Just before Easter I had to take my daughter to the University of Bath Architecture Department for the day. Surprisingly she didn’t want her middle aged mother ‘hanging about’ so I took myself off to the American Museum & Gardens. Well, what an unexpected treat – Kaffe Fassett’s Quilts in America exhibition featuring a selection of the most exquisite antique American quilts and a collection of Kaffe’s designs inspired by the work.
Not only were the antique quilts so carefully pieced and stitched but you could see they had been used, repaired and some of the fabric had become quite worn and taken on a subtlety of colour after years in sunlight. Kaffe Fassett’s new quilts sang with colour and pattern but the piecing was very closely matched to the antique quilts so made for an interesting comparison.
If you are fortunate to be in the Bath area I would thoroughly recommend this museum, packed full of the most beautiful objects in original room settings. The grounds are inspired by George Washington’s gardens at Mount Vernon and there is a superb cafe with views over Limpley Stoke Valley and River Avon. The quilt exhibition runs until 3rd November 2019 and is closed on Mondays.
Several weeks ago I spent an inspirational afternoon at the Spring Quilt Festival, Ardingly. I do occasionally make quite simple cotton quilts for the home and when I was 12 years old my very first attempt at a quilt won a prize at school. However, the quilts on display were in a completely different league!!!
Alison Bramley combines quilting with patchwork and appliqué, in a rainbow of dupion silk, to create some quite breathtaking work which I am guessing isn’t used to keep her cosy at night. I loved her ‘Midnight Peacock Revisited,’ ‘Italy – A Tale of Three Cities’ and ‘Beating the Blues with Blue Bs.’ If you would like a closer look at this beautiful work just click the image.
Although I am a traditional hand stitcher it was quite remarkable to see some of the intricate quilting that may now be achieved with longarm machines. I saw some of these machines at Knitting & Stitching, Alexandra Palace, last autumn …. they are great fun but I have to admit to being quite shocked by both their price and size – they are enormous!
Finally there was a fine selection of ‘Saints of Cornish Churches’ by the Cornish Quilters and Stitchers. Thirty five quilts each depicted a chosen saint and again used a wide variety of stitching techniques. There were some quite beautiful motifs and I was totally enchanted by the fish, leaping into the font, stitched by Stithians WI Patchwork Group.