Festival of Quilts IV – Quilt Creations

I am still enjoying my photos from the Festival of Quilts, even though this is not exactly news anymore.

They have a competition category called Quilt Creations, where you may enter every quilty thing that is not exactly a quilt or a wall hanging.   It can be clothing, wearable art or 3 dimensional pieces, which must have length, breadth and depth. This post will cover some of these.

The coat above was made by Marijke van Weltzen from The Netherlands, and was called “Once in a Blue Moon”. The inspiration is the story about the crane daughter: A girl who turned into a crane and secretly wove beautiful cloth, and who flew away when she was discovered.

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This ensemble named “Citrinesque”, was made by Kathy Knapp from USA.

It was inspired by the citrine gemstone which has a beautiful yellow colour.

devotion978Here is a little beauty: “Devotion” by Judith Anderson.

Using the knowledge gained from a class in faux taxidermy, she made this piece from old and new wool, net, lace, and other embellishments.

diaghilev993This “outfit” was called “Diaghilev Comes to the Party”, and was made by Sally Hutson.

The artist writes: “Inspired by the extraordinary theatrical performance of Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe from the early 20th century, this garment captures the art of modernism and the fun of the party!”

firelight979“Firelight” by Jane Appelbee.

The artist had a new wood burning stove installed, and was told that she would be watching that more then the TV, – which she did. The flames licking the logs inspired this piece.

henge953“Henge of Celtic Seasonal Totems” by Linzi Upton.

Circle of nine mystical Celtic Totems inspired by votive trees and stone circles found in Ancient Britain.

Linzi is also famous for her quilted Yurts (Mongolian dwellings).

holst973“What on Earth would Holst think?” by Liz Clark. The artist calls these 3D-off-the-wall quilts. Motifs and colours are chosen to represent the seasons.

Another coat, “Homage to Hundertwasser” made by Catherine Lawes. Inspired by Hundertwasser’s paintings and architecture.

This lovely creature was made by Claire Crouchley, and is called “Naiad”. It received a “Highly Commended”.

The artist says: “The doll was created with sequin scales and beaded embellishments, including seaweed and jewellery to reflect her vain nature. She sits on driftwood which is being slowly claimed by the marine life which surrounds her”.

splash955“Splash” by Linda Turner won a “Judges Choice”.

The bowl is made of organza layered between soluble stabilizers and is free motion thread painted to illustrate the action of water when an object or raindrop falls into the water.

takeabreak972“Take a Break” by Ulrike Tillmanns.

An old teak bench, covered in fabric using weather proof glue and lacquer.

tigersandgoats957c“Tigers and Goats Game” by Gillian Travis.

The artist’s interpretation of a game that is very popular in India.

woodlandfantasy965This one is lovely, – “Woodland Fantasy” by Helen Alexander Bristow.

Lovely free machine embroidery on felted fabric. Beautiful colours.

My own quilt, Rosemadonna, was also shown in this category. I did not get any good photos of it on the location, but it can be seen in this post.

bedtimemonster995This is one of a “Collection of Quilted Monsters and Bedtime Beasties” made by Daisy May Collingridge.

The artist says: “The quilt monster is a beast with a fickle permanence. Its presence only captured in the blink of an eye. Yet, it is always there, under the bed or wrapped tight around you”.

The one above, along with the two other “Bedtime Monsters”, and many other outfits were shown at the “Fashion Show” on the Friday night during the Festival. Some of the outfits were also in the competition, like the one above, but not all of them.

Below are some photos taken during the Fashion Show. The photo quality varies as I was sitting near the back, the models were moving, and the lighting varied across the stage. I did not take notes during the show, so I have not got the names of the various makers.

:-)

Eldrid

Festival of Quilts III – More Quilts

I continue my journey through my photo folders, this time in no particular order.

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The “million pieces” quilts always impress me, and here are a couple. Above is “9 Patch Tastic” by Jean Perce, (with a Jacqueline de Jong inspired quilt in the background).

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This one is called Jardin des Fleurs, and is made by Eileen Swart.

It is made of lots of different Liberty fabrics. Love the praerie points and the pearls.

This Courthouse steps quilt made by Mary Mayne has 1700 pieces in it, and are not foundation sewn. One block is different from the rest.

I liked the calming colours, and the button centres.

This storm at sea quilt was made by Breege Watson from Ireland. Blue greens are my favourites.

Here is an other take on the storm at sea pattern. The quilt is called “Fish at Sea”, and was made by Pam Stanier, who had it longarm quilted at Quilters’ Trading Post. It won a Judges Choice award in the Two person category.

“Dragonfly in Teal” is the title of the quilt above, made by Daphne Barker. Lovely colours and quilting.

