Yes!! It’s a fact! A dream born 3 years ago, became truth with the help of all our Guild members who supported us from the first moments. Our Guild has been the 19th member of the European Quilting Association!!! (EQA)
Past August I flew to Birmingham, where the biggest international quilting event on Europe (The Festival of Quilts) takes place. I made this trip to represent our country to the EQA. It was the time for us to finally get the membership.
You might have heard me saying that three years ago on a private trip to the Festival of Quilts at Birmingham, while wandering, I entered the EQA gallery and, as you understand, there were many European countries there, but definitely not Greece (between the paragraphs you will see this year’s photos of this gallery).
How sad was this for me! We were already in the middle of the financial crisis and everyone spoke about Greece very badly. I thought that our participation there would be just good for Greek quilters as well as our country. I came back and sent a message asking what we had to do to be a member. I was told that a National Guild was necessary, as only Guilds are members of the EQA.
The Fb group was already in place, the Greek quilt was made and we had already started knowing each other. We then gathered a handful of dreamers and started talking about our Guilt to be.
And this was the start of this 2,5 years journey till before summer when we finally managed to complete all the procedures needed. And we did not lose any time more, as the EQA waited for us even the last year. We sent the papers and I went to Birmingham to represent our country. You may find my speech here.
The voting took just a few seconds. I did not have the time to get out of the meeting room and they called me again and YES WE HAD MANAGED TO BE THERE AS EQUAL MEMBER!!!! All of us. Those first dreamers as well as those who joined later and supported us with their annual fee without expecting something in the first year and finally all the other members. You may see below the usual “family” photo of the EQA.
Let us explain what does mean being a member of the EQA:
First of all, it means that the country takes part in the EQA galleries and secondly that a representative takes part to the Board held every year during the Festival of Quilts and deals with the Festival issues.
Firstly, there is a gallery called Challenge. The theme and the specifications are very concrete. It is the gallery that you see on the photos with the groups of 16 quilts.
The theme for 2017 was Inspired by ……..
Log Cabin – Latvia, Switzerland, Finland
Drunkard’s Path – Sweden, Hungary, Poland
Flying Geese – Denmark, Germany, UK
Kaleidoscope – Italy, France, Belgium
New York Beauty – Austria, Netherlands, Ireland
Ohio Star – Spain, Iceland, Norway
And each block name was assigned to three countries.
The interpretation of the theme is absolutely free and the quilt can be from traditional to modern or abstract, provided that it is relative to the theme.
Every country chooses among the quilts made by its Guild’s members who are interested in, 16 pieces (or the number defined by the specifications). As you may understand this will help us to develop our skills throughout the country and have also smaller or bigger exhibitions.
The second gallery is called Diversity. There are also concrete specifications but only as far as the size concerns. Every country is represented by one person. The quilt is being chosen by the country in the way each Guild decides upon.
Please take a closer look here to see how different are the quilts. And of course, this is the diversity.
And last but not least, there are swaps between specific countries. Last year, the theme was the Environment or Climate (I am sorry but I do not remember exactly) and it was also based on a fabric swap. Three countries took part. The Netherlands, England and Switzerland. Every quilter sent to another quilter 3-4 fabrics and the receiver added other fabrics and made the quilt, following again concrete specifications. Every person taking part to this event made a quilt. On the photos below you may see some of them.
Now, that you have read all the above you understand what means the participation of our country to the EQA. Therefore stay tuned for the information to follow above next year’s theme and specifications so that you can start quilting.