Wednesday, 30 October 2013

I cannot find this quilt! (but I have at least found the photos)

We have moved house and this quilt is still lost. I haven't seen it since just after I bought it in 2010. I just assumed it was under the bed with the other quilts. I feel more than a little ill every time I think about it. It has the makers name appliqued across the top but these photos do not show her name and I cannot remember it.....
Enjoy the photos and send good wishes for it to turn up.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Lovely new (to me) sewing box and I have started on a border

It was an Ebay find, sold as vintage but cheap enough. I suspect it is one of those things made to look vintage from the Far East (there was another very similar one for sale at the same time).

It is just the right size to have next to me on the sofa for hand work.

And this is the first of the borders for the low contrast quilt. I might just trapunto some feathers in all that space or make each of the four borders different with different applique....

Saturday, 19 October 2013

I think I have decided

I have finished the centre piece and am still very unsure about how low the contrast has become.

I know the contrast is just too low. I like the look but not enough to make it into a large quilt. So my decision is to just add one border to finish it off. Then I will do a full size quilt using the same fabrics also on linen but either on a white or very light cream. I finished it the night before last and last night felt quite bereft as not having anything to do with my hands. Who knew I would become addicted to hand applique? Certainly not me. And my skills are improving....

And Rosie found a place to snooze amongst the fabrics.....

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

I had hoped to show you more progress....

 I had hoped to at least finished this centre, but I am very nearly there. Just one and a half flowers at the top, then a soak to remove the freezer paper I used at the beginning.
 That first book on Chintz I blogged about has sent me into a chintz frenzy. I have always loved these sorts of prints. I bought this panel and another one in a different colourway some years ago now. They come up every so often on Ebay. The coordinating print at the sides is name Karakal and both it and the central panel, Palampore were made by the very upmarket company, Brunschwig and Fils. The colour is half way between this and the closeup below.
 I have been on a one woman mission to buy some of the glazed chintz which was printed in the early to mid 1980s. I was surprised to find a lot of them were printed in Holland and the others in England.

 I went into the garden and saw pigeon feathers spread everywhere. I was about to blame the cats when I spied this sparrowhawk who was the culprit.

 The sun was out recently and the wild ponies at the top of the hill obviously enjoying a brief spell of warm dry weather before winter arrives.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Another of my small collection

Whenever you hear someone saying antique quilts are brown and boring send them along to see this 19th century coverlet. These prints are in your face and bright as a button.

 This centre is a striped fabric, if you look at the top of the panel you can see the bottom of the building at the bottom. Then the quilter has taken a little of floral stripe going down the side and attached it at the top to make her centre. If you click to enlarge you can see the seams.

 These fabrics are wonderful.

 In places where there wasn't quite enough of one piece, she has added a little bit more to make a big enough piece. As you can see in the brown fabric above.

I found this fabric below to make my own quilt like this. It is a reproduction made for curtains in the 1980s when there was a vogue for this sort of thing. It is a Lee Jofa print. Really it is too heavy for this use but I think when quilted, I can just get away with it.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Yet another glorious little book- V&A Pattern Indian Florals

 I admit to being very disappointed with the size of this little book. (sunglasses again to give scale)
 It is truly a little wonder. It has good photos of textiles from the entire subcontinent not just India.
 These are pages opened at random again just to give you a glimpse of the joys to be found within the covers. Some are prints, some embroideries, a few are woven. Some were made for export, not necessarily to Europe but also to Thailand and Indonesia.
What I hadn't known when I ordered it was it comes with this CD with the photos at a resolution of 300dpi.

Autumn has come to the Forest. I know how some of you love it so much but for me apart from having lovely cool nights it feels like the season of death.
I had hoped to leave the uninvited sunflowers for the birds but they are rotting on their stems.

There are a few compensations.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Another glorious book on Chintz.

Published by the Victoria and Albert Museum, CHINTZ Indian Textiles for the West by Rosemary Crill is another fabulous book of fabulous chintz photographs. I won't go into the history of why we started producing chintz in Europe, you can find that in the Kay Triplett, Xenia Cord book, but this is what we were copying.

The book is 145 pages with loads of good photos of chintz style. Again I have just taken pages at random.

Thankfully this book is a hundred pages shorter than the Quiltmania Chitz book which means I can read it in bed...

My credit card has been hit hard this month with book and fabric purchases, I need to stop buying and start getting on with my two works on the go. I still haven't finished the low contrast centre and am only half way through the second border on the machine applique piece. In my head I can see both of these getting done in a week, in real life it takes so much longer. I have so many new ideas to make, I want to start them now. I am like a two year old at Easter wanting to eat all my eggs and sweets in one go.

In my defense I have made a pretty pair of curtains for Fliss's room.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Little Chintz Book

There are still a few copies out there to buy of this little gem of a booklet. I must admit to expecting something larger when it arrived but nonetheless I am delighted. It made me realise how lucky we are these days when it is almost unheard of to have black and white photographs and how comparatively cheap (with one or two exceptions) books are now. This tiny little book was 3 shillings in 1955 when it was published. After doing a little research online with inflation this equates to about £11.60 or $18.65 in todays economic terms.

The sunglasses are there to give you an idea of scale.

I opened this page randomly. It looks to me in the plate on the right that someone who had seen palm trees gave a verbal description and this is what the artist came up with.

Most of the plates in the book are of English Chintz but not all were in the collection of the V and A, they say they tried to get representative chintz of each decade.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

A mystery Coverlet (quilt)... Fustian but....

This coverlet is antique but what age....
I think the base fabric is fustian as there is a blue line woven in the selvedge which dates it to my limited knowledge to the latter part of the 18th century. BUT this could well have been someone making use of an old sheet when it was made. Anyone who has had linen sheets know they are probably good to use for a 100years but this fustian was made with a cotton weft and a linen warp. So I am guessing this would halve it's lifespan as a sheet.  This is all supposition on my part so if any of you dear textile historian readers call shed any light, it would be much appreciated.

This little bird delights me, it and the little dragonfly above it are the only 'random' appliques on the coverlet. And the darning in this photo is so badly done I can only think it was done in the latter half of the 20th century when people stopped darning their socks......
Click on any of the pictures to enlarge them and see the detail. All the applique fabrics seem to be a heavyish weight cotton with the exception of one fine cotton pink which has degraded in one or two places where it has been used.