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Here are some colours for you. The quilt is titled “Wally”, and was made by Doritha Smith.

The fabrics are African wax prints, combined with a hand dyed background fabric. It is machine pieced, but quilted by hand, and won a Judges Choice in the Traditional category.

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I liked this quilt because of the tonal fabrics, and the simplicity of the design. It was made by Rosemary Payne for her grandson, and is meant to be used. The fabrics are Kaffe Fasset shot cottons.

This one is also made of shot cottons, and the colours are practically glowing. It was machine stitched and computer guided longarm quilted by Brigitte Gillespie.

 

“The Magic of Skye” was made by Hanne Asbey from Aberdeen.  Beautiful Scottish themed quilt in lovely colours, and beautifully quilted, – on a domestic machine no less.

Another beauty combining foundation pieced pineapple blocks with an applique border. It is called “On Green Pond”, and was made by Judith Wilson. The quilt reminded me of some of the Egyptian Tentmakers’ quilts seen lately.

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This quilt, Liz Jones’ s “A Girl’s Best Friend” came second in the Traditional category.

All the diamond shaped blocks have different applique motifs.

Here is also applique. The quilt is called “Brightness”, and was made by Kazue Iwahashi from Osaka, Japan.

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This quilt by Gwenfai Rees Griffiths won third place in the traditional category.

It is called “Cappuchino”, and has both hand applique and embroidery, in addition to lovely quilting.

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This quilt was made by Angie Taylor for a friend’s 30th wedding anniversary. Everything is in triples, including the three triple wedding rings.

It also includes things the couple love, like cats and horses, and there are 30 pearls scattered across the quilt surface.

I, for one, especially loved the poppies.

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Every now and then a quilt that does not capture your interest at first sight, turns out to be a gem at closer inspection.

This one, made by Irene Harris and Susan Campbell from Australia, did not stand out when viewed at a distance.

But up close, you got drawn in and in, – all the way “Beyond the Garden Wall”, which is also the title of the quilt. There were so many exquisite details to admire. I spent quite some time looking at this one.

Lots of quilts were made by two persons, or larger groups. Below are a few:

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This one is called “Below the Surface”, and was made by Sue Roberts and Margaret Owen.

The inspiration was early Victorian microscopic images of sea life.

A fun and colourful quilt: “Bird Parade”, made by 6 quilters from The Netherlands. One motif made up of 6 smaller quilts, assembled by zippers.

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This one is utterly charming. “La Ville de Josselin” was made by 13 quilters from around this town in France.

It was a gift to the town, and hangs in their tourist office.

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This quilt looks as if it has been made by one person, but there are in fact three makers.

The quilt is called “Shared Abstractions”, and the group calls themselves “Two-Plus-One” The inspiration was what to do with leftovers.

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“Rural Prospects” above was made by Mary Palmer and Anne Kiely from Ireland.

The quilt is a result of a collaboration between a textile print artist and a quilter.

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16 quilters from “The Exe Valley Contemporary Quilt Group” put together this quilt called “Triassic Trio”.

It was inspired by the varied geology in the south-west region where they live, and each quilter contributed a segment from one of the areas named in the top part.

The quilt won a third in the Group category.

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And this is the Second prize winner in the Group category: “The Four Seasons” made by a 4 member group called “Cauldron”.

It hung in a crowded spot, so it was difficult to get a straight shot. I did not get a detail shot of the top part, but luckily my husband had taken one.

The quilts above are all from the Traditional, Two Person, or Group categories. I still have “a few” photos from the other categories to look through.

The last one in this post is from the Pictorial category.

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It was one of those crowded spots again, where I planned to return for a better shot, but ran out of time. Luckily, my husband had got a better shot of this one too:

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The quilt is called “Snowing” and was made by Abeer Al-Khammash, from Riyadh. Perhaps one of the places where you do not expect a winter motif like this to be made. Turns out it was made from a calendar picture, and very well done, too.

It received both a Highly Commended and a Judges Choice in the Pictorial category.

Stay tuned, – more goodies will come soon.

:-)

Eldrid

 

Festival of Quilts II – the Winners

In this second post from the Festival of Quilts, I will show the winning quilts, – or some of them, anyway. I know there are two or three that I missed, – and at least one of them because it was so crowded every time I passed, that I did not get to take a photo.

These are only the first place winners. Some of the second and third place winners will probably appear in between other spectacular quilts I will show in later posts.

poorandrich101- pictorial

I sat in at the awards ceremony, and the one that stayed on my mind after the session, was “Poor and Rich” by Janneke de Vries-Bodzinga.  At first I thought I had seen the quilt before, but when I looked up her website later, I realized it must have been one of her other quilts I had seen, which are similar in style, and have also won prizes earlier.

