Monday, March 29, 2010

Pennants for Patchworkers

Festival of Quilts at the NEC for 2010 - Pennants for Patchworkers

Pennants4Patchworkers is the fundraiser for The Quilters' Guild at the Festival of Quilts in August (August 20th to the 23rd At the NEC, Birmingham) and is being "masterminded" by The Miniatures Group. The pennants can be any size from A4 downwards, but don't have to be miniatures.

There will be a Tombola, and tickets ending with 3 or 7 will be winners. Further information,pennants, hints and tips and challenges can be found on their website

The A4 Pennant should be an isoscelese triangle (the two angle sides the same length and angle from the upright). It should be 3 layers, quilted and finished appropriately.

Go to the website: to see ideas, patterns, photos and lots more examples some of which we have posted here.

If you make a Pennant and want to drop it off at Quilts UK at the Malvern Three Counties Showground (13th to 16th May 2010) why not bring it along to The Cotton Patch stand - (just to the right of the entrance). Judith Dursley who is co-ordinating the Pennant collection will pick them up from us on the Sunday of the Malvern show.

If you find an uncontrollable urge to keep making pennants (we also have felted pennants courtesy of Gillian Glad Rags which you may wish to try) we have just had information on Quilts 4 London which is a National Olympic Textile Project supported by Lynne Edwards, Gail Lawther, the Batik Guild, The Cross Stitch Guild, The International Felt Makers Association, the Quilter's Guild of the British Isles and UK Hand Knitting - visit their website or contact Irene Heathcote at for more information.

The idea is to make an A3 Pennant (12" x 16") using any Textile Technique - 12,000 are required and each 2012 Olympic Athelete will receive one! For YouTube links. ideas, and co-ordinators details visit their website.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

V and A Quilt Exhibition London...continued

There were so many beautiful quilts and here are a few more from the Quilts 1700-2010 Exhibition at the V and A.
View towards Changi Quilt, made by Girl Guides held at Changi Prisoner of War Camp in Singapore for their quilt leader - beautifully presented with toile quilt in the distance.
Channel 4 has an feature on the quilt with a video you may wish to see.

The Red Cross Quilt and detail.
The quilt was made by the Canadian Red Cross Society and is dated 1939-1941. During the Second World War the Society donated quilts to those in need. The children of a family, whose house and all their possessions were destroyed by enemy bombing, each received a quilt. The concept of Project Linus, Comfort Quilts and other quilting projects of making a quilt for those in real need has been taking place for quite some time. Most recently we blogged about the Haitian Quiltathon - quilts are a great solace and comfort, a security blanket when all other comforts have gone...

Quilt made from blackout curtains and sateens.

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Quilts at the Victoria and Albert Museum

Opens today 20th March 2010

Winter/Male and Summer/Female by Jo Budd 2010

George III Reviewing the Troops 1803-1805
Joanna Southcott Coverlet c 1808
Caroline of Hanover Quilt unknown maker c 1820

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Close-up of the Bed Hanging at the V and A

One more quick post before anyone notices I'm not doing any work...

This photo shows some of the amazing pieces that make up the whole. A huge amount of work must have been involved in the design and execution of this piece.

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V and A Quilts Exhibition - The Domestic Landscape

These quilts are all in the first section and for those who loves historical quilts are a really superb collection. I really should be doing some photos to follow soon.
The quilt detail shown below is from George III Reviewing the Troops (1803-1805). The construction is technically brilliant and reveals details of the makers life and her social and cultural background. This detail shows just a small section of the quilt below the main centre circle of George III. Vignettes made up of between 23 and 45 patches, hand-drawn inscriptions and embroidery form a border surrounding pieced circles.

This Mariner's Quilt is displayed as it would appear on a bed - again beautifully constructed and preserved. This quilt was made in the 1850's and includes fabrics dating from the 1820's. The mid to late 1800s style was for dense colours and bright patterns. Patchwork designs were produced in magazines and gradually evolved their names such as Mariner's Compass (the centre design) and Jockey's Cap (the circles partially seen in the foreground of the picture below.)

The quilting on this one showed up beautifully in the subtly lit gallery and again displayed bed-style.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Preview of Quilts 1700-2010 at the V&A

V&A Quilt ExhibitionV&A Museum Quilts Exhibition

Quilts 1700-2010 opens at the V&A on the 20th March 2010 and runs through until the 4th July 2010. Apparently this is the most successful exhibition that the V&A have run in terms of pre-sales of tickets - over 9,000 at the last count.

