Saturday, October 18, 2014

Crazy Old Quilts

I purchased this quilt top at my local guild's last Quilt Fair last Feb.  It's in really good shape and nicely embroidered around each scrape!

There are some great 'excentric' shaped scraps in it.  You can almost figure out the garment pieces that they were leftover from?!
Almost as interesting as the front is the foundation fabric used for the back.

I bought this top quite a number of years ago at a local Antique shop.  I thought the color scheme was kind of different from other string quilts.  Mostly blue and grey...alot of 'utility' fabrics.

And foundation fabrics very similar to the first quilt!  And look how frugal (and perhaps poor) the maker was, even picking out the pleats and gathers to make the most of their fabric!

When I was a kid my mom had a rag bag filled with old dresses and aprons etc.  Now days most of our family's clothes are given away before they are worn out and those that are really worn out are often synthetic and they don't make very good rags, except for the cotton T shirts? 
I wonder where the cotton industry would be without us quilters?
Have a great weekend!
cheers, CW

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

American Museum in Britain

Our last day in the UK we visited the American Museum in Britain.  I knew the Museum had a collection of vintage quilts from the US but I was pleasantly surprized to find they were having a special retrospective exhibit of Kaffe Fassett's work!  Here's a little sampling. 
I vaguely knew that Kaffe Fassett started his adventure in textiles in the knitting and wool depsrtment but I had never really seen any examples.  The above piece is all knit! 
Aren't these colors great?! 
I like the simple quilting around the motifs in the prints.  It serves to quilt everything moreless evenly while complimenting the printed fabric! 
There were lots of examples of his needlepoint, isn't this pattern fantastic! 
His knitting is amazing too! 
The quilt patterns are (for the most part) not to complicated but it's all about color, color, color! 
I think he must have a pretty good sense of humor too... A sweater for a lamp post ?!
After our visit in the Special Exhibit Hall we went over to the Manor House where all the permanent American exhibits are,
Here's a quick tour of some of the museum's vintage quilt collection! 

Here are a couple more of Kaffe's quilts hanging in the stairwell of the Manor house. 
I thought this was a rather funny juxtiposition of the British Revolutionary War Officer's portrait next to Kaffe's quilts!
OK, now I'm really done posting pix of my vacation.  I could go on and on, we saw so many terrific sights,  I probably took over 1000 pictures!  You've got to love Digital cameras!

But it's time to move on, back home now, lots of catch-up to do and I have so many new ideas for quilting projects inspired by all the wonderful things I've seen!
Cheers, CW

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sudeley Castle

What trip to England is complete without a tour of a ruined Castle?!  Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire (pronounced Soodley (as in mood) near Winchcombe)  has the requisite colorful history to satisfy!
You enter the castle grounds by walking along a short wooded path and come to the stone doorway pictured above.
You enter this garden room created by the walls of the old stable!
Cross  the 'stable' to another door where you are greeted by this sight!
Part of the castle was restored in the early 1800's and part was left as ruins.
For a time Sudeley was owned by Richard III.  Henry VIII visited here with Anne Bowlynn and Elizabeth I visited 3 times almost bankrupting the Lord or the castle because entertaining a Queen is a very costly business!  The last wife of King Henry VIII,  Catherine Parr also lived here after the death of the king.

Knot garden with view of part of the ruined  great dining hall.
Looking into the dining hall from one end.
The Castle Chapel where Catherine Parr is entombed.
I think my favorite part of the Castle was the juxtaposition of the gardens to the ruins.  View of the Great Banquet Hall from the formal gardens.
The Castle was Trashed by Cromwell's forces and Layed in ruin for almost 200 years at which time it was adopted by some rich merchants who spent a lot of time and $ restoring the salvageable parts.  The end you see there on the left and the chapel on the right.  Then the Victorian owners took over and filled it full of authentic period furniture, paneling etc.  The Castle is still privately owned by the descendants of the Victorian owners and I think they've done a fabulous job of making a lot of the estate available to the public.  It is really one of the most interesting historical places we visited.

Tomorrow we return home.  We've had a wonderful vacation, full of all kinds of adventures, but I'm ready to get home.  I miss my family, sewing room and garden (hopefully there will be some fruit left to pick).
I hope you all have a wonderful end-of-Summer!
cheers, CW