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CQ West - a group of artists working in textiles
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Our Group News
Our Exhibition, Unfolding Stories 4, at the Lansdown Gallery in Stroud, was such a wonderful event -   it was a marvellous feeling to exhibit our work again and meet so many interested and kind visitors. If you were unable to visit us, you can see a short video on our website taken by Maria Harryman whilst she was stewarding -

Thank you all our visitors. We are now working hard on Unfolding Stories 5 which we will be exhibiting in Bradford On Avon and Ilminster. in 2022.

In the meantime, Angela Knapp is holding her solo exhibition at Ace Arts. Her stitched birds are amazing and she has also been making maps and other textile work to compliment the birds and explain more about these endangered species of the Somerset Levels. For more information, visit


You can visit Angela's work on her at or on Facebook page at Angela Textile Artist or Angela's Instagram
Recent Achievements

European Quilt Association Recycled Challenge of 2020/21 - Helen Grist 

“Third world waste - first world conundrum” was made in response to conversations about what to do with the “eye candy” sari strip bundles so many of my friends were tempted to buy at the Festival of Quilts. Beguiling to buy but how to utilise thin strips of quite delicate sometimes poor-quality fabrics?
This quilt is part of a series of small quilts using sari strip bundles. In each case, once the bundles are unravelled, I back each strip with Vlieseline H180 to stabilise and strengthen the strip and reduces fraying without affecting, too much, the handle of the fabric. I then foundation piece the hexagonal log cabin blocks.
The quilt was juried into the European Quilt Association Recycled Challenge of 2020/21 which was displayed virtually at the Festival of Quilts 2021. It is hoped that, sometime in the future, the exhibition which contains quilts from all of the 20 member countries in the EQA will tour “in the flesh”.

“Third world waste - first world conundrum”, 40cm X 60cm.
The log cabin hexagons are made from sari strip bundles, the outer border is part of a drop cloth from a “print factory” I was touring in Jaipur, India and the quilt is backed with some waste printed fabric from that “print factory”.
Meet Our Members - Judith Barker
Last year a PhD student at the University of Bristol, Naomi Clarke, set up a research project to examine the role of craft activities during this time.  One of our members, Judith Barker was one of the participants.

Craft in the time of Corona-virus by Judith

About 300 people took part, writing diaries recording what they had made, how they felt, and where they were, with photographs of their makes. 
Writing about what I was doing made me notice it far more; like many makers I found I didn’t have the mental ability to create new imaginative pieces, but found steady pleasure in making small bags, traditional patchwork blocks, and drawing from photos in a small sketchbook. 
The Urban Sketchers group I belong to met over Zoom, drawing faraway locations on-screen instead of local places; my quilt group offered talks over Zoom. All this went into the diaries. I became more aware of how my emotional and mental life changed as the months went by. My diary records bewilderment, sadness, and anger.

The last activity was being invited to make a postcard called “Dear Me”, sending a message to ourselves as we were in March 2020. Since everyone had spent most of the year at home, I made a stitched picture of my house. In my message, I referred thankfully to the fact that everyone I care about had survived, and looked forward to sitting in a café and wearing high heels (I’ve managed one but not yet the other).
Naomi will be writing up her research for a book, and there are more details on her website.

Judith has exhibited her work in the UK and abroad and is an accredited Quilt Judge.  You can see her work on her website at:

Meet an International Textile Friend
by Christine Seager

Photo by Stefan Titzmann

Heidi Drahota is a German artist who creates large works with socio-critical, political or autobiographic references. Increasingly, she is using a mix of traditional textile techniques to make collages which include felted, dyed, her own photos, sewn, printed and embroidered elements. Three-dimensional elements made of felt are her trademark in her quilts and threads in her felted works .
Another area of Heidi’s work is eco printing. This is a purely natural dyeing technique that uses materials such as leaves, roots and flowers. She also makes home accessories, bags, jewellery and other beautiful artefacts.
In 2017, Heidi was awarded 1st prize in the Structures competition for her work, ‘Geschützter Raum' (Protected Room). Her work is shown regularly in Germany as well as the rest of Europe, the UK, Australia and the USA. Currently, she has work in ‘The Fine Art of Denim' at the Pollak Gallery, Monmouth University for the Arts, in an online exhibition with WRI, ‘Nonviolence in Action: Antimilitarism in the 21st Century’ and ‘Upcycle’ and 'Microscape', SAQA exhibitions touring the USA.

Side track (Abstellgleis), 65cm x 48cm, 2010   
With yarns felted onto the felt elements, embroidered with - metal scouring pad, pearls exhibited in Germany, Czech Republic

Rose garden #1, 140cm x 48cm, 2017
Woollen fabric, eco printed, felted 3D parts   
Exhibited in Tasmania, Yarra Australia, Birmingham, Germany, Prague

The Green Belt (Das grüne Band), 90cm x 90cm, 2019   
Wet felted part - various wools, various yarns, silk, cotton printed, appliqued, oil crayons painted, quilting and needlepainted, freemotion stitching
Exhibited in Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, Südkorea, Russia (invitation of the German Guild 30 artist from Germany and South Korea)
Links and other Resources 

Do you want to learn how to dye your fabric??

Urban Studio North is
 a purpose built studio in Manchester, UK, owned by Leah Higgins, the UK's Breakdown Printing expert. Here she teaches students the wonders of dyeing fabric and the magic of breakdown printing. 

The studio is easily accessible, light, spacious and fully equipped for surface design and more. Most workshops are limited to 6 students so that there is lots of room to work. It  is stocked with a selection of the fabrics, Procion dyes, screen printing inks, auxiliary chemicals, screen printing screens and equipment for students to buy. Both Leah and her Guest Tutors will give you lots of one to one support. And the studio has a bottomless supply of tea, coffee, cold drinks and biscuits to help the creative process.

Leah is also the author of two books, Colour Your Palette and Breakdown Your Palette. Both are extremely well written and detailed. 


Leah's workshops and books can be found at Her Facebook is and her Instagram is

SAQA is currently holding its annual Benefit Auction, Many of SAQA's members donate a 12 inch square quilt. Using this link, you can view these quilts which are made by some of the world's most renown art quilt makers and many of the group's aspiring artists -

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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