We were delighted to be invited to the Preview yesterday and even more so after we had viewed the exhibition - the scope and depth are excellent and even if you don't think that the highlights of the exhibition should be the Tracey Emin bed or the Grayson Perry foetuses you are sure to find elements that find you in awe of their makers or at the very fact that you are viewing these quilts at all. The oldest quilts are in breath-takingly good condition. I own a Crazy Quilt from 1893 and some of the satins (especially the reds) have practically disappeared. The 1730-1750 patchwork bed hangings which greet you as you enter the exhibition are the only set of chintz bed hangings from this period that survive in a public collection. They are in superb condition - the colours bright, the work extraordinary with a clam shell design that comprises 6500 individual patches. So this is where the exhibition opens - in the 18th century ..." when increased access to fashionable materials such as silks, satins and velvets resulted in an explosion of sumptuous patchwork quilts created for some of the wealthiest homes in Britian."
V&A 18th Century Quilt

Thought-provoking themes guide you through the quilts and explanations of each quilt (expounded in great depth in the book for the exhibition by the Curator Sue Pritchard) unravel the stories behind each of the quilts, sometimes complex narratives where all is not as it may seem (typed in error seam there....) from initial inspection.

These are a selection of my photos from the exhibition which I hope you enjoy. When time allows I will give more information on some.
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Monday, March 15, 2010

Haiti Quiltathon Update - 90 Quilts Made!

Haiti Quiltathon - 90 Quilts!

Well done to Chris and volunteers including Di Huck from Patchwork and Quilting Magazine who managed to make an amazing 90 Quilts in 12 hours! Think of all the tea they must have got through!!

Not only did they make the quilts but the sales table and raffle raised about £400 for a local hospice and animal charity. Congratulations to everyone who took part.
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Monday, March 8, 2010

Festival of Quilts 2010 Academy Programme

Described as "the largest, most eagerly anticipated event in the patchwork and quilting calendar anywhere in Europe", the "Festival of Quilts" takes place at the NEC in Birmingham during August.

While Quilters who have previously visited know that it provides huge inspiration, with the Victoria and Albert Museum (see previous post) showcasing some of their quilt collection this year in Quilts 1700-2010, we hope that the "Festival of Quilts" also tempts those who don't aspire to necessarily make quilts but for those for whom the art and artistry of quilts, the history or the beauty and colour or texture is enough reason to visit. Last year over 30,000 people visited the NEC from over fifty countries - it certainly felt like it as someone who could not get from one end of the stand to the other!

So if your diary is handy - the dates are:

19th to 22nd August 2010

Opening Hours: 10.00am to 5.30pm (closes 5pm Sun)

For those who want to get on with the "making", one of the highlights is the collection of teachers whose workshops and lectures provide that inspiration to extend knowledge and techniques into new areas.

While the organisers Twisted Thread are able to show the Quick and Easy Workshops programme on their literature The Academy Programme is now so vast that the easiest way to view it is online. We thought we'd give a taster of some of the masterclasses, lectures and workshops that you can sign up for on the Twisted Thread site.
Non Quilters Guild members can start booking from today!

Marti Michell

We are delighted that Marti Michell together with her husband Richard Michell (and seen here with their daughter Stacey who runs Shades Hand Dyed Fabrics) will be joining us on The Cotton Patch stand for demonstrations of her templates and advice on how to Machine Quilt in sections, make a real log cabin...I mean make a Log Cabin Quilt and lots more!

Marti will be reaching for the stars with A Constellation of Star Quilts (Reference 271)

You won’t want to miss Marti’s star studded trunk show. It is full of tips
and tricks for making Evening Stars, Feathered Stars, Kaleido-Stars and
stars you might not think are stars, even Seven Sis-stars. Oh my stars, you’ll be star-struck!
Lecture (1 hour)
Saturday 21st August 10.00am to11.00am

Machine Quilting in Sections / Quilting As You Piece (Reference 294)
You’ll learn the difference, the similarity and how both methods can help you finish your quilts on your home sewing machine! If manoeuvring a big quilt through that little opening in your sewing machine is overwhelming, this lecture has answers! There are always new quilts and tips.
Lecture (1 hour)
Sunday 22nd August 10.00am to 11.00am

Why Use 8 Fabrics When You Could Use 80? (Reference 249)
Who knows whether you have lots of fabric because you love to make scrap quilts or you love to make scrap quilts because you have lots of fabric? It doesn’t matter, you’ll love Marti’s scrap quilt trunk show. Plus Marti will review the top 10 reasons why you need more fabric!!!
Lecture (1 hour)
Friday 20th August 4.00pm to 5.00pm

Kaffe Fassett

Kaffe Fassett - what can you say about a man who has contributed so much to pushing the boundaries of colour within the traditional designs of patchwork that hasn't already been said? So often people know that the colour in their quilt is not quite right but
don't know what to do to make it so...Kaffe Fassett has that talent (as we discover when we try and substitute a fabric in his quilts and find it quite tricky!).

Kaffe is shown (below) with Nik from The Cotton Patch signing books on the stand at the Festival of Quilts in 2009 - Kaffe has his own stand this year but will also be doing book signings on The Cotton Patch stand.

Kaffe is also doing a Soup Supper talk entitled Concentrate on Colourwhich is designed to inspire and motivate. The presentationhighlights works from his latest projects, these include his patchworkquilt, fabric, needlepoint, mosaic, painting and knitting designs. For more details and how to book please visit the Twisted Thread site.

The Kaffe Fassett lecture is designed to inspire and motivate. This year Kaffe will be talking about Diamonds...could be a girl's best friend...

