We did say we’d love to see your work right up til the end of May, so I am sharing the latest, and probably the last, squares to arrive.

Gardens, birds and flowers have been a recurrent theme throughout the months, and reinforces how important ‘the great outdoors’ has been for us all. I do love how Ros Swart has used a denim pocket for her design- I’m very tempted to copy that! - she used an African fabric her husband had sent her. Ros has enjoyed walking in Peaslake this spring and all the beautiful flowers.  Jean Wood- who is 93- use silk paints to paint her robin, she told us that she has enjoyed feeding the birds through lockdown and her family phoning and visiting her. Michelle Matthews took inspiration from the African Daisies in her garden to create a really effective design. 

The weeks have rushed by and we are now enjoying seeing the squares you have all been making begin to arrive at West Horsley Place.

Clare has the enormous task of sorting them into date order, so when you send them in it would be really helpful if you could add a sticky label on the back, or a piece of paper pinned to your piece with your name and the date (or at least the month) you did the work. (eg, for the pretty bird here, we would expect to see ‘Jean Wood – May 2021'). We need to be sure of having them all in the office by June …….. so we can count them and start working on a design plan.

Clare will be in touch in the next few weeks with all square-makers to see if any of you would like to help with the massive stitching task we have ahead of us, but if you haven't made a square and would like to join in the patchwork-sewing phase of the GladRags Project do drop her a line at [email protected] and put your name on the list.

We hope to start with an initial meeting in July to discuss the sewing project and if you have an electric sewing machine this will need to have a PAT test (probably that same day). This is a Portable Appliance Test and is often required by venues for any movable electrical appliances on their premises. We may also need you to bring an extension cable and have that tested as well, but Clare will let you know about this.

A cup of tea was obviously on Sue Ratcliff’s mind when she stitched her square, so we might even be able to organise that too! Sue said of her inspiration, 

"The simple things in life can be the best. Enjoying a cup of tea in the garden especially when family and friends can join me."

If you are not a machine stitcher, we’d still love to hear from you because the initial tasks will be accurate measuring and marking of each square to ensure they get stitched together into a neat patchwork banner and there is sure to be lots of tacking to get done.

After the introductory meeting, we plan to meet each Tuesday afternoon between 2pm and 5pm so this will be a sociable affair. However, if you would prefer to work on your own, I am sure we could agree a way for you to collect a ‘pack’ of squares to stitch in your own home.

This last square is by Liz Sherras Clarke and my cue to thank you all once again for such delightful and inspiring work over the past months. I shall look forward to meeting some of you throughout July.

Nancy Shafee is a member of the International Feltmakers Association, Fibre Art Network, Heritage Craft Association and Crafts Council. She has just been relieved as Chair of the Surrey Guild of Craftsmen after five years in the role.

Nancy lives in West Horsley. She teaches feltmaking and sells her work through The Surrey Guild of Craftsmen Gallery in Milford and Haslemere Museum.