"The Chronicles of a Country Parish" - A village appraisal of Sulgrave published in 1995

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The Patchwork Group was formed in 1986 by four enthusiasts who met fortnightly in each other's homes. Their plan was to make patchwork quilts, to sell or to raffle, with the money being sent to charity. By 1987 there were eight patchworkers and just over £1000 hs so far been donated to a variety of good causes: Oxfam, Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, the R.S.P.C.A., the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Appeal, the N.S.P.C.C., and Katharine House Hospice Trust.

Group of Sulgrave Patchworkers
displaying their work - 1987

The styles of the patchwork have been equally varied: hexagonal, diamond and cathedral: the latter method ws effectively used for cushion ocvers commissioned by a local furnishing consultant. Most of the work has been done using cotton material which the group already possessed, but for a project to make cot-size quilts, Liberty fabric was purchased - luxure, but a delight to work with. In contrast, another interesting project was to renovate an old piece of patchwork, still containing its paper templates, one of which was dated 1896.

The Group took part in the Oxfordshire Visual Arts Festival in 1990 and 1991 when Sulgrave Manor invited members to demonstrate patchwork. It seemed a very fitting occupation, to sit working in the window of the Great Bedchamber on a June afternoon.

It has not all been hard sewing. A day trip to the American Museum near Bath to see their quilts and a visit to Burford Church to see their embroidery inspired the 1991-92 project.

The Group temporarily turned to a different craft and produced two tapestry pictures for the church. Each picture consisting of 24 squares depicts, in a range of stitches, life in Sulgrave. 16 villagers were involved in what became a fascinating task, and the finished tapestries are reproduced on the cover of this book (link). The originals are on display in Sulgrave Church.