Diamonds (Reference 258)
Kaffe Fassett
Play with colour in design from a Kaffe Fassett quilt structure under the supervision of Kaffe and his assistant Brandon Mably. Most class time will be spent teaching the arrangement of fabrics to develop each student’s own personal colour palette in making one of Kaffe’s original designs. Students will need to bring lots of fabric to play with! Although Kaffe and Brandon teach the same principles of colour, the class structure will be different and you will come away with two totally different wall-size hanging quilt arrangements.
You will be arranging your work on a piece of flannel that you will just fold up at the end of the workshop, ready to take home and sew.
You may elect to keep your projects wall sized or expand them to full size once you return home. The quilts are primarily scrappy so the workshops are for scrappy quilts done in fairly low contrast. Kaffe and Brandon will be taking you through the same process they use for designing their quilts.
1 Day Masterclass
Any Level
Saturday 21st August 9.30am to 4.30pm

Amy Butler

Last but by no means least....Amy's influence on the world of design just keeps on growing. We recently saw that Amy has teamed up with Graham and Brown who manufacture the most gorgeous wallpapers so your next quilt may match your wallpaper! Amy showed some of the rugs she has designed at the Soup Supper at last year's Festival of Quilts - they are a perfect foil for her designs. Wow! So now its quilt, bedding, wallpaper, rugs.... find out what inspires her and her creative process at her lecture. She'll also be available and will be signing her books on The Cotton Patch stand. Below is one of the rugs from her collection -

Inspirations with Amy Butler
(Reference 244 and 274)

Spend an hour chatting, laughing and getting inspired with American fabric and interiors designer Amy Butler. Get an inside look at some fun, behind the scenes imagery and stories chronicling Amy's latest creative adventures through her travels and studio life.

Lecture (1 hour)

Friday 20th and Saturday 21st August

1.00pm to 2.00pm

One of Amy's beautiful handmade 100% New Zealand wool rugs.

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Friday, March 5, 2010

V and A - Quilts 1700-2010 - One Not to Miss!

If there is one thing that needs to go in the diary, friends contacted, plans made, tickets purchased and train seats allocated in 2010 its the forthcoming exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington, London entitled Quilts 1700-2010.

The marketing department seems to be doing a great job as we've seen mention of it in the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, the Times and plenty of other places. We're very excited as a few of us will be going to the preview on the 17th March.

The exhibition is a unique opportunity to view the V&A's unseen quilt collection as well as key national loans.

The Curator's blog makes for great reading as the opening of the exhibition is about two weeks away. You know how it is for most of us, its Christmas Eve and the quilt binding is still being sewn on as Father Christmas is appearing boots first down the about last minute. So imagine how much work will be going on getting the exhibition ready in time!
The exhibition includes some quilts featured on beds such as the 2002 Quilt entitled "To Meet My Past" by Tracey Emin.

We recently discovered some interesting family history (we had no idea until a few weeks ago) of relatives who were silk merchants and other who were involved in the dyeing industry in London - including such exhuberant and interesting characters as Charles Candy otherwise known as Beau Candy or Sugar Candy (this was in the late 1700s, early 1800s so the time of Beau Brummel, lots of silk cravats and dashing Regency style gents!). The thought of visiting an exhibition based on quilts made from fabrics manufactured during this period is fascinating.

In doing the research it was interesting to discover that William Shipley, who formed the RSA (the Royal Society for the Arts, Commerce and Manufactures) which is now 250 years old and which is based at John Adams House in London, recognised the importance of the manufacture of silk and cotton in England. Dyeing prior to the mid 1750s was mostly done in France. However, the expulsion of the Huguenots from France (the biggest migration in history, many of whom, including my relatives, moved to England in the 1600s and 1700s) led to those skills being brought to London and the development of the dyeing industry along the rivers such as the Wandle and Lea which feed into the Thames in London. Without that impetus England may never have had the level of fabric production that we did during that period. Whilst fabric production in the UK is minimal now we're glad that some of the design and certainly the development of fabric designs still happens here.
We hope you are able to visit the Exhibition while it is on - it finishes on the 4th July 2010.

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Quilts for Haiti 13th March 2010 - Calling all Quilters

If you would like to help out the people of Haiti who have had to cope with many natural disasters in recent years and of course this year with a terrible earthquake then why not join Chris Hammacott and Di Huck and lots of other quilters for a 12 hour Quiltathon in Carmarthen?

Or perhaps you've got some fabric, thread or wadding that you could donate?

Chris contacted us a few weeks ago and we were able to help with various supplies including some UFOs that were lurking in Jean Sewell's sewing room looking for a home! The picture above shows some of Chris's group with some of Jean's quilt tops that they will be able to quilt so that they can go to this very worthwhile cause.




There will also be a ‘bring an unwanted Christmas present’ to raise money to donate.
Come for an hour or the day all help gratefully received.
Bring a plate of food for an informal lunch.

OR CONTACT CHRIS ON 01269 832272

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