The quilt won first in the Pictorial category.

fineart-birgitte kopp

The one above won the Fine Art Quilt Masters category, which was a bit special as these quilts were both juried and judged.

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The quilt was made by Brigitte Kopp, and in the photo above you can read the artist’s description of her quilt.

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This one was first in the Art quilt category. It is a layered, pojagi style quilt called “Sunrise, Moonrise”, and was made by Mercè Gonzales Desedamas from Spain.

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The judges said it very well.

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Philippa Naylor made it to the top of the Traditional category with her quilt “The Good Life”.

Both the applique and the quilting is done free hand. Beautiful design and colours too.

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This is the winner of the Young Quilter/Embroiderer age 5-8 group, “Lek og moro” by Anine Stener from Norway. Her cousin got a second place in the age 9-11 group, so here is a family of quilters.

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The winner of the age 9-11 group was this one above: “Bottom of my Garden” by Danai Rae Matthews.

 

The quilt above, “Unwelcome Guest” by Millie Ayers, won the age 12-16 group. It is one of a kind, – a quilt to remember.

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This one won the Miniature category.  It is called “A Hundred Acres”, and was made by Roberta Le Poidevin.

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It is a miniature version of  a larger quilt called “A Thousand Acres”, which was exhibited in the European Art Quilt Foundations gallery at the Festival. You can see a photo of the large one in this blog post.

In this blog you can see some photos of the other miniatures.

beach huts540-group

Here is the winner of the Group Quilt category.  It was made by the 6 members of the Tanglewood Quilters, and is called “Beach Huts”

 

The quilt has lots of details, some of them three dimensional.

The two person category was headed by this quilt, “Dear Mrs Morcom” by Mark Mann and Bridget Mann. Patchwork made of recycled men’s suits, and silk screened photos.

The quilt is made up of flying geese blocks, and the technique reminded me of this quilt called Kaleidoscope Man.

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The Quilters Guild Challenge had a garden theme this year, and the winner was “Tulip Time” by Yvonne Brown.

Lots of different techniques and fabrics were used to create this beauty.

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The last one in this post will be the one above, which won the Quilt Creations group. It was made by Kate Crossley, and is very appropriately called “Clock”.

It is a working grandfather clock. The cabinet was made of paper and fabric maché, and lots of different techniques have been applied to reach the resulting look. The artist says: “The work is full of references to time, space, change and decay as well as growth and life.”

See for yourselves below. The space in front of the clock had a crowd at almost all times, so several trips were necessary to get these detail shots.

Kate Crossley had also two other works on display at the Festival. They will appear in some later post.

On the home page of the Festival of Quilts there is a comprehensive list of winners’ names, and some photos were also posted on their facebook page.

On this blog some of the winning quilts that I missed are shown.

:-)

Eldrid

Festival of Quilts

For the very first time I had the chance to attend the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham this year.  The last quilty event I attended in the UK was the National Patchwork Championships at Ascot in 1997, which is quite a long time ago. It felt good to be back at a quilt show, and I enjoyed every minute of my stay.

Since I returned home, I have also enjoyed myself studying the photos I took of the quilts. I had planned to post some of them soon after my return, but I have had a hard time choosing which ones, and where to start.

There was a large number of quilts on display, and even though I spent most of the time looking at the quilts, I am not sure I got to see all of them. And then there were all the boots, which also had quilts in them, along with other stuff.

What I found I admired most at the show was all the wonderful and detailed quilting done on most of the quilts that were shown. So I think that is where I will start.

rhapsody701

“Rhapsody” by Sandy Chandler is one of the quilts that caught my attention. It is a wholecloth quilt, and was entered in the Traditional Quilts category, and got a “Highly Commended”, which is kind of a 4th place. It was quilted on a longarm machine, mostly hand guided.

 

Lots and lots of beautiful feather quilting. Click on the photos to see a larger and closer view.

 

sunshine and flowers 167

This one, called “Sunshine and Flowers”, was made by the same person as the one above. It was entered in the Quilters’ Guild Challenge, which had a garden theme this year.

Again: Lots and lots of beautiful quilting.

after snowfall 71

Here is a little beauty: “After the Snowfall” by Sheena Norquay. It was entered in Pictorial Quilts, and was one of the Judges Choices.

I did not get to take many close ups of this one, but above are a couple.

lily white 812

This is “Lily White” by Pauline Tiney, entered in the Contemporary Quilts category. I came across this quilt one morning just before I was due at a workshop, so got just the one picture. It was hung so you could see both the back and the front, and I think this is the back side. It is still beautiful.

There were so many quilts I thought that I would go back to have a closer look at later, but in the end, there was not enough time.

