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Islay Quilters

09 August 2016

Islay Quilters was established by a small group of ladies who had a desire to share and extend their skills in needlework and sewing, whilst passing on their skills to others.

Manned by volunteers, Islay Quilters, run a shop, selling fabrics, wool, haberdashery and items made by members – with all profits from the shop being reinvested into the group.

The shop is also home to the numerous workshops which run regularly and are designed to suit all levels of expertise.
The Quilters are keen to ensure that sewing skills aren’t lost and skills are passed onto the younger inhabitants of Islay. A grant from Fourteen has enabled them to purchase smaller sewing machines and materials, allowing them to share basic skills in both hand and machine sewing. Whilst encouraging and inspiring young people to extend into more specialised areas of patchwork and quilting.

One of the group’s recent successes has been with a young girl in P7 at Bowmore primary. With dreams of being a designer, but with no relevant skills she approached the Quilters for help in making a dress. After some initial discussions regarding design and skills, it was agreed that a dress was perhaps too ambitious for a first attempt and a skirt would be a better option.

Working with the Quilters, the young girl designed a six panel skirt made up of different materials, an ambitious but achievable design. Over a number of weeks the Quilters taught her basic skills including how to use a sewing machine and put on a zip. The new smaller sewing machines meant the girl was able to take the machine home and work on her skirt between workshops. This skirt has now been completed and displayed in as part of the school’s Endeavour Project. The time spent with the Quilters has reinforced her desire to be a designer and she hopes to attend future workshops.

The Quilters have also worked more recently with the Rainbows, creating Love bugs (stuffed socks which are decorated). The Quilters are hoping to display these in a forthcoming exhibition.

Following the success of the time with the Rainbows, they are now considering organising craft workshops as an after school activity as well as during the school holidays.

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