, at each stage I have been inspired, and enjoyed the challenge.  I have grown in so many ways, but especially confidence.”

Recently, several students have graduated from our City and Guilds Level 2 Certificate in Patchwork and Appliqué. They produced some outstanding work, as varied as their own personalities. During their online studies, they have filled sketchbooks as they learned about the elements of design – 

They have practised design development – 

and learnt practical skills such as traditional stitching techniques, Procion MX dyeing and free-motion quilting – 

and produced beautiful finished items focused on Patchwork and on Appliqué –

We had some lovely feedback from the graduates, (as well as the quote at the start of this post)  saying such things as;

“I learned a lot during the course and did things I would never before have                a) thought of doing or                                                                                                        b) thought were things I was capable of, probably just because I didn’t know how. In future if I come up with an idea, I will be more inclined to find out how things are done and can I acquire the tools needed rather than saying “that’s not for me”

“You have been a super tutor and your course is quite outstanding…wonderfully constructed and designed.”

“I have really enjoyed the course and learnt so much”

Some of you will have heard that City and Guilds are about to radically change their creative provision.  No one is sure yet exactly what they intend, but we do know that we can continue to register new students on our programme, which is 7161 from the Creative Techniques pathway,  until 2018.  If you are thinking of taking a City and Guilds course don’t delay.  We continue to be the best value online provider, with our price held despite increases in administration costs.


New Term! New programme!

Summer School 2014 with Sandra Meech

The education project, in which we are currently supported by the Ashley Family Foundation, has been vital in keeping The Quilt Association buzzing, with lots of people coming to The Minerva Arts Centre in Llanidloes, (where we are based) for the first time, to attend a workshop.  This year’s summer school was a great addition to our annual calendar and it all helps to keep the centre afloat.  Our first City and Guilds students are working hard as they approach graduation.

As you all know, times are hard for all charities, and we are never going to advocate that you throw a bucket of iced water at your quilts to raise money for us!  If you are able to attend a workshop, or the summer school, you will be helping to ensure that the quilt collection is maintained and perhaps even grows, in the future – plus you will be taught by the best in the country.  Win! Win!!

Have a look at the upcoming workshops on our website – more are added all the time.  Coming up in time to make Christmas gifts, Linda Paris is teaching Fabric Coil Pots – I have always wondered how you don’t break needles and how you stop everything going a bit ‘Ghost’!   Next year highlights include printing with woad, foolproof foundation piecing, hand-quilting with Barbara Chainey and of course summer school – 2015’s tutor is the vivacious, dynamic and talented Hilary Beattie.  

Pre-booking is essential and places do go quickly.

City and Guilds Bursaries

If you are holding back from taking our City and Guilds Level 2 Certificate in Patchwork and Appliqué because of cost, why not apply for a bursary?  City and Guilds offer them with application deadline 25 April 2014 .  We do understand that, even though we are the best value course in Britain, (especially with our price discounted until January 1 2015) it is a sum that is beyond many keen and talented stitchers.

Here is a link to the City and Guilds page that tells you about their bursaries –


Contact education@quilt.org.uk if you need specifics when applying.

Good Luck!!

City and Guilds Study Day

Students had a play at three different activities.  They spent the morning folding, stitching and furrowing to create folded fabric roses.

Then we carried on stitching and the students perfected the art of finishing an edge with their own double fold  bias binding with mitred corners and a bias seam finish!

Then they looked at decorative reverse binding and faced binding, and also how to mitre the corners when the backing fabric is brought forward to create a binding.

After lots of stitching there was just time to have a quick play with Thermofax screens using thickened Procion dye and  print paste.

City and Guilds Level 2 Certificate in Patchwork and Appliqué Study Day

No snow, no floods and no high winds!  At last we were able to meet up for a City and Guilds study day! Sadly too few Daffodils out yet considered it was St David’s day.

It was a jam-packed day!  Busy tables!

