Next meeting date Wednesday 25th September

Hope you have all enjoyed the summer and managed to stitch away despite the heat and holidays getting in the way. Our next meeting is on Wednesday 25th September at  7pm. We should have lots to talk about with all the quilt shows, workshops and courses that members have attended so please do bring any notes or samples to show. We thought it might also be an opportunity for an enhanced Show and Tell with quilts and UFOs  (unfinished objects) and WIPs (work in progress), bags, toys etc that you would like to share with the group. Any new techniques or methods will be particularly welcome. 

Sabine will  present our financial statement, as we have successfully opened a group  bank account and are beginning to build up enough funds for us to consider speakers for 2020.  We will call this an EGM, rather than an AGM, as we have decided it would be better to hold the AGM at the beginning of the year in January.

Please do rememberthat we now meet in the Mansel Centre, 1 Mansel Road, just up on the left hand side from Fielders Art shop. We have now confirmed our dates for 2020 (4th Wednesday in the month) except for August (no meeting) and December (3rd Wednesday) (see below) and as a result we are looking for recommendations for speakers. So please let us know if you have any ideas of interesting talks that members might be eager to listen to. Note, we realise that Wednesday does not suit everybody but this was the only day available for booking. 

I have been in touch with a contact at St. Georges to see if they have any requirements for syringe/chemo bags that we can make from scrap fabrics. Sizes are specific to different hospitals but I will report any progress at the meeting. 

Finally, don’t forget to bring your Lavender Bags along for the Challenge. 

All good wishes


for Southwest London quilters

Contemporary textiles course starting in September

Our Vice chairman, Regina Al-Habib Nmeir is running a course that some members might be interested in. It is held on Thursday mornings from 10 – 12. at Sutton College and starts in September.

The link below takes you to further details:

It is called “Contemporary Textiles & Creative Embroidery”
and it sounds like it might be a lot of fun.

Mansel Road Centre

Report of SWLQ meeting on Wednesday July 24th.

Although this, our first meeting at the new venue (Mansel Road…..) was only attended by a few, it was as guest, Sue Southwood, remarked very ‘buzzy’.  Sue, a leading member of Wimbledon International Quilters, had brought lots of books from the estate of a fellow Quilter that were being disposed of for donations to Macmillan Cancer Care. Few of us could resist and Sue later reported that the donations amounted to over £70.

Lesley, our Lavender Bag Expert, was not due until later so we chatted and stitched and tried out the very well designed kitchenette just behind our room. Unfortunately we hadn’t sussed out how to turn on the urn so had to resort to the kettle. But, oh ye of little faith, we have now found the important switch and hot water on tap will not be a problem for future meetings. Once Lesley had arrived and settled in she brought forth her bundles of linen and lavender bags and gave us all an insight into both the best fabrics to use, the lavender and the decorative stitches. She was also very generous in letting us choose linens and decorations from her stash with which to make more Lavender Bags for our next Challenge. (To be presented at the September meeting where Lesley will bring enough lavender to fill one bag each. For those of you not able to be present last Wednesday, don’t be put off, you can see from the examples below what Lesley’s Lavender Bags look like but yours might be totally different. Diversity is the name of the game. Please be encouraged to have a go!)

We  had planned to visit the Carshalton Lavender fields project on Saturday but the forecast was not good, rain all day, but details were given on how to get there etc. Alternatively supplies are available from the Daisy online shop.

We then had the Show and Tell,  the theme of which was Light and Dark. Only four entries, with mine, embarrassingly so, being the winning one. Interesting to note that Annie’s  entry was her ruler case. Having just been on a course for learning how to use rulers, she made a very functional but decorative case for her set of rulers, where she practised her ruler quilting which I have to say on first sight looked like Sashiko. If you have any questions about this rapidly popular technique I am sure she will be willing and able to answer them.

So, a new venue, how did it go? A tad small but with windows that opened on to a terrace and the option  of expanding into the next room it has real possibilities. Look forward to seeing you all at the next meeting there on Wednesday September 25th and meanwhile, enjoy FoQ.

Light and Dark challenge entries:

24th June Meeting

At this month’s meeting on Monday 24th June, …..

At this month’s meeting (on Monday 24th June) which is the last one that we will be holding at William Morris House, we are going to tackle another of the Modern Quilters tutor boxes, so please bring with you two or three pairs of contrasting squares measuring 7.5″ which you think will go well together. We will provide a few cutting boards and rotary cutters if you want to get started.

The so called “Marbles” are surprisingly easy to stitch together. Hopefully it will help to overcome any fears we might have about stitching curves which, I must admit, feel very strange to begin with.

This design is quite similar to the block known as the “drunkard’s path”, but it is a bit more “improv” the shapes do not have to match too exactly.

