Wednesday, 25 May 2016

A trip to the Welsh Quilt Centre

Our next stop on our tour of Wales was the Welsh Quilt Centre.  Jen Jones kindly opened up specially for us on the Monday (usually closed that day).  The current exhibition 'Unforgettable' is excellent - highly recommended!

Here is a detail of the quilt shown above -

All the quilts in the main exhibition are traditional Welsh flannel, which has given me some inspiration for the new range of Japanese 'double width' kimono flannels that have just arrived with me...


The quilts below are full size bed quilts, not miniatures!  The gallery is a very high space.

The exhibition also features many Welsh hats and 'betgwn', the traditional Welsh women's dress, which has its origins in C17th mantua dresses.

There is an exhibition of new quilts by Sandie Lush, exploring the design possibilities of the paisley pear.  The design of each quilt is also shown as a diagram next to the quilt description.  Some were double sided and both sides were displayed.  So many possibilities from only one motif and so much work in this exhibition.

Yuza Sashiko Guild brought Jen a kimono as a thank you present, which fitted her really well.  Of course, she had to try it on.

We had a delicious lunch at the Deli next door before descending on Calico Kate's shop next door to the cafe, where everyone added something to their stash...

Our next stop was at Jen's shop, a few miles out of Lampeter, where I found the perfect bolt of vintage striped Welsh flannel for my guest room curtains.  The quilt in the photo below is my version of the quilt from Dryslwyn, which used to be in Jen's collection.  I had taken the top to show her over a year ago, so I thought she'd like to see the finished piece.  This quilt pattern was featured in Today's Quilter and it will be going to Japan for Yuza Sashiko Guild's exhibition in September.

We had a wonderful day and reached our hotel in Cardiff with our heads full of Welsh quilt inspiration!

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Yuza Sashiko Guild go to Wales

We visited Powis Castle on our way to Aberystwyth on Sunday after World Textile Day at Frodsham, making our way down to south Wales to visit the Welsh Quilt Centre and St Fagans museum.



Beautiful colours in the plants and interesting forms too.


In the orchard.

At Aberystwyth, most of the group stayed at Bodalwyn, where I had my first bedsit.  It is now a really nice B&B.  The house has changed quite a lot inside!

We had several walks along the prom, first on Sunday night to go to the Mandarin, my favourite Chinese restaurant from my student days, and again on Monday, when we had a quick look at the castle and town before boarding the coach for Lampeter and the Welsh Quilt Centre.  More photos soon.

Yuza Sashiko Guild at World Textile Day

Now I'm home after Yuza Sashiko Guild's big trip to Wales and the English borders, I have time to post a few photos of our travels.  They arrived on Thursday 12th May and we had a day out together in Chester before World Textile Day at Frodsham on Saturday 14th.

We had a look at Chester cathedral (Reiko Domon's request), where there are so many inspirational design sources in the architecture, and then met my quilting friends Val Shields and Maureen Poole for lunch at The Albion before I went off to Frodsham to set up the show with Glyn.

On Saturday, we went to Frodsham by train, and Yuza Sashiko Guild did an excellent demo/'make and take'.  You can see some of their fantastic recent sashiko quilts hanging behind them.

Koto Domon helped me with my talk, 'Kimono - Dressing Up and Dressing Down' - with an expert kitsuke demonstration.  She was wearing a very sophisticated ensemble with an Oshima tsumugi kimono with karabana motifs (an ancient Japanese pattern of imaginary Chinese flowers) and started her kimono dressing demo with a naturally dyed fukuro obi which was one of the most gorgeous yet simple fukuro obi I have ever seen.   She demonstrated how to tie otaiko musubi (drum knot), then demoed chou musubi (butterfly knot) and kai no kuchi musubi (shellfish knot) with the hanhaba (half width) obi she is wearing in the photo below.  This also had a very classical design, like a textile from the Shosoin in the 8th century.  If anyone has any photos or video clips from the talk, I would love to see them.

The fukuro obi that I liked so much looked very much like this Yonezawa tsumugi obi I saw at Tansuya in Ikebukuro in November 2013.  I would have loved to buy it but it was very expensive.

I couldn't believe it when Koto-san gave me her fukuro obi as a present!

This is a photo of the stall looking fairly presentable.  We had a really busy day.  My talk didn't quite go to plan, as Glyn and our van disappeared in the morning and didn't arrive at the hall.  After a lot of chasing around, we found out from the AA that he had broken down before he left Chester.  He eventually arrived about halfway through the afternoon with my laptop and all the Yuza Sashiko sales items.  This meant we have had to do the rest of the trip in a rented van.  After a very hectic day, we were all more than ready for dinner in Frodsham that evening.


Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Last sashiko sessions at Kaleidoscope and Edinburgh Patchwork - for now!

The final sessions of the sashiko courses at Kaleidoscope and Edinburgh Patchwork were on Thursday and Saturday respectively.  We looked at a few more patterns and then started arranging blocks to get ideas for the sampler quilts that the students will be making up in their own time.  

These are some of the blocks from the Kaleidoscope group.  Mixing in some patchwork blocks is also very effective.  Some of these samplers will be wall hangings, table runners etc., but there are a few that may be ending up as bed quilts.

At Edinburgh on Saturday, we had a little celebration for the end of the course with a (very small!) glass of cava each at lunchtime, which certainly made the start of the afternoon a bit lively!  The finished sampler on the side wall is Rhona's, from the first Loch Lomond course.

Here are some of the block selections from Edinburgh.  The workshop space has flannel design walls on either side, so it makes arranging blocks easy.

The samplers in the photo below are by Maureen's from the second Loch Lomond course and two that Fiona has made on her own (using some of the samples from the one hour workshops at the Edinburgh shows too).

I will be running these courses again, with the Edinburgh course starting in October 2016 and the one at Kaleidoscope starting at the end of January 2017.  Contact me if you are interested in Edinburgh and contact Kaleidoscope direct if you want to join the course there.  Everyone says how much they have enjoyed the courses and they are now at the stage where they can continue sashiko on their own or with friends.  The Edinburgh group are going to meet up regularly at one member's house too and continue as a group.  A selection of sampler quilts from all four courses I have taught will be touring to the Spring Quilt Festivals with Grosvenor Shows, so you may have a chance to see them in spring 2017.