Gill Rebelo

Photos

Kenya_002_a.jpg
Kenya_002_b.jpg

Title

Gill Rebelo

Identifier

Kenya-002

Interviewee

Gill Rebelo

Interviewer

Pauline Macaulay

Interview Date

2014-12-06

Interview sponsor

A Friend of the Quilt Alliance

Location

London, UK

Transcriber

Pauline Macaulay

Transcription

Pauline Macaulay (PM): My name is Pauline Macaulay and I'm recording for QSOS. Today is the sixth of December and I'm interviewing Gill Rebelo who comes from Nairobi, and I'm interviewing her in the Swiss Cottage Library in London. So, Gill, tell me about the quilt that you haven't got here today but you've got at home and you're going to take a photo of it and all of that for us. So, tell me a little bit about that quilt.

Gill Rebelo (GR): Well, this quilt was a fairly serendipitous one really. I was involved, which I will talk about later, in organising an exhibition of African quilts to take to Canada in 2008, and I was toying with ideas. I had masses of African fabrics I wanted to use, and I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them, and I caught sight in a magazine of the old Double Axehead or Applecore design and I thought this is such a lovely shape. It was a shape that fascinated me, and I started playing around and made a stencil, and, because I had the African fabrics, cut a few pieces out of that and started putting them together. I just loved what I was making and started making strips with no real plan about what I was going to do with this. They were long strips and when I put them on my design board, I could see in them African pots all the lovely shapes, the rounded bellies of pots and some of the designs painted on them. So, I got quite interested and thought, "Oh wow, perhaps I can make a quilt out of this instead of just playing around with it and ending up with a UFO." So that's what I did. I put them together. It was quite a technical challenge because the African fabrics I was using, uh, some of them were quite difficult to work with. Some of them, a lot of them were wax prints and they still have a bit of wax in them so that can be difficult. Some of them had gold stamped on them, on a lot of the West African ones, so they're not very flexible not very forgiving and some of them were quite loose weaves too, so that is also difficult. When I look back it was like was like making a garment and having about a hundred set in sleeves, you know, all that gathering to get the two curves together. Anyway, I was very pleased with it but it needed some definition when I put all my strips together and so I put an appliqué, a black bias, along the curves which then made it look more like African pots. I chose some bright orange and mustardy golden yellows to offset because I restricted myself to more earthy tones although African fabrics have lots of wild bright colours but I didn't use those. There it was my African Pots, and it's been my favourite quilt of all the quilts I've made. After the exhibition it was chosen to be painted and there is now a painted copy on a wooden board in a park in Ailsa Craig, in Ontario, Canada, alongside copies of quilts from other countries because the organisers chose one from each international exhibition they were holding and it's there for posterity until the wind and the rain (chuckles.) wear it away.

PM: Great. And so what are your plans for the quilt? Do you have it at home?


GR: I have it at home, yes. It goes up on the wall in my house. I've got various spots where I have wallhangings and I change them around because you get bored seeing the same one up all the time and then you don't appreciate it. But it's really one of my favourites. It's a wallhanging.

PM: I look forward to seeing the photograph of that. I'm just going to stop this (while a man walks by talking to himself). [pause while they wait] So we just stopped for a moment there. I'm just testing now. (pause) So Gill, tell me about your first memories of quilting and how you got into quilting.


GR: It's something I've always had an interest in thinking I might one day do it. I made my own clothes from the time I was in my early teens. I trained as a home economics teacher and I did needlework as one of my courses and I taught needlework in schools and I've always saved all my dressmaking fabrics thinking, "Ah, one day, I'll make a quilt." but with no idea how to start. Then my new sister-in-law, my husband's brother married a girl from Zimbabwe, and it was a while before we met but when we met, I found she was a quilter and she'd been quilting since university days, and I saw the lovely things she was making, and I thought I would really like to do that. She sent me a rotary cutter and board, perhaps not a board, no, she couldn't send those in the post, a rotary cutter anyway and a ruler which were not available in Nairobi, Kenya where I was living. I then saw an advertisement on a notice board in a shopping centre for a quilt class and I thought, "Wonderful." So, I signed up. It was a Canadian missionary who was teaching.

PM: About what time was this? What year?

