Patchwork & Quilting Feed

Start of another week

Remember when the weeks used to go slowly?  It is a dim memory to me.  We moved to the island to retire and I am so busy.  I have another week of 'busy' coming up.

Last Friday and Saturday I spent with my friend Angela up at Toowoomba.  I always enjoys this time.  I am looked after like a queen.  Allan, Angela's husband is a fantastic cook and he always makes the meals interesting.  Added to this he likes baking.  So when I head off to the quilting group my lunch is packed for me and that includes home baked bread rolls.

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Angela is an expert quilter on the domestic machine, sweet sixteen and a long arm machine.  They are off soon for Europe and she has made 6 quilts to take to friends and relatives.  I like this hexagon quilt in particular.  It would be a great quilt for a boy.

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And the quilting pattern suits the quilt and I think is something that I could manage.

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And how about this for a cot quilt?

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You could use up little scraps and still put together a quilt quickly.  Clever lady my friend.

Another project finished

My cottage patchwork group always have our Mother's Day Breakfast the Sunday after Mother's Day, that was yesterday.  After all the rain we have had recently I was a bit worried about the weather but the morning was fine with banks of incredible clouds in the east.  (There is another island underneath some of that cloud.)

Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 4.07.16 pmAnd in the west.  This one looked like a giant wave about to break.

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It was an interesting drive to the venue.  Through thick fog and blinding sunshine.

The ladies had decorated the table.

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And made bags of goodies for everyone.

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They all had delicious, non fattening chocolates in them.

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The challenge this year was to make a Book-Cover in the Boro style.  I put a lot of thought into my piece and actually had some Boro fabric from Japan that I was able to use.  I left the darning stitches that someone had put into some of the pieces and embroidered over the top of them.  I also left 4cm seam allowances as I had embroidered a larger piece so that the book-cover could be unpicked and re-purposed latter on.  It was a bit scrappy and didn't look like any of the others.

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And the others were great.  Some used non traditional fabrics.

Not traditional

Others used traditional fabrics.


This is going to be a hard act to follow next year.




War Quilts - 6

I hate it when they write "maker unkown" but that is the case with most of the quilts that were in this exhibition.

The central section was stunning and the use of the squares 'on point' must have been a nightmare to stitch.   (Love that butterfly in the middle.)

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There is so much that is unknown about the making of this quilt but the mind can make up all kinds of senarios.  There are some wonderful ideas for flower applique.

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And I was interested to see the little pattern of cut diamonds here and there.  I wonder if they were part of the uniform or added later?

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It makes some of the wool applique we see today look a bit basic.

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War Quilts - 5

This quilt (or table cover) is the second of two that were made by a tailor(s).

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This is the work of a very experienced stitcher or stitchers.  No soldiers sitting around and sewing in their spare time here. Although, it is made from the same woollen fabric as those in use in the English Military at that time.

In the central image, (that was copied from a painting) you can see the face of every person and put a name to each face the images are so good.  The whole of that image is inlaid work, not applique.  This is similar to the Prussian Quilts and although no one knows how these techniques moved from Prussia to England this quilt was made at the time by a tailor with a German name surname, Zumpf ,when Queen Victoria and her consort Prince Albert (who was German) was on the throne.

What I was attracted to was the two outer borders which were first inlaid with fabric and then embroidered with silk thread.

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The inlaid work gives the perfect shapes but laying the silk thread and then embroidered.   The satin stitch over it is perfect and would have taken a lot of skill.

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All the details are so perfect on this quilt.  The horns of plenty that have been placed in each corner mirror each other to perfection.  Even to the use of a lighter green thread on some of the tips of the fronds.  The silk shading manages to give dimention to some of the flowers.

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There must have been a strong tradition in the German States of this kinds of work for some time.  This level of skill and finese doesn't just appear from nowhere.  Then it is blown away with the tides of history.  The unification of the German States, industrialisation and the World Wars.  We are left to sit and wonder.

Some inspiration from the Stitches and Craft Show

I was trying to rationalize the photos on my phone and came across a group that I had taken at the show.  (I had a concussion at the time and don't even know how I got to or from the place.)  There were a number of displays and I know that this one took my fancy.   It was a group of small quilts by Maxine Fry.

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Some of her work reminds me of Gwen Marsden and it was these pieces that I liked best.  In the exhibition the 'process' of her work was on display.  From the torn paper mock ups.

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To the prototype.

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To a finished small quilt.

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What a great way to refine a design.

War Quilts - 4

There was one small quilt, the only one in the exhibition, made by a woman.  She used her husbands old uniform from the Boar War, to make a quilt for her baby.   It wasn't fancy, just a geometric pattern but it was beautifully pieced.  It was hung in an odd corner so wasn't all that easy to see but there seemed to be something about it that caught my attention.

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The card with it suggested to because she was a Methodist she probably didn't want to waste the fabric.

