Thursday 26 August 2010
This quilt is from the 1930's - and is made in a soft blue paisley on one side and a pink paisley on the other - typical of the 30's fad for pastel colours. It is one of the quilts that has gone across to France for Jane Rollasons Quilt Expo "In the Heart of the Vineyards". The quilt is reputed to have been given as a wedding gift but never used. It comes from the Dryslwyn, Llandeilo area of Carmarthenshire, South Wales, where it was part of a collection of quilts.
The quilt is all hand stitched but the designs are hard to see due to the patterned fabric. It has a central medallion with spiral infill, a corner leaf, church windows with spiral infill and corner fans with spiral infill and a simple twist. The edges are hand stitched. The wadding is carded wool, but thicker than some of the other quilts, so a very warm quilt.
Monday 23 August 2010
Hawaiian quilt from afar at FOQ
A Raffle to win a pennant...
The finished Allendale stall - two north country quilts plus two Welsh quilts on the table
I've returned from the Festival of Quilts - four days plus half a day to set up - and really enjoyed it - but more work than I had envisaged. And unlike many others, I didn't have to sell anything or teach! But, I really enjoyed talking to everybody about the antique quilts.
I arrived on Wednesday afternoon - the main problem was getting the two quilts hung -it didn't take long once the team had arrived. The table was a bit nasty looking and I had not brought a cloth to put on it - but I decided to fling the turkey red Welsh quilt over it and that worked well. I had brought the Welsh quilts to hand over to Jane Rollason and I was able to drape a Welsh quilt over the table each day.
Most of the interest centred around quilt marking methods, how long did it take you?, where I had gotten the quilt, how to wash quilts, tracing quilt designs and quilting in a frame.
I was also pleased to see that my Hawaiian quilt looked very good when hung and had arrived safely. The traditional category covered a lot of quilts, some more traditional than others; it was noticeable that none of the winning quilts were hand quilted. As Lilian has noted, a truly traditional quilt scores low on creativity so has a lesser chance of winning.
I was pleased to read the judges comments (always food for thought) one said "great visual impact, excellent applique, well quilted" while the other said "very well executed and excellent hand quilting". This year and the two previous years, the edge treatment has not been marked as high; I know that I could get it really right but as I'm still working I just feel I don't want to spend my time in that way. It was also interesting to note that, as the ventilation was so fierce at the NEC, by the final day almost all the quilts had rippling edges - luckily they were still OK when they were being judged on the first day!
I include some photos but I didn't take too many! The artificial light doesn't seem to work too well with my camera - or perhaps I had the wrong setting....
At the end I was a bit worried about collecting the Hawaiian quilt and also taking the Allendales down. I had no Phillips screwdriver to unfasten the battens from the display boards - but a couple of hard, swift pulls on the battens was enough to bring them down safely (made me feel like a real action woman). The quilt collection was the usual chaos - but I was able to collect the quilt and leave by 6 so was home at 9.15.
I did wonder on Saturday whether my voice would last - I am not used to talking so much!! Very pleased at meeting everyone and startled that there are so many who read (and apparently enjoy) this blog. My main aim was to promote antique British quilts - I know that they're not everyone's cup of tea - but think that I succeeded, together with the museum stall which had a nice selection of wholecloths. Well worth doing.
Wednesday 18 August 2010
Do stop by to say hello if you are going to FOQ - I would be glad to meet everyone! My stand is A42 and is just across from the V & A stall near the front.
Monday 16 August 2010
Here is a quilt with an especially nice cotton sateen fabric - set in a pink background, it has swags of twigs, flowers and leaves with small pink birds set amongst them. The pink reverse shows the fantastic quilting patterns. This quilt still has its original sizing and hasn't been used, but does have some dust marks on the pink side. Is provenance is unknown, but does come from South Wales. Its size is 71 x 89 inches.
The quilting patterns are especially nice - there is a huge central medallion with leaves, circular scrolls and spiral patterns. A figure of eight scroll is simple but effective - and easy to sew without marking. At the outer edge is an attractive church window border with cross hatched infill. The corners have an attractive four lobed design. The wadding is carded wool, and the edges are hand sewn.