GR: This must have been about '95, '96 (slight pause) '96, something like that. So, I attended this class and mostly I used scraps of fabrics, cotton fabrics that were leftovers from my daughters' and my own clothing because you couldn't get cotton in Nairobi in those days. You couldn't get nice cotton at all. So, it was interspersed with polyester mixes and blends. Anyway, I made this quilt which was uh can't think of the name now, anyway, every block was different. Unfortunately, we took longer making this than our teacher anticipated, and she left before we'd finally finished. I'd bought the batting and all I could get in Nairobi was about an inch thick and very puffy. I knew nothing about battings so I sandwiched it with this puffy batting, and we had one class on how to quilt it and I went home, and I tried, and I tried (laughs.) and I finally gave up because I couldn't get my needle through it and back up again because it was so thick. So, it went in a cupboard, and it stayed there for about twenty years. But I then progressed to working at home experimenting finding having brought into the country with people who were travelling, different battings that I could cope with and the first quilt I actually finished was a small wallhanging using scrap material, and I remember doing this very clearly because my daughter had just started a gap year and was at home before going travelling, and she had done a class in stained glass and there was I with all my little pieces of fabric and she had all her little pieces of glass, so we were both cutting our pieces and putting them together, and we both had a try at each other's craft. I tried the stained glass; she tried working with fabrics and then we went back to our own. I was sold on fabrics nothing else. (laughs.) From then on, I took classes whenever I could, I taught myself a lot from books and I've been quilting ever since.

PM: So, you've done some classes and taught yourself and experimented.

GR: Yes. A lot of experimenting because that's actually what I like. I love the piecing. I do enjoy quilting, but the piecing is what I really enjoy.

PM: It sounds like your first classes were based on American patchwork, blocks.
GR Yes.


PM: Sampler quilts.

GR Yes, that's right, a sampler quilt.

PM: So, you learn how to make blocks.

GR: Yes. Traditional in the beginning, and I still like traditional quilts but more innovative something a little bit different. I like appliqué too and I like doing, I wouldn't call myself a modern quilter, but yea, I suppose some of my quilts have been what quilters are calling modern quilts now. But they were just ones that I'd made up myself.

PM: Where do you work? Describe the space that you make your quilts in

GR: I have a lovely little room. For quite a number of years I taught cookery classes at home, Cordon Bleu type cookery classes while I was having our children. We converted out garage and when I stopped doing those because of the pressure of school runs and I just couldn't fit it in, we turned it into a TV room cum study and my husband decided to build another room above it. It's a lovely cozy room with low attic wooden ceilings and floors. It never really had a use 'til I took it over and decided it was my sewing room. It's wonderful up a steep wooden staircase. Nobody else goes up it, or rarely, so it means I can leave it in a terrible mess because I cannot sew tidily. I'm the sort of person that has to have the fabrics all over the floor so I can delve in and out. The only people who come up to it are my dogs, two boisterous Labradors and I let them up occasionally (laughs.) and they like to roll around and then they get sent down when I get down to the serious work. So, it's a great place to go and sometimes I don't even sew. I go up and play with my fabrics, you know, enjoy them.

PM: Describe how you go about making a quilt. Take me through your process or processes.

GR: Ah, well, difficult to say really because everyone is different, but what I don't like to do so much is to go into a quilt shop and buy all the fabrics that go together nicely. We couldn't, as I said, get fabrics in Nairobi. Now we are very lucky. One of our quilters has a fabric shop which she turned it into more of a quilt shop than a general fabric haberdashery, so she imports wonderful fabrics. We have another couple of shops. We buy, perhaps I should say at this stage, we get our materials, I get mine materials from all sorts of sources. We have wonderful markets in Nairobi which are second-hand markets, second-hand clothes markets. The sort of clothes that you get are from charity shops, if they're not sold there, go to some organisation that bales them up. Not only second-hand ones but a lot of brand-new ones. I think when the shops have sales things don't sell in the sale they go along too, because sometimes they have new labels on them. They're obviously brand new. So, they get sorted out into big bales and they'd be labelled LADIES, SHORT SLEEVE BLOUSES, or LADIES LONG TROUSERS or something like that and they're shipped all over the world including Nairobi and we get bales from England from the US from Australia from Germany and, if you go down to the market especially when they open a bale it is just fabric heaven because everything comes tumbling out. Things are very cheap. Twenty shillings in our local money which is about fifteen pence for a blouse. It's a wonderful institution. Everybody dresses very well in Nairobi because of this cheap access to the clothing and then people like me buy things to cut up for quilting or for embellishment. Sometimes I'll buy one just for the buttons. So that's one source of fabric. Then I have a lot of friends who have upholstery or curtain making businesses, so I get given masses of samples, you know those big stapled together books, some of which is far too thick some is wonderful. Sometimes I get silk pieces. I like to use those too. So, when I want to do a quilt and don't even have an idea in mind I go to my fabrics and look at what I have. I don't like going into a shop and saying, "This is what I want" or "This will go together so nicely." I like to look at my fabrics, play around and say, "Ooh, I'd like to do something with this." and then, "What else can I pick up that will go with this."

