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CQ West - a group of artists working in textiles
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February 2023
Our News
This month is the 10th anniversary of CQ West. Ten Contemporary Quilt Group members met for the first time in February 2013. Of the ten, Alicia Merrett, Christine Seager, Judy Stephens, k3n, Maria Harryman, Stephanie Crawford and Wendy Weller are still members today.. Over the years, the focus of the group has changed and current members are now mostly mixed media artists. This gives our exhibitions an exciting mix of textile based works. 

We plan to celebrate our anniversary in July with a nice chatty lunch and a June newsletter dedicated to our evolving story.
Meet Our Member - Stephanie Crawford

For many years my style has been mainly pictorial,  usually involving light and perspective.  I like urban scenes on any scale.  I take a great many photographs wherever I happen to be – dog walking locally, or anywhere in the world, and use these for inspiration.  I usually draw my design, in pencil, onto white cotton, then paint with fabric paints and, finally, add a great deal of free-motion stitching.
Lockdown conditions changed our way of looking at things and I decided, early on, to record a diary of events – this was drawn, painted and stitched and is a very, very personal interpretation of the times.  This has been part of the CQ West Unfolding Stories Five exhibition.   A number of people suggested that I should produce a printed version, so this is what I have recently done.  These are just a few of the pages. 

They will cost £10 (including postage).  Contact me on

Another outcome from Lockdown (and there were some positives) was the suggestion from a textile artist friend that a few international textile artists should get together online and produce some work together.  We became Magic Carpet (I no longer remember why!) and soon have an exhibition at the Australian Quilt Convention in Melbourne.  The theme for this gallery is “Evolve”  and these are a couple of my pieces, which I decided to base, loosely, on games of chance.

I have also been having fun lately, working on some boro pieces, with sashiko techniques.  There was a wonderful exhibition of Japanese boro work, some ten years ago, at Somerset House and I have often thought I would like to try out my own version.  This is my first kimono.

Having always been a machine quilter, I have found it really relaxing and rewarding  to sit stitching slowly.  It is tempting to keep adding more and more scraps and embroidering them.
However, I have a few ideas in mind for my next series of work, which will be a return to my interest in buildings, so watch this space……
Links and other Resources 
All That She Carried: the Story of Ashley’s Sack, by Tiya Miles

This book only came to my notice very recently, via a BBC History Extra podcast

It relates the heart-rending story of a 9 year old enslaved girl, Ashley, sold away from her mother, in the mid nineteenth century as part of the settlement of a Will. The mother, Rose, put some items into a cotton sack for her daughter – a ragged dress, some pecan nuts, a braid of her own hair.  They never saw each other again. The story was passed down through Ashley’s family and the sack was a treasured relic.  In 1921 her grand-daughter Ruth embroidered the outline of this story onto the sack, including, in beautiful red stitching, Rose’s words to her daughter “It be filled with my Love always”.
All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley's Sack, a Black Family Keepsake
The story was researched by American academic Tiya Miles and won the U.S. National Book Award.  She writes about how important material objects, however small, are, and how they carry significance and meaning when they are all that you have.
The sack is now in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington.

By Judith Barker
About us
Our Members:
Alicia Merrett, Ana Kirby, Christine Seager, Dot Carter, Fran Griffiths, Jane Brooks, Judith Barker, Judy Stephens, k3n, Kara Chambers, Lucy Poloniecka, Maria Harryman, Marion Lamb, Rachele Dickie, Stephanie Crawford, Sylvia Hammond, Wendy Jump and Wendy Weller.

CQ West are a group of award-winning Quilt and Textile artists/makers who come from a wide area, including Somerset, Bristol, Gloucestershire and South Wales. Many have work in both public and private collections and show and teach nationally and internationally in their own right. They formed as a group in 2013 as a means to share and push the boundaries of their personal practice. 

More information can be found on our website or on Facebook or use the links at the top of this email.
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CQ West · Ormond House, London Road · Devizes, Wiltshire SN10 2DS · United Kingdom

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