Jam jar dyeing is just about the most fun you can have without finding out that Elvis is still alive.  It has a mad-scientist’s laboratory look about it initially.

The results however, are pure delight.

However, the fun did not stop there.  While our fabric was curing in the jar, students had a go at mono-printing – comparing a Gelli-plate with a glass plate on both paper – using acrylic paint – and fabric – using fabric medium and concentrated print colours.  After a lot of play, it was agreed that whilst both methods had their own characteristics and each would suit different intentions, the Gelli-plate had the definite edge as regards pleasure of use, not least because of the delicious thwuck noise and feel it has when prints are pulled.

We rounded off the day with some curved piecing using a technique which always feels slightly magical and a bit edgy.   After learning how to quickly and easily draft a quarter-circle block, students learnt a reliable piecing method.  Without pinning or marking, the fabric is stitched using a quarter-inch foot as a wall against which the fabric is aligned.  Once you have given yourself time to master it, the method works every time – as you reach the end of the seam you find that –  Yay! – the fabric lines up!!.  The students quickly got the knack! And it works for wiggly seams too.  More of the secret is only shared with City and Guilders so if I told you more I would have to wrap you in batting to silence you!

City and Guilds Workshop with Edwina Mackinnon

Our City and Guilds students complete their modules from digital handbooks, and they can do all their work at home if they wish.  An added bonus, unique to The Quilt Association, is that students can attend regular study days and workshops with well-known textile artists.  The study days address any of the problems students may encounter, or give them the opportunity to try techniques, materials and media that seem tricky, guided by their tutor.  The cherry on the QA City and Guilds cupcake is that students can attend four workshops during their course.  The workshops are extra-curricular and serve to enthuse and inspire, and often expand their repertoire.  They are always enjoyable!  This month, Edwina Mackinnon came to The Minerva to teach an exclusive C&G class.

Edwina is a fantastic teacher and her Pleat, Tuck, Fray workshop had all the C&G students stitching and slashing like playful demons, all thrilled with the amount of texture the techniques were creating.

Despite the simplicity of  natural coloured calico, these samples were full of light and shade,and texture and depth.

With this student’s artistic disposition, I know none of those remnants will go to waste – a full cutting mat is such a happy sight!

Look at those strong stitching lines – faux chenille is  such a dynamic and versatile technique creating marks on fabric every bit as powerful as marks on paper!

Huge thanks to Edwina who is able to transfer information with humour and compassion!!

City and Guilds Level 2 Patchwork and Appliqué School Trip!

The Minerva is filled to the brim with Wool and Willow, so no room for the City and Guilds June study day.  Instead, we had a school trip to Lampeter to see the Kaffe Fasset exhibition at Jen Jones’ Welsh Quilt Centre.  We also popped in to Calico Kate’s – as you do!

We had some great conversations of a quite academic nature, on aspects of Kaffe’s work and also the work of Diane Milstein, which was fascinating and delightful.  Some of Jen’s Welsh quilts are also on display and the exhibition as a magnificent whole is highly recommended.

The outing was such fun, yet still an education, that it may well have to be an annual June event!

City and Guilds Level 2 Certificate Patchwork and Applique – Ruth Issett workshop

Students work Ruth Issett Workshop

Ruth Issett Workshop

This week, our students enjoyed an exhausting but thoroughly inspiring two-day workshop with the Queen of Colour: Ruth Issett.   Ruth has so much knowledge, and is so very generous in sharing it, that everyone produced exciting work!  They seemed surprised by their own ability, but the students showed that they have the individuality and the creativity to succeed!Ruth Issett workshop 2013

Ruth Issett Workshop 2013

They certainly demonstrated that they have the necessary application too, as the room was sometimes as quiet as a Welsh mountain top, with everyone delving into pools of Golden Yellow and Lemon Yellow, Magenta and Scarlet, Cyan and Deep Blue, using dyes, acrylics and Markal sticks.  The results were delightfully varied and had oodles of design potential and everyone gained in confidence and ideas.