No wonder the owner of this quilt couldn't bear to use this quilt - the choice of fabric, and the quilting, make it a perfect quilt and one to be cherished.
Thursday 12 August 2010
Monday 9 August 2010
Saturday 7 August 2010
I have done echo quilting on several applique quilts and the choice is to mark in some way or to "eyeball" it (estimate by eye) . My first Hawaiian quilt was eyeballed at about 3/8th inch -because I thought that was the more traditional method for Hawaiian quilts - but it looked at bit haphazard to me. So I went back to marking, using a method I used earlier in a Princess Feather quilt (see photo). I quilt in a large frame so easy to do.....
The method is to use a small ruler and use straight pins to mark a line at the chosen distance - in the photo of the red and white quilt, it is 1/2 inch. Use as many as needed, I usually insert a pin every inch or so. You'll have to look carefully at the photo to see the heads of the pins showing where to quilt next. This does not take long to do, is accurate and of course leaves no markings and looks very fresh. Just aim for the pins and remove as they get in the way. Of course, do not use old or rusted pins. Do a small area at a time or you'll get bored....
Thursday 5 August 2010
Progress being made on the trip to Birmingham in three weeks time. The red and white Hawaiian quilt was posted off for the competition. And the other two quilts are ready to go - will need final defurring session, I know. Here is Snowy testing the antique Allendale quilt - it has gotten cool here (not really like August at all, but that's England for you) so cats are back to heat-seeking activities.
I received my three patterns from Cissy at Poakalani yesterday - I ordered sunflower, Molokama and Pillani - these should literally keep me busy for at least three years...not small quilts....I am going to have to bring back some extra wide fabric from my trip to Florida - it seems more satisfactory than seaming together panels - the joins are unsightly and also difficult to deal with.
Here is the latest project - Pua Pake or Chrysanthemum - it is all pin basted now and next has to be thread basted before applique can start - otherwise the pins get in the way of the applique and also tend to drop out - I am not too happy with the quality of the yellow fabric, it is a bit skimpy. It does seem to be difficult to find suitable fabric these days - not so many plains about. Fabric of better quality is especially important with wholecloth and applique quilts.
My next project will be to design and then mark out my Welsh quilt; Jane Rollason has also asked me to loan her some Welsh quilts for her French expo - eight I think - her Durhams are all pastels and she wants some strongly coloured Welsh quilts to contrast - I think finding brightly coloured quilts will not be a problem! I will deliver them to her at FOQ - getting them back from Jane who lives in Yorkshire may be the greater problem - however, a trip to Macclesfield for the BQSG weekend meeting might be the solution.
Sunday 1 August 2010
This quilt was originally from Carmarthen.It measures 76 x 78 inches, It was owned by an elderly lady and stored for many years in a plastic bag on top of a wardrobe. It doesn't seem to have been used at all, although there are some brown spots (not very visible due to the busy fabric - see the third photo and see if you can spot them).
The quilt is hand stitched with spiral patterns and diagonal lines as chevrons. There are lovely cotton sateen floral fabrics in pinks, reds and blues in two slightly different patterns. The wadding is carded wool. The quilt's edge has been neatly hand stitched.
The quilting patterns are simple here, but very effective and immediately recognisable as Welsh quilting. The spiral is an age old symbol - so old that the original meanings are now lost in time.
The spirals do remind me of the Neolithic Cup and Ring markings carved on outcrops in Northumberland and elsewhere - I am thinking especially of Goat Crag near Ford. Were they signposts? Ownership markings? No-one knows, but the carvings are only in visible places (ie not hidden away) so must have had great meaning for the local people and also the travellers journeying on nearby coastal routes.
Yes, a simple pattern but a very effective one, and one that imparts a great richness of texture. I love the way that the curved lines echo each other - there are more time effective ways of covering a quilt surface - but few as pretty.