Recent Talks

This page gives a taster of our recent meetings. To see similar information about talks we have had in the past, please go to Archived Talks.

For information on future meetings, please see our Programme page.

14-11-2017 Karen Berry

What an interesting talk we had this morning from Karen Berry! Evolving from an early interest in why people quilt, Karen gave us a fascinating presentation on the history of quilting both in the UK and America, exploring the origins in fashion and thrift and how available materials have influenced the way quilts were made. Karen not only illustrated this with some beautiful antique quilts from her own collection but also with a specially prepared booklet that provided further examples. All in all, it was a very enjoyable and absorbing morning!  


24-10-2017 Bryan Taphouse (Lewis & Irene)

At today’s meeting, Bryan Taphouse and his wife Jackie made a very welcome return to Romsey Quilters! Bryan described how Lewis & Irene came into being just four years ago created by himself, Jackie and their daughter Hannah drawing on their many years of experience in the fabric world. It feels like the company has been around for a lot longer and I think this is because of the care and attention that they put into every aspect of the business. The focus on quality from the choice of A+ grade cotton and finish to the characteristic use of colours and designs gives the fabric an individual and easily recognisable look and feel. Bryan also described the very personal hopes and dreams that have inspired their fabric ranges from a favourite holiday place in the country to their love of animals and nature. (In fact proceeds from certain ranges are generously donated to the charity Act for Wildlife led by Chester Zoo).


10-10-2017 Alicia Merrett
On Tuesday, Alicia Merrett delighted us with her talk entitled “Visual Music – My Journey as a Quilter” describing how she had moved from starting to stitch at an early age, through doll and toymaking, finally discovering quilting in the early 90s. Alicia loves playing with shape and colour and during the presentation she explained how her designs are inspired (among other things) by places she has visited, computing, science, the works of Shakespeare and maps and aerial views. The map quilts that Alicia had brought with her were remarkable: both visually pleasing from a distance and full of stitching detail when viewed close-up.

On Wednesday, inspired by Alicia’s talk, some of us attended a workshop to learn how to construct our own maps. Alicia took us through the concepts of planning and laying out our maps and how to select colours to create our own work. What was interesting was that whilst we all started from the same point, our individual choices of colour and fabric meant that every map promised to be a unique and personal piece. All in all it was an enjoyable way to spend the day!


13-06-2017 Liz Brooke Ward
What beautiful and individual work Liz Brooke Ward brought to show us today! In her talk entitled ‘Whatever floats your boat”, Liz took us through a collection of her pieces and explained how she takes her inspiration from lichens, the landscape and literature and told us how her fascination began. To achieve the look and feel that she wants, Liz hand-dyes her fabric and threads and experiments with different techniques and materials all of which are reflected in the uniqueness of her work. A great example of this was made for an exhibition with the theme of August. Liz took her inspiration from a poem by Thomas Hardy entitled “August Midnight” using recycled velvets, silks and organzas which really give texture and body to the words of the poem. It was truly stunning!


23-05-2017 Sandra Sherwood – Days For Girls
Our meeting this week, led by Sandra Sherwood, was an in-house workshop to make kits for the Days For Girls charity which aims to provide access to lasting feminine hygiene solutions for girls in Uganda and the third world. Sandra was making a return visit to Romsey Quilters and started by taking us through each of the components that make up the kits after which, assisted by her friend and colleague Marcia, set members to work on cutting, stitching, overlocking, applying studs, threading ribbons. Thank you to all the members who took part and made this a very productive morning!


09-05-2017 Jan Hassard
We were very grateful to Jan Hassard on Tuesday for coming to visit us despite a back injury. Jan’s talk was entitled ‘Colour and Illusion’ and her amazing quilts certainly fulfilled the brief! Jan showed us a varied selection of design and colour including her first quilt made in the 1970s from over 700 hand cut 2” squares (thank goodness we now have rotary cutters!). Alongside this were bargello, double diamond, scrap, undulations, 3d honeycomb quilts and many more. Jan also showed us some of the heritage quilts from her collection purchased from places as far flung as Ottowa, Charleston, Houston and France and including a rare triple wedding ring one in Clarice Cliff colours. Jan has twice won the Quilters Guild prize for colour and it’s no surprise when you see how her combination of intricate design and choice of fabrics result in such remarkable three dimensional pieces.

On Weds, Jan led a group of us in her Infinity Squares workshop. There was a lot of concentrated cutting and stitching in the morning to prepare the colour strata used to construct the geometric squares in the afternoon. Jan was on hand to give advice and guidance and provide an unpicking service if required! Overall it was an intense but very enjoyable day.