Just to check it out, I had a quick practice and was quite pleasantly surprised that the curved seams went together. You could use this quilting exercise as the theme for next months challenge, if you are short of other ideas as it works well using light and dark coloured fabrics and you could make a small panel, contemporary cushion cover or place mat.

Below is a picture of the sample that is contained in the tutor box that we have received.

You are also welcome to bring along your boxes, which Regina showed us how to make at the last meeting, to show off how the box has progressed, and if not yet finished you can carry on with it in the meeting if you like.

SWLQ May meeting report

There were ten of us at the meeting where, to start with, Sabine announced that we had found a new meeting place which allowed us to book dates for several months ahead. This will give us the chance to book a speaker, when funds permit, which we have been unable to do so far. So if anyone knows of someone in the quilting world who preferably lives in the Greater London area who they can recommend then please let us know. The new venue is the Mansel Road Centre, in Mansel Road just up from Fielders Art shop on the left hand side. We will be meeting there on the 4th Wednesday of every month except December as below:-

July 24th

August No meeting due to holidays

September 25th

October 23rd

November 27th

December 18th

Sue announced that Alison had been coopted on to the committee and will be taking on the role of Membership Secretary from Annie.  We have arranged our first social outing – to the Olive, an Italian restaurant in Raynes Park. It is near the 131, 57 bus route or possible parking in the Waitrose car park. We will be booked in for 7pm on Wednesday June 5th. Alison has taken names but if you missed the meeting and would like to join us, please email

After a few more dates were announced, see below, Regina started on her mini workshop in making fabric boxes. Most members had already cut out their cardboard shapes based on the hexagon templates sent out earlier. They then progressed to covering the sides with fabric and gluing them in place. There were lots of questions for Regina particularly about the gussets which led to peals of laughter when she showed us the Knicker Knot! I kid you not! It is a very secure but simple way of starting a line of stitching. See the instructions in the files area of the website. If members could bring their boxes along to the next meeting it would be good to see them.

After and during the coffee break we bought raffle tickets from Kathryn who was selling them for Project Linus. We also voted on the May Challenge which was to use a piece of brown patterned fabric. The range of entries, although small, was very varied – from a pictorial cushion cover to modern quilted pieces to an intriguing embroidered piece. The worthy winner was Karolina, whose picture of a brown horse on a cushion cover with impeccable applique and beautiful curved bias bindings was for her horse mad daughter. Lucky girl!

Then there was just time for Show and Tell. Annie showed us her sashiko cushion worked whilst in hospital. Not only sashiko but french knots were incorporated into the border.

Sashiko cushion cover

We also handed over to Alison our completed rows of Tiger Tiger blocks for the Group quilt. (Meg, who is away has the photograph we took at the last meeting in case there are any missing row labels).

Next was Alison with her latest work in progress – a double quilt with two different blocks repeated throughout. She had used her own free motion quilting design on each block and was now considering quilting the sashing. No doubt we will see it at a later date. Finally I showed the bunting I had changed to display the group name. I made the bunting many years ago and it has been in use for Camra’s Battersea beer festivals, Garden Museum literary festivals and even a wedding. So I thought I could easily reuse some of it by bondwebbing the letters of our group name on to it. I used white fabric but think I will do a second set with black fabric. I am hopeful that we could use these for our first exhibition. (Nothing like being ambitious!)

South West London Quilters bunting

The Bi-monthly challenge for completion by the July meeting is to be based on light and dark. It should be no more than 20 square inches and when making it, the idea is to think about the use of contrasting colours in the design.

Dates for your Diary

June 5th Olive restaurant, Raynes Park 7pm

June 24th Next Meeting WMH 7pm

June 3rd – June 29th London Quilters Exhibition at Swiss Cottage Library

June 18th – 29th Menier Gallery, Southwark St, “Material Evidence” Quilt Art exhibition

June 21st – 23rd National Quilt Championships at Sandown RacecourseMay 29th – 9th June PRISM exhibition at the Arches, near Hoxton Underground

S W London Quilters Challenge

The Challenge that is part of the South West London Quilters meetings is bi monthly. So every two months a theme is chosen and the entries submitted at the meeting in two months time. The theme is generally chosen by the committee but can be suggested by any member.

The Rules: The work does not have to be new but the maximum size is 20” on any side. This means that it can be as small as a postcard. Work can be 2D or 3D. You can make anything you like! You might choose to make a piece which, like a modern quilt, has no border. It could be pictorial, a landscape, pieced, wholecloth or a piece of textile art using paints, dyes, resist, anything you fancy. Ideally it will be a finished article.

Why you should take part: Taking part in group activities like this is fun and it increases your senses of participation. The fact that the piece can be small is quite encouraging. It feels doable and doesn’t mean a huge outlay in fabric or cost. It is also anonymous which is quite reassuring.

