Every year at Festival of Quilts there seems to be a stand out story - and this year was no exception.
And it came out of nowhere. A chance comment from my friend about a seemingly plain ordinary quilt led us to an amazing story.
The quilt in question was this one below. Would you have noticed it?
I looked more closely. And then realised it was all hand sewn - the first surprise. Navy blue thread on a navy blue quilt.
The label said 608 Stella Quilt by Fine Cell Work. I was still none the wiser.
The we started chatting to a lady nearby. "Oh it's Fine Cell Work!".
Didn't mean anything to me.
Then we found out.
The quilt was a commissioned by Stella McCartney to Fine Cell Work.
It was hand sewn by a male prisoner in his 6 by 8ft cell! The quilt was nearly that size!
And in navy thread on navy material. Imagine the light conditions. I'd struggle at home with plenty of space and lots of light.
Apparently Fine Cell Work is an organisation that works with prisoners. It teaches them needlework which they can do in their cells. They find it helps them deal better with being in prison and helps calm them.
But the work they do isn't just a hobby. They get paid for their work which is typically by commission or sold as gifts. And they learn high level skills for their future.