Monday, 29 March 2010

Quilts 1700 - 2010 A quilt from Belfast.

Here is another of the quilts that I loved at the exhibition. At first I thought it was Welsh but then discovered that it was made in Belfast by a lady called Elizabeth Magill in the 1930s.

I love the fact that it is made from fabric remnants in the true spirit of patchwork.
I can't imagine where Elizabeth got her inspiration for patchwork designs but to me it has elements of Amish quilts, Welsh quilts and African American quilts in it.

Click on the photo to enlarge it and you can read about Elizabeth's life.

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Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Quilts 1700 - 2010.Two more important quilts.

This first quilt is one of the highlights of the exhibition even though it is one of the simplest. It was made by Girl Guides in Changi prisoner of war camp in Singapore during World War 2.
You can read more about it here

If you click on the photo to get a close up you will be able to see some of the girls names embroidered onto the patches and the Girl Guide logo.

On loan for the very first time from the National Gallery of Australia,the Rajah quilt was made in 1841 by women convicts aboard the HMS Rajah as they were being transported to Van Diemen's Land (present day Tasmania). The women used sewing provisions donated by Elizabeth Fry's social reform initiative to create what is now the only transportation quilt in a national collection, never before shown outside Australia.

The quilt is in a glass case so difficult to photograph. The centre panel is broderie perse and the rest is made up of hand piecing and applique. From what I have heard this quilt is not even on regular display in Australia so this is an excellent opportunity to see it.

A close up of the applique -I think that the red flower looks very modern!
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Friday, 19 March 2010

Quilts 1700-2010 Quilts by Tracy Emin and Grayson Perry.

Two of the exhibits at Quilts 1700-2010 have been made by contemporary artists rather than quilters and the presence of these exhibits will prove to be controversial among quilters I am sure.
The first is another bed by Tracy Emin - made famous by the 'other bed' of course. Lots of people do not like her work but I must confess I am a fan of hers - I even walked right through the exhibition to find this piece as I was keen to see it. It is not a quilt - I don't think any of it is actually quilted but it is patchwork and it is art. And I liked it.

If you click on this photo you will be able to read the information on the boards.

The other contemporary artist to show his work was Grayson Perry. I had never heard of him until I saw him on TV a few months ago in 'Have I Got News For You' dressed as a woman!
Again I have to admit to finding him an interesting person with interesting opinions and I love his quilt!

Here is a close up - I like the fact that it is based on the tumbling blocks pattern and I like the repetition even though some would say that the subject matter was a bit gruesome even shocking.

There were quite a few quilts by contemporary quilters such as Pauline Burbridge and Jo Budd but I felt that they were totally overshadowed by the old quilts which were without doubt the stars of the show.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Quilts 1700-2010 Victoria and Albert Museum London - the George III Quilt.

This is a famous quilt, apparently often shown in books but rarely on display.
I have to admit I did not know about it until yesterday but I will not easily forget it! Made in 1803 you will be hard pressed to find a finer example of applique and piecing anywhere.
This is another one that you must go and see!

This is the central applique motif.
Not only is the piecing tiny with many pieces in each motif but it is circular!

And all around the borders are these stunning applique scenes, which must be of as much importance to historians as they are to quilters.

As I heard someone remark yesterday - you would travel to London just to see one of these quilts never mind the whole exhibition.
The overwhelming feeling for me today is the pride of being a British quilter. So many times I have felt that Americans had a better quilting heritage than us but this exhibition is going to do a lot to show that much of the American quilting heritage originated in Britain.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Quilts 1700-2010 at the Victoria & Albert Museum London

Today has been a special quilting day. I was invited to the press preview of the Quilts 1700-2010 exhibition at the V&A London.
I travelled to London with my quilting buddy Hazel and we have had a fabulous day.
I was invited due to the writing of this blog and quite a few quilting bloggers were there. We were allowed to take photos as long as we use them to promote the exhibition so here are the first batch.
These photos are of the 'Sundial Coverlet' - one of my favourite quilts in the exhibition. I loved it because it was so old - predating most American antique quilts and I loved it for its intricate piecing.
It reminds me of the 'Dear Jane' American Civil War Quilt of 1863 but it is 66 years older and it is English.

These blocks are probably about 6 inches square. I love the use of striped fabric in some of the blocks and the wonderful applique.
The exhibition is excellent - much better than I was expecting - well worth a visit and there is a shop full of quilting goodies to buy.
Liberty's have made special reproduction fabrics from some of the quilts - I just had to buy a fat quarter or 6!
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Sunday, 14 March 2010

Patchwork and Quilting Course - Week 1.

On March 2nd I started teaching my first Patchwork and Quilting course and of course I want to share my progress and the progress of my students.
I have 20 students, 10 in the morning and 10 in the afternoon, all lovely ladies keen to learn about patchwork and quilting.
The students range from absolute beginners to very talented quilters and it is great to have such a mix of abilities in the class.

Week 1 was all about string blocks as I wanted to get everyone stitching without worrying about a perfect quarter inch seam or exact cutting.
I made three sample blocks each made up of four subunits which were joined together. The strings were all sewn onto thin fabric foundations.

The first block was for the experienced quilters - the four units were joined using sashings .
The other two blocks, for the beginners, show the alternative ways that the units can be joined to give two different blocks.
The strips were pieced onto 7 inch foundation squares which were trimmed to 6.5 inches and then joined together to form a 12.5 inch block.
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Friday, 5 March 2010

More Birthday photos!

Just a couple of photos from our celebrations last night - mainly for family members who read this blog.
Back to quilting soon!
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Thursday, 4 March 2010

Happy 18th Birthday Jonathan!

Today my baby turned 18!
This is how he looked at 2 years old. How time flies!

Last night he celebrated with his friends and tonight we are celebrating as a family.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

More workshop samples.

Here are the other workshop samples I promised to show earlier.
This is a coaster to stand your mug with cozy on.
This is a heart made with felted wool blanket from a charity shop. The stitching is done with tapestry wool which was lovely to work with although you can use ordinary knitting wool.
These last two samples are from a workshop I did in January when we did hand piecing and needleturn applique.
I started my new 10 week course yesterday and it went very well. It was wonderful to have so many enthusiastic ladies, many of them complete beginners so keen to learn patchwork. Over the two classes I will have 20 students which is brilliant. I will post their progress on the blog and keep you up to date with how we are doing. Hope I can manage to get them addicted to P&Q!
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