The thing about wholecloth quilts is that they often don’t look like much until you go close and study them. That is also partly true for this one:

simply mandalas 352

It is called “Simply Mandalas” and was made by Pierra Vernex from Canada. The motifs are inspired by circular mandala motifs made by Tibetan monks. It was made completely on a home sewing machine, using the quilt-as-you-go method.

It is truly stunning.

 

 

 

kutch diamonds 714

Here is one with more colours and beautiful quilting. It is called “Kutch Diamonds”, and was made by Annelize Littlefair. It was entered in the Traditional Quilt  category, and got a Highly Commended. You can see why below:

 

It is freehand quilted on a longarm machine, and took 150 hours to finish. I can easily believe that.

the old garden gate 166

This is called “The Old Garden Gate”, and is made by Lynda Jackson. It has been quilted on a longarm machine.

Below are some close ups:

 

 

Then there was this one:

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It did not look like much at first glance, but the more I looked, the more it caught my interest.

profiles1

I thought it was a bit fun that it was also captured with another head on it ;-)

The quilt is called “Profiles”, and was made by Stephanie Pettengell. It was entered in the Art Quilt category.

The profiles were made by removing the black colour of the fabric, using discharge paste. It was then free machine quilted.

All the profiles were quilted in a similar manner, except the brains, they were all different.

After looking for a while, I also discovered that profiles were quilted into the black part of the fabric. A very original piece.

Since we are on the topic of heads, I will also show you this one:

skull optics 403

This is “Skull Optics” by Paula Rafferty, entered in the Art Quilt category.

When I first came by it, I did not see the skull, – just the black and white stripes, which were kind of disturbing to the eyes. I took a photo anyway, because I thought the border was so neat.

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Only after loading the photos on my home computer did I notice the skull motif.

On a more humorous note: The space in front of this one was always crowded.

Les Q-Ers 538

It is a group quilt called “Les Q-Ers” entered by Marion Barlow on behalf of the group Q 4 Quilters. It shows a group of quilters in a bus queue, heading for a quilt show. The quilt got a Highly Commended.

And here is the reverse side, on their way back from the show.

Les Q-Ers 538d

 

I think I am the one who does not NEED more fabric, – except I do not have to hide it when I get home. ;-)

Although I spent most of the time looking at quilts, I set aside a small amount of time at the end of the day to walk by the boots, – just to see what was there. Of course I got tempted, – and I also had a small list of items that I was looking out for.

Here is what I brought home:

stuff

The fabrics at the front are all for a project that is lurking in the wings. They are silks, some hand dyes, and a few gorgeous ones from Oakshott.

Then I was also tempted by Heide Stoll Weber’s hand dyed fabric packs, and I am really looking forward to make something out of the two pink and orange bundles to the right. I also grabbed some neutrals for my hexagon project, and threw in a few other fat quarters as well.

I bought one of the African embroideries, and a few of their prints. Then there is some bling and a small iron, and also thread and needles. I love the Nimble Thimbles, so bought a couple of those, and on the last day I splashed on a small hand made pair of scissors. (I bought a pair of hand made duck billed scissors at Ascot nearly twenty years ago, and they are still very good, so I reckon it is worth the expense. ) They must be very popular, for as I was getting the last pair, I overheard them saying they were super busy and would not be taking any new orders till after Christmas.

The fabrics have been duly fondled and put away till I have finished my current project. In between sewing, there are plenty more photos to be studied, and I will pick out some more to show you in another post.

:-)

Eldrid

 

Fair Weather Hexagons

The weather has been nice, – in fact more than nice: really, really hot for these parts of the world.

That is when I pull out my ongoing hexagon project and sit in the shade, cutting, basting and sewing.

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When making the shorts shown in the previous post, I ended up with a lot of odd shaped remnants, perfect for cutting up into hexagons. They have all been basted, along with a few other remnant pieces laying around my sewing area.

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A few have been made into flowers, with a few background pieces added, ready to be attached to the growing top.

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I am starting to think that this will become a small throw for the sofa. It is wide enough by now, but has only a third of the desired height, so I will need to add about a hundred new flower blocks, plus some half blocks to make the edges even.

I see I will need a lot of fine weather to finish this one :-) :-)   Bring it on!

:-)

Eldrid

Current Project

I have been busy enjoying our fine weather, and sewing some summer shorts for the grandchildren.

shortsar

They are now ready except for the elastic waistband. That will have to wait till we meet up.

Enjoy the summer everyone!

:-)

Eldrid

Ukrainian Folk Costumes II

We have just celebrated the 200 year anniversary of our Constitution on 17th May, and as usual on the National Day, everybody who own a national costume, wore it to the festivities.

