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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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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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Kaffe Fassett Quilt

To demonstrate the fact that Kaffe Fassett quilt designs can be used for other things - not just quilts, we've posted a photo from Catherine Corbishley Michel who visited our stand at the NEC last week. She kindly brought in a photo of her interpretation of the Hot Diamonds quilt using Kaffe Fassett and Martha Negley fabrics which is used as a curtain and definitely works in this format. Thank you for dropping the photo into the stand!

Catherine also had a quilt called Five a Day on show in the Large Quilts category.

I remember that last year Catherine raised money for Prostate Cancer research as she works in this field as a Doctor and we were glad to be able to assist by sending her machine needles to that she could stitch a quilt. The resulting sponsorship for her "quilt miles" and raffling the result in order to raise money for this worthwhile cause.

We would love to see more quilts that customers have made and the stories behind them so that we can post them on the blog. You can either send your quilts in (with a bit about how you made it, the fabrics, threads, etc) or post them directly here.

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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Festival of Quilts Preparation

Final preparations are underway for the Festival of Quilts at the NEC and it promises to be even bigger and better than last year! We really hope you can visit and look forward to seeing you there.

The FESTIVAL OF QUILTS runs from 16th to 19th August, 2007 at the NEC, BIRMINGHAM. Our stands at D20 and E20 will feature lots of offers and products including..

Fantastic offers on Cotty thread boxes - this is a closeup of the threads earlier today whenJayne, our latest Cotton Patch recruit who will be working at the NEC for the first time, was putting together our Cotty thread boxes.

Kaffe Fassett will be signing copies of his new book "Quilts in the Sun". We will have a huge selection of Rowan fabrics, kits of the quilts in the new book, charm packs and special collection packs.

Marti Michell is visiting from the US for the third year running to demonstrate her rulers, templates and books, including her latest book "Kaledioscope ABC's", which is hot off the press. For more information on her latest book and the Kaleido Rulers click here

We will have demonstrations of Daylight Lights, which make sewing a lot easier on the eyes for many crafts (and for reading). We will have some fantastic show offers on selected products including the Ultimate , Portable and the new Clip-on Battery Lamp.

Anneke ten Broek, from Holland, will be demonstrating her Needle Puller, which makes your quilting easier and less tiring on your hands. For more information on the Needle Puller please click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.

If you need to order items to pickup at the show for classes (or just to save on postage!) please let us know by Saturday 11th August so your order can be ready to pickup from the E20 stand. Please specify the day you require it. For web orders put the "Delivery to" address as the NEC,the second line as the date required and the postcode as NEC E20

We look forward to seeing many of you next week at the Festival!

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