Whilst still smarting for the injustice of destroying my own handiwork at 7, I went on through Green School in a whirl of marbles, skipping ropes and tag to be sent to Nelson Street to prepare for my 11-plus. This girls-only school was meant to settle me and focus my mind on academia, as well as coach me for the big exam. It did just that!
After assembly each morning, before the headmistress ever arrived in class, we were programmed to recite our tables from 2x through to 16x and chant our number bonds from 2 to 10 (as in 7 + 0 = 7, 6 + 1 = 7, 5 + 2 = 7 etc). When she arrived, we stood up and blew our noses (and heaven help us if we had forgotten a handkerchief!) ready to go through pronunciation exercises to help our diction. Spelling tests were common and script writing was obligatory; this was a good all-round, traditional education.
Mind you, the headmistress was a fearsome individual with a hooked nose and never-miss-a-trick eyes. She used her glasses removal technique and frantic stare theatrically to scare the living daylights out of us! Boy did we respect her. And yes she got me through my 11-plus so, in1960, off I went to Ulverston Grammar School, to class 1S.
MY QUILTING JOURNEY
Whilst making these early traditional quilts, I was beginning to learn some valuable lessons. Accuracy in cutting shapes for patchwork is essential. Finishing was my aim at first and I would bodge and manipulate the shapes to fit. This wasn’t good enough when I began teaching and I knew all my work would be scrutinised by students.
On the other hand, I found that appliqué was more forgiving, with room for gentle manoeuvring; perhaps that’s why I liked it immediately! And this led me onto another appliqué sampler quilt:
The 4 centre blocks were made using patterns from a book by Philamena Durcan. I taught them as a class project with great gusto and then wondered what to do with them (not more cushions!). So I decided to place them medallion-style in the centre of a quilt, but I hadn’t a clue how. ( I think if I had realised that maths was involved in quilting I may never have got started!) All I could think of doing was to lay the ready quilted centre blocks on a larger piece of fabric and cut generously to fill in the corners! The bouquets of flowers and smaller appliqués camouflage the bodging that went on to make it all fit together! As with earlier quilts, each block was hand quilted before it was joined into the body of the quilt.
Hi I'm Dilys Fronks!