Gone to Pieces is a friendly group with a wide range of abilities and interests in the field of quilting and patchwork.
We are linked by a desire both to refine our own skills and help
others progress. Visiting and in-house tutors enable group members to explore and develop techniques, while a vibrant programme of Speakers inspire and challenge group members.
Here are some words from Gone to Pieces members telling you about themselves and the Group...
Lindsey H is first as the person who organised the meeting which led to the formation of Gone to Pieces Quilt Group in the Autumn of 1990.
In 1990 there were very few quilting groups around and a couple of villagers decided to advertise a new group to start in the village hall at Coleshill, in Buckinghamshire. The hope was that if six, or possibly 10 people turned up, we could meet, sew and chat and perhaps help each other out. We had only booked the small hall but over 40 ladies turned up! A strange meeting time of 12 noon until 3pm was decided for future meetings as some of us had children to pick up from school and some had work in the mornings.
Thirty years on and those children now have children of their own. We have had to stop at a fixed membership of no more than 70 (in the Large Hall, of course) and have had speakers from all over the UK and some from abroad. We have members who have won prestigious prizes for their work and still have many of the original members. It is now nice to see younger members coming along. I've often thought what a shame we didn't think to take a picture of that original group.
I went to the very first meeting of GtP, really before it got going. I was in the middle of doing my City and Guilds Embroidery. That was about two years before I did my C and G in quilting. After that I joined GtP properly. I think I went straight onto the committee as programme secretary, and stayed on the committee and later took over from Lesley Sharp as Chairman. My main love is modern quilts and but traditional appliqué ones. I enjoy also making dolls with characters – this is Hannah.
Joining the Committee is one of the best ways of getting to know fellow members and Barbara is one of many who have had several roles helping to organise GtP.
Another person at the first meeting was Tessa DM:
At the very first meeting there was a lovely atmosphere as we
discussed how frequently and where we should meet. I hadn’t done much quilting up till then and we were asked to take something for Show and Tell.
I took a quilt made using my husband’s old shirts and an old sheet. It wasn’t even finished and I remember it had many mistakes! But people were kind.
The first few meetings were practical sewing sessions led by Terry Stevenson.
We made blocks, put a quilt together and raffled it for one lucky member to win and that started an annual tradition. Thirty years later - time flies - we have many speakers, workshops, block draws, challenges, exhibitions, coffee mornings and raise money for charities. For me the most enjoyable thing is the coming together to stitch and learn and chat, so I still enjoy the practical meetings and I like traditional quilts the most.
Wendy has been a member for a number of years.
“Having only started sewing in earnest in 2012, I could be one of least experienced in the room, but this has never been problem to the amazing membership of Gone to Pieces Quilters. I have been overwhelmed by the amazing community and camaraderie.
There is a wish for all members to share and support one another’s love and passion for fabric, needle and thread. There’s endless help for our learning and the passing on of techniques and skills. As a Group, we have been involved with international quilt exchanges, as well as exhibitions and workshops. There is a superb range of patchwork and quilting styles in the group from Traditional, Contemporary and Modern to Art quilts”
Terry was the first Chairman of Gone to Pieces and she writes succinctly of its beginnings in the days when no-one
had a Stash, and quilt fabrics were not as easy to find.
When GTP started , due to lack of funds, we depended on
members for a programme of demonstrations and workshops. The generosity of those original members has resulted in a
highly successful group.
Here is a photo of a workshop folder that was one of the original projects. Terry has continued to bring new projects
to the group, to inspire and educate.
Janet has also been a Committee member:
I started going to some of the talks at Gone to Pieces as a visitor, they were all interesting and some mind blowing! In 2016 I was invited to become a member and have loved my time at the meetings, both talks and workshops. For the two years 2018 and 2019 I was a committee member looking after refreshments. This was rewarding as it gave the me the opportunity to get to know some of the other members better. I have made a variety of quilts, as well as bags, cushions, table runners, sewing machine covers and smaller items. I favour modern work, but still like to make traditional quilts, and love hand quilting.
Pam was also on the Committee as Refreshments Organiser and later as joint Programme Secretary:
My introduction to patchwork and quilting was when I attended a talk on the subject 16 years ago. I was very impressed by the diversity and intricate work that came under its umbrella and following the talk enrolled on a beginners’ course to learn the basic techniques. I became a member of Gone to Pieces in 2006 to be part of a thriving, enthusiastic group and benefit from the many inspirational speakers on the diverse aspects of the craft. Members of the group are helpful and friendly and always willing to pass on their advice and expertise.
Although I have been sewing since junior school, I only started patchwork and quilting in 2016. I joined Gone to Pieces in 2017, along with a couple of friends from the weekly patchwork class I attended. I wanted to gain new skills and knowledge as well as spending time with like-minded people. I wasn’t disappointed by GtP! I particularly enjoy the speakers and the workshops: I’ve learnt the difference between modern and contemporary quilts, been fascinated by the story of the Gees Bend quilts and marvelled at, and been inspired by, so many wonderful creations. I realise I have
a great deal to learn but the journey is fun. The coffee mornings are an opportunity to enjoy a cuppa, have a chat and maybe make some progress on my latest project.
Jenny HJ currently looks after our visitors if they don’t come along with a member.
“I joined GtP about five years ago and was immediately swept up by this friendly, fun-loving and very talented group of ladies. I have made quite a few quilts over many years. They are all in traditional designs, including a large Baltimore quilt which took me three years – all hand sewn. I am now fascinated by miniature quilts and am hooked on hexagons!”
It started with an evening class taught by Hilka Dorey in the early eighties and here I am much, much later still absorbed by patchwork and quilting. I was in at the beginning of Chiltern Quilters and with a growing waiting list, a new group Gone to Pieces was formed. We were a small but very committed group, with little money but great enthusiasm, so starting to build an extremely successful group was fun. Great friendships and creativity followed with knowledge, skills and laughter shared. I’ve always enjoyed appliqué, by hand, and recently after signing up to a Sue Spargo BOM discovered the pleasure of hand dyed wool applique embellished
with embroidery. At the moment I’m stitching my second Jen Kingwell design which like the first will have hand embroidery, added with glee.
Alison started as many people did - hexagons...
My first attempt at patchwork & quilting was with hexagons. I knew no other shape!
A friend in the village was running lessons from home, so just after I retired in 2000 I joined her and she opened my eyes to what patchwork really was and is. I went on the waiting list for Gone to Pieces and eventually joined about 15 years ago. The group has taught me so much and I have thoroughly enjoyed the friendship, activities and fun. It was a special time when I joined the committee and even organised the programme one year, that was quite a learning curve and an achievement. I am always amazed at the various talents of our members which they are so willing to share; and the inspiring speakers who are part of our annual programme.