Monday, July 28, 2008

14th European Meeting Patchwork

Ste Marie-aux-Mines is hosting its 14th meeting of Patchwork from 18th- 21st September 2008. The show includes over 800 textiles work from 5 continents, fashion shows and craftsmen, 120 European and American exhibitors, 35 workshops by renowned teachers and 12 lectures related to patchwork, quilting and the Amish movement.

The exhibition is spread throughout the area and is reputed to be very interesting - Ste Marie-aux-Mines is at the heart of the foundation of Amish quilting which of course migrated to the States where it became routed in the traditions of the Pennsylvania Dutch, Mennonites, etc.

Displays range from classics to contemporary. If you live in France or are visiting it would be a worthwhile diversion.

The quilt above, which looks as though it has many layers, with a almost three-dimensional structure, is by the Korean quilt artist Jiyoung Chung. From the exhibition website she is described as follows (bear in mind this is a translation from French... )

"For this Korean artist, who multiplies the supports and media she uses in her creations, any shape is welcome. In her painting as well as in her arrangements of thread spools, she wants to refer to women domestic chores that she breaks down in many repeated actions. She is also curious about the relationship between men, nature and God through a universal and quite peculiar (unique) approach."

For more information you can visit the website.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Japanese Quilt

Keeping with the same Japanese theme, one of our customers in Portugal - Marian, has made many quilts, wall-hangings and craft projects including this one which really took our eye.

She explains
"I saw the collection of Chinese materials in your catalogue some time ago and thought "That's for me" as we have many things from China . My husband started going there on business in the mid 70's and he brought home "reminders of the country" . We were both taken around a Cloisonné factory in Beijing in 1978 - quite an experience . He also visited remote areas where many of the locals had never seen a white man before !
I always buy an extra length of material for the border of a wall hanging or quilt matching the materials I am going to use as I have found that if I leave the choice of edging until the end I can never find something suitable ! Living in Portugal means that I can't pop into the "Cottonpatch" .
The little Cloisonné plate gave me the idea for the design . I did at first consider cutting out a big dragon from the dragon material and letting it climb through the blocks but settled for embellishing the dragons with embroidery and beads instead . It is also a nice way of displaying things like the jade dragon .
Best wishes from a very hot Algarve ,
PS I have almost finished the Kaffe Fasset "Post card" quilt ! I've used 500 metres of hand quilting thread so far . I cut the templates last September !"

Thank you to Marian for letting us know more about the quilt and we look forward to seeing the Kaffe Fassett "Postcard" quilt soon!

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Alternatives to Quilting and Quick Projects

Val, who has worked here at The Cotton Patch for just over 14 years, is into lots of craft projects, not just patchwork and quilting. One of them is card-making. She made a beautiful card for Denise whose birthday was on Wednesday (no ages to be revealed!).

She used a stunning Japanese fabric and what you probably can't see is that the fabric is raised away from the card, creating a dimensional effect. The result is very effective and an excellent use of the oriental style fabric. The trick seems to be to cut out the fabric really carefully by using very sharp pointed scissors. Finding a card base that was the perfect matching colour also helps!

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Its in the Bag!

Sometimes it doesn't take much to add something unique, yet simple, to an item that completely changes the look of it.
A great example is the little bag that David (our webmaster) and his wife Janet found at a market in Leicester. The bag wasn't particularly expensive but with a few Yo Yo's on it (Suffolk Puffs by another name) in Japanese fabrics it becomes an elegant accessory.

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Monday, July 7, 2008

Summer Holidays

With the rain absolutely bucketing down here memories come flooding (literally) back of this time last year. It was one of our busiest July months and no wonder - what else can you do when the rain is so persistent - at least a good project can cheer you up!

The alternative (albeit not so green) is to the leave the country for sunnier climes, which is the reason the blog has been without a post for a few weeks. I was experiencing 42 degrees in Bodrum, Turkey but fortunately was in the water most of the time (other than the few days I was on crutches..but that's another story). Not a patchwork retreat though (although I have been thinking how nice it would be to go on a Ricky Tims retreat in La Veta, Colorado!) - my holidays tend to be active and usually involve injuring myself at regular intervals!

So for those of you unable to get in the garden or if you're off on holiday and spend more time relaxing than I do, we hope you find some portable projects on the website to keep you entertained...

Before the Malvern Show we had some amazing weather and a lovely project to do inside or outside is cartonnage. Pick a strong fabric (such as a Hoffman, gold over-print or lush Moda) for the outside, a co-ordinating fabric for the inside and together with some book-making glue and one of our new cartonnage kits you'll be up and running in no time at all!

Click here to go to our web page to see the kits and glue. Please bear in mind that in temperatures over 85 degrees F (that's old money), the glue does dry very quickly so you have to work fast!

Alternatively, if you're looking for a change of pace, a little punchneedle embroidery might be just the thing - all the information is here. We love the little sheep...

Have a great summer!

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