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Quilts in Suzdal

At the International Quilt Festival in Suzdal there were many different exhibitions located in different venues around town.  There were both quilts for the Festival’s different competitions, and also special exhibitions of interesting and outstanding works. Most venues had a combination of the two.

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The quilts in this post were exhibited in the small church (winter church) to the left, behind the market square trading arcades.

The first glimpse through the door looked promising, and we were surprised to find not only quilts in the entrance room, but also some interesting ceramic sculptures, and a large egg covered in mosaics.

The medieveal themed quilts were made by Anna Veksler from St.Petersburg, and we were told that the ceramic sculptures were made by someone called Popov. I am not sure about the egg, except that it was beautiful, – that I know.

 

The main room was all painted white and with light coming in through low windows.  The building is not in use as a church any more, – not for the time being, anyway.

The exhibition in here was also a mix of quilts and ceramics.

 

In the room were a few benches to rest on, and they were also works of art. We were persuaded that it was ok to sit on them, though. They were very solid.

 

One of the competition categories was called “Made by Men”, and those quilts hung in this room. They were all made by male quilters, of course. A versatile collection with some nontraditional construction techniques.

 

There was also a collection of quilts from Japan, made by Yuriko Moriyama.

 

I also liked this work by Olga Bernikova.

 

The front end of the room was occupied by some of Galla Grotto‘s quilts, who also taught some classes at the show. She is an artist with an impressive body of works, – and not only textiles. I heartily recommend a visit to her website.

 

Alevtina Shevaldina made this quilt in the rug making technique. She had one in another exhibition too.

There were also several rugs in a special exhibition of old Russian quilts, which I will show in a later post.

 

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Also, Japanese Keiko Nakamura was inspired by Alevtina Shevaldina’s quilts to make her entry for the Quilted Field.

 

And there were more ceramic sculptures, – in every corner, – and more quilts.

 

I’ll stop with these photos of Nelly Saveljeva’s quilt.

More to come.

🙂

Eldrid

 

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Skarvsöm in Sweden and Yakutia

When visiting quilty events in foreign places, especially abroad, I hope, and expect, to see something different, – something we do not have at home, something new and exciting, – even exotic perhaps. But I also notice things that are familiar and similar to things I have seen before. Some times I know right away what the object reminds me of, and at other times it is just a feeling that I have seen it before, but cannot quite pinpoint what, where or when.

When walking the Quilted Field in Suzdal I came across a couple of quilts made in a technique I thought looked familiar. When studying the photos after I got home, I recognized the sewing technique as “Skarvsöm”.

I remembered reading about this technique many years ago in “Norsk Quilteblad”, the newsletter of the Norwegian Quilter’s Association. It was then described as a traditional patchwork technique in Sweden, well documented as far back as the 1700s, and mainly used for ceremonial cushions for weddings.

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“Skarvsöm” is made with woolen fabric which is felted so it will not unravel. It is often traditional patterns formed with squares, rectangles and triangles, but in between each and every patch or design element, a narrow strip, most often in a contrasting colour, is inserted, like a passepoil or piping. When the seam is finished, the strip is cut even with the surface on the right side of the work.

Here and here are examples of how it is made, and in Sweden’s Digital Museum you can see many examples of old items made in this technique, so it  is well documented. Here is a blog post with a short article on the history of this kind of quilting in Sweden.

Åsa Wettre also dedicated a whole chapter to this technique in her book “Old Swedish Quilts”.

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Since I could see no names on the quilts above, I wondered at first if someone from Sweden had entered their work in the Quilted Field project, but dismissed this idea as I thought our Swedish travel companion, Anita Fors, would have mentioned it if this was the case. My curiosity aroused, I messaged the organizers and asked about the names of the quilt makers, and if this was a traditional quilting technique throughout Russia. Within a few hours I got to know that this is a traditional technique from Yakutia, and the two makers are Anna Zverova and Vera Vorfolomeeva.

The latter also made these two quilts hanging in the special exhibition of Best Quilts from Previous Quilt Shows:

I noticed she had used not only one, but three strips of fabric in the seams between the patches, all throughout the red/yellow/black quilt, and in a few places on the other quilt too.

Further study of my and my husband’s photos revealed that this technique was also used in some of the clothing and other gear presented at the Yakut wedding demonstration, like on this coat:

…. the mittens:

 

… and the saddle bags/carpets:

 

It has been interesting to observe and learn about all this, and as often happens, new information creates new questions and more curiosity, – in this case as to what could be the connection between the Swedish and Yakut traditions.

Given that the two geographical areas are almost half a world apart, it is probably pure coincidence, – but I cannot help but wonder.

After studying all this, and also having long online conversations about the subject with our travel companion Anita, I got a sudden urge to try my hand at “skarvsöm”.

Just take a look at the beauty here.

 

Edited:

This kind of sewing is called “kybyty” in Russia. Here is a You-tube-video where Vera Vorfolomeeva shows how to do it.

Here is also a stunning picture of the StBasil cathedral in Moscow that she has made in this technique.

 

🙂

Eldrid

 

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The Quilted Field in Suzdal

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Sunday 14th August was the day the quilted field was to be laid out.  The weather forecast said rain, so we were not sure if we were going to be able see it or not, but luckily it let up during the morning hours, – and so we were greeted by this gorgeousness once we entered the grounds of the Museum of Wooden Architecture.

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The quilts are 1 x 1 meters and have strings attached to all four corners so they can be tied together. This was a good thing as the gusts of wind occasionally blowing across the field, could easily have created some disarray.

