On Friday 23rd September 40 quilts from around the world were hung in Shambellie House in the Changing Minds Exhibition as part of the second annual Quilt Festival following the first highly successful one in 2019. The pandemic may have prevented another festival, but the quilters were working hard during lockdown.
Started by an idea by Ann Hill in her capacity as Quilter in Residence with Alzheimer’s Society that quilts can evoke strong memories that may have once been lost. She then took this one step further and started a wave that ran right round the world ending up at Shambellie House.
Her husband took a photograph of Mouswald Kirk close to their home and Ann turned this into a quilt. The finished quilt was photographed, and this was sent to a quilter in Ireland who used this image as her inspiration for her quilt. Her photograph was then forwarded to Netherlands and the chain went on reaching Korea and New Zealand until 40 countries had contributed.
Each quilt represents one person’s inspiration from the next bringing in their own cultural influences, skills, and aesthetics. Lyudmila Ermenko a quilter from Ukraine also penned a moving poem on peace in a prescient warning of things to come.
The bird of happiness came to me
Hiding from the weather and rain
Let the dark nights await
I will let her in in the morning with the first sun rays.
I will not keep it alone
She does not need a cage of gold
Fly my pretty around the world
Bring peace, happiness through life
Ann Hill of Quilters of Shambellie commented
“When this started, I was not sure where it would end up and as it happens it has surpassed my wildest dreams. The Changing Minds Exhibition is wonderful as it charts the evolution of an idea around the world, and it is great to see it all coming home to Shambellie.
But it is also great to see so many local quilts hanging in the House. All 20 local Quilt Groups were invited to submit their work and this time we extended the invitation to Ayrshire and to Cumbria so that our neighbours can see what is being done in Dumfries & Galloway
We were also delighted when Tia M. M. Hegstad the quilter from Norway arrived at the House to see her quilt in the exhibition”
Gordon Mann, Chair of Shambellie House Trust added
“This will be our first major exhibition since we took ownership of the House and carried out the alterations. We are excited to see both the international element in the Changing Minds but also these will sit alongside work by local people. The Quilters of Shambellie are an important partnership for the Trust as we develop a wide range of courses covering arts, crafts , wellbeing, and photography”
The Festival is open every day from 10.00 until 4.00pm from Friday 23rd September until Sunday 9th October