Friday, 15 July 2016

Greenbelt Quilting Bee: The Silent Stars 2016 Quilt

Delighted to announce that Anne Bennett and I are hosting a new initiative at Greenbelt this year! The Greenbelt Quilting Bee  will take place on the Saturday afternoon of Greenbelt, 3-6pm, in the Christian Aid venue. (The Christian Aid theme this year is to do with making a home-from-home for refugees, so making a snuggly quilt seems particularly appropriate).

We will be making a Silent Stars Quilt, to reflect this year's Greenbelt theme. The idea is that ANYONE can have a go, from experienced quilters/sewers to children and complete novices!

How can you get involved?
Various ways!
1. If you are a complete beginner, just turn up and we will show you what to do! You can either do the REALLY simple (particularly child-friendly) option and simply draw a star on fabric, cut it out, and then add it to our quilt.

2. If you want a bit more of a challenge, you can learn English Paper Piecing. This is a traditional patchwork technique where small pieces of fabric are folded around paper templates, then sewn together edge to edge. Here is my daughter holding a demonstration star:

3. We will be adding the stars to the quilt but we will be Quilting As We Go, so you will also get to learn basic hand quilting skills! If you can sew on a button, you can do this. (If you can't sew on a button, I'm sure we can teach you quickly!).

4. Finally, if you are already an experienced quilter, there are two ways we would love you to get involved!

4.1 You are invited to make a star block, or star of your choice, in advance, and bring it along to Greenbelt to add to the quilt. All stars will be appliqued/quilted-as-you-go onto a quilt 'blank', so size is not critical. To guide your colour choices, we will be adding the stars to a navy blue background, so bright colours that would stand out will be best, and if you are using a background for your block, choose dark blue/black shades ideally.

4.2 And PLEASE, come along and join the bee and add your voice to ours as a guide, companion and instructor to those who are completely new to sewing! You don't have to be an expert, but if you can thread a needle and have ever quilted before you will be able to help explain the simple techniques to complete beginners.


  1. Hello, love this idea and would like to be involved.
    I know you say it doesnt matter what size star we want to make but it would help to have an idea of the quilt block sizes. Also can I bring anything like fabric pieces, needles, thread etc.
    Judith Sutton

  2. If you'd like to bring bright fabric scraps suitable for star making that would be great!
    We aren't doing traditional quilt blocks, that's why size isn't critical as they don't need to match up! We will be making stars and sewing them onto a quilt base, a combination of appliqué and quilt-as-you-go (where the stitches that appliqué them on are simultaneously the quilting stitches). So you can make a star-shaped star, or if you have spares from other projects or a block you'd like to try, we will attach that block in the same appliqué-and-quilt-as-you-go method. This is the only way wd could possibly make a quilt in three hours ��