Scotland’s quilters not a patch on six-year-old Freya

Freya Burgess, aged 6, of Selkirk who won an under sixteen's competition at Ingliston, Edinburgh last weekend with her quilt.
Freya Burgess, aged 6, of Selkirk who won an under sixteen's competition at Ingliston, Edinburgh last weekend with her quilt.
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Six-year-old Selkirk pupil Freya Burgess beat the nation’s teenagers to win the under-16 Scottish Quilt Championships.

Freya’s beautiful quilt, titled Borders Lady Scarecrow, triumphed over all other competitors at the Royal Highland Showground at Ingliston last weekend.

Her proud mum Penny, herself a fabric-lover and owner of Penelope Textiles, a vintage clothing shop in the town’s Tower Street, said: “It’s a national competition, so it’s quite coveted, but for Freya, it’s huge. It was all her own work, from the design to making it.”

This rising talent is the latest generation to come from a sewing family. “I was inspired by my grandmother’s picture quilts,” Freya said. “She has taught me many techniques, which I’ve used. My favourite is using my antique sewing machine, and I like French knots.”

“Her grandma showed her how to operate the sewing machine,” Penny added, “but every stitch is hers. It’s embroidered, beaded, quilted, and she chose all the fabrics for the field. She’s very proud of her French knots.

“It took her three months. There were lots of tears of frustration in the middle, and tears of joy at the end. She jumped up and down in the kitchen when she got the letter saying she’d won. She’s over the moon.”

Nimble-stitcher Freya took home a whole cache of prizes: two rosettes, a silver plate, and a basket containing a quilting book and fabric for her next project. “She’s already designed the quilt for next year’s competition,” says Penny, “but it’s a secret. I’d probably have to kill you if I told you.”