About us
Our History

We are indebted to Pat Hume, one of the founder members of Oast Quilters for providing the early history of Oast Quilters:

The late Marion Collins has the admiration of all of us for bringing patchwork and quilting to East Kent.  Marion came to Canterbury in 1984 and put a notice in the Library asking for anybody interested in patchwork and quilting to contact her.  A lot of Pat Hume’s friends made that contact and so the Chaucer Quilters was formed.

In May 1986, the Group decided to hold an Exhibition at the Chapter House at Canterbury Cathedral.  Pat joined Chaucer Quilters just before the Exhibition as she was told there would be an influx of members.   At the time, Pat was an embroiderer and was heard to say ‘In no way will you get me cutting up material and joining it together again’, but she seems to have been doing just this ever since!   

Pat remembers directing operations in the Chapter House as she was the only one who could read Marion’s notes without changing their glasses while the late Rosemary Marozzi was the only one who would go up a ladder!

Quilts from The Quilters’ Guild Collection, borrowed quilts from the American Museum in Bath, one of the Archbishop’s copes were all on display.  The diversity of items included a quilt made by the Sioux Indians and the Sissinghurst Quilt which was made by soldiers from uniform fabric. The National Trust White Cliffs Bedspread was also featured.   Amy Emms, a friend of Marion’s, supplied numerous articles including the wedding dress she made for her daughter.   The Chaucer Quilters had obviously not been so massively productive in their two years to enable to them fill the Chapter House, so all these items were most welcome.

The Exhibition was well advertised and lots of people turned up.  The Chaucer Quilters decided to take the names and addresses of those interested in patchwork and quilting and in October 1986 called a special meeting at St. Dunstan’s Church Hall of all interested parties and so the Oast Quilters group was born.  The Chaucer members placed participants in their respective towns and went round advising them on how to start a group.   

Since then, Oast Quilters have gone from strength to strength.  We do have the capacity for over 300 members.  The group has members from 22 affiliated groups and many independent members.  The modest annual membership fees enable us to book some of the leading proponents in the field of textile arts and our yearly programme is very varied – something for everyone.

Since 1986 there have been seven exhibitions of members’ work in major locations around Canterbury.  The exhibitions enable us to spread the word about the dynamic world of patchwork and quilting; we actively encourage membership of our buoyant group. 

During Covid we went on-line, with meetings and workshops held on Zoom – and much of the membership adjusted extremely well to this.  As we embrace the electronic era, we are also able to book Speakers from across the world and sit in the comfort of our own homes to hear them!

Objectives
  • To arrange meetings and workshops to assist persons with an interest in patchwork and quilting in East Kent.
  • To exchange ideas and be educated in the different methods of the craft.
  • To raise money to support charitable organisations as decided by the Association from time to time.
  • To raise money by such activities as the Committee of the Association shall decide and otherwise to receive money donated or otherwise acquired always for the use and benefit of the Association to support the above objects.
Ordinary Meetings

Oast Quilters meet at:

St Anselm’s Catholic Secondary School, Old Dover Rd, Canterbury CT1 3EN at 2-5pm except for the September meeting which is our Open Day and we meet from 10am – 4pm.

Other Meetings

UFO days

These days take place in February and November, usually at Lower Hardres Village Hall CT4 5NP

It is an opportunity to have uninterrupted sewing time. It is a time when layering up and basting a quilt is possible as there are plenty of large tables. There is always lots of helpful advice and support.

Refreshments and cake are supplied but bring a packed lunch.

Other things to bring are a mug and an extension lead. 

The cost for 2023 is £7 for Oast members and £10 for non members. Non members are very welcome. Payment in cash may be made on the day or by Bank transfer.

To reserve a place at either of these days use the contact us link or email contact@oastquilters.co.uk

Sewcials

This meeting happens once a year in October in a local village hall. It is similar to a UFO Day but there will be a trader present – a good opportunity to get some Christmas presents for your quilting friends or purchase the one thing you left at home!

It is an opportunity to sew with like minded people, to chat about projects and get help and advice on tricky techniques. Work on your own project, either hand sewing or with your machine. There are large tables to layer up and baste your quilt. And there will be cake!

Contact oastsewcial@gmail.com to reserve your place for the day (£7 members £10 non-members) or just pop in for a chat and see what everyone is doing.

Sewing Bees 

This group has been set up for all people, of all ages, who would like to learn the joys of patchwork and the comforts of quilting. 

The aim is to actively encourage new quilters, by reaching out to all sewers and especially young people, including children, who would like to sew, but may never have held a needle, and certainly not had the privilege of sewing lessons either at their mother’s knee or at school. 

We are also aware that there is a generation of young women who have not been taught needlecrafts by their mother or grandmother and who might like to take up this pastime. Although busy mums have many pulls on their time, they may value stitching as a stressbuster, and you can always do handwork on the commuter train or waiting at the school gate! 

The meetings will be held approximately on a six weekly basis, usually the week after the main Oast meeting, at a local village hall and details of the projects will be posted under Events on this website and also on the Facebook page, ‘Oast Quilters – Welcome!’ Booking will be via email to oastsewingbee@gmail.com 

The emphasis will be on the learning techniques required to produce beautiful quilts and wall hangings. 

AGM

The annual AGM is held in November. This is the business meeting when the financial accounts are presented, and reports are given. The committee posts of Chairman, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer are elected on rotation as required.

Oast Quilters offer Bursary Awards, and the winners are picked at random via raffle tickets on the day. 

Each year a Challenge is set; either a theme or a fabric, all the challenge entries are on display and members vote for their favourite. The top three winners get a rosette and a financial reward and the winner choses the theme or fabric for the coming year.

Workshops

WorkshopBookingForm2024 to book onto one of our workshops.

Membership and Renewals

Annual renewal is due before 31st October each year. Group Members, please renew via your group rep. Independent members will be contacted with instructions on how to renew their membership.

Presently, membership for new members is £25.00 for the first year, but all subsequent renewals are currently £20.00.

Get in touch

If you would like to find out more about how you can join us then click here.

Venue: St Anselm’s Catholic School, Old Dover Road, Canterbury, CT1 3EN 

Email: hello@oastquilters.co.uk