Thursday, 28 July 2011

Gorgeous Minature Quilts

 I`m not  normally interested in minature quilts,  all the quilts I make myself are full sized.  However I totally fell in love with these exquisite tiny quilts by Dorian Walton.

The photograph doesn`t do this selection of Amish inspired quilts any justice.  Let`s just say that they were  so impressive in real life.

I took several attempts to try and capture the colours in this star pattern.

This is a wonderfully effective design and you can start to see some of the quilting in the border too.

A minature Sanderson Star........

And this gives you an idea of the size of these exquisite quilts. How fiddly it must have been to piece these tiny patches and then to produce the quilting. Just thinking about it gives me a headache.
Just look at the work in this wholecloth quilt.

And finally, a glorious version of the Cariad II quilt from Making Welsh Quilts,  which was inspired by a Pembrokeshire quilt discovered on one of the Quilters Guild documentation day and recorded here

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

More From Minerva

Here are the three quilts from the exhibition that I liked the most.

Firstly this delicate quilt of sprig cotton squares

 It looks like the maker has used fabric samples again as you can see the same pattern repeated with different colour backgrounds.
The layout of the quilt is quite haphazard but the colours values are so similar that the whole thing coordinates beautifully.
It reminds me of the Wedding Quilt in Kaffe Fassett and Lucy Prior Lucy`s Passionate Patchwork. A quilt I would like to make a version of sometime.

A close up of the lovely fabrics
The quilting is more difficult to make out but a Welsh spiral can be seen here...

 And a fan pattern here.

A heavy utilitarian quilt made with tailors wool scraps and offcuts.  Despite the limited range of colours I like the creativity that the maker has brought to this quilt. The card notes that it was make by an unknown quilter in the Synod Inn are and is very heavy. Perfect for winter!
And this is my absolute favourite. The photograph unfortunately does not do justice to the vibrant colour of this quilt. The quilting is superb
This is closer to the actual colours of the top.
The combination of the strong saturated colours of this quilt with the bold geometric quilting, make this a quintessentially Welsh quilt.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Minerva Part Two

Some more of the wonderful quilts in this years exhibition.
A large cotton scrap quilt made in Cardiganshire. No known maker or date, though it does look like very early twentieth century from the type of materials. 
A close up of some of the patches in the border. Several of the squares here are made with two or three small scraps of fabric.
The maker of this quilt has put a lot of thought into this impressive quilt, but is not going to get hung up on the fact that she is running out of of the right fabric. These small compromises not only do not detract from the overall look of the quilt, but also give it a freshness and vitality that a more ridgedly planned quilt would not.

A more modern quilt.  Possibly 1920`s or 1930`s from the pinkish colour scheme.  The label says it was made in the Aeron Valley and not expertly quilted.  I`d be very happy if my quilting was this good!
Finally as anyone who has read Jen Jones or Mary Jenkins will know, one of the characteristics of Welsh quilts is wholecloth quilting on patterned fabric. Hours and hours of painstaking work on a background designed to conceal the work completely. 
Yes, this is quilted, and quilted by a rather famous South Wales quilter to boot,  but very little shows in this photograph or indeed on the displayed quilt itself. You have to get up close to see the stitching. 
I have no idea why they chose patterned fabrics.The only explanation I can think of,  is that these woman worked professionally as quilters, travelling sometimes from farm to farm and they had to work with whatever the farmers wife had picked out for them to use.
I cannot imagine the difficulty in marking a top like this for quilting, let alone trying to quilt amongst  that busy pattern!

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Minerva 2011 Exhibition

Here are some photos from my visit to the Minerva Quilts exhibition in Llanidloes.  Every year they put on a fascinating display of antique and contemporary quilts.

This year there are antique quilts from the collection of DeAnne Hartwell-Jones along with her own quilts inspired by her collection. Contemporary quilts from the Zero3 group and some gorgeous minature quilts by Dorian Walton. Link here

My own favourites are the older Welsh quilts and there are some wonderful wholecloth and pieced examples here.
The colour of the wool in this quilt is stunning. Such a deep and vivid blue. 

This is the design in the centre of the quilt,
A typical Welsh pattern, large leaf shapes.
Another vintage quilt.  It looks like it was made from a collection of fabric samples. 
A close up of some lovely vintage fabrics.
A rather battered Red Cross quilt.
I`m glad I`m not the only one with a collection of battered quilts. This one has had a particularly hard life as you could expect from a wartime quilt. 
It`s interesting the way that the fabric is breaking down and leaving these groups of flowers.
Or giving this lacework effect as the green dyed fabric disintergrates.
Now a couple of American style quilts, the Log Cabin Barn Raising was found in a house in Aberaeron and the Birds In The Air was in fact started in America and pieced on the long voyage back to Wales. The label does say it is a faded red and white quilt but the fabric looks like a double pink to me. 

What do you think?

I`ll post some more pictures of the exhibits shortly.