The Beartown Patchworker and Quilters Autumn programme began with a Sew and chat and a Show and tell. Members showed quilts they had made for Care Leavers and some that had been made for a “Shoe box challenge”.

The meeting on the 26th September provided an update on plans being made for the groups Ruby Anniversary Quilt Show at the Town hall next year.

On 10th October a founder member Evelyn Holt talked about how the group was formed in 1984. She brought along her first quilt and described how Judy Flynn another founder member had encouraged friends to gather weekly in their respective houses to chat and sew and learn about patchwork. Judy gave tips and showed techniques. Their first quilt was made of 12” sampler bocks. They aimed to complete one per month using the quilt as you go method. Templates for the blocks were made by hand and members had to journey to Wilmslow to obtain fabric or visit the Malvern Show for patchwork supplies as they were not readily available in the 80’s.
As membership grew the group began to meet at Danesford school(now New Life Church) then Mossley village hall and the Scout Headquarters at Rope Walk (until Covid struck.) They made a town quilt depicting various landmarks in Congleton which still hangs in Congleton Museum.
When there were about 25 members they decided to name the group Beartown Patchwork and Quilters. Judy Flynn was the driving force and was a very talented needle woman. She started classes at Sandbach library, encouraged members to join the Quilters Guild and arranged speakers to explain techniques and share knowledge. Judy organised a block exchange with America in the 90’s and later with Australia and Holland. The blocks were made up by the group into quilts that were raffled for charity. The group has had eight leaders over 40 years and now has 55 members. It has been driven by the friendship and talent of these members.


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