 

 

The Quilted Field is an ongoing project. Every year the 10 best quilts from the new entrants are chosen to be a permanent part of the project. At the moment they are aiming at having a large amount of very fine quilts to display at the event of Suzdal’s millennium anniversary, which will be in 2024.

 

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The best and most interesting quilts are exhibited for the rest of the week on the inside walls of the Eufemius Monastery.

 

From what we saw, they will have no problem of filling up the fields with exquisite quilts in 2024. There was a lot of creativity, skill, beautiful colours and design displayed at our feet while walking the field. The entries come from all parts of Russia and also from other countries. All entries are accepted, – none is turned away.

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There were so many quilts, and hardly enough time to study each one in detail as there was so much going on the whole day. (See my previous post) . However, some of them made me stop a bit longer to study details I found interesting.

 

 

The theme of this years Quilted Field was Wooden Architecture and Calico Wedding. Keiko Nakamura from Japan made this one, inspired by the wooden church standing in the grounds of the Suzdal Kremlin:

As you can see, a lot of different techniques have been used making the quilts. Keiko also used the same quilting in the border as she had used for an obi belt for her daughter-in-law’s kimono:

 

The participants of the Quilted Field do not get their own quilts back. At the end of the show, all quilts that are not permanent parts of the project, are packed in paper bags, and the entrants can choose a random paper bag with an unseen quilt to take back home.

All the quilts have name tags on the back, with the full address, so you have the chance of making friends with the maker of the quilt you get, and the one that get yours.

You can also choose to donate your quilt to the project and not get that unknown quilt in a paper bag.

Since the quilts lay backs down and were tied together, there was no way we could see the name tags, so I have no idea who made most of these quilts, and can therefore not give credit to the makers. However, if you see your quilt here, feel free to comment below.

There was also a special exhibition of wedding quilts hung in different places around the field. This was a separate competition.

There was also a quilted car.

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The organizers have lots more photos on their website.

🙂

Eldrid

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Silversea

It is time for the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival again. Since I am working on commissions which can not be published yet, I will enter an older quilt into the festival this time.

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This wall hanging was made in 2004, and is one of a series of quilts I made using old photos taken on and around the island where I live.

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The photo I used here, was taken sometime in the 1920ies during the cod fishing season, which is usually in February till April. It is probably early in the season since there is still snow.

The photo is taken on the fjord, which we have a good view of from our house. As you can see, there are lots of small boats on the fjord, each one hoping to get their share of the valuables still swimming deep down underneath, – hence the title I assigned to this piece: “Our Share of the Silver”.

Some women owned their own boats and gear, and traditionally they occupied the innermost part of the fjord, which was then called “Kjerringhavet”, – meaning “The Women’s Sea”

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I manipulated the photo so that there are a lot more boats with women in them.

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Then I designed some blocks, which would look like a swirling school of fish when put together, and placed the photo in the middle. I also turned the photo blue to better blend in with the fabrics I planned to use.

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I thought it was a bit tame with only the blue colours, so I added some sunshine, – which I am also sure these women had in their lives from time to time.

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The photo was printed onto cotton fabric, and the rest of the quilt has both cotton and silk fabrics in it. The quilting lines follow the movement in the blocks surrounding the photo.

The quilt was eventually bought by an organization who then donated it to the old people’s home in our neighbouring village Kalvåg, where it now hangs.

This is entered in the Art quilt category of the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival. Be sure to go over there and have a look at all the beautiful works that have been posted, and also make sure you visit the other categories while you are at it. You can also vote for your favourite of each category from May 21st to May 29th.

This is my 13th time participating in the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival. My previous entries can be found here:

Spring 2009

Autumn 2009

Spring 2010

Autumn 2010

Spring 2011

Autumn 2011

Spring 2012

Autumn 2012

Spring 2013

Autumn 2013

Spring 2014

Autumn 2014

 

🙂

Eldrid

 

Festival of Quilts V – Russian Gallery

As I happen to look back into my computer’s photo albums, I find that there are more treasures I would like to share. In this post, the quilts are from the Russian Gallery at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham earlier this year.

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This time the Russian gallery was a one person show by the artist Elena Folomyeva.

She had hung an impressive body of work, with all of the quilts having a nature theme.

Here is a closer look on the quilt that is behind her in the portrait photo. It is called “Tales of the Forest”.

“At the Fountain” was the first one that caught my eye. I liked the mixture of patchwork, applique and “line drawings” in the quilt.

I also especially loved the “Chameleon”, and the technique that was used to picture this elusive animal.

“Portrait of a Woodpecker” and the Owl quilt (sorry, did not get the full title of the last one), both capture their motifs in a more “painterly” manner. Love the small details.

The many layers in “Goose” appealed to me, – both the pictorial rendition and the flying geese borders. Also love the background details.

The study of this Birch tree trunk is very well done.  The diagonal shifts in quilting patterns and sewing technique add interest without disturbing the serenity of the motif, I think.

elenafoymyeva9breakfastonthegrassI really loved the humour in this one: “Breakfast on the Grass”. I had to smile at the very appropriate holes.

This one is called “He Who Woke up the Sun”. Solar energy really shows in the background quilting.

Here are more gorgeous quilts with plants in them, – each one very different from the other, yet somehow similar.

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This one is my favourite, I think. It is called “November”.

The two quilts above were a bit different from the others in that they were in black and grey tones, but the theme is still nature. They are called “Cool Lace” and “The Night Garden”.

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Above is the artist’s statement that was hung with the quilts. Here are the links to the artist’s website, and her blog. Enjoy!

 

🙂

Eldrid

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