Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chinese outfit for my daughter

At her school, DD4 had a chinese day some time ago. And so I found myself trying to make quickly a chinese outfit for her.
This is the result, not perfect (I know where something is not right, but won't tell you where), but not too bad either.
Now I hope she will wear it again before it becomes too small.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Quilts 1700-2010 exhibition at the V&A London.

So back to Wednesday, when I was able to attend the exhibition on the preview afternoon for us bloggers.

I went by car with my friend Katherine who offered to accompany me, even though she wasn't allowed in the Quilts exhibit. She had a lovely time wandering around some parts of the Museum. I must say that it is huge, and well worth a return visit. You can have a look yourself on their website : Victoria and Albert Museum.

First here is the front of the Museum, on Cromwell Road, London :

Now check the courtyard, there is a cafe in the corner, and there can be some sun sometimes, like on my photos.

I have taken lots of photos, about 70, but not using a flash and zooming on details means that some of them are out of focus (floues en francais). But there is hope. First there are all those photos you can find here :,_victoria_+_albert_museum,_london

And then I seem to be allowed access to the official photos.

What I would like to do is put more information on the pieces I saw. I bought the book from the exhibit and will use it to make some research. It will be interesting for me and I hope for you as well.

Now I just need to find the time ...

I'm adding this link to a blog with a very interesting article on the exhibit, have a look yourself :

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cards and card holder

Before going to the preview at the V and A last Wednesday, my DH printed me some "business" cards with the address of this blog and a piece of one of my quilts as an illustration. They look great, very professional.

So I quickly found some lovely Japanese fabric and sewed a little holder. A bit tighter than what I was hoping for, but the cards fit which was the objective.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Janet Bolton's workshop

I feel very lucky because I was able to attend a workshop with Janet Bolton yesterday, in Bath, in the patchwork shop called "Country Threads" ( see my previous post here).

She is a true textile artist, with collectors of her work around the world. It might appear very simple first, but it is also magical like a Matisse, transporting you far away. Each stitch and each little piece of fabric has a purpose, and each piece is the fruit of a lot of thinking and choices.
We were shown what she called mistakes, that looked like perfect little pieces, except she wasn't satisfied with them.

I booked this day a few weeks ago and was really looking forward to a few hours sewing in the beautiful city. Not that I ventured out much.

Janet Bolton was very interesting, and she explained her method very well. Then we were left to choose one of our own photos to use as a base for a piece. It's a bit daunting at first but you soon feel that you have to make a decision, under her kind guidance of course.

She helped me choose a photo of DD1 on her sledge. Her ideas are to keep the design simple. I'm not sure I can do that yet. I still think too much of the details to be put in, like legs, arms but I gave up on the idea of gloves for example.

I was surprised to discover that her pieces are quite small. It's difficult to stop yourself from going bigger, I'm not sure I'm there yet.

She loves adding a little bit of colour, in our case a speck of red, to lift the picture. I think it's a brillant idea, very interesting.

We also learned a bit about framing and presenting our work. But of course I would need to finish it first.

We all had a brilliant day, too short of course. Here are the other participants, they will have to stay anonymous as we only knew our first names.

I already have 2 of her books "My Grandmother's Patchwork Quilt" from which I have made a few blocks, but it's not finished see here.
I also own "In a Patchwork Garden" but haven't used it yet. I don't think I would do all the blocks but a few would be wonderful.
I have ordered another of her books, which has just been reprinted "Patchwork Folk Art" which you can find on Amazon uk ( no benefit for me,it's just easier to show you a photo on their website).

I have taken a few quick photos of the work we produced at the end of the day. There is still some time needed to finish them, and then frame them hopefully.
We all developped different ideas, used colours from our stashes. There aren't any of the added embroidery, buttons, and in my case frame.
What a great day !

Baby book

I made this for my next door neighbour, Julie, and more specially for her son Dan.

I have already made 2 books like this, some years ago, before starting this blog. The children have grown since, but one of the books is used by the recent addition to the family.

I start with a few fabric pictures, and use fabric from my previous projects.
I have this woven basket to put all the little bits leftover. I can't close the lid any more. I might take part of it to one of my Brownies meeting one evening, to help lower the level.

So each picture is framed, adding enough for the seam allowance. The side that will become the binding is larger than the 3 other ones.
Then I put 2 images right sides together, on some wadding. Sew around 3 sides, not the one for the binding. I cut the angles and the wadding around, and turn the page right side out. I topstitch around the page to flatten it.

The last stage I tend to do by hand because of the thickness of the book. I sew the pages together and hide all the edges with a piece of fabric.

Each fabric reminds me of a project.
The one on the back was bought to make some trousers for my first born. She is 15 now.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Exhibition at the V&A Museum, London, Quilts 1700-2010

There is this exhibition starting on the 20 th March in London at the V&A Museum, called "Quilts 1700-2010. I think it will be very interesting.
Of course I am biased because of my interest in everything fibre related, but I thought their advertising with lots of different newspapers was very good. I have seen several articles in the Times, starting a few months ago about the coming exhibit.
This week there were 2. One on 28 Feb reporting on the "new vogue for quilting" although I wonder how they can think it is new.
Today there was an article telling you how to make your own Tracey Emin cat quilt. The explanations are written by Sue Prichard, the curator of the exhibition. It is designed more for beginners, but you could use the design of the cat on something else.
The best article was written last week by Grayson Perry, who also made a piece for the V&A, called "Quilting is not a dumb hobby"

The best part is that I received an invitation to a preview at the Museum on Wednesday 17th March. I wonder who will be there, it will be so interesting so see the pieces, and of course people passionate about patchwork and quilting.
I'll tell you all about if when it has happened.