PM: Do you have a design wall or --

GR: Yes.

PM: a floor?

GR: Well, I haven't got a design wall as such, but I've got some polystyrene-covered boards which I use, yes. They won't take a bed size quilt but wallhangings and blocks for a bed size quilt. So that's how I like to work. I can stand back and look. I also like to go and look in the mirror. I've got a full-length big mirror in the bedroom, and I find that gives a totally different perspective. Even with my design walls somehow seeing it in the mirror changes it, and also squinting at it through a camera or just squinting through my eyes certainly for colours, for values, that is very helpful I find. So that's basically how I go about it then ideas just seem to come.

PM: Do you have favourite techniques or approaches?

GR: No. I like improvisational piecing --

PM: Uhuh.

GR: I enjoy doing that. Another one of my favourite quilts was I made with improvisational pieced Log Cabin blocks, you know, random ones. This again was for the exhibition in Canada. I made blocks out of African fabrics, again in what people think of African colours, earthy tones, blacks, oranges, ochres, golds, and I made big blocks and then I put them into black squares, so they were all equal size, very big ones with a lot of negative space, black backgrounds. This is what I would say is a modern quilt and, although it was made in 2007, and the blocks look as though they are floating on the surface. Now this was made because my daughter wanted a lizard quilt. Lizards are one of my favourite motifs, lizards, geckos, chameleons. Then I wanted to fill that negative space with lizards, appli--, sorry, not appliqué, quilted lizards. So, I got these coloured blocks floating on the surface and scurrying around them are hundreds, I've never counted them, of geckos, chameleons, things we get in our garden at home. That's my Lizard Quilt. That was great fun to make.

PM: How do you balance your time? How much time do you spend on quilting?

GR: Oh, well, hard to say. I like to do something in the morning if I am in and if I have time. I like to quilt at night, but I find that a bit difficult. We don't have long evenings. Our sunset is about twenty to seven every night throughout the year as we're almost on the equator, and light is not so good for my eyes these days. But I might quilt for several days if I've got a huge rush of enthusiasm for something and then another time, I might not do anything for a week. It just has to fit in with life.

PM: Just moving on and thinking about [background voice of a passerby.] to the aesthetics or craftsmanship of quilt making, what do you think makes a great quilt?

GR: Oh, that's a difficult one. For me I think it's the wow factor. I look at a quilt and I think, "Ooh, that's great." Often it is the colour that influences me. I love strong colours Pauline and Gill decide to stop recording as two people are talking nearby.]

PM: So, we just stopped for a moment there. Gill, tell me what makes a great quilt.

GR: For me I think it's the wow factor. I can look at a row of quilts and the one that will hit me is the one with fantastic colours. Strong colours what I go for rather than subdued generally but that's just a personal taste. Great impact with the values, I think. Who was it? Some quilter said, "Colour gets all the credit, but value does all the work." I think that is absolutely true.

PM: That's a wonderful quote.

GR: But having said that all lot of our African quilts don't have a lot of contrasting values because they tend to be strong colours with strong designs on the fabrics and they still have a wow factor. So, it's hard to pinpoint exactly what it is. I like traditional quilts I like modern quilts though I sometimes think modern quilts are a bit unexciting with too much negative space and not enough interest. So probably I go for something in between. I love appliqué too and I appliqué and appliqué with piecing can be very effective.

PM: Do you hand quilt? Or machine or do you mix?