While I was enjoying myself looking at different dresses with a myriad of interesting details, I was reminded of the rest of the photos of the Ukrainian costumes that have been sitting in my computer for some time, waiting to make their way into this post.

Well, here they are at last.

The first one here is a costume from the  Transcarpathian flatlands. We are still in the era of the sewing machine, as can be seen on the vest. It has colourful ruffles made from a very thin fabric, which have frayed a bit over time. The shirt has fantastic smocking and embroideries on the cuffs. The photo of the skirt is sadly out of focus, but shows the multiple colours of the ruffle border.

I have been studying the belt, but cannot quite decide on the construction technique. I have been wondering if it might be made in the old braiding technique called “sprang”, but I am not sure. Maybe someone reading this will know. As I wrote in the first post, there was no information on the individual costumes other than the region they came from.

The costume above comes from the Lemko area. Again, the amount of detailed work is amazing. I like the dense embroidery of the head dress, which is also repeated on the cuffs, and I love the large pearl collar, – and not just because quilters are partial to hexagons.

When studying the embroidery on the skirt, you will notice that each motif is perfectly aligned with the pressed folds of the skirt.

I wonder how many pearls would be used for a dress like this.

Then we move on to Bukovyna, and here they had costumes for both men and women on display. The one above is for males, and it looks like they were not averse to wearing flowery decorations embroidered in many colours, – including hot pink.

The detailed work done on leather is impressive, and I love the woven belt. Also, I was surprised to see that the bottom of the trousers has a border of drawn thread embroidery. They show very little wear, so these trousers  must have been for very best use.

Above is the female costume, which, as a whole, appears less colourful than the male counterpart. The most impressive parts are the sleeves, which look unusually long, by the way, – and all covered in embroidery in three very different patterns. The edging on the vest with alternating dark and light fur, must have taken quite some time to accomplish. The belt has a similar pattern and colours as in the male costume, but seems to be narrower.

 

Now, this one from the Pokuttia region has everything: embroidery, fringes, pearls, handmade cords, – you name it, – and then some detailed leather work to blow your mind.

First, I love the head dress with the colourful borders. To wrap it around the head and make it sit correctly must be an art in itself. The shirt sleeves are also heavily embroidered.

But the most impressive part is the vest. I have no knowledge of leather work, so can only guess at how these things are done, but even to an untrained eye, there is no denying that a lot of work has gone into this piece. Just look at all those small pom-poms, – they look like they are felted. Anyway, each and every one of them have been fastened, – probably sewn, – to the leather along with an accompanying dark triangular leather piece.

The narrow checkered borders on both sides of the the front looks like narrow dark leather bands have been woven into slits in the light leather background. Then there is some cross stitch embroidery, and red and yellow twisted cords are couched on both sides.

The alternating pieces of dark and light fur on the edges of the vest, are even narrower than on the vest we looked at above, and there are also lots of small triangular leather pieces, looking like praerie points, on top of the fur pieces.

 

This women’s dress from the Hutsulian area is also rich in details, and colours.

The head dress is interesting, consisting largely of pearls, – but I wondered about the tinsel. I guess it must have been highly valued at some point to be displayed so prominently.

I love the pattern in the pearl necklace, – although there are repeats, it appears quite irregular.

The upper part of the shirt sleeves has a very dense, colourful embroidery.

The vest has similar decoration details as the one above, but they are arranged a bit differently. Lots of couched cords, and the edges of the dark triangular pieces are also couched in dark thread, – so much so the leather almost disappears. Lots of eyelets are also used as pure decoration. It also has a colourful embroidered border at the bottom, in style with the shirt embroidery.

Here it is obvious that the base leather is sheepskin, which I also suspect is the case of the vests in the photos further above.

In addition to a woven belt, there is also a woven band adorned with pom-poms wrapped across one shoulder, reminiscent of a ceremonial sash, some times used at weddings. Now, if this is a wedding outfit, maybe that would explain the tinsel, – just guessing here.

 

The corresponding men’s costume from the Hutsulian area is even more adorned than its female counterpart, minus the pearls.

The shirt front is richly embroidered in many colours and patterns, including numbers which indicate it was made in 1961.  The woven belt is quite wide and has stronger colours in it than the one on the women’s dress, – maybe it is newer and less faded.

The vest has similar decor elements and placement as the one above, minus the embroidered border at the bottom. This one has larger, dark triangles, and they are adorned with lots of eyelets and have their edges couched with green cord. The checkerboard strips are wider and have three bands woven into them.

The footwear is also similar between the two costumes.

This is a woolen cape from the same area as above. It has some embroidered decor around the neck, down the back, and along the seams.

The tip protruding at the back looks like it could be a hood, but  I have not been able to detect an opening for the head. It is a mystery to me why it looks like this, unless it is meant to cover a load carried on the back.

