The Cottage Orné Quilt

The Cottage Orné Quilt
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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Kaffe at the American Museum again!

Last week I visited the latest Kaffe Fassett exhibition at the American Museum in Bath!  I will spare you the details of our journey, suffice to say that the roads leading in an around Bath were gridlocked, which perhaps didn't help my mood.  It was also a rather dull grey day!  Nevertheless I was greatly looking forward to my visit as I am a admirer of Kaffe work and have seen most of his many exhibitions over the years!

Colourful it certainly was!

I was really pleased to see on of my very favourite things of Kaffe's -

Photography wasn't allowed, so the above pictures have been taken from the Internet which makes it difficult to credit each source!

Despite visiting in Easter school holidays, the Museum was very quiet.  In fact I don't think I have ever been there when it was so deserted.  Mind you I haven't been there for a while because they now don't do regular quilt exhibits, so no reason to go!

Things have changed and not for the better.  The refreshments are now served in a newly built cafe which would have been wonderful, as it has been angled to make the most of the stunning views, but it is a terrible mishmash of styles.  The ceilings and windows are modern and cutting edge but someone has then decided to give it a Greek Revival touch and rather nasty pillars and architrave have been added.  Then to cap it all it has been filled with really awful brown wooden tables and chairs!  Also the lovely array of American cakes and cookies are no longer and neither do you queue up at the old fashioned window and deal with the jolly ladies in the kitchen!  Now it has a more professional look and food is served within the new cafe with a more limited choice of quite ordinary British things, not American at all!  Ah well, that's the way things go these days!  The old fashioned looks and ways, that were so charming, all swept aside in the name of progress!  Grrr!

Apart from grumbling about the above, did I enjoy my visit?  Well to be perfectly truthful I came away feeling rather flat.  Maybe I have seen too much of Kaffe's work and it was all becoming just too familiar.  There is no doubt that an awful lot of stuff was there, many of it familiar from other exhibits, but it felt like a small exhibition!  It was wonderfully co-ordinated and staged and the colour hit you from the start, but I toured it in less than 15 minutes and didn't return to have another look, as I usually do!

If you would like to hear and see Kaffe talk about this exhibition, here is a link to a very interesting video - click scroll down and enjoy!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter

After having a lovely sunny week here in Wales, today when my next door neighbours are having a family egg hunt in their garden, it's cool and cloudy with rain to come.  Such a shame! 

Sending you all a few Spring and Easter like pictures from inside and outside my house -

Have a Happy Easter Day everyone.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Little Welsh House Quilt

I can't quite believe it, but it nearly three years since I showed you the beginnings of this little quilt.  On the 23rd July 2011 to be exact and for those of you who either can't remember or who have starting reading since, here is the link.

I have always found that some quilts are easy and some are a struggle and this one has definitely been the latter, but here it is at last -

Why has it taken so long?  Well I broke off several times to do other things and lost the initial focus.  Initially I thought that instead of doing a planned quilting outline, I would quilt within each patch.  However, this didn't work and most of the time I was improvising continuously.  Nothing wrong with some improvising, as that is following Welsh quilting tradition, but a basic outlining of areas is needed as a guide.  Once you have marked out these areas you can then improvise within these borders.

I am certainly not going into free fall like this again as I thought I would never finish it!

Friday, 4 April 2014

An early 19th Century Coverlet

My apologies for being absent for so long. I have been away and it has taken a little while to get back to writing, mainly because this post is a special one!

Remember in my last post I mentioned that there were two great happenings that week?  Well after visiting the EB Book Launch at Stoke on the Tuesday, on the Thursday I had an appointment at St. Fagan's, the Welsh National History Museum.  In January I had received a call from the Curator of Textiles telling me about their latest find.  It's an early 19th  century patchwork coverlet which as far as we know hasn't appeared in any publication before, so I am greatly honoured to be the first to make it public and share it here with you.

These pictures were taken and are posted here with the museum's permission and I am so grateful to Elen for contacting me about this patchwork.  She said she knew it was my sort of thing and she was absolutely right about that!

These early 19th century British quilts are much admired by the quilting world and very often copied and adapted by designers with no commercial gain for the original owner, very often a museum who would benefit from some extra revenue.  However, I think that perhaps this coverlet relies not so much on it's design, but on its fabrics, especially the unusual number of printed panels used in its making, which would make it difficult to reproduce. 

This post is just a taster as in the next one I am going to show more close-ups of fabrics and talk a little about them and also about how it was sewn.  I will also share with you what we know so far about this patchwork, where it was made and who made it, so watch this space!