11-04-2017 Mavis Walker

At this week’s meeting, Mavis Walker brought us something completely different – her Chess Set – which won the Quilt Creations category at the 2015 Festival of Quilts. Mavis introduced us to each of the figures in the set, describing how they had been created, from the lowly pawns (who have no mouths as they were not allowed to speak) to the individual personalities of the rooks, knights, bishops and royal personages. As the talk progressed Mavis drew her audience into the story behind each of the characters, explaining how the faces (which are drawn from people she knows, has seen or read about) had been constructed. Every part of the figures has been carefully considered and sourced and each element adds to the colour and essence of their personalities. There is such attention to detail in every feature from the boxer’s ears to the Rabbi’s arthritic fingers that is not surprising that the set took ten years to make.


28-03-2017 Sally Ablett

Today Romsey Quilters welcomed Sally Ablett who designs quilt projects for magazines, trade shows and for fabric designers to help bring their new fabric ranges to life. The idea of receiving a whole pack of fabric from which to make a quilt sounds great initially however the reality of the short turnaround time to design and then make up one or more quilts is completely different. Sally works 5 full days a week in her sewing room making use of the design software EQ7 to assist the creative process. Sally took us through a plethora of quilts, explaining the basis of her designs, the fabrics and the piecing. I particularly liked the two quilts that showed different ways of using a charm pack. I found all the designs inspiring and attainable thanks to the thought that Sally puts into ensuring that her projects are easy to piece.


14-03-2017 Kathryn Chambers

Wow – what an interesting and informative talk Kathryn Chambers gave us on Tuesday. Kathryn is a member of Contemporary Quilters West and when they decided they would each do a series of quilts she didn’t want to limit herself so chose the whole universe as her subject! For the first part of her talk, Kathryn took us through the quilts making up her series entitled ‘Evolution – a Brief History of the Universe from the Big Bang to the Present Day”. These 24” square pieces use raw edge collage techniques and are beautifully embellished with hand-stitching and Kathryn explained the concepts she had drawn on for each of the designs. It was hard to pick a favourite as they were all so detailed and beautiful.  Kathryn then introduced us to eco printing and dyeing: rolling up items such as leaves, rusty nails and flower heads in cloth and leaving them under rocks, hedges etc. to allow the elements in the local environment to affect the dyeing process. The results are both incredible and unique.


28-02-2017 Kate Percival

Our speaker on Tuesday was Kate Percival who gave us a presentation packed with bright and cheerful images entitled The Embroidered Garden. From a very early age, Kate has been obsessed by trees, plants and natural form and using her background in art and design, Kate captures ideas in her sketchbooks wherever she goes. These become the inspiration for trialling designs, experimenting with paint and in her sewing. Kate’s excitement and enthusiasm for her art was tangible through phrases such as ‘love of squelchy, curving shapes’, ‘marinating ideas’ and the ‘lure of colour’. It was great to be able to share the energy and joy in her creative process!


14-02-2017 Philippa Naylor

Our meeting on Tues in Romsey Town Hall was well supported both by members and visitors alike as we were entertained with a very lively presentation from Philippa Naylor. Philippa has packed so much creativity into her life since first starting to sew dolls clothes as a child. She has trained and worked as a designer, made cakes, bespoke wedding/evening dresses and fancy dress costumes all before even being introduced to quilting. The intricacy and beauty of Philippa’s quilts are a visual testament to her hard work, professional approach and amazing attention to detail. Philippa’s talk was humorous and absorbing and packed with as much information and detail as her quilts!
At the workshop on Weds, Philippa effortlessly guided the class through the techniques of trapunto and corded trapunto including hints and tips on free motion quilting. Two very enjoyable days!


24-01-2017 Anne Moore

On a cold and extremely foggy Tuesday morning we welcomed Anne Hellyer (Moore) who brought some lovely examples of her work and gave us a fascinating talk entitled ‘How did I get here?’. Anne’s work clearly shows the influences of her artistic/engineering/architecture family background and the City and Guilds course and other workshops that she has attended in the past. However, what comes across is the pure enjoyment that she gets from playing with different materials such as soft furnishing fabric, hessian, tomato puree tubes, bubble wrap, tissue paper and so on. Anne particularly loves paint and she explained how she experimented with different mediums to develop her method of dyeing fabric to produce the colours and textures that are so particular to her pieces. A very enjoyable morning!


10-01-2017 Cherrilyn Tyler

At our first meeting of the New Year we welcomed Cherrilyn Tyler who talked to us about how her early unfulfilled desire to be a fashion designer had evolved through her life into the unique style that she now uses to create her very personal works of art. Whilst Cherrilyn uses materials such as net, gold thread, organza, silk paper and chiffon to make her pieces, each one goes far beyond its component parts as she weaves her own feelings, experiences and essence into every in stitch. All in all, a very personal and fascinating insight into Cherrilyn’s talent.


