Crafty pupils pick up award

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Pupils from a Harrogate prep school are celebrating after picking up a top award for their craft skills.

Children from Year 5 and 6 at Belmont Grosvenor School have been crowned primary school champions at the 2017 Festival of Quilts held at the NEC in Birmingham.

It is the fifth year that pupils at the Birstwith-based school, have entered the competition at the annual event – Europe’s leading patchwork and quilting event, attracting 24,000 quilters from all over the world.

And to come first in the primary school category is a major coup for the school, who are taught their quilting skills by Year 5 teacher Gillian Furniss.

With the theme ‘Free’, schools were invited to submit hand-made quilts in any shape/size to the contest – Belmont Grovenor School’s 2m square featured birds flying free and took months of hard work to complete.

As well as coming up with the design idea, pupils dyed and printed the fabrics for the background, appliqued the birds and leaves onto the quilt and added the intricate decoration.

Year 6 pupil Annabelle Barlow, who helped create the quilt, said: “We couldn’t believe our quilt won – it’s really great. Everyone really enjoyed doing it, even the boys.”

Fellow Year 6 pupil Tom Haggas said he had enjoyed learning to sew and completed much of the quilt during his art lessons at BGS.

“It was good fun – we did the leaves and last year’s Year 6 did the birds. We’re really happy that we won first prize,” he said.

Keen quilter Mrs Furniss, who is also head of girls games at BGS, said the quilt’s success had been down to team work.

“It was great to overhear total strangers at the quilting festival talking about our quilt and making positive comments about our pupils’ work – I felt extremely proud,” she said.

“It was a complete team effort – not only were we up against other primary schools in our category, but sewing groups as well, so it was a great achievement,” she said.