Reasons to be cheerful

What a gloomy time we’re having here. Although the cold snap saw very low temperatures, at least the clear skies meant that the sun was able to show his face a little. Now it’s warmer but overcast, the sky a never-ending wash of grey. But cheer up!! Here at the Quilt Association we have lots to look forward to in the first few months of 2017.

Our first exhibition of the year opens on March 8th, is called Passion for Fashion and consists of an inspirational collection of clothes by a group of innovative designers. I’ll give you more details nearer the time. That runs until March 22nd. Then on March 25th it is World Textile Day here at the Minerva Arts Centre. This is always a very busy, popular day when we welcome visitors from far and wide to view stunning woven, printed and embroidered fabrics from around the world and buy scrumptious things from the Fair Trade market. There’s also a presentation, at 11am, by Liz Beasley of Añañuca Chilean Textiles called Dyeing to Weave: Of Spiders, Plants and Pigments in Chile. Sounds fascinating! Here’s a link to their website:


A selection of items in the Fair Trade market in 2016





On the workshop front we begin with a two day workshop led by Linda Paris called Print and Stitch which will give participants the opportunity to learn the techniques of thermofax printing and to create a unique stitched item. The first day of the workshop is on 31st March with the follow-up day on 4th April. More details here:




Here’s an example of Linda Paris’ work from her website



Our second workshop of the year follows on 8th April when Sandy Craig will be giving some lucky people an Introduction to lino printing. Details here:

I’ve always wanted to have a go at lino printing.  Let’s hope I survive it with all fingers intact.

It’s going to be a busy few weeks and we’re so looking forward to welcoming you all to the Minerva Arts Centre.


It’s suddenly gone very, VERY chilly here in Mid-Wales.  We had all been fooled into thinking that Winter was never going to arrive but this morning we awoke to a really heavy frost which hasn’t budged all day.  It’s got me really appreciating my central heating and I’ve been thinking, if I had been here over a hundred years ago, how glad I would have been to have a warm, cosy quilt to keep my toes warm.

The area around Llanidloes was renowned for its flannel making during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and, naturally, we are proud of the locally made flannel quilts in our collection.  This stunning one was made by Elizabeth Ashton (1873 – 1930) of Ty Capel, Llawryglyn near Llanidloes between 1890 – 1900.  Llawryglyn is the next village along from me and so I can picture exactly where Elizabeth was when she made this quilt. It measures 2105 x 2020mm and is a patchwork crosses design made of woollen fabrics, some of which have been fulled. Some fabrics are plain weave, others are twill. The quilt is held together with simple hand quilting. It has a plain weave red flannel binding.  If you look at it closely, as in this next photo, you can see how lovely and warm it would have been in the depths of winter.  It looks well used and loved but also very carefully looked after.

We’re so lucky to have been given this quilt to care for, so that future generations can see the work and love that went into making it.