Back in the late eighties, as an enthusiastic crafts person, I had learnt the basics of patchwork and was keen to meet other quilters. I had joined the Quilters Guild but knew of only one other quilt group in the area, which had a waiting list. I discussed it with my friend, Sue Bullough and suggested putting an advert in the Bits and Pieces magazine, which is the quarterly newsletter for local Quilters Guild members. I booked the small village hall and we thought that, if half a dozen or so people turned up, we could sit around and 'do a bit of sewing together'. Alarm bells rang when I subsequently received a phone call from Terry Stevenson asking if we intended having a Show and Tell spot. Show and Tell?? Terry was a member of the other group, Chiltern Quilters, who had recently shown their Carolina Lily quilt at an exhibition and asked if we'd like to see it. She told me that one or two other members intended coming along to support us at our inaugural meeting. Okay, I thought.... that will take our half a dozen up to ten or so.... I took extra coffee and biscuits.
Forty seven ladies turned up on that first evening and many of them are still members today. Thank goodness for Terry, who agreed to be our first Chairman and steered us to the fantastic group we are today. Discussing the best time to meet, some opted for mornings, some afternoons and we compromised by running our monthly meetings from 12 noon to 3pm to allow time for collecting children from school or dog walking before dark. Many of those children are now married with children of their own.
We realised that we would have to meet in the large village hall and have 60 members and a waiting list of our own.
During our time we have had top speakers from all over the country and abroad and won prizes and awards at many quilt shows.
A spin off group, Fat Quarters started an evening group and some of our members belong to both groups and even all three!
And the name? I suggested that, as we take perfectly good material, chop it up and then sew it back together again, Gone to Pieces summed us up and the name has stayed.