I spent yesterday with friends from Wrexham Quilting Circle and Gresford Craft Group at their annual exhibitions, which run in Gresford at the same time. The quilting exhibition is in the Memorial Hall while the craft group exhibition is in All Saints Church. The hall was completed around 1999 while the church is over 500 years old, so as two venues there couldn't be a greater contrast.
I joined the craft group in 1996 - the quilt group didn't start until after the new hall was built. We used to meet in this room in Church House, an eighteenth century school building opposite the church. This has been renovated in recent years and the room where we used to meet has quite a different feeling, although the original wall panelling has been preserved. It feels so much lighter and brighter than I remember it. The room through the double doors used to be the kitchen, but there's a modern kitchen on the other side of the building. During the exhibition, it is set up as a temporary cafe.
The church looked wonderful full of quilts and other crafts - many craft group members are quilters, as well as the members of Quilting Circle and there's some overlap between the two groups. It is easier to display larger quilts in the church.
Every year, there are guest exhibitions too. Here's beadwork by Broughton Beaders, a group set up by one of Gresford Craft Group's members Jill, who is totally hooked on beads.
Another guest exhibition features the beadwork and needlepoint made by Daphne Ashby.
One ticket gets you into both exhibitions for just £2.50 (under 15s are free) and there's ample parking at the Memorial Hall. The exhibition runs daily from 10 till 8 and finishes at 6p.m. on Friday. We usually suggest parking at the Memorial Hall and walking up to the church. If you enter the church grounds near the fish and chip shop, you will see the most famous of Gresford's yew trees, 1600 years old.
It was the first time in several years that I've been at the exhibition, because it overlaps with the National Quilt Champsionships at Sandown Park. I could only stay for one day as it is World Textile Day at Bridge of Allan, Stirling, on Saturday, so I'm going home for that. But it was lovely to see all my crafting friends again. I can't believe it is eighteen years since I joined the craft group - where does the time go?