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Somehow that doesn't seem to ring true.  Flora would have been of the same era as my own grandmothers.  They had already been through 2 depression in the late 1800's and I know that they made an impact on them.  .  To attribute her reason for making the quilt to just one cause seems a bit simplistic.  Then there is the fact that the quilt has survived in perfect condition.  I feel there was a lot more than just economic reasons for making this quilt.

And just an update on the Selesian Quilt I wrote about in War Quilts 1.  The applique at the bottom of the quilt depicted an old German children's song and my friend Angela has sent me a copy of that song.

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I think that I have got the translation right for the first 2 verses but the last line in the 3rd verse just isn't right.

"Fox, you have stolen the goose, give it back otherwise the hunter will get you with the shooting gun.

His big long rifle.  He will shoot you and you will be stained with red ink and then you will be dead.

Dear little vixen let friends guess she is not just a thief.   (this is the part that I'm not sure of.) Take, need not roast goose, with the mouse do."

I can't see any mouse in that applique. 

Thinking more about it I think it means "Don't think about roast goose just stick to mice."

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War quilts - 3

Here are two different quilts that were made in India.  Because they use the same fabrics at first glance they look similar but they would look totally different if made in today's quilting fabric but I have no desire to do this.  The star motive is used in both quilts.

Interestingly this quilt is not included in the book so the only information about it is what was on the title plaque which doesn't match this quilt.  (As it was the first quilt I photographed I know I also took a photo of the plaque beside it.)

It would appear to be the same as the other Indian quilts  and those edges appear to be pinked in this image.  When I enlarged the photo you can see that they have been cut into diamond points.

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  The pieced stars are just so even, and there are so many of them all the same.  Thinking about how this was sewn, you could carry the pieces for each star with you to stitch, much like paper piecing.  Then when you had made enough they could be assembled and then move onto the next row, moving from the centre to the edge.

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This quilt is in the book and again it was made in India, maker unknown.  It is a true intarsia, where the front is the same as the back.  It is sumised that this was made by a regimental tailor.  A lot of these quilts seem to have been stitched by regimental tailors, which makes some more sense of them.  I know there are men that stitch but I can't see many soldiers stitching something like this.

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Detail of the piecing.

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War Quilts

That exhibition was so good and I got some good close ups of the stitching.  So I will do a post each week on some of the high-lights.

From a distance this quilt looks like many of the other Military Quilts.You can pick the colours of the fabric as being uniforms etc.  It is when you look into the detail that you can see how it was made.

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This quilt is beaded and the braiding that has been reused and manipulated so that it looks almost like ric-rac braid.  You can see it used as flat braid down in the left hand corner of the image but then again it might have been an early form of ric-rac.  Where the bead has pulled away you can see the fabric that has been a button hole which they cut around and then attached the bead.

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The title card that accompanied this piece gives details of how it was made.

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The central medallion has so much detail that it is difficult to appreciate just how much work has gone into it.

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The layering of the stars is interesting and they would appear to be held in place with beads.

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I just can't get a high enough resolution to be sure.  Still this is an interesting quilt.


War Quilts - 1

Sometimes you can be lucky.  I was lucky the other day when I was reminded on Facebook that there was an exhibition called War quilts showing out at the Ipswich Art Gallery. 

It is only on for a week and finishes this Saturday 25th March '17, so you will need to be quick to see it there.  It will also be on display at the Australian Quilt Convention in Melbourne in April.  I have to say that I have been to lots of Historical Quilt exhibits around the world but this one was exceptional.  And because it was out at Ipswich there were no crowds and I got to REALLY see every stitch.

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As I was on the mainland baby sitting and I had a few hours before I had to pick up the girls from school, It was into the car to brave the traffic and the rain to get there.   This is only a small gallery but they always have good exhibits and we visit with the children quite a lot.  They have a dedicated Children's Gallery for under twelves which the kids love.

I don't know where to start with these quilts.  Firstly, there is a wonderful book by Dr Annette Gero, $89 but worth every penny. 

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Photo Wayne Taylor

I can't find the book in any on-line book shop as yet so she must be selling them herself.

  I will start with a quilt I saw a number of years ago in a dark corner in the Brisbane Council Gallery in the 1990's.  Back then my eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw it.  I knew it was very significant but there was no label on it and it was just part of a 'People of Queensland' display.  I rang the council, spoke to the attendants but couldn't get any information and it disappeared.  Now here it was again and this time all the information was there.

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I didn't have my camera with me, it is in for repair, so all the photos were taken on my iphone.  I looked for a sign about photography, but there was non and I asked the attendant who thought it would be fine to take photos.  I still felt a bit uncomfortable taking photos so didn't take as many as I would have liked.  It is the details that I wanted to see.  There are lovely images in the book but not those little details.   Like the embroidery with the applique of the children's song.  All the flowers and grass are embroidered there.  Even the hair on the pig

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And there is a snake in the tree.  The tree of knowledge?

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And look at those rabbits and that bird.

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And this is just ONE of the many wonderful quilts on display.   I am pouring over the book which is full of detail and as I digest more of the information I will post again about this exhibition.  I might even make an embroidery of part of this quilt.