GR: I hand quilt. I must confess I don't quilt all of my quilts. We are very lucky in Nairobi we have a Canadian missionary not the one who taught me the first lesson. We have a lot of missionaries in Nairobi. She had a long arm machine, and she was an excellent quilter, and she did it professionally and then she went onto other missionary projects. So, a lot of my quilts, my big ones, I would send to her because one thing I cannot manage is a bed size quilt on my little Bernina. Wallhangings I usually quilt by machine and sometimes by hand. We also have, apart from our Canadian longarm quilter who now has left sadly, we have a Ugandan member in our Quilt Guild who is very interesting. She came as a refugee from Uganda as a child and when she was a child her ambition when she grew up was to be an embroiderer. She has become an embroiderer. She does the most fantastic embroidery, and she also does quilting. I met her in the late Nineties when we did a quilt class together and we have sort of worked together quite a lot. Sometimes she will quilt my quilts, but she also does this fantastic embroidery on denim which, going back from the market I was telling you about, she used to work on a plain cream fabric, and she used to have stalls at our local craft market. When I was taking the exhibition to Canada, I wanted to help her to make as much as possible to take to Canada because she depended on it for her living. She put her siblings through school on the proceeds of her embroidery and quilting. So, I went down to our markets and bought lots of denim shirts and jeans and cut them up and gave them to Christine Kibuka her name is --

PM: Christine --

GR: Christine Kibuka. She embroidered her beautiful animals and village, her African village scenes onto these pieces of denim, and I made up a quilt with them to take to Canada to show, and she made masses of them, and we sold every single one of them in Canada. She was so thrilled with the proceeds and now she is doing them regularly. In England you may have come across the African fabric lady, Maggie Relph --

PM: Yes, I know her.

GR: who is a good friend and she's taught in Nairobi, and I introduced Christine to her, and Maggie now sells Christine's embroideries on her internet fabric shop and at craft fairs. So, Christine has flourished and spends her life stitching, and she does mine sometimes.

PM: Tell me more about -- you were telling me earlier -- tell me about the quilting scene in Nairobi and even beyond outside Nairobi because you are looking a little bit into the history of interest in quilting has grown up. Tell me about that.

GR: Well, we started The Quilt Guild in Nairobi in the mid-Nineties, I think. When I met the group there were maybe a dozen or so ladies. Two people had started it. One an American quilter, Dena Crain, who has also done an interview for this scheme [QSOS] and she lives in Baringo which is quite a remote part of Kenya so she had quite a lot of time to quilt, and she joined forces with a Canadian expatriate quilter and they got the group together, advertised for quilters or people who were interested, and from that the group got registered and our first chairman was an American quilter. So, we had good guidance in the beginning. We are now a group of, well, it varies from year to year, but around a hundred quilters including several overseas quilters who belong to our Guild. We have a very mixed nationality. We have a lot of expatriates in Nairobi. We have the third biggest United Nations headquarters in the world, so there's a lot of coming and going amongst the expatriates, but the majority are Kenyans of African, European and Asian descent Initially it was not a well-known craft for African Kenyans but they're becoming interested and we have some excellent quilts among the number. So, the membership of The Guild changes all the time because people come and go, which is wonderful but is terrible to lose our quilters but then we know there are always new ones coming into the country and they bring their own skills and ideas and influences. We do have some upcountry members too who come when they can and as I said some overseas members who have been in the country and continue membership after they've left. We have one American, Sarah Brewin, who used to come to the country on medical camps and she now comes every year. She is a very strong member of our Guild and helps us a huge amount. So that's our group in --

PM: You meet --

GR: We meet once a month, a morning meeting and we have the room, the hall, for the whole day. So mostly we stay on and we have some project going on in the afternoon or people will just stay and sew. I teach beginners very often in the afternoon when somebody is needing help. I also do beginner groups at home because I find with the constantly shifting membership there are a lot of beginners wanting to start and not sure where to begin. I find that aspect of teaching the most exciting, most rewarding getting people started and then seeing them flourish and develop their own ideas. I love that aspect of teaching. That's one thing about being a member of The Guild that I have really enjoyed, that I have seen so many people start as beginners and not maybe had very much confidence, some are total beginners never having picked up a needle before and then find themselves able to make a quilt which they can put on the wall in an exhibition and have people admire or may even vote for it as their favourite. It gives women so much confidence to do this sort of thing. That for me, because I'm a born teacher at heart, has been -- (library announcement of imminent.)

PM: Is it something you can learn and can do quite quickly and be achieving quite quickly?