The last two costumes that were on display, are from the Podillia area. The men’s costume has a long shirt, with a wide embroidered border around the opening at the front. Stitches around this opening also serve as a strengthening of the fabric, which can easliy tear at the bottom of the split.

The decorative leather work on the west is more similar to the ones from the Bukovyna area than to the two shown directly above. This also goes for the belt, which seems to be woven in a jacquard technique.

The most prominent feature of the women’s costume from Podillia, is the strong decor on the sleeves. With two heavy, black and red pieces at the top, – not sure whether they are embroidered or sewn in fabrics, – and a wide, black zig zag ribbon sewn in a spiraling pattern around the sleeves, they sort of define the whole costume. The red colour is also repeated in a many stranded pearl necklace.

The vest is decorated in similar technique as the one above.

——————

Seeing this exhibition, and then studying the individual photos afterwards, has been like a journey, – very interesting. People everywhere like to dress up, and being well dressed is always a way to show off either wealth or status.

A lot of these costumes has been very time consuming in making, showing that these people had time on their hands, and material, to spend on other things than just scraping a living.

—————–

The first post about the exhibition can be seen here.

 

:-)

Eldrid

The First Kameleon Quilt

It is Festival time again over at Amy’s Creative Side.

Since I am working on projects that cannot be shown yet, I decided to write about an older quilt this time, – and then I thought, why not go to the real old ones while I am at it. So here we go: the first Kameleon Quilt:

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After the quilt was made back in 1998, people were constantly asking: How did you come up with this idea?

Well, how indeed.

Keeping track of my creative process, and then explaining it afterwards, is not at all easy. The process is for the most part visual, and does not translate well into words. Words as such come into play only as long as they trigger mental pictures.

Well, –  here goes anyway:

It started as a brainstorming for a special log cabin quilt I wanted to make, – something that would be a bit different from just ordinary log cabin.  I had been into three dimensional folding techniques for a while, and was pondering if three dimensional pieces could be added to the quilt somehow.

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I had also just read, and immensely enjoyed, Antonia Barber’s book about The Mousehole Cat.   I loved the illustrations, and many of them were mainly in blue greens, which are my favourite colours.

 

Mowser the cat helps save the starving village “Mousehole” by pacifying the Great Storm Cat so his human can land a catch of fish. Afterwards they celebrate with “Stargazey Pie”.

Just from this last word a lot of associated pictures came to mind: yellow stars gazing out of a velvety blue sky, the oval bluish fish peeping through the golden pie crust, the pie shape in my quilt design program which easily makes a melon patch block when doubled and flipped over.

I had also flowers in mind.  They are always appealing, and the Stargazey-Pie-word  made me think of the flower called “Night and Day”, a small pansy-like flower with dark violet-blue and yellow petals.

dagognatt2I wanted to make a quilt which would remind me both of this flower and the starry night sky. But how?

I was finally able to visualize log cabin blocks surrounded by flower petals, a yellow centre, something orange and pink folding out onto a blue-green background of leaves. Yes – I could make that happen by alternating the colours of the blocks and let the petals be three dimensional., standing out from the surface.

nightandday-day
Could I make the petals open and close? – that would be fun. What would the quilt look like with closed petals? Very green, perhaps, because then the petals would cover the yellow centres. And maybe it would be boring if all the yellow disappeared behind the green leaves.

Could I make the leaves more blue and put in some yellow spots for stars somehow? The Stargazey word had not left my mind yet, and since the flower petals close at night, the quilt ought to look sort of “nighty” with the petals closed.
What if the petals didn’t close completely, but let some of the yellow flower centers show through? Cut holes in them? Yes, that was definitely a possible solution. But when the petals opened again, then the blue-green would show through on the orange-pink side of the petals, – well, so what? The holes could be leaf- shaped, then they would fit nicely with the flower theme.

How could I make the holes in the petals look nice? I did not particularly fancy raw edges at the time.  Passepoils? Too much work, and I might not get them to be flat.
Cut the petal in half and curve the two adjacent edges? That would be sort of cheating, but it might work well. Curve the edges?????? That’s it!!! Curve the edges of the petals themselves, and there will be no need for holes or cutting in halves.

 

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The idea was too good not to try out, so I eventually sat down and drew a pattern and then sewed the quilt. I discarded the log cabin block and went for a block with straight diagonal seams instead.  All the time I felt so smug when thinking about my quilt which would be able to change between two looks: open petals and closed petals, and at this stage I had also figured out that I needed loops and buttons to hold the petals in these two positions.

As I had joined the blocks into rows and was sewing the rows together, the three dimensional petals wobbling this way and the other while I was sewing, I suddenly realized that my quilt would have more than only two looks. In fact, there were so many possible combinations, I was not able to figure it out. An internet acquaintance, who happened to be a computer engineer as well as a quilter, helped me figure out the number.

