East Dulwich WI host a Quilting event

East Dulwich WI host a Quilting event

The East Dulwich WI hosted a Quilting event for members last month. 

If you have seen the movie How to Make an American Quilt this may conjure up images of a group of friends sitting around a big table; gossiping, bickering and telling wonderful stories about their lives while lovingly handstitching a 6ft x 6ft quilt.

Well, it wasn’t quite like that. 

But, some bits were not too far off.

The session was being run by a local artist, Linda Litchfield, who makes work which frequently incorporates stitch and knit.

We were each given a small square to begin with. 

As time was limited, we would only have time to complete one side of what could eventually, with time and patience, become a pin cushion.

one that Linda made earlier

The reality is that as a complete novice with a needle and thread, I would need plenty of both!

First you create your centre square.

The idea is to then take a strip of coloured material (log) and secure it with a pin to the foundation fabric – right side down, along the top edge of your centre square, matching the raw edges and having the right hand strip level with the right hand edge of the square.

Using a smallish running stitch, sew along the top edge of the strip approx 1/4 inch from the edge.

Then make a lengthwise fold in the strip just sewn, pin in place, rotate clockwise and then attach your next log using the same technique.

I found it quite fiddly and time-consuming.  It is no wonder they organise big sewing events in the States as it could take a year or longer* to complete an entire quilt by yourself.

However, one of the most enjoyable parts of the evening for me, was chatting to the 3 other people on my table, all of whom I was meeting for the first time that evening. 

To one side of me was a very talented interior designer who has worked on many high-profile projects in her career.  She has two children at the school that I will be applying for Zachy to attend next year, so it was great to get a parents perspective from her. 

Creativity obviously comes very naturally to her and she has a great eye for log cabin quilting.  As someone who also sews in her spare time, she stitched log after log with ease and she made it look much easier than it was!


To the other side of me were a mother and daughter.  The daughter was home from University and thought she would tag along to the event with her Mum as it sounded like fun.  

Now, this next bit could be written directly from a romantic Hollywood movie… the daughter is getting married to her sweetheart next year and will be wearing her Mother’s wedding dress – minus the 80’s puffy sleeves though of course.  Not only that, the service will be held in the same church where her parents were married and the ring designed by the same jeweller!  You could tell by the way they talked about the planning of the day, just how much thought and love had gone into every detail.  It will be the best day of their lives, I am sure.  Just gorgeous.

So while my sewing skills may not have the head honchos at Laura Ashley trembling in their haberdashery cupboards just yet, I did learn something new and I did meet some lovely new people and that’s all I ever wanted from the WI when I joined. 

The real bonus is that I’ve actually made some pretty good mates there too.

*total guess – I have no idea how long it would really take

The EDWI meet on the first Wednesday of each month at The Lodge, above East Dulwich Tavern, 1 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, SE22 8EW.  Meetings start at 7.30pm.  Guests are welcome.  http://www.eastdulwichwi.co.uk/

Featured photo © Linda Litchfield

You can also find me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter @Smudgerella.


  1. July 16, 2012 / 3:44 PM

    This post makes me wish I could tag along. That kind of thing is properly up my street. Our local WI gets booked up SO fast.

    • Grenglish
      July 16, 2012 / 4:33 PM

      TAG ALONG!!! Where are you based?

        • Grenglish
          July 17, 2012 / 6:17 AM

          Shame! Def get on the waiting list. I love our local WI, have met some really lovely people x

  2. July 16, 2012 / 10:22 PM

    The first half of that post was another freakin’ language! Needlework is the only O’Level I failed. Got 10 others – languages and sciences and am a shame to my mum and Nan who were machinists in the textile heart of the country, Nottingham. Must give the local WI a look into tho if people like you and Steph are going! XX

    • July 16, 2012 / 10:37 PM

      Oooh yeah there are loads of branches cropping up that aren’t just about jam and jerusalem ;-D our local one did cake decorating recently, it looked amazing but I couldn’t get a spot.

      • Grenglish
        July 17, 2012 / 6:19 AM

        We’ve also done wine tasting and next month we are flamenco dancing!!! Definitely recommend joining, you only have to attend once a month but they also organise film clubs and book clubs in addition if you want to do more x

        • July 17, 2012 / 9:53 AM

          The women I bump into around here from the WI are about 100 years older than you two, but I will invstigate further! Yours sounds vvery inviting.

  3. Cedges
    July 17, 2012 / 3:44 PM

    In my usual WI fail, I have no idea where my half-finished square even is! I’m sure I’ll find it in a black hole next to my unwatered tomato plant, never watered dead xmas wreath and broken bracelet!

    Oh and since my birthday this weekend, I’ve come up with an idea for another blog I’ll never write – “Turns out that 26 is when that clock starts tick-tocking away and fyi spending the weekend in ED and the Village and going to the Horniman on a nice Sunday Afternoon does nothing to quell the deafening scilence of my non-existent partner” Maybe I’ll work on a catchier title tho!


    Oh and for those thinking of joining their local WI – do it!

  4. July 18, 2012 / 8:44 AM

    WOw-well done you-yiayia would be proud!

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