Ouse Valley Quilters' Exhibition - by Jackie S

I decided on the spur of the moment that it was about time I visited another quilt exhibition, so ventured off into East Sussex to Ringmer Community School just outside Lewes to see the Ouse Valley Quilters' Exhibition. Ouse Valley Quilt group is made up of several satellite groups and they meet once a month in Lewes.

It was a lovely day, despite the best efforts of Southern Rail trying to ruin it by making all the passengers "de-train" both ways at Haywards Heath due to staff shortages. Lewes is a very interesting place and I'm sure I will go back for a longer look around.

Anyway, having taken the number 28 bus from Lewes I arrived at Ringmer School to find a large exhibition in a very large hall. There were 126 quilts on display, consisting of many, mainly traditional, styles and as in any quilt exhibition in many different colours. Generally, similar types of quilts that our members produce. Most of the quilts had stories attached to them, which made interesting reading in the catalogue. We all know the "I started this X number of years ago and decided it was time to finish it" syndrome - well there was a lot of that so a lot of finally finished quilts too.

There was also a challenge, which was to make sensory quilts to be given to Kangaroos, a local charity for learning disabled children. The challenge was to produce a small quilt to stimulate senses of sight, hearing and touch, so included sewn on objects as well as a variety of fabric types. The other charity being supported was Macmillan: a new centre is being opened in Brighton and some of the funds from the exhibition will go to this project.

A small selection of art quilts all made by members of the Art Group was also on display consisting of fabric painting, free-motion embroidery, stencilling, photography and marbling, which were very interesting.

A tombola ( didn't win anything), raffle, sales tables (I bought some really useful fabric!), local traders and the required refreshments were all available and doing brisk business. My visitor's choice vote went to a lovely scrap quilt consisting of alternate blocks of nine patches and appliqued pansy-type flowers on a white background with a trailing stem border, again on a white background. It was machine and hand pieced and hand quilted - very clean and pleasing to look at - made by Krystyna Astle for her daughter Karyn.

Altogether a very nice exhibition held in a very pleasant part of the country that was very well attended - I can recommend the next one in 2018.