The Cottage Orné Quilt

The Cottage Orné Quilt
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Friday, 30 September 2011

Robin's request

Robin has asked me about the basket quilt in my last post.  I thought that I had shown it here but it seems that I haven't,  probably because I haven't got a good enough photograph.

It was based on an old Welsh quilt in the collection of the Ceridigion Musuem which was included in MAKING WELSH QUILTS -

I am not sure why, but I loved this quilt and the thought of reproducing it nagged away at me, but I didn't have the right fabrics.  I also felt that it would be difficult to capture the hap hazardness of the 25 patch blocks..

It was great fun to do and I was lucky finding a bag kit of Japanese fabrics which gave me a range of taupes, greys and slatety blues. I used both sides of these fabrics to get the variety I needed.  I also bought a man's light navy linen shirt on sale in Tesco which was just the right shade of blue.  I am pleased with the result, though this picture doesn't capture the subtle colours, they seem much harsher here.

There is a small quilt in LITTLE WELSH QUILTS based on the basket patten.


Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Return of the little Welsh quilts

No - this is not the header picture - some of my little quilts have just returned to base and I thought I would peg them out and take a few snaps.  Of course Bella had to get in on the act!

They have been on display at the Jen Jones Quilt Centre in Lampeter since April and it's good to have them back.

When Hazel (who organises the events at the Centre) rang to confirm that they had arrived safely, we talked about the content and name of my two-day workshop next April.  I have made a special little quilt based on one in "Quilt Treasures" so I am calling it "Little Welsh Treasure". I have almost finished it but decided not to take a photograph as it still has its tacking lines in place and I don't think that quilts are photogenic until these are removed.  

It's two years since I took the original photo which I use as a header here and a year since I started this blog, so it seems appropriate to have another similar photograph. I have so enjoyed writing it and for all you comments - please keep them coming!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

More portraits

I was doing some online research connected to my current quilting project (see my other blog) and came across this self portrait by Rolinda Sharples -

I must say I hadn't heard of her before.  The name "Rolinda" is a new one on me and  I'm not too sure about "Sharples", which, because of it's Coronation Street association, sounds a bit down market!  However, I loved the portrait, so much so that I've ordered a print.  This says a lot for my reaction to it, as pictures, samplers and plates jostle for space on my walls!

She was born in Bath in 1793 and was just an infant when her family moved to New York in 1794. Her father, mother and three older brothers were artists and she too showed a talent for painting from an early age.  However, when her father died in 1811 she and her mother returned to this country and settled in Bristol, where she earned a living as an artist, painting in oils.  She died there in 1838 and some of her paintings are in the collection of Britol City Museum and Art Gallery.

Here is one she painted of Madam Catalini  -

When I saw the head dress, it reminded me of  Susan Fleetwood playing the the part of Lady Russell, Anne Elliot's godmother in my favourite version of  Jane Austen's "Persuasion".  Perhaps the costume designer saw this portrait?

Oh I love that version of "Persuasion" and I am going to shamelessly plug it again!  For those of you who haven't seen it yet, here's a link to a trailer -

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Wilfred, LOLS and a jolly good rant.

Two thing made me laugh out loud the other day.  Notice that I don't say LOL because as I rarely do, it seems rather an over the top thing to keep adding to a post.  Anyway these two LOLS were on the same afternoon and they really cheered me up!  It's good to have a LOL! 

It's not easy taking a photo of Wilfred  because he is not a poser like Bella.  Nor does he ever get into bags, boxes and baskets as Bella does.  However, he has suddenly taken to squeezing himself into to this trug, which was a gift filled with plants, now of course filled with fabric.

It's not very large and he looks rather uncomfortable - but there you go!   This picture was taken the first time he did it, the second time he attempted it wasn't standing firmly on the table but balanced slightly on another  basket filled with sewing paraphernalia, thimbles, reels, pins - you get the idea?  Well when he tried to insert himself into the favoured trug, both baskets went up in the air and everything was scattered  over the floor some distance away.  Both cats were astonished (Bella had appeared by now) and they viewed the chaos, sniffed it and looked. puzzled and then embarrassed at my LOLing and walked away.  Wilfred has since given the trug a very wide berth!

Apologies to those of you who aren't able to, but who is watching the series "Royal Palaces" written and presented by Fiona Bruce?

I quite like Fiona, I think she does a good job presenting "The Antiques Roadshow", but I know some who don't.  I was prepared to enjoy this new series which has been heavily trailed but I was a bit wary that it was going out on a Monday.  However, when I saw it I thought it was pretty dire, more a showcase for Fiona than imparting much information about the Palaces.  Fiona is obviously flavour of the decade at the BBC so you just have to accept it but you can't help but compare her presenting to that of Dr. Lucy Worsley

who as well as actually being the Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces has been doing such an excellent job recently presenting, most notably, "The Age of the Regency".  She is terrific and knows her stuff, but despite being blond and attractive in a quirky way and so much better qualified, she didn't get this job.

Well what made me LOL again and where is the rant?  Do read this blog on the subject and the comments -

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Lecture by Bridget Long

Bridget Long is an expert on old British quilts and she has recently curated an exhibition at the International Quilt Study Centre in Lincoln, Nebraska entitled "Elegant Geometry: American and English Mosaic Patchwork".

