Published: 29 Sep 2010
An exquisite collection of quilts will become part of the legacy of the Royal National Mòd coming to Caithness thanks to the Kross Kounty Quilters, a group of seven quilters based in Caithness & Sutherland.
June Booth, member of the Mòd Local Organising Committee, had the original inspiration for a raffle quilt as a fundraising idea which was endorsed by other members of the committee who helped turn it into a reality. In particular, Deputy-convenor of the Organising Committee, Christine Stone was hooked on June’s idea and it was Christine who made the initial contacts, on June’s behalf, to Lyn Ball a member of the Kross Kounty Quilters.
From the initial meetings with the Kross Kounty Quilters June Booth said “Christine and I soon realised, to include all the elements we would like in the raffle quilt, the commission would have to be for more than one quilt. From here our job was made easy by the enthusiasm of the Kross Kounty Quilters who accepted our ‘shopping list’ of ideas and presented us months later with the very unique and high quality raffle quilt and a triptych consisting of, banner and two heritage quilts of which we are very proud to be associated.”
The seven quilters – Lyn Ball, Katrina Stewart, Irene Milne, Patsy MacAskill, Janet Corbett, Fiona Murdoch and Elly Dunbar have a history of working on joint Patchwork & quilting projects and many years of experience of working closely together. Each quilter worked on various stages of the pieces using their own skills and expertise and always working to a two week deadline before handing the work on to the next quilter.
Irene Milne, the statistician for the group, said “For all four quilts we spent forty five hours on the design work and two hundred hours sewing.” Lyn Ball added “The Kross Kounty Quilters were all absolutely delighted to be invited to do this commission. We had our first meeting with June & Christine in June 2009 and received very clear instructions of what they wanted us to depict on the quilts. “We started work on the raffle quilt almost immediately and handed it over to June at the beginning of December. In January 2010 we commenced on the triptych quilts working on them as a whole work albeit in three pieces. We feel very privileged to play this part in the hosting of the Mòd in Caithness and equally delighted that the triptych will remain in Caithness Horizons, Thurso and become part of the colourful history of Caithness. It has been a great pleasure working with June and Christine, two very enthusiastic and inspiring ladies.”
Caithness Horizons Centre manager, Beki Pope added: ‘Caithness Horizons is pleased to be able to accept the banner into the decorated arts element of its Collections. The banner not only represents the talented artists and craftspeople that live and work in the county, but also reflects the cultural impact of the Mòd coming to Caithness.’ June Booth added “We’ve sold a lot of raffle tickets for the quilt because everyone who has seen it instantly wants to win it. We’ve already sold tickets to people in Australia, Canada and in various parts of Europe. We will continue to sell tickets right up to the end of the Mòd so there’s plenty of time to see the quilt and buy a ticket before there are none left.”
Christine Stone, Deputy-Convenor of the Local Organising Committee said “The attention to detail on the quilts is absolutely fantastic. We wanted the work to reflect everything about Caithness and to leave a meaningful legacy after the Mòd has gone. The finished work is very special and has certainly exceeded our expectations in every way. All the pieces of work are truly breathtaking. “On behalf of June, myself and the committee, it gives me great pleasure to thank the Kross Kounty Quilters for all their efforts and for allowing us to be part of an amazing experience.”
During the week of Mòd the banner and heritage quilts will be displayed in Caithness Horizons and the raffle quilt will be displayed at various locations with ticket sales continuing until the end of the Mòd. If you’re not lucky enough to win the quilt, you could take a consolation prize home – the Local Organising Committee were so impressed by the designs on the quilt, they commissioned Christmas cards with the same designs. These are available to buy via the Mòd outlets. BBC Alba were present at the recent official handing over of the Banner and heritage quilts to the Mòd Local Organising Committee in the Pentland Hotel, Thurso. The occasion was filmed and featured in the programme, ‘An Latha’,on 20th September.
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