08-11-2016 Jennie Rayment

Jennie Rayment’s visit to Romsey Quilters was much anticipated and “wow” she didn’t disappoint! Despite battling major traffic problems on the M27, Jennie energetically entertained us with humorous anecdotes tucked, folded and pleated into many inspiring examples of her unique quilting style along with tips on dyeing in the microwave and what not to pack in your suitcase! A great talk that left us all smiling!

The following day Jennie taught a Scrappy Zappy Do workshop with lots of clear instructions and one-to-one help when needed.The day ended with a classic Jennie joke – all in all a thoroughly enjoyable experience!

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25-10-2016 Judy Grant – American Museum in Britain

Our speaker today was Judy Grant of the American Museum in Britain. Judy last visited Romsey Quilters eight years ago so her return visit was long overdue! Judy gave us a fascinating presentation about how the museum came into being and how the original quilts were acquired. Judy explained how the approach to display and conservancy of the quilts has evolved over the years and described the method used to process newly acquired quilts (including six weeks in a freezer followed by several weeks to return to room temperature), also how the quilts are carefully and painstakingly prepared for storage. Judy brought several quilts with her including a log cabin quilt made using flour sacks, where you can literally see the history behind the quilt!

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11-10-2016 Angela Madden

Today we welcomed Angela Madden who gave us an energetic and inspiring talk about her path through quilting illustrated with many impressive examples! Angela has a positive and refreshing approach to exploring new techniques, looking for the easiest and fastest way to achieve them and then developing templates, tools and patterns that ensure that everyone can experience similar success. We learned that there are no quilting rules – wavy borders, fabrics other than cotton, non-symmetrical designs and unusual quilting stitches are all good, just do what you think is fun and interesting!

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13-09-2016 Maryke Phillips

For the first meeting of the Autumn term we welcomed Maryke Phillips who gave us a fascinating insight into her “Stitching Obsession” that began when she reluctantly accompanied a friend to a fabric shop many years ago and immediately got hooked! A lifelong passion for stitching and fabrics has resulted in many colourful quilts, textile hangings and ‘stitch’ books packed with beautiful embroidery and inspiration. An entertaining image was that of Maryke as navigator on camper van trips with her husband, ensuring that their journey always took them via any nearby fabric shops! The beautiful fabrics and threads that Maryke brought with her were impossible to resist. An enjoyable and colourful start to September!

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28-06-2016 Sandie Lush

Today we were immersed in the world of Baltimore Album Quilts by Sandie Lush. Sandie introduced us to doctor and psychiatrist William Dunton (1868 – 1966) who saw the benefits of occupational activity and particularly quilting to the health of his patients. Sandie showed us photos of many varied quilts explaining how expensive chintz material was used in an economic way in the appliqued blocks to make it go further. One enterprising lady called Mary Simon sold pre-basted blocks to other women who then incorporated them in their own quilts. All in all, it was a fascinating glimpse into the history of a particular style of quilting brought to life by the photos and the sample blocks that Sandie showed us.

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14-06-2016 Lynn Quinn

The spontaneous, fun and incredibly talented Lynn took us through her Adventure in Design today. Lynn explained how she had developed and shaped her skills taking inspiration for shape and colour from her grandma, wood turning, building design, play centres, off cuts etc. Lynn then took us through her thoughts and work on the City and Guilds course culminating in an amazing final piece with incredible colour, perspective and individuality. The range of Lynn’s ideas is simply incredible and inspirational!

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24-05-2016 Sandra Sherwood – Days for Girls

Sandra Sherwood began her visit today by explaining how she became involved in the very worthwhile Days for Girls cause which aims to provide access to lasting feminine hygiene solutions for girls in Uganda and the third world. After explaining what makes up each kit, Sandra demonstrated the various stages of preparation. The hall then became a hive of activity as our members set about cutting, stitching, overlocking, applying studs, threading ribbons and preparing and packing the kits!

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26-04-2016    Catherine Lawes

We were taken on a stimulating journey today by Catherine Lawes who led us from her early introduction to working with fabric through to the development of her own distinctive style. And what a journey! Her inspiration comes from many sources including aerial photographs, ancient architecture and the landscape and nature both here and New Zealand. Catherine continually evolves her style by exploring different fabric mediums, techniques and colour variations in her projects. A reminder that inspiration is all around us!

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12-04-2016    Kim Porter

What a great start to the summer term as we welcomed Kim Porter who gave us a fascinating talk on the beauty of working with pre-worn fabrics. Kim took us through her early creative experiences and how they evolved into ‘Worn and Washed Fabrics’. Kim sources a lot of her fabrics from charity shops and had already taken the opportunity to explore what Romsey had to offer! Kim explained the careful process of washing, sun-drying, ironing and cutting the charity shop finds to combine them into her unique bundles and kits. The quilts that are produced have a lovely textured effect that is enhanced by lots of washing.

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