Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Painting and stamping on fabric

On 19th September Chris MacLean treated us to a demonstration of how to paint and stamp patterns on fabric, by using commercial stamps or those made at home. It all looked very easy and the opportunities for creativity are endless.

Here she is, showing some commercial stencils which can be used to decorate fabric.

Here she and her daughter, Jenny, are showing a quilt Chris has made using painted fabrics. The colours are fabulous and painting allows you to have small (or large) quantities of any colour or shade that you need, without having to buy yardage.

Then came the best bit - having a go! Chris allowed us free rein of all her supplies, which gave a fantastic taste of the posibilities that using paint on fabric can bring.

Some people painted with gusto (and not a little success) while others took the chance to catch up with friends and hear their news.

Then came the best part of the evening - show and tell! We had our first glimpse of our new banner, which will be hung outside the hall for our exhibition in October. Members have made individual letters, which Di joined together. (There is an 'e' in Lutterworth, but it's swung up for some reason!)

Here are some of the beautiful quilts which have been made by members recently, including a panel made for displaying round the altar in Saint Mary's church.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Getting quilts out of boxes

It is our aim to get some of the antique quilts currently languishing in archival boxes, wrapped in acid-free tissue paper into the fresh air for us all to appreciate. Quilts were made as functional and beautiful articles, and while we understand that museums cannot begin to dispay all their treasures, we feel that quilts have been hidden away for too long. On a recent visit to Birmingham City Museum's Store, the curator freely admitted that in the five years since she had been in post, she had not even looked inside some of the boxes containing quilts!
Here is one we saw at Birmingham, a stunning use of hexagons as a border for an amazing Mariners Compass centre. It was apparently designed by the donor's father and made by the mother in about 1875-1882. It is made of silk, which means the colours are wonderful (also because they've been in a box for years!) and set off by the use of black. The whole quilt measures 61x59 and the hexagons have a side of a half an inch!
Photo by kind permission of Birmingham Museums Copyright Alison Haselgrove 2006

Monday, 10 September 2007

Cosmic Wonders

This year, Piecemakers' members decided to enter a group quilt into 'The Festival of Quilts' at the NEC in Birmingham. Bunty and Andrea bravely volunteered to organise it, and came up with the theme of 'cosmic wonders'. Members were invited to participate, and 24 of us received a pack of fabrics and embellishments and a sub-theme of rays, planets, Milky Way or comets to inspire us. The brief was to make a small quilt (8" finished, and bagged, so there were no bulky bindings) which were to be joined together in some way. On the due date, all 24 small quilts were returned to Bunty and Andrea, who had the task of displaying them to their advantage, and in a way which would work at the NEC. As you can see, they have made a great job of putting the very different quilts together to form a whole.
We were disappointed not to win anything, but pleased to have entered the competition, and seen our work hanging in such illustrious halls.