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The triangles, or petals, can be buttoned in an unbelievable 1 152 921 504 606 846 976 possible combinations. The number is so huge I did not even know how to say it, and I bet many of you do not know how either.
Out of this, “only” 512 combinations will make up a symmetrical and balanced pattern, which is still a lot more than the two I had planned.

I probably should not reveal that this was a surprise to me, but rather do as the cat does after it falls off the window ledge: just walk away with a posture that says: “it was not an accident, I intended to fall all the time”.
But I admit it, I did not plan all these combinations, they just happened!

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I named my quilt “Night and Day” after the flower, but a friend commented that it was just like a chameleon as it could change its look endlessly, so I also called it The Kameleon Quilt. With so many looks, it deserved to have more than one name.

nightandday-medallion

 

Later I have made more quilts using the same principle of the 3D petals or flaps, and then they were numbered Kameleon Quilt no 1, no 2, etc. They can all be seen on my website.

I also made an animation to show how the petals, or flaps, turn and change the look of the quilt.

I eventually wrote a pattern for the quilt, and also taught classes. It also hit the TV-screens during the last season of “Simply Quilts”.

Over the years people have sent me photos of their own renditions of the quilt.  I am often told that especially their menfolk are intrigued by the quilt and the way it can change its look almost endlessly. It is a great toy. :-)

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Here is our oldest grandson engaged in buttoning the flaps to change the quilt.

This quilt is entered in the “Original Design Quilt” category in the Bloggers Quilt Festival.  Please head over to Amy’s site and check out all the other entries there.

 

My entries for the previous festivals can be seen here:

Spring 2009

Autumn 2009

Spring 2010

Autumn 2010

Spring 2011

Autumn 2011

Spring 2012

Autumn 2012

Spring 2013

Autumn 2013

 

:-)

Eldrid

 

 

 

Annual Spring Report

It is interesting to look back on my previous spring reports and compare between the different years.

This year beats all the previous ones in terms of early blooming.

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We have had a very mild winter with next to no snow, and then the last part of April was exceptionally warm, …..

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…….so the woods turned green record early, and everything was suddenly in bloom.

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On May 1st. when these photos were taken, a little bit of winter had returned. Showers of snow are coming down from the north.

In between the showers, the sun comes out, and everything looks like summer again, ……

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…. but it is quite cold when venturing outside.  I love the colour of new leaves when the sun filters through.

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The white wagtail  (motacilla alba)  has returned from Africa, and is busy patrolling our veranda bannister, hopping and flying up and down outside the windows to catch insects hiding between the wall boards.

In between he rests on the telephone line.

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The cherries and plums are in bloom record early. During the warmer days earlier, a few bumble bees were busy visiting the flowers, but there are not a lot of other insects around yet.

 

All the narcissuses have been out for at least a week, and hopefully they will last a bit longer now the weather has turned cold again.

 

Hopefully that will also be the case with the rhododendrons and tulips as well, – some of the latter being nearly finished already.

The strawberry bench is in good shape already, and the blueberries have been blooming for two weeks. I cannot remember seeing blueberries in bloom in April before.

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It is even earlier than the spring of 2011, which was the best one before now, since I started taking photos in 2009.

Spring has been really good this far, so I will not complain about a little cold and snow, even if it is May.

(As long as there is no real frost, that is.)

:-)

Eldrid

Ukranian Folk Costumes

During the recent Olympic Games in Sochi, quilters everywhere admired the Games’ patchwork theme, which I wrote about back in May 2011.

The fact that the patchwork bits were inspired by different traditional crafts, including embroidery,  reminded me of some photos I took not very long ago, and which I intended to show you here.

The museum at Maihaugen, Lillehammer cooperated with the Museum of Folk Architecture and Customs of Lviv, Ukraine,  to show part of their collection of Ukrainian folk costumes at Lillehammer last summer.  We travelled through the area at that time, so we planned a stop at Lillehammer to visit the exhibition.

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I have spent some time during the last week or so, sorting through the photos I took there. Meanwhile, the political situation in Ukraine has escalated, and is still unresolved and threatening as I write this.

Amidst all the turmoil, maybe it is fitting in this situation to also have a look at the beauty that has been created in this region. One term that comes to mind after studying these dresses is: “Flower Power” :-)

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As the small poster accompanying the exhibition tells us, the costumes are from late 19th century and first half of 20th century, during which time the sewing machine came into use. The poster explains how the shape of the costumes changed after the introduction of the sewing machine. (Click on the photo to enlarge).

