Wednesday, 25 August 2010


This exhibition of Embroidered Wedding Blankets from Southern Iraq completely blew my mind.    Each one a work of art.  These embroidered wedding blankets were made by Marsh Arabs up until a few decades ago.  They are completely different from any other textiles from the Middle East and information about these works of art is extremely scarce.  Flowers, animals, human figures, symbols and geometric motifs are embroidered by hand in wool on a hand-woven stitching ground,  Each blanket is unique.  Coming from the land of the legendary Gardens of Eden they are truly awe inspiring and made my heart leap with joy at their beauty. 

Tuesday, 24 August 2010


Annette Morgan
Best in Show and Miniature Winner
Pauline C Barnes
Stephanie Redfern
Cherry Vernon-Harcourt Winner 'Summer in the City'.


Well here I am, home again after spending three exhausting but exhilarating days at the Festival of Quilts at the NEC, Birmingham.  There were so many beautiful quilts there it was difficult to decide which ones to photograph.  In this post I am showing photographs of quilts made by people I know personally, including myself!  I know I have probably missed some people off the list and I apologise for this.  It was very busy all the time around the quilt displays and taking photographs was not easy most of the time.  However I managed to take quite a few and some more than once!!

This first photograph shows my 'Breakthough'  Challenge quilt 'Chesil' ( middle bottom) hung with others made for the same challenge by members of Contemporary Quilt which is a group within the Quilters Guild of the British Isles.

 The second photograph shows a quilt made by Mai-Britt Axelsen who lives in the Channel Islands on Guernsey.  Mai-Britt is Danish and has been working on collage. 

The third photograph is of a quilt made by Kate Dowty for the Quilters Guild challenge ' Summer in the City'.  Kate received a 'Highly Commended' award for this quilt.  In her statement she said that she had thought about the song Summer in the City and imagined dancers on the roof tops against a hot summer sky.  She had drawn the dancers onto the fabric and each one was in a slightly different pose.  We are lucky here in Weymouth to have her as a member of our local quilting group 'The Hardy Quilters'.
The fourth photograph shows another of Kate's quilts.  This one is made with an entirely different technique and shows what a versatile artist she is.

Finally, the last photograph is of 'Graffitti' the quilt made by Hilary Gooding for the Summer in the City challenge. The background is pieced to look like a brick wall and the 'graffitti' is stencilled with paint and stitched.  I know that making this quilt threw a lot of challenges at Hilary which she managed to overcome and I think she has been very successful in conveying her message.
As always it was a very inspirational weekend and I came home with many resolutions, none of which I have started.!!  I will post more pictures in a second Festival of Quilts post.

Monday, 2 August 2010


I can't believe it is over one month since I added to this Blog.  So much seems to have happened in all areas of my life.  My second Grandson had his 18th birthday at the beginning of July and from then on the month just disappeared.  There were two Textile Fairs, one at Bradford on Avon and then the big Fair at Ardingly after that on the work front was the Vintage Market at Bridport on the last Sunday of July.   

I had been looking forward all month to going to Cowslip Workshops for the Charlotte Yde 'Series' workshop.  This happened to coincide with my birthday on the 30th July.  This was the first time I had been away from my home and family for my birthday but at my age now birthdays are just another day in my life and I was looking forward to being in different surroundings doing something I love doing so this was my treat to myself.!!  I wasn't disappointed.  My birthday was on the first day of the three day course and when our afternoon tea arrived so did a Birthday cake cooked that day by lovely Vicky who cooks with Andrew in the restaurant.  In the evening I had supper in the Restaurant with Jo and Stephen the hosts at Cowslip and Charlotte and her husband.  I am not sure how to spell his name so will add it later!!!!  They, like me , love Cowslip Workshops and everything about it and combine pleasure with work when they are there.  Jo is such a wonderful hostess and looks after everyone so well.  The workshop was great fun and I met some more lovely people, all from different walks of life but with one common denominator, quilting and textiles.  I managed to get three pieces for my series started but not finished!  I just have the stitching to do which will completely change the way they look but enhance it and bring it all together.  I find this bit quite scary and am loathe to start.  As I have no deadline for these pieces I am going to take my time to work out just the right quilting designs for these contemporary pieces.  I have used some of my own hand dyed fabrics and some of Polly Lyster's naturally dyed fabrics.  I have been collecting up Polly's bags of scraps for a while now and have a huge colour palette selection as well as lots of lovely different textures of linens and hemps.  I had just the right colours for my sand, rocks and dunes that are in all three of my pieces.  It may be a while before I get the time to finish what I have started as Linda and I are off to Cornwall for HOMESPUN on 8th August, then its Honiton Textile Fair on the 10th, a buying trip to France the following week-end and then,  wonder of wonders!!!!!!!!! - FESTIVAL OF QUILTS the NEC.

Just a final word on Cowslip, when we left on Sunday an Exhibition  of Charlotte's work was being hung in the Barn.  Jo has after a long period of negotiations!!!! been given permission to use one of the old Barns for things like exhibitions and when Charlotte saw it she fell in love with it and asked to have her quilts hung in there.  We had a sneak preview and they do look wonderful against the ancient stone walls.  The building isn't entirely finished yet but it is wonderful, built in 1844 it is a delight - so if you feel like treating yourself to a fantastic day out go to Cowslip Workshops, St. Stephens, Launceston, Cornwall.  Charlotte's Exhibition opens today and there is also an Exhibition of Jo's students' work running at the same time in the Workshop.  Full details can be found on the website.  The links are in my sidebar.  Scroll down to 'Interesting and Useful Links' and you will find both Charlotte and Cowslip.