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LOCKDOWN QUILT HEADS OFF TO NEW HOME

Book-themed craft piece was created over Zoom

A stunning hand-crafted quilt inspired by a love of books has found a new home in Budleigh Salterton.

The quilt was created by members of the Exmouth & District University of the Third Age (U3A) during lockdown. It was displayed in libraries around East and Mid Devon and Exeter before being raffled off to raise money for Libraries Unlimited, the charity that runs libraries around Devon and Torbay.

The 170cm by 120cm piece took 12 quilters in the Quilting Fun group 80 hours of work to design, cut and stitch. It depicts shelves of books and a curious cat.

The raffle was drawn on 14th July, and delighted winner Mr Colegate said: “I feel sure my late sister would have wanted to make an extra donation for this beautiful piece of appliqué patchwork, as she spent most of her life knitting and doing embroidery, which helped her to cope with her progressive heart disease  For me, it has been essential to go the library, and I missed it so much during the first lockdown.”

Exmouth Library were able to arrange a small ceremony on Thursday 21st July, where the U3A Quilt group were able to present Mr Colegate with the prize quilt.  

Béatrice Drecq, Senior Library Supervisor at Exmouth Library said: “This quilt is not only beautiful to look at but holds memories of a very particular time in our recent history. It was started during the third week of the first lockdown and was a way for all the U3A members to keep in touch on Zoom. Leader Clare Dawson coordinated the work, giving each of the quilters a square of fabric and a design to work on using appliqué, embroidery, and any personal touches they wanted to add. It’s been much- admired on its tour around our libraries, and we’re so grateful to U3A for donating it to us.”

Mr Colegate was so pleased that he kindly made a further donation to bring the total fundraising to £1008. The money will go to improving and enhancing the 54 libraries around Devon and Torbay run by the charity Libraries Unlimited.

Clare Dawson from U3A Exmouth and District said: “Our Quilting Fun group produces a quilt every year, but this one was particularly special and memorable. We started it in May 2000 during lockdown.  We exchanged pieces between the group in “dead letter boxes”, so we had no contact with each other.  In November 2000, we sent out 2 pieces in the post, which got lost.  Once we replaced them, we could finish the quilt. It was truly a lockdown quilt.   It will always represent the resilience and friendship shown in our group during the pandemic.. With its book-loving theme we’re delighted it’s gone to a library user and hope it brings him many years of pleasure and warmth!”

A network of 54 libraries in Devon and Torbay, and four Devon mobile libraries, are run by Libraries Unlimited, an independent staff and community owned charity. Join up for free by filling in the online form. Join the Library – Devon (devonlibraries.org.uk) or Torbay (torbaylibraries.org.uk). Follow Libraries Unlimited on Facebook.

For further information and full contact details please visit our web page librariesunlimited.org.uk.

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