Speaker: Jacqui Dolby
Self-taught quilter, Jacqui Dolby was the speaker at Asby WI’s meeting in the village hall. She brought with her an amazing collection of examples of her work which ranged from pieces as small as a postcard for a doll’s house bed to a magnificent hanging depicting houses in Witney, Oxon. where the speaker previously lived. She called this piece ‘The Envelopment of Witney’ as it centred on the different houses of the old town with a recent encircling road and the modern developments beyond.
Mrs Dolby explained that initially she made quilts for her own children following a visit to the Malvern Quilt Show in 1992 where she was inspired by Dorothy Stapleton’s work to try working with the log cabin motif. A striking example of this was a delightful Noah’s Ark quilt. A number of the quilts were hand-quilted, while others were button-quilted, and most would have taken hours to make: one enormous specimen had taken a year to complete! Quilts with pockets as added interest and things to feel had been made for both small children, and for adults with special needs. Materials used included remnants, recycled fabrics, sometimes fleece for backing, and scraps of particular relevance to the person for whom the quilt was made – perhaps from a favourite old garment or with a design relevant to that person’s hobby.
More recently she has used a hexagon template. At one time Mrs Dolby was the Enquiries Officer in Witney for the War Graves Commission and her most magnificent piece of work uses the hexagon to create a quilt showing a series of WGC-based crosses made from red ‘poppies’ on which the names of the Witney war deceased are written. This particular quilt is used as a backdrop each year at the Appleby British Legion’s Poppy Awards evening and is just one of several with stories behind them. They are ‘Sewing Memories’ as the speaker so aptly put it.
Carol Smith thanked Mrs Dolby for bringing along such a wonderful display of her work and then, assisted by Pam Cowey, served refreshments. The raffle winner was Valerie Cooper and the winners for the competition for a needle case were Pat Bevan and Susan Walker.