,

Gillian Travis at Malvern Quilt Show

 

 

IMG_0387

There was a lot of lovely work on show at Malvern, but the ones I liked the absolute best were Gillian Travis’ Indian quilts.  I think this is probably because my own work is going through such a figurative phase.  I loved the vibrant colours and the clever techniques

IMG_0388

Nice use of block printing over the finished piece, here, for example, and I like her substitution of foil for glass shisha mirrors.  I also really liked the use of a small mini-quilt on the side of the main piece picking up a design element:

IMG_0394

The figure here is a very clever layering of black tulle.  This is the ‘detail’ quilt

IMG_0393

I also admire the machine quilting in metallic thread, which really isn’t as easy as it looks here.

Her book with Pat Archibald, Dual Journeys in Stitch is absolutely gorgeous and had the weird effect of making me want to reach not for a needle but my sketchbook.  I did say that I wouldn’t use many photos as people are  increasingly nervous of having their international property stolen, so she has a lovely blog, website and facebook page, so there is plenty of opportunity to see the work.  Here’s one more quilt to finish the post:

IMG_0390

 

Malvern Autumn Quilt Show

IMG_0481

This is a quick photo post of the Malvern Autumn Quilt show that I went to today with my excellent friends Ceri and Alison. It’s quite a small show and so you could see it all easily, and you could get up to the traders for a change and really see what they had on the stall.

I took the new camera with me and couldn’t resist taking some arty photos.  The lovely bundles of tweed came from Quilting Antics, who also have a blog.  They thought it was hilarious that I wanted to take a photo of their fabric.  I had a nice conversation with them and they seemed to be my kind of quilters – ones with a sense of humour, rather than treating it all as a life or death issue.  Their blog is lovely and one very much for people who love to quilt.  Anyway, the photos:

IMG_0461 IMG_0460 IMG_0477IMG_0457 IMG_0454 IMG_0478

IMG_0459

 

 

 

, ,

Latest additions to my Laura Ashley project

IMG_0373

First of all, I am very sorry about the long gap between this post and the last one.  I know a high proportion of people like to read the blog on Sunday afternoons, and I haven’t been providing you with your reading lately.  This has been due to the pressures of the day job – the start of term is always a lot of hard work, and various everyday life things which have required a lot of time and energy.  But I am back.

One of the things that I have been working on is the Laura Ashley project, particularly the gift element, which I will post on later.  I have also been working on ideas about taking the idea of art as research seriously.  What would it mean if we did produce pieces of art rather than written academic papers?  What would happen to the field of study, and to our careers?  John Dewey, one of the great authorities on education, said that communities which do not produce art are deficient.  But what happens if we try to address this?  And, on the other hand, what happens if we reduce the art to mere decoration or illustration?

Well, a small element of my Laura Ashley project has been to produce some illustrations for some of the stories I have collected while doing my research – often when speaking to quilting groups.  These are pictures taken with my swanky new camera, which are great, but could have done with better light.  I am still experimenting with it, so please bear with me.

IMG_0371

 

This was my trial piece.  I often make a dry run sample to get my self sorted out if there is machine stitching to be done.  That’s why this one has no legs – she was just made with an offcut which suggested the shape of the dress.  It is a really bright piece of probably 80s fabric so I reversed it to give a more vintage look.  Her hair is another of my beloved furnishing fabric samples.  The are probably about 2×3 inches:

IMG_0354

The faces are all made of curtain lining, and once again, just about everything here is made from fabric which would have gone into landfill.

So here are the illustrations.

IMG_0369

I wore a dark Laura Ashley dress for a family New Year’s Eve party and it was the only time my brother-in-law ever told me I looked beautiful.

IMG_0368

Every time we have a big family party for a birthday or an event I add another flag to the bunting and it’s almost always Laura Ashley fabric.

IMG_0372

I went on a really romantic walk on the Downs with a new boyfriend.  I was wearing a really full Laura Ashley skirt and a bee flew up it.

IMG_0352

 

IMG_0364

I made a Laura Ashley dress to go to college dance, and I made a matching tie for my then boyfriend who is now my husband.

IMG_0365

I made tablecloths and napkins for all the big family events and celebrations.

IMG_0367

My daughter wanted a very simple wedding.  The bridesmaids wore purple Laura Ashley dresses.  Years later we discovered the marriage had not been legal.

IMG_0374

I got married in a Laura Ashley sailor dress.

One of the things I really like about this technique is that as Janet Clare, whose workshop gave me the idea, says, you just don’t know who will turn up.  When you start to stitch the faces all sorts of people appear:

IMG_0349

This one has a slight look of Lady Diana.

IMG_0358

This one looks like someone in my office who is on maternity leave.

IMG_0361

The woman in this one looks like a local historian of note.  And I am pleased that I got just a hint of smugness.

IMG_0355

This one doesn’t look like anyone, but does look like she is in danger of growing a moustache.

IMG_0351

This one has a look of those 70s folk singers like Grace Slick.

 

I really liked the tie story.  It reminded me of an old American practice I read about somewhere in which the women going to a dance would make a tie in the fabric of their ballgowns and the men would pull out a tie blindfolded.  They then had to partner the woman who matched their tie, as it were:

IMG_0362

So, I had lots of fun making these, and I think the illustrations suit the subject very well.  I am thinking of putting together a self-published picture book with longer versions of the stories.  I will be interested to see if they are accepted as legitimate research.  I think I know the answer.

 

, ,

Quilted beauty

IMG_4112

 

Just a quick post today.  This lovely quilt is my mother’s friendship quilt made by her friends for a significant birthday.  She lent it to me for my talk to the Bristol Quilters on Wednesday.  The subject was Friendship and Album Quilts and this one was the showstopper!