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At the exhibition, the costumes were divided into two groups: before and after the introduction of sewing machines. The latter group, above, has costumes with sewn waists, while the group below has the older long shirts with woven belts.

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Here I will post some photos of the youngest costumes, and will have to make a new post with the older ones later.

(Click on the small photos above to see the full version of the photos.)

Like we do with quilts, I find it interesting to study how things were done, and to sometimes wonder why. The joyful red colour of the embroidery above (which seems to have been colourfast, by the way) is very prominent on the white background, and would certainly stand out in a crowd. The shirt is very well made with lots of detail and even stitches, and the edges of both the collar and the cuffs are beautifully finished off with embroidery stitches. From a distance the waistcoat is the most eye-catching piece, with the larger flower embroideries.

However, when looking closely, one can see that there is a difference in workmanship between the shirt and the waistcoat, and also in the waistcoat itself, namely between the embroidery and the general construction, including the machine stitching. It looks as if more than one person has been involved in the making, or perhaps some older item with embroideries still intact, has been remade into a waistcoat. Lots of questions pop up when you start looking closely.  The buttonholes, for example, puzzled me especially, – why buttonholes (and not very well made at that) and no buttons? At least the maker took care to cut them in between the flowers so as not to ruin, or unravel, any embroidery stitches.

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The “make-do”- phenomenon, which we often see in quilting, is also present here. The maker seems to have run out of the flowery ribbon and had to use some yellowish ribbon instead on top of the left front piece (to the right on the photos). It goes both vertically and horizontally at the top, but in the corresponding horizontal space on the other front piece, there is no ribbon at all. Again the question pops up: why?

The skirt raises similar questions. It  looks like hand embroidery, but the border patterns do not fit at the seams, at least not all of them. Why go to all that work and not have the pattern fit?

But let me assure you: none of these questions entered my head while walking through the exhibition. At the time I was just impressed with the gorgeousness of it all, and had no time to contemplate the details. It is when I look at the photos afterwards that I start noticing things.  So, any young or older woman wearing this costume, would just look beautiful, I think.

Below are more costumes, and similar questions could be asked about a few of them. There is always something to wonder about when you are curious, but I will try to not repeat myself too much.

This one was quite restricted colour-wise, – only “a few” coloured flowers and leaves on the vest, –  but the blackwork on the shirt is to die for. You can also see that the machine stitching in black is very well done. The distance between the two parallel seams is so even that one might suspect a twin needle has been used.

There was no written information about the individual costumes beyond the general information on the poster at the top, except for the name of the region the costume came from. The two above, and the next two below are all from the Lviv Region.

The costumes were behind ropes, and the lighting was a bit varied. I had to zoom in on some details where I could not reach close enough with the camera, so not all my photos came out great. I could only use the flash sparingly, so on some of the darker costumes, the details do not show up very well, or they are a bit out of focus. Still, I chose to post some of the lesser photos anyway.

Here the flowers are blooming in a riot of colours. The shirt has lots of flowers arranged in orderly borders. It is interesting to observe the arrangement of the decorative elements on the shoulder pieces. Also, I love the creative use of colours in the embroidery on the vest.

This costume strikes me as a celebration of earthly gifts: golden wheat fields with poppies in them, and an abundance of grapes. And then the flowers on the apron. The amount of work to make a dress like this is awe-inspiring.

The pattern of the necklace could be an inspiration to any quilter.

This costume is from the Polissya region. The flowers have been left behind, except for the cuffs. Also notice that the embroidered pattern on the collar is widely different from the one on the cuffs, – and then the shoulders and sleeves have yet another pattern, which is a bit similar to the woven pattern on the skirt.

I found this costume especially interesting as it was the only one with sewing that resembled quilting on the waistcoat, – or maybe the term machine embroidery could be used.

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Also, we can deduce that at one point the owner must have put on weight, or the dress has been passed on to a new owner and needed to be fitted.  As you can see, some of the buttons have been moved.  The old positions are still visible for the two buttons at the bottom. With the buttons in the old positions, the quilted leaves forming a zig-zag pattern, would have fitted nicely at the front, so this was well planned from the beginning.

When looking closely, you may also notice that the red fabric in the waist border is a twill fabric, while both the red and black fabrics above are satin weave.  The two red colours are so similar that the difference is not noticeable, except when looking very closely.  With so many different elements coming together, one could almost call this a patchwork project :-)

The last costume for now comes from the Boiko area, and is almost solemn compared to the riot of colours displayed on most of the previous ones. As with the  rest of the costumes, the shirt does not lack decor, particularly on the shoulder pieces. I also love the smocking on top of the sleeves.

This was it for now.

I will start sorting through the rest of the photos, and eventually write another post showing you the older costumes.

:-)

Eldrid

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