Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Old Quilts from the Guild and New Quilts by me

Two velvet log cabin blocks
I'm going to stop apologising for the time between posts.  Life is, happily, very busy and when it comes to down to do I write a blog post or get things ready for the students due in the next day - class prep wins every time.  
Detail of a sateen wholecloth
So when I can, I'll add a post of happenings.
A coverlet made from shirting samples
In November, to help the C&G Diploma students with their illustrated study of the history of British Quilting, I borrowed a suitcase collection of quilts from the Quilters' Guild.  Over the course of the two week loan period, each group got a chance to see the quilts and the stories about them got developed and embellished, as there is little factual information about their history.  
Detail of a silk hexagon coverlet
Why did the maker of this beautiful silk hexagon quilt stop?  Did she hate making it?  Was she forced by her mother and stopped the moment she left home?  Did her eyesight fail?  Did she fall into poverty and couldn't afford any more ribbons for it, but couldn't make herself cut it up to be used more practically?  Did she pass away and her daughters couldn't bear to continue?  Wondering about the makers is a lot of fun.  It is a shame we know so little, which is why quilt historians are adamant that every quilt should be labelled to help future historians with their musings.  I admit this isn't something I'm always good at.
Detail from another wholecloth, with a heavy wool wadding
To give others who aren't students here a chance to see these quilts, I had an Open Day.  Alongside the antique quilts, I displayed some of my newer pieces.  It was lovely to juxtapose the old and modern, seeing the similarities and the differences.  The cake also went down well, and was definitely kept in a separate room from all these antique quilts!
After everyone had left
Of course, being me, I forgot to take photos when the room was filled with visitors, but it was suitably busy and enjoyable.  The collection, called 'Textile Treasures' is still available to be borrowed from the Guild.  Despite the responsibility of having to look after the antique quilts, I really enjoyed having them here.

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