Bobby Britnell Workshop Day 1

Bobby Britnell, a long time supporter of The Quilt Association, is exhibiting at The Minerva Arts Centre throughout the summer and yesterday she began teaching a two-day workshop.

At times, the workshop was as quiet as an exam room, such was the concentration….

Assisted by copious tea and biscuits, they studied hard, but all expressed great enjoyment!

Can't wait to see what today brings! Will post later.

Hilary Beattie

Hilary Beattie will be running a spring school for The Quilt Association this May.  Hilary taught here in Llanidloes in 2016 and that three-day retreat was a run-away success with many students booking again for this year. As a result, the school is sold out, but we hope that you will come and see Hilary’s work, plus the work of other members of Art Textiles:Made in Britain in the exhibition at The Minerva Arts Centre during May.

Anyone who has met Hilary, seen her teach, or demonstrate at quilting shows, will know that she is passionate about her art and tireless both in its execution and in the promotion of textile art as a movement.  Her work goes from strength to strength as she embraces new techniques, and experiments vivaciously with new materials. Hilary explores personal subject matter and shares with the observer her many passions, whether it is, for example, her love of the coast, her beloved dogs, her garden, or her own emotional journey.  What singles Hilary out as a true gift to textile art in Britain is the generosity with which she shares her knowledge, and, especially, her ability to impart that knowledge with engagement and enthusiasm,  to both experienced and novice practitioners.


This exhibition by members and guests of Art Textiles:Made in Britain opens at The Minerva Arts Centre, Llanidloes on May 6 2017 and runs until 3 June 2017.  The gallery will be open from 10.30 until 4.30 each day except Sundays.

There are related workshops as follows:

Rosie James – Photostitch – May 6 2017
Hilary Beattie – The Language of Flowers – 18 – 20 May 2017
Cas Holmes – Unfolding Landscapes – 22 – 23 May 2017
Sylvia Paul – Concealed – 1 – 2 June 2017


Quilt Association City and Guilds Graduates

“I feel quite sad now that it is over. I have thoroughly enjoyed my course, all of it, some parts more than others, at each stage I have been inspired, and enjoyed the challenge.  I have grown in so many ways, but especially confidence.”

Recently, several students have graduated from our City and Guilds Level 2 Certificate in Patchwork and Appliqué. They produced some outstanding work, as varied as their own personalities. During their online studies, they have filled sketchbooks as they learned about the elements of design – 

They have practised design development – 

and learnt practical skills such as traditional stitching techniques, Procion MX dyeing and free-motion quilting – 

and produced beautiful finished items focused on Patchwork and on Appliqué –

We had some lovely feedback from the graduates, (as well as the quote at the start of this post)  saying such things as;

“I learned a lot during the course and did things I would never before have                a) thought of doing or                                                                                                        b) thought were things I was capable of, probably just because I didn’t know how. In future if I come up with an idea, I will be more inclined to find out how things are done and can I acquire the tools needed rather than saying “that’s not for me”

“You have been a super tutor and your course is quite outstanding…wonderfully constructed and designed.”

“I have really enjoyed the course and learnt so much”

Some of you will have heard that City and Guilds are about to radically change their creative provision.  No one is sure yet exactly what they intend, but we do know that we can continue to register new students on our programme, which is 7161 from the Creative Techniques pathway,  until 2018.  If you are thinking of taking a City and Guilds course don’t delay.  We continue to be the best value online provider, with our price held despite increases in administration costs.


WHQ Round Robin

We have just hosted the Welsh Heritage Quilters’ biennial exhibition. If you missed it you will have to wait two years for the next one.  It filled both galleries and the workshop.  I am aways amazed by the quantity and quality of the work that the group produces and this year did not disappoint me.

There are aways some items grouped together that are the result of challenges.  Today everyone has been asked to start thinking of ideas for the next lot of challenges, so there will be plenty of time to work on them.

One of this year’s was a round robin based on strips.  In groups of 6 each person made a strip 36.5″ x 4.5″ using any design and choice of fabrics. This was then passed on to the next person in the group together with the fabric and a booklet outlining the theme and anything to avoid such as particular colours or embellishments. After all 6 people have done a strip for each of the members of the group, they are returned to the person who did the first one and they have the job of joining them together, in any way they like, and completing the quilt or wall hanging.

Here are the results from one of the groups.

20160330_140836  Strip Jackie

Strip Sheila  Strip Jeni


20160330_141030    Strip Maggie

The strips were all made by the same six people but are all so different. Also the approach to putting them together varies. The traditional way is to join them all horizontally without gaps or sashing.  But this restraint was not imposed.  It makes for a really interesting display.






The Workshop

20160331_150724 20160331_150706 20160330_141800So here we are at last.   The workshop is up and running. On Wednesday it was tested for the first time with a fabric dyeing in a jam jar session for the members of the Welsh Heritage Quilters. From this we realised that we needed a hand towel dispenser and a bin for the used towels. So obvious now but it is so easy to forget the obvious.

The other lesson that we learnt from this was that the public were not deterred from coming into the workshop to view the exhibition while a workshop was in progress. We really want the public to see everything that is going on in our Centre.

We have another workshop this week when those who have dyed fabric will be able to use them in a stained glass block.

The next workshop will be on 30th April when Rosie James will be guiding us through stitching a drawing. There are still a couple of places left if you fancy having a go.  There are more details on the Workshop page of this website.




Back Again

I really meant to write about happenings here at Minerva over the last few months but all sorts of things took over my life. But I am back again now and will have to learn how to write a blog all over again! It’s not easy for an octogenarian.

November and December were devoted to the annual Christmas Craft Fair. This group hire Gallery 1 and fill it with stalls that can provide the whole family with presents.


The Lifelong Learning Department at Aberystwyth University have also been running workshops on basic sewing skills and upcycling, that looked more like upstyling to me.


In January work started on splitting Gallery 2 into gallery and dedicated workshop area. The dividing wall is in but the sinks are yet to be installed.  These are going to make those workshops that require screen washing or rinsing fabric so much easier. The deadline for completion is World Textile Day on 19th March, another event that fills the galleries with colour and exciting purchases.

Then our workshop programme gets underway and the exhibitions follow one another in quick succession.  As for City and Guilds, our students are beavering away with some more due to graduate soon.