Looking Back on 2018

It has been another busy year at Cutting Edge and as the New Year approaches it seems appropriate to reflect on what we achieved in 2018.

Following completion of the WW1 project in 2017 we moved onto a new challenge – the Swansea Festival of Stitch.
An invitation to join in gave us the opportunity to stage an exhibition to showcase the group’s talent. As expected many of you threw not only your energy but also your ideas, knowledge and creative skills into making it memorable. Following the festival’s theme of the sea there were suggestions to make fabric fish, bunting, postcards and fabric windmills, which all complemented the beautiful pieces of work that formed the main body of the exhibition

The windmills and fish were created at monthly meetings and a day was organised where members of the group got together to make fabric postcards. Around 50 were created and used to form a wall hanging entitled ‘Wish You Were Here’. At the exhibition the windmills were displayed in vases on the tables and circles of windmills stood in buckets on the windowsills. It was stunning and and well received by visitors. So memorable that we think it is worthy of another airing at Cowbridge Old Hall in 2019.

Many of you also submitted quilts to the first ever Quilt Expo run by Swansea Festival of Stitch. Again, a wonderful showcase of members expertise. And, a vote of thanks to Salinder for oranising a coach trip to the event.

In addition to the above we ran workshops – crazy patchwork and a fabric journal workshop which generated some heirlooms to be proud of! And, thanks to Lesley Anne we now have a fabric journal group established for others to have a go

We also completed a quilt for Project Linus. It was exhibited at the Quilt Expo before being handed over to the charity.

Later in the year there was a day set aside for members to make Christmas cards and tags and this year’s Members day was used to create Christmas wall hangings.

Whilst it is lovely to see the beautiful work created at workshops and exhibitions we shouldn’t forget the wealth of work that members show at monthly meetings. All of this reminds us that we have a very talented group. And members work is always available to view on the blog and/or though our Facebook page

Dyeing to Paint is an important part of the group as it is mainly made up of Cutting Edge members. It meets on the 1st Thursday of the month in St Hilary and is a small but perfectly formed group that enjoys painting, dyeing, printing and stencilling. After producing some stunning pieces of work for the exhibition members decided to define themselves by having unique aprons made! The challenge now is to embellish them with print and keep messy hands off them so they don’t get spoilt!

Although our WW1 project came to a close in 2017 there were knock on effects in 2018. Around 200 of the poppies – originally made to enhance the various WW1 exhibitions we held – were donated to Cowbridge Town Hall for their display on the front of the building and some of them were used to decorate the St Hilary telephone box of Remembrance.

We can be proud that our WW1 project not only drew attention to the horrors of the 1st World war it also had a significant impact on the Cowbridge Remembrance commemorations. It encouraged local businesses to decorate their windows for remembrance day and it also helped increase the fundraising for the poppy appeal. What a legacy!

In addition, a small group of members initiated the making of a commemorative quilt for Cowbridge. It was displayed over Remembrance day in Ty Hafan shop window and will be hung in the Old Hall from January for an indefinite period.

The Cowbridge Branch of the British Legion sent the following correspndence in appreciation of our efforts:

I am writing to thank you all on behalf of the Poppy Appeal for the donation you made of £100, plus a further £23.63, which was raised when you displayed the quilt in the Lesser Hall. I am sure there are more unknown donations that could attribute to your quilt as it attracted considerable admiration from people in the town when on display in the window of Ty Hafan. I must congratulate you on a magnificent piece of work which I am sure will become a long lasting dedication to those men who gave their lives. You may be interested to learn that the Poppy Appeal street collection this year, plus that raised by schools, shops, businesses, pubs etc. in Cowbridge and the surrounding villages raised a total of over £15,500, which is our highest ever. Our grand total to date including money from other sources is already in excess of £18,000, with further money and donations still expected. Without help such as yours the Poppy Appeal would not be able to continue its vital welfare and benevolent work on which so many people depend. Once again, my sincere thanks to you all for your wonderful idea and a job well done”.

Through various activities we have made a meaningful contribution to charity. As well as that already mentioned above we raised money raised from the sale of beads and stash that has been donated from an elderly lady who had moved into a care home. We raised £500 for SANDS, a stillbirth and neonatal death charity. It operates throughout the UK, supporting anyone affected by the death of a baby, working to improve the care bereaved parents receive, and promoting research to reduce the loss of babies’ lives.

Finally, the year was rounded off with our usual bring and share Christmas lunch which is always delicious. Members never fail to produce a feast fit for a king!

So….. as you can see we haven’t been sitting on our laurels!

Of course, none of this could have been achieved without your help, support and enthusiasm, for which we are extremely grateful. And, there are a few members who deserve particular recognition as they voluntarily give a great deal of their time and energy to help ensure that your Cutting Edge experience continues to be enjoyable. They are:

– Liz Price for managing the finances and who is always there along with Chris Dobson to set up and close venues.
– Isobelle Davis and Corinne Roberts who helped coordinate and produce an excellent exhibition at the Tapestri café
and who expertly managed your Quilt Expo entries
A HUGE thank you is extended to them all

We now move on to another new year with lots ideas in the pipeline, two workshops already planned and a visit to St Fagans. Detials can be viewed on the programme page of the blog.

Please let us know if you have any suggestions for activities/workshops that you think the group would enjoy.

Happy New Year!

Monica and Liz