Our February speaker was Claire Tinsley, who is an award winning quilter, and proprietor of the shop "Hannah's Room" which she set up when she found it difficult to obtain the kind of fabrics she wanted to use in her own work. She started the business at home from her daughter's bedroom, hence the name...
Claire talked us through her career in textile art (I hesitate to use the word quilting, as so much of her work is art and embroidery based, although technically qualifying as quilting for the purposes of competition and exhibition).
Her first work was a pram "quilt" which was really a patchwork cover that had no wadding - at that time Claire didn't realise that was an essential component (or warmth factor!). Her work quickly progressed and almost from the beginning involved elements of hand printing or painting.
This small leaf quilt, based on Fall in New England, is hand-painted with Dynaflow and the leaf edges are reinforced with wire so that they keep their shape.
Claire's work has been exhibited many times at the Malvern and Harrogate Quilt Shows before entering the larger arena of the International Festival of Quilts, and has featured on numerous occasions in different textile art publications, including "Fabrications". Along the way she completed her City and Guilds in both Patchwork and Embroidery. Claire says that she rarely takes more than three weeks to complete a quilt, as she always knows exactly what she wants to achieve, before starting the piece.
This stunning quilt in maroon and lime (detail left, and below), "Beneath the Trees", won a second prize at Harrogate in a year when Claire also won a first prize for her piece depicting the Garden of Eden "Through the Garden Gate".
In 2004 she was asked to create a piece for the Hoffman stand at the Festival of Quilts and produced this stunning chenille quilt (detail shown right) using seven layers of fabric. Cut on the bias and then washed and dried in a machine to give the characteristic ruffled edge, it was then featured in a French patchwork magazine and went on to win a prize at the Malvern Show.
She developed this technique further, creating a cushion with a velvet centre panel featuring cut-back work (left), which won a first prize at Harrogate.
In fact, there does not seem to have been a year when Claire has not collected accolades for her skilled work, and in 2005 she won the National Competition with her beautiful and well-known floral quilt, "These are a Few of my Favourite Flowers".
Claire says that she has now taught workshops on this quilt "from John O'Groats to Lands End" and you can see the results of her workshop at our own Branch in the entry above.
If you would like to see more of Claire's work and find out further details about workshops and courses, you can visit her website at http://www.clairetinsley.co.uk
We are a group of women (but men are welcome!) who have an interest in textile art and embroidery. We are of mixed abilities and there is no need for you to be able to sew to come and join us - there are no tests!New members are always welcome - why not call in and join us as a guest for a few months?
Meeting fee for visitors is only £5.
Our meetings vary - we have talks and workshops, show and tell - we also have lots of weekend workshops and playdays. For details of what's coming up (and what's been and gone!) check out our programme below...