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CQ West - a group of artists working in textiles
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Our News
April 2021

This is CQ West's first newsletter - we are excited about it and hope you enjoy reading it. Please share it with your friends. You can subscribe to future newsletters by clicking on the "Subscribe to our Newsletter" button at the bottom of this email.


We have such exciting news - our much delayed exhibition, Unfolding Stories 4, is now planned to open at the end of June in Stroud. Please put the dates in your diary.
Wednesday June 29th to Monday July 12th 2021
10am to 4pm daily (closing 3pm on 12th July)
Lansdown Gallery
Stroud GL5 1BB
Chocolates and joyous digital colour, climate change and nature's abstract artistry are among the subjects which have inspired members of CQ West in their latest outpouring of new work. It will be the fourth in the group's successful series of biennial exhibitions entitled Unfolding Stories.
Members each make their own journey and tell their own story but enjoy sharing the group dynamic. Dark themes and bright celebrations will be vying for attention along with a host of techniques and materials, from hand stitch to digital print. Textile creations investigate the use of child labour in chocolate production, coming to terms with widowhood, the contortions we make in order to fit in and the glories of nature as well as the threats to it. Some members explore more formal aspects of art including drawing, colour and abstraction. New technologies are applied to design and print as well as to express personal and environmental narratives.

A New Venture

Yes, we are going to market. With all the time we have had during the lockdowns, we have plenty of cards, small pieces of work and other items to sell. We would love to see you on the 1st Saturday of the month at

Lower Ground Market, Castle Place Shopping Centre, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 8AL.

The market is in an open air environment starting May 1st 2021 and will comply to all current government guidelines. See more information at Makers Market.
Recent Achievements
Although we have been in some form of lockdown for the last year, members of CQ West have been busy and here are a few highlights.
  • Angela Knapp, our bird lady, has become an associate member of the Society of Graphic Fine Art which is amazing. Founded in 1919, the Society promotes fine drawing skills in both traditional and contemporary media. Today, there are more than 130 elected members of the SGFA across the UK — professional artists from all areas of the art world who work in all drawing and printmaking media. Later in the year, Angela will be exhibiting at Ace Arts in Somerton. See Angela's work at at her website,
  • Alicia Merrett, our well known international member, has had her new abstract digital work selected for Quilts National 2021. Quilt National is the major biennial quilt exhibition in the world. It started on 1979 and has taken place regularly every two years, at The Dairy Barn, Athens, Ohio, USA. See her colourful work at Alicia's website.
  • Claire Passmore joins the Board of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) this month. She will be working to further SAQA's mission to promote the Art Quilt, particularly in places outside of the USA. SAQA is a non-profit member organisation which has grown over the past 30 years into a dynamic and active community of nearly 4,000 artists, curators, collectors, and art professionals located around the world. Their vision is that the art quilt is universally respected as a fine art medium. See Claire's work at Claire's website and more information and a feast of delightful artwork can be found at SAQA.
Meet Our Members - Maria Harryman

Over the past two years, I have taken time to observe the Kennet and Avon Canal by walking the towpath and collecting; plants, notes, photos and drawings.  This routine practice over the course of time is allowing me to get to know this place intimately. Here, plants and wildlife, river craft and boaters, Industrial architecture and waste, all meld.

In my series “Life is not still” I wanted to depict the continuous cycle of change through the seasons. Inspired by the traditions of Still Life and the history of women’s album, sample books and herbals, I have sought to elevate the status of weeds or wild plants from the canal hedgerows and reedbeds creating a collection of Still Life paintings and drawings, printed fabrics and monthly pen portraits capturing my wider observations and specific moments in time.

I have barely touched the surface of canal life in this first series, to follow my ongoing work go to: or email me at
Meet an International Textile Friend
by Alicia Merrett
Betty Busby is a very well known and very popular American textile and mixed media artist. Her textile artworks are stunning and very unusual. Betty’s work is notable by her use of non-woven materials, often sourced from the industrial and commercial field. She cuts the non-wovens either by hand or with an electric cutting machine such as a Silhouette Cameo. Betty also uses silks, and other natural fibres like hemp, which she dyes, paints, rusts, and more.
As well as her two-dimensional wall hangings, Betty creates three-dimensional quilted objects, influenced by her training as a ceramic artist and her many years of work in that field.
Betty’s work appears in almost every SAQA exhibition, as well as in many other prestigious ones, such as Art Quilt Elements, Visions and Quilt National.  She is also in great demand as a speaker and teacher.  Betty was not very well known in the UK until 2019 when she won first prize in the Art Quilts category at the Festival of Quilts. Crowds surrounded her quilt on display, everyone wondering how it was made.
You can find out how she did it, and have an insight on her working techniques, by watching the interview in Lisa Walton’s Quilter Stories – ‘Betty Busby’s Vertex’ - in YouTube.

Betty Busby - First Colony

47” x 52" (2D) (From the ‘Macro’ series)
Silk dupioni, silk habotai, hand cut non-wovens, machine stitching, turned edge machine applique

Betty Busby - Sisters
56” x 20” x 15” (3D, three pieces)
Artist painted cotton, synthetic knit, machine stitching, mixed media
Links and other Resources 

Embroiderers' Guild, England
If you, as a textile artist, or your group has been affected by the closure of branches of the Embroidery's Guild, you could be interested in a new Textile website that has been set up to ensure that independent stitch groups can keep in touch with each other, promote their group and share information. It is a not-for-profit initiative and the annual fee is minimal (just a few pounds to cover web hosting). The goal is to create a listing of all independent stitch groups, (including those who also choose to affiliate to EG) as well as a resource of tutors/workshops providers and other useful information. Here is a link to the TextileArtHub website and their FaceBook page.

A Favourite Shop - Midsomer Quilting
This shop is in the middle of our members and most of us shop here. Some of our group run workshops for the shop - now online but hopefully soon back in the bright airy classroom. The shop has an extensive range of fabrics and quilting accessories. It has been successfully providing quilting necessities during the lockdowns in England. Annually, the shops is home to a exhibition of small quilts many of which are sold to raise money for Dorothy House Hospices. 

MQ are reopening for in person shopping from 12th April (mask and 2 metre rule in place) and will be open everyday for the first week up until April 19th. Normal opening days thereafter.

Chris Howell, one of the owners, does a regular newsletter which is always cheerful showing work from the Midsomer Quilting's informal community and questionable jokes. You can subscribe to the newsletter from their website. Scroll down to the bottom of the Home page for the box to add your email address.

About us
Our Members:
Alicia Merrett, Ana Kirby, Angela Knapp, Christine Seager, Claire Passmore,  Dot Carter, Fran Griffths, Helen Grist, Jane Brooks, Judith Barker, Judy Stephens, k3n, Kara Chambers, Lisa de Boer, Lucy Poloniecka, Maria Harryman, Stephanie Crawford, Sylvia Hammond, 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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