If you follow this link you will be able to read all about it and see the online exhibition of the quilts -  This link will also take you to the lecture Bridget gave at the Centre and I spent an enjoyable time watching it the other afternoon.

This is one of the quilts in the exhibition -

which I recognised as one sold at a Kerry Taylor auction here in the UK in 2006 for £1,700 plus premium.  We now know it's crossed the pond!

It has an embroidered centre made by Mary Staveley in East Yorkshire in 1833 when she was 12 years old.  Did she make the quilt or was her embroidery used later by someone else?  This was often done and  it would be interesting to know, because the patchwork is quite unsophisticated for 1833, which was only just outside the period 1780 - 1830 which experts believe to be the high point of British patchwork.

I must follow this up as I will probably have a chance to speak to Bridget at the next British Quilt Study Group Meeting next month, which is being held here in Wales. I am really looking forward to that and will report in due course.

Early British patchwork is very much on my mind at the moment as I deeply into to my "Cottage Orne Quilt" using patterns from 1797 and I have just updated my other blog of that name.  May I ask those of you who like and follow it to add it to your blog list as it may help it a bit.  It sadly hasn't taken off yet and being on blog lists would perhaps help? 

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

A lovely Welsh Quilt at Llanidloes

Last week I actually made it to Llanidoes to see their annual quilt exhibit just before it closed.  The exhibition has been running since July and one tends to think there is plenty of time, only to realise suddenly that it is the last week!

It's always a pleasure to visit this lovely town in the heart of Wales, though it used to be more a place that we from South Wales passed through on our way to the North.  Having the Quilt Association based there changed that, making it a firm destination.  However, I can't help but mourn the closing of  the Laura Ashley shop, which at one time was the only one in Wales, being near her home and factory.

The above was my favourite of the old quilts.  There doesn't seem to be much known about it only that it had come from Ceridigion (also know as Cardigan on old maps and records) which of course is a rich quilting area in West Wales.

Who could resist that love rolling red star in the middle?  As soon as I saw it I felt an urge to reproduce which I am resolutely quenching - but it's oh so tempting!

On the way home we decided to call in at Llangoed Hall which used to be Bernard Ashley's hotel near Builth Wells.  It has always been a favourite with us discerning folk, but when he died last year it was sold and we were fearful that things had changed.  We need not have worried however, it was a little bit shabbier but still lovely and we had a very good afternoon tea!

I wanted to add some photographs of the hotel but Blogger is playing up so I will do it another time and also tell you about the fabric shop!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

More Squares

Following up on an earlier post about how working with squares is so very satisfying, this is a scanned picture of a stitch sampler from my book "House and Garden Samplers".  It does have a dark blue border with the name of the Education Centre, date and name lettered in gold, surrounding the stitched frame which sets it off, but that was not included in the photograph -

I made it when I was teaching embroidery and it was based on a patchwork sampler quilt. It entailed working a frame of squares and filling each square with a different needlepoint stitch in a combination of colours.  It was a popular class project and I have lost count of the number of very different but highly successful versions.

I suspect that it was popular because everyone thought it would be relatively easy working within a square framework.  Actually many discovered that it wasn't easy as they had first thoughtl, but it was addictive an excellent exercise in making colours work together and interpreting stitches.

Some students made more than one had them framed as little tables or trays, but most hung them proudly on the wall as a memento of a time when they struggled to fill their little squares and succeeded!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Luscious Welsh quilting

 This is another of my favourite quilts from the Jen Jones Collection. It was made in Pembrokeshire in the late 19th century .  If you click the picture and zoom in you will see that the quilter has very carefully placed the urn of flowers over the central patchwork pieces -

Jen has kindly allowed me to use the images to illustrate a piece I am writing for the Winter edition of "The Quilter", the magazine of the Quilters' Guild of the British Isles and I thought you might like to see them too?

The reverse of the quilt isn't usually on display of course, but it could stand alone as a whole cloth, which I know many of you are interested in. I personally I am not keen on cross hatching, but it does fill a design without too much cudgelling of the brain and it is a good way of coping with a rectangle!  As as you can see from this close-up, the quilting is yummy!

Friday, 2 September 2011

My new blog - The Cottage Orne Quilt

This post is a blatant plug for my new blog  " The Cottage Orne Quilt" which I have just published somewhere in the ether - please visit me there?.  Here is the link

As you know I am a great admirer of the Sundial Coverlet in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum and ever since last summer when I saw it exhibited, I have been spasmodically working on a tribute project.   It is a long term commitment sandwiched between my other work.  I thought it was be good to do another blog about it so that it does not impinge on this one which I will still be doing as usual.

Over the years I have accumulated a  file of  photographs of this coverlet and have studied its details minutely.  I drafted and worked some blocks last Autumn but had to put it on hold while I worked on my Little Welsh Quilt ebook.  Now I am ready to begin again. It is a challenging project because the maker "MCB" was a very skilled piecer, much more skilled than I am,   However, it does one no harm to be humbled by someone who lived in the time of Jane Austen!  It was obviously an age of clever women!

I can't resist showing you this picture of Bella - I just happened to have my camera on my work bench bedside me!  She doesn't meow like any normal cat, so has to think of ways to attract attention - this is the latest way, sitting on my monitor and staring at me. I do have a have a slimline one (monitor not cat) but I haven't changed to it yet, I'm scared everything will disappear!