Thursday, 26 May 2016

Yuza Sashiko trip to St Fagans

We went to St Fagans museum on Tuesday last week.  I thought the ladies would love it, and they seemed to enjoy it very much.  It reminded me a little of our visit to Beamish in 2010.

I didn't see this cruck barn the previous time I visited.  It was locked, but I managed to get photos through holes in the laths.  Very interesting construction.

We couldn't see quilts from the museum's collection this time, as the main gallery building is still being refurbished, or have a backstage tour like on my last visit, but Welsh quilt expert Mary Jenkins came to meet us with some of her wonderful little Welsh quilts.  I love the book Mary wrote with Clare Claridge, 'Making Welsh Quilts' and have been following her blog for a long time, where she shares her love of quilts, pottery (especially Emma Bridgewater), traditional dressers, gardens and cats (similar obsessions to mine).  We met upstairs in the small Unitarian chapel - probably the most enthusiastic gathering of people it has seen for a long time!

Here are some of Mary's wonderful little quilts.  Hopefully the lighting from the side window is showing off the quilting rather well.

It was a wonderful show and tell and the first time I've had a chance to see so many of Mary's quilts in person.  I love the way she combines fabrics.  She is a big collector of Laura Ashley and Liberty prints, among others.

Mary's quilts with little houses, inspired by British sampler traditions, were a big hit.

She brought a few UFOs too, which were really interesting to see.

As the Yuza Sashiko quilts weren't going to Quilts UK until the next day, we were able to show Mary some of their work as well.

I took a couple of mine for the show and tell - Drylwyn Dreams and Sarah's Triangles.  I will be sending these to Japan for Yuza Sashiko Guild's exhibition in September, but I want to add more quilting too them, especially in the border of Sarah's Triangles.  After seeing Mary's quilts, I don't think mine have anything like enough quilting in them.  I want to double up some of the lines in the border of the triangles quilt, in the same style as Welsh quilts, with flowers in the gothic arches perhaps.  I'll have a look through Mary's book and decide.

In the evening, we visited my friend Binkie.  She had put on a tea party for us with the help of her quilting friends Jan, Gwen and Sarah.  They had decorated the living room with quilts for us. We had a bit of a show and tell of course - here's Gwen with one of her quilts.

This stunning wholecloth was made from a Paisley shawl by Gwen's grandmother.  Hopefully you can see some of the quilting patterns more clearly in the photo below.  What a treasure!

Yuza Sashiko gave kimono gifts - obi and kimono, which were beautiful.

Keiko Ishikawa's sampler quilt in Yuza Sashiko's show and tell.

We had a lovely day.  Many thanks to all our hosts!  It was unforgettable.

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.