GR: You can, yes. Yes. I mean you can do it at a very simple level. That's what I tell beginners if they feel intimidated by seeing complex designs. I say, "You don't even have to do that. It's wonderful if you get to that stage, but you don't have to. You can do the simplest designs. You can do Nine Patches and get wonderful results. What I --my method of teaching, now, I've tried various methods, and now I start with a sampler quilt and usually start with maybe nine different blocks. But I base it on the Nine Patch to start with because it's easiest to have some structure and to know how your measurements are going to work. I teach how to deconstruct so you look at a patch and you work out, I take out all the squares apart, what are the measurements, what do I need to add, how do I put them together. Once you know how to do that, it can get very complicated in the very complicated blocks with small triangles and what-not but basically once you understand how to do that it's so much easier. What was suggested to me that this was a good way to do it when I first started teaching my sampler blocks and I gave out patterns, now I don't give patterns. I tell them to write notes and do a sketch, but when I used to give patterns, I'd find our experienced quilters who do wonderful quilts would come to me and say, "Gill, can you give me the pattern for that?" or "What is the measurement? I'd like to do a 12" block and you're doing a 9" block. How do I make this into a 12" block?" I was amazed and how many people had no idea how to adjust their own blocks very simply. You don't need [indecipherable]. You can do such a lot just by working out just basic arithmetic sums. I've found that's been quite a successful way to teach.

PM: What is it about quilting you enjoy? Or some of the things.

GR: Well, the creative aspect, I think. I love colour. I've always loved colour. I know the colours that I love. I love strong colours. They know me in The Guild. If they see purple they say, "That's Gill's colour." (laughs.) Purple and lizards.

PM: And I can see you love fabrics. I can see your fingers feeling the fabrics as you talk. (Gills laughs.)

GR: I think we all know the joy of that. We all enjoy fabrics. I love the colours. I love just the creativity of producing this wonderful top in great colours. It's lovely to have it on the bed or on the wall, but I think it's the process I enjoy most of all as well as having the finished result. It's very soothing. It's very therapeutic. My sister-in-law, Beverly Rebelo who I mentioned at the beginning, one of my biggest influences, she said it's like yoga for her. She is a great hand quilter and can sit and quilt for hours though now that she's become a machine quilter after having won a prize and an award at our exhibition in Canada, she bought herself a sophisticated machine which she didn't have before and has become a fantastic machine quilter. She's actually a great inspiration to me.

PM: What are the challenges for quilters in Kenya now?

GR: Now?

PM: How do you see the development?

GR: That's difficult one. A lot of people who would like to sell their quilts find that that is very difficult but that is probably the same thing all over the world. Our Kenyan members usually feel that if they're going to spend time doing it, they would like to, as well as giving away, sell and get some reward or at least get a return on the expenditure. That is quite difficult. At exhibitions we will have one or two who sell and sometimes somebody will come and take a huge bed quilt and pay a good price for it because it's just what they want, but generally they're not appreciated as such. When we have out exhibitions, we don't charge any entry. We have an exhibition once every year or eighteen months. We have to pay a lot of money for a hall to hold it in. We do it in a shopping centre because that's the only way people will come and visit. If we have it anywhere remote all we get is friends and family. So, we have to attract the people in. The main reason apart from our own satisfaction and joy at seeing our own quilts, is to try and educate the public in Nairobi because the standard response if you say you make a quilt people will say, "Oh, you mean a blanket for the bed?" (laughs.) So that's a big challenge. But I think we are becoming appreciated and well known. That's satisfying itself. Also, the reason we try to attract attention is to bring new quilters in - both experienced quilters who may be lurking and not know that we're around and bring new people who think, "Wow, what a wonderful thing to do."

PM: So, why is quilting important in your life because it clearly is?

GR: Aah, as I said it's the creative aspect of it. Oh, this is a hard one. That's basically it. I just love the creation. I've always loved fabrics. From the time I was in my early teens my mother and I used to go to the local market and pick up remnants for making for dressmaking then. When I was a student in London I would go to Harrods on a Saturday morning, I don't know if they still do it, but in the Sixties, they had half price sales on the fabric counter. They probably don't do fabrics now. Most of the shops have cut down I see. Some of those I had for years before I made them up. I just loved having a cupboard full of fabrics that I could go and look at and dream about what to do with. (chuckles.) So, I think it's my love of textiles and colour and through that I've become very interested in textiles generally, the history of textiles, textiles from all around the world. When I did my quilt judging course in South Africa recently, we had a lot of essays and papers to write on textiles. So, I did a lot of research and I found that fascinating.

PM: Do you travel around with your quilt judging?

