Quilt Shop, Quilt, Patchwork, Piecing, Fat Quarter, Quilting, Applique

Fruit (2011)

The first Challenge (as are all of our Challenges) was strictly restricted to Midsomer Quilting’s customers and friends. Many of the 85 entries were offered for sale by secret auction in favour of CLIC Sargent, the charity that supports children with cancer and more than £1000 was raised. Judi Mendelssohn in her five-page review in Patchwork &Quilting magazine, said the exhibition was:

Simply stunning . . . a roaring success . . . absolutely outstanding . . . fantastic

. . . really exceptional . . . not only were the quilts a treat to look at, with really

original, witty and clever entries, the way they were displayed added to the visual feast.

We set the group early on to run in a fairly democratic way.  We agreed on the size and Shape our challenge quilts would be and on having a two-month period between quilt ‘reveals’, and agreed that we would each take turns choosing a challenge theme. . .

The British member of the team is Helen Conway, who happens to be one of MQ’s customers. Soon after the group was established - in fact they’d hardly finished their first challenge - we told Helen that we’d be delighted to exhibit the group’s work and this we did some months later, in 2011, when the group had completed twelve challenges – the same twelve that were featured in great detail in their fascinating book Twelve by Twelve.

. . . In the United Kingdom, Chris, De and Birgitta, from Midsomer Quilting, have been

champions of our project from the outset and hosted an exhibition of the Theme

Series before it toured onto the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham in 2011.

The exhibition at MQ was the first time the group’s work had been shown in Europe or the USA. It was a great success, and three years later the International Group exhibited their second collection, Colourplay, at Midsomer Quilting. It was their only show in Europe that year.

Our Twelve by Twelve Challenges

When we first displayed the International Groups’s work, many who saw it wondered how they could possibly have come up with such remarkable ideas. So, we challenged them to make their own 12” x 12” quilts on a theme of Fruit and the results were exhibited in December that year.  

Click on any of the 12x12 images below to go to our Flickr page to see all of the quilts that were entered in our Challenges in any particular year.

Since Midsomer Quilting first opened in 2004 we’ve organized, on average, a couple of quilt exhibitions a year, to ‘showcase’ about 2500 quilts made or lent by our customers and teachers. Some of them lasted several months (the exhibitions, that is!)  Some have been devoted to the work of quilters of international repute while others have been debut exhibitions of the work of teachers at MQ who are rapidly gaining international reputations of their own.  One display in particular had a profound effect on Midsomer Q.  It was the first showing in Europe or the USA of the work of

The International Twelve by Twelve Group

This group - www.twelveby12.org - was founded in 2007 by Diane Perin Huck, an American, and includes seven other Americans, one Australian, one Belgian, a New Zealander and a Brit.  Diane tells how they began:

Our 12x12 Challenges and other Exhibitions (26 and Counting)

Movie/Film (2013)

This time the theme attracted nearly 200 quilts, many of them being offered for sale by secret auction, once again to raise funds for Dorothy House.

Music (2014)

Our Challenge was on the theme of Music. As before many of the over 220 quilts were offered for sale by secret auction, to raise funds for Dorothy House.

Poetry and Verse (2015)

In 2015 the sale raised over £3600 for Dorothy House.

Mystery, Myth and Magic (2016)

As before many of the over 170 quilts were offered for sale by secret auction, and raised almost £3900 for Dorothy House.

Where (in the world?) is theme of the 2017 Challenge.  Details and ‘rules’ may be found by clicking here.

During the 2016 (Mystery, Myth and Magic) exhibition we set aside an area to show some of the magnificent quilts made by Angela Knapp www.carymade.co.uk. In the notes that accompanied her work Angela wrote about how she was first inspired to pursue her specialism of Birds in Textile Art when she took part in our 2014 Music Challenge with her Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night 12x12 (seen on the left below). And I have never looked back . . .says Angela.

Also on display on Angela’s table are quilts made by her daughters Lucy and Megan as well as (on the right) her husband Murray’s metallic response!

Book (2012)

The following year the chosen theme was Book, and once again many of the 100 quilts were offered for sale by secret auction, this time to raise funds for Dorothy House - our local hospice. And again MQ was able to forward more than £1000 to the chosen charity. Customers who live abroad were invited to support their own charities and we were particularly pleased to learn that the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Australia was among the beneficiaries.