Embroiderers' Childhood Memories

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Not everybody aspires to be a doctor or a nuclear scientist, but everybody wants to do something with their life that will give them both pride and a sense of accomplishment and Judy Fairless has achieved fulfilment in both these areas.

Judy is one of our long serving members and is also a member of The Quilters' Contemporary Group. She has worked hard to acquire expertise in all aspects of patchwork and quilt making.

The Quilters' Group suitcase collection is on the theme of 'Childhood Memories' and was inspirational in arousing a wide variety of memories amongst their members who rose to the occasion and presented a collection of quilts showing all their skills and talents combined with the everlasting memories of their childhood.

Childhood memories can be a powerful influence on our lives, and although we like to imagine an idyllic childhood, this is not always the case as one of the quilts created by Kate Dowty displayed.

Her design was in monochrome, a dull grey reflecting her colourless early years. Kate felt that her childhood had not been much fun and everything was forbidden and to enforce this she had 'Stop' and 'Don't do that' written across her quilt.

#Bright & Vivid
In contrast, other members, some of whom had been brought up abroad, had created quilts with bright, vivid flowers and sunny beaches, generating that everlasting feeling of living in the moment with a sense of freedom that sadly the children of today can rarely experience.

Nicqui Willis had created a quilt called 'Time for Bed," provoking memories that we can all recall from 'The Magic Roundabout!' Using an Andy Warhol Che Guevara design for inspiration, Nicqui had embroidered several characters in their full splendour, repeated in nine panels of different colours.

For most of us ladies of a 'certain age,' war memories are represented in our childhood in one way or another, and the Quilters' members were no exception.

Astrid Simpson had created a 'World War Two' quilt depicting those itchy hand knitted swimsuits which we all learnt to swim in, combined with 'Dig for Victory' and 'Make do and Mend' mottos. Another quilt called 'Travelling by Bus' provoked graphic memories of the scrim used to blank out the light from bus windows, which always ended up a dingy brown.

#In Vogue
Judy's own work was titled 'In Vogue,' and as every quilt told a story, Judy's was no exception. Judy was born in 1950 and her mother had worked with the American Army.

On returning home, some of the soldiers continued to send food and clothes parcels to her mother, long after rationing had finished! One of these parcels contained a Vogue pattern and Judy's quilt depicts the style of dress from 1950.

Sadly I am not able to display any further photos of the Quilts, for copywrite reasons, however for those that attended the meeting I think we can all agree that that the quilts reminded us that nothing is more powerful than the memories created by a child's experiences. The child's memories fashion the adult's life. Every day of our adult life is touched by the memories of our childhood experiences.