GR: No. Sadly, I haven't had much chance, and I knew when I did it, I was invited by South Africa because normally it was for South Africans, but four or five years ago they invited quilters from other parts of Africa. I don't think they even realised at that point that there were quilters in countries like Zimbabwe, Kenya, Botswana, and so they invited us to put in our applications. I did and I along with Dena Crain, my quilting friend, we were both accepted, and we did the course. I knew then that it was unlikely that I would get much chance to do quilt judging because we have an unjudged show. We have a viewers' choice and we decided to keep to that because we don't want to make it a competitive exhibition. But on the other hand, we have quilt challenges and I do judge those sometimes. Because there are no other quilting countries around us the chances of doing very much judging is limited. But the knowledge I gained in doing the course which was a very demanding and very stimulating course, two years with countless essays and research papers at the end, that knowledge I have really been able to put to good use in writing articles for our Newsletter to presentations, taking quilting to a new level talking about textiles and all sorts of things which many of our members were not aware of, and in teaching. When I came back, I decided that when I finished after my final, I went down to South Africa for the final training at the International Exhibition, and when I came back and when I had my qualification I thought, "Well, what now? I've got no more essays to write." I decided then to do much more teaching. So, I've developed as a quilter hugely from doing that.

PM: That's wonderful. Is there anything else you want to share?

GR: I just want to say just a tiny bit about our exhibition in Canada on African quilts. When I was chairman of The Guild we did our first quilt probably our first of African quilts when I had a request from Habitat for Humanity, Omaha, to contribute a quilt to an exhibition to raise money for – they do wonderful work to raise money for homeless people build houses – and then I thought when we agreed to do it, "Sending quilts to Omaha is like sending coals to Newcastle." We decided to do a quilt of the Maasai people. It was just a wallhanging, nine panels of nine Maasai figures wearing their traditional bright red shukas and beads in their hair and round their necks. So that was the first one and then shortly after that I received a request to take eighty quilts, eighty I think it was, to Canada and my Guild was not very enthusiastic at that point, but they said, "Go ahead, but there's no money. We don't have any money to give to you. If you can manage it without asking The Guild for money, fine." Well, I went ahead with it and we took – twenty quilters came with me and some of them were teaching. We took a hundred and eighty-six quilts in the end, African quilts, although in the beginning most of our quilters said, "We don't do African quilts. " There really is no such thing as an African quilt, but we sort of devised African quilts as it were. We started working with African fabrics which we hadn't used much because they're quite difficult to work with and we looked into colours, textures and motifs and a lot of wildlife came into it, scenery. We started using a lot of embellishment and embroidery which is used by local people, and we ended up, as I said, with these wonderful quilts. It was a huge success but the first morning, Monday morning, cold wet miserable and I said, "Aw, nobody is going to come." Half past nine the buses rolled in. People came in from all over Canada, America, spent the night, the next night and the next some of them. I was asked to give a talk on the history of East African quilts and one hour slide show, and I said, "Not possible, I can't talk for an hour because there is really not much history." So, they said, "We've already booked people for this talk so work out something." So, what I did was the history of fabrics which is very recent in Africa and why the background to the history of the country is how fabrics were introduced by the missionaries and the explorers and how the local tribes went from wearing leather and embellishments and beads and bones and seed pods to using bright beads which were brought from Venice and other countries. It was a fascinating study. So, I did that twice a day for six days. It was so successful that on that first morning we had people from the university, the state university of Michigan, that's right, and I forget the lady's name, but she's well known, Marsha MacDowell is it, possibly? She was – perhaps you can check that – and the head of the art department, and they were sitting in the front row for my talk, and they had come with funds to buy my quilts and they bought five or six, I forget now, which they thought were really African looking quilts, and they took them back for the university for their gallery. And that was just so exciting. The week just went on from there. People loved the quilts, and we had wonderful comments in the visitors' book. But the one I like the best said, "You have broken all the rules and it is wonderful." I'm not sure what she meant about that. I think maybe colours because we put all these strong colours, blacks and bright colours together. It was certainly very different from an average quilt show and very successful.

PM: How wonderful.

GR: It was fun. (laughs.)

PM: I remember reading a bit about it. That must have been very exciting.

GR: It was, and it was very rewarding to have done it because we got so much out of it, and I think all the people who visited it too enjoyed it so much because it was so different.

PM: Maybe there could be an exhibition over here [UK] sometime.

GR: That would be a great idea, yes.

PM: Well, thank you very much. That's been most interesting. Thank you for sharing your story.

GR: I always enjoy talking about quilts.

PM: Indeed. And now it's a quarter to one and I think we've been talking together for about an hour and a half probably.

PM: Great. Thanks so much.

GR: Thank you.

Collection



Citation

“Gill Rebelo,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed June 14, 2024, https://qsos.quiltalliance.org/items/show/2314.