Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Quilt binding


I used to fold over and pin my machine sewn quilt bindings in place for hand sewing, but since Clover brought out these useful little clips, I don't stick pins in myself!


I'm binding a quilt for the first time in ages, as most of my recent large quilts have had knife edge or butted finishes.  This one has a double binding, cut on the bias.  The quilt is going into Today's Quilter soon.


Not to be confused with the cheap Chinese made clips, these ones don't snap. Love them.


Friday, 18 August 2017

Festival of Quilts - three individual galleries


There are many individual galleries at Festival of Quilts, not part of the competition, but showcasing the work of groups and individual quilters.  There were too many to photograph all of them (plus some don't allow photography), so here are a few pieces from three galleries I liked very much.


Ineke Berlyn's work was widely known and admired.  Her posthumous exhibition featured some of her 'Dresses' series, including my favourite - Recycled Denim Dress

Over the years I've collected quite a lot of denim bits and for this dress I used a vintage French linen dress as a base and covered it with old denim patches. I stitched all the layers together by hand with white cotton and indigo dyed threads using simple running Sashiko style stitches.
The result was a 'Boro' style patchwork. Boro is a Japanese word meaning 'tattered rags' and used to describe lovingly patched and repaired bedding and clothing. The stitching gave greater strength to the material and added extra layers of fabric for thickness and warmth





From the Festival of Quilts website (I'm copying the information about the galleries in case they disappear from the FoQ website in the future) -

This selection of work is in memory of Ineke Berlyn who sadly lost her long battle against cancer earlier this year. She remained positive and creative to the end with her passion helping her through difficult times. In fact her final piece of inspiration was to create “Hearts for Cancer Research”, which has already raised over £1000!

Ineke was an international prize winning artist who combined her love for colour, fabric and travelling to develop an ever changing collection of work and sketchbooks.

She was born in Apeldoorn in the Netherlands and moved to Bromsgrove in Worcestershire in 1978 when she married John. She also leaves two children and four fabulous grandchildren.

Ineke comes from a family of furniture makers and has always had a strong interest in textiles, before embarking on a City & Guilds Course she had success making and selling children’s clothing as well as wedding dresses.

For the past fifteen years Ineke worked not only in the UK but also all over Europe, she was also invited to teach in New Zealand, South Africa and Bermuda. Her quilts have been exhibited all of these places as well as the USA and Canada, winning prizes and prestige as they travelled.

Her gift for languages meant she successfully taught in English, Dutch, French and German. As a tutor Ineke was generous with her time and knowledge, always happy to share anything she learned herself.

Ineke wrote five books, three of which were self-published. Her portfolio of work is varied and colourful as she enjoyed experimenting with different materials and techniques.

She found inspiration in the landscape around her home and on her travels, never going anywhere without her camera and sketchbook to record absolutely anything that could be transformed into a piece of art.

We hope you have enjoyed her work, her company and her personality over the years.

She is greatly missed.



I knew Ineke from when we both demoed at some of the Grosvenor Shows - having another demonstrator near your stand is usually the start of a great friendship.  I miss seeing her at shows.  Somewhere I still have some of her hand dyed fabrics - must make something special with them.



There were two galleries by Russian quilters.  This is the work of Anna Zvereva -

Anna Nikolaevna Zvereva is an outstanding person. Her creative attitude and her forward-looking approach come from her love to life, and to the origins of her national culture, as one common source. The title of her exhibition, Patterns of the Olonkho Land, has a symbolic meaning – it comprises the image of her native land, where the intricate patterns of our life are intertwined, reflecting the eternal story of continuity, from prehistoric times to modern interpretations in applied art. This is a kind of a sign, a connecting link between the society and the practical deeds of the artist as a person.

Anna Zvereva’s art is diverse and multidimensional, she works in different fields and genres, from the making of decorative household items such as carpets, wall hangings, or sets of decorative trappings for a horse, to garment and interior design – she being, for a long time already, one of the most popular and widely known artists from the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), both in our country and abroad.

The artist has a perfect practical knowledge of the centuries-old Yakut techniques of sewing, embroidery and appliqué, as well as of modern techniques and methods. Her patchwork art is especially interesting. Using an original patchwork technique called “kybytyy”, where, by assembling the scraps of fabric and sewing them together edge-to-edge, plastic expression of texture, a special play of colours, and rhythmic impact are achieved. Background and patterns are interacting, setting off and intensifying each other, each of them fulfