Thursday, 11 August 2016

On the Beach: The Heathlands Project Quilt 2016

'On the Beach' The Heathlands Project Quilt, 2016

Each year at The Heathlands Project I make a quilt with the members which we send off to The Festival of Quilts down at the NEC in Birmingham. Each year we do something a bit different and each year I swear we are never doing another quilt! However, it is a really good project to work on and provides the members with an opportunity to work on a big group project that can be shown to a big audience.

Laying out the felt

Laying out the felt

Laying out the felt

This year the guys chose the theme 'On the Beach' and at the suggestion of one of the other members of staff the quilt was made of felted patches. Felt making is a really great activity because it is so adaptable for a wide range of abilities and experience levels.

Rolling the felt

Making felt

Felt patch with design notes

As some members have developed their skills over the years some of them were able to make their patches more or less independently. I think this is a really positive thing and I hope that the quilt project gives them chance to try something different as well as an opportunity to show off their skills.

Individual patches

Individual patches

Individual patches

As I only work part time at The Heathlands Project I rely a lot on the other members of staff to keep the project going in my absence. I really like coming in and seeing what the other groups have been up to. It also means that more people can get involved in the project.

Individual patches

Individual patches

Individual patches

There was a really lovely range of felt patches produced with some very imaginative and inventive designs and embellishments. There were also a couple of 'joint' patches where the members worked together to make the felt. I like making the quilts in patches as it means that people can work individually if they want to but there is still lots of opportunity for collaboration.

Individual patches

Individual patches

Individual patches

Rather unusually this year it wasn't as much as a rush as usual to complete the quilt and get it down to the show. This was partly because I started the project off really early in the year and partly because I was able to delegate a lot of the making. I still did the final construction but almost everything else was done by the members, volunteers and support workers.

Laying out the patches

Detail

Detail

It's really good having the finished quilt to show off and the members look forward to it coming back and hearing the judges comments. We may need to build a bigger building though so that we have room to display all the finished quilts...

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