How to take part: If you are coming to the meeting, just bring it with you and leave it on the Challenge table. If you can’t make the meeting email and we will endeavour to pick it up from you and take it to the meeting. Each piece on the table will be allocated a number and during the meeting members (and visitors) will be asked to vote on their favourite piece. The work with the most votes wins a small prize.

Sue Hart

(With thanks from Carol Wilkes from Quilters’ Guild Region One for permission to use her article in Our Patch.)

Fabric boxes, materials list for the May meeting

Linked to this post (below) you will find a list of things to bring with you to the next meeting on Monday May 20th, as well as the templates for the cardboard shapes needed for a hexagon shaped sewing box, which is the example that Regina has prepared for us to use.

It would be helpful if you can cut your cardboard shapes out in advance of the meeting, so that we will be working on these, rather than starting from scratch.

Example of completed sewing box
Example of what can be stored in the box.

Mounting card or similar card weight (about 1.5 – 2mm thick)

This also depends on the size of the box (you might get away with a thinner card used for a smaller box).

You can also use thinner cardboard for the inside of your box (empty cereal boxes…)

Use the templates to cut out your pieces; it is best to use a craft knife if you have one, but check the size of the printed pieces first (check length and corners…) also check that the inside pieces are slightly smaller than the outside ones, it helps to label your cards.

Wadding – (if you like, but not too thick).

Fabric (to cover your cardboard)

The seam allowance is about 1 cm; a bit more if you use wadding.

Lining fabric

(to cover the inside cardboard, can be the same or a different fabric…)


to stick the fabric onto the board, this can be a Pritt Stick or fabric glue stick works very well: Sewline or Prym Aqua Marker (I bought one at Amazon….)

Stronger glue

(to stick cards together)


(are very good if you have )


(to hand stitch, colour matching your outer fabric and if possible polyester)

Sharp sewing needles

bring a couple of long and short ones, so you can try out what works best for you.

We will be using a whip stitch to join the pieces together (stitches go through the fabric only)

If you make a sewing box you might want to bring:

  • elastic to hold a scissor and
  • and extra fabric for pockets inside and also the gussets!

Pencil, ruler, scissors…..

Gathering Lavender

SWL Quilters plan to have a group activity picking Lavender and possibly combine this with a pub outing in July.

Lesley who has experience in this area, told us that the time to collect at Carshalton Beeches was the last weekend in July when they held the Carshalton lavender festival.

Requirements: Scissors and a bag to put the lavender in. You could pick as much as you wanted. You were then charged according to how much you had picked.

Another possibility would be to go to Mayfield near Banstead. You could walk through the lavender fields in June and go to the shop and purchase the lavender that you wanted.

Once purchased or gathered, the lavender needs to be stored in a pillow case in a warm dry place for several months until the flowers are ready to fall off their stalks.

Lavender could also be purchased on line for example the Daisy shop.

15th April meeting

South West London Quilters’ meeting report 15th April

We had an excellent meeting yesterday (15th April). Meg, who had done a lot of preparatory work on the Tiger Tiger Group Quilt, had prepared bags of the blocks for us to organise into a suitable arrangement. We worked together on the design and below is the layout we came up with. Meg then carefully bagged up the blocks for each row with instructions for each member to take away and stitch together. There were 13 rows, with 9 blocks in each. We discussed the quilting, and whether or not to have a border and a final decision will be made at our next meeting, but the majority were in favour of a 6″ border in red with quilting in the ditch stitched with an invisible thread, and then adding some decorative ties.

Show and Tell

Barbara had been on a felt animal making workshop in the Lake District with her sister and made this characterful felt rabbit. She said it was an extremely enjoyable workshop to go on.

Louisa had been busy making small quilts for a friend’s twin boys, The quilt tops were made from the Meadlowland pattern – ‘They came in June.’ and the one below is being made for Project Linus. Louisa restricted her palette to shades of cream and purple. The design was simple and effective.

Sue showed her new purchase, a folding cutting board from Ansio and Lesley produced an unfinished quilt top which she had recently brought out of the drawer with the intention of finishing it. It was very jolly with sheep incorporated into each block, all beautifully made by hand and really worth finishing.

Regina collected monies for FoQ tickets. If you missed the meeting and wish to avail yourself of a cheaper ticket please contact Regina via Regina also talked about her mini workshop on making fabric boxes to be held next month, May 20th.

March Challenge based on numbers

The challenge that we set to complete by the March 2019 meeting was to make something that related to numbers. As usual, it was supposed to be about 20 ” square. This time Meg Pope’s was the winner with her bright blue piece, with beautifully appliquéd numbers and circles. (picture to follow).