Search This Blog

I am a quilter living in Woodbridge, Suffolk who has made quilts since I was a teenager. I also ring bells! Both are great British traditions....I will try to feature some of my antique Welsh and Durham quilts, the quilts I make myself, my quilting activities and also some of my bellringing achievements. Plus as many photos as I can manage. NB: Double click on the photos to see greater detail, then use back button to return to the main page.

Saturday 12 November 2011

Gregynog nr Newtown, Wales

Our BQSG seminar was held at Gregynog - it was formerly the grand house of two sisters, but is now a teaching, seminar and conference centre for the University of Wales. It must have been a large estate, as it was a long drive to the house from the main road.

The view from my bedroom!

I was cold during the first night - I got up to search for some blankets - here is what I found in the wardrobe - two tapestry blankets! Very warm!

An amusing sign - I had to investigate -- the other language is obviously Welsh.....

More explanation- not in Welsh this time ...

A Victorian W.C. with a manual pump, all hidden under a neat wooden flap...the same in any language...

Now to the real business....we had some excellent papers. They were all very interesting and well presented. I am looking forward to seeing the next volume of Quilt Studies where the papers will be published.

Kathryn Berenson, who lives in Paris (lucky woman!) gave a paper on Quilted Works of Naples - the French and Italian context of the Tristan Quilts. Very scholarly and lovely illustrations.

Maxine March gave a paper on a red cross quilt now in the Imperial War Museum- The Marchant Grove Quilt. This was a very moving talk in which Maxine related how she tracked down a no longer extant village in Saskatchewan, Canada and made contact with people living in the area. The quilt is embroidered with the names of servicemen, and she was able to track down amay of the families. Many photos were shown, very interesting, this talk was many people's favorite as it was so evocative of the times in which it was made.

Anita Loscalzo gave a talk on two bedcovers which had images of Charlotte Princess of Wales. These are in the New England Quilt Museum.

After tea (excellent food throughout, by the way) we had a talk by Roger Clive-Powell (Jen Jones other half) on quilt photography. I took several photography courses at Smith and I am glad to say that this made me dust off the old brain cells and chimed with what I had learnt all those years ago. Roger photographs the quilts himself. This takes place outside - there was an amusing drawing of a wicked looking cloud emerging over a hill, headed towards the photography set up - an angled board holds the quilt while a tall scaffold holds the photographer and camera. Roger uses a film camera and an instant or light received setting. Later the film images are scanned to digital. I too find that natural light seems to bring up the quilting better than artificial light.

An after dinner talk by Jen Jones was very enjoyable and we saw some wonderful images of Jen's quilt collection.Of course she related the story of the conversion of old Town Hall to Quilt Museum. I was interested to see photos of the quilt storage area - all the quilts are folded flat, as Jen feels that rolling the quilts places stress on the quilting stitches.

Jan Rae gave a very interesting talk on the "Comfy" brand quilt - now known to have been manufactured in Rawtenstall, Lancashire by the British Quilt Company. She investigated records and spoke to former employees. There are still many of these quilts around, I have two myself!

And finally Geoff Crumplin gave a talk on quilt blocks - paper folding was an easy and accurate way of drafting quilt blocks in the days before photographs and .pdfs.

The venue for next years seminar has yet to be fixed - it was to be York, in conjunction with the BQSG exhibition at the Quilt Museum, but as that has been postponed, an alternative has to be found. As there were so many textile producing areas and as there are so many museum collections, it really comes down to finding suitable accommodation, but wherever it may be, I am looking forward to it....

1 comment:

  1. I've so enjoyed reading all your super posts about your trip to Wales and seeing the photos of the beautiful quilts that you saw there. Today's post about the seminar is really interesting and I too am now looking forward to receiving Quilt Studies especially to read the paper about Comfy quilts as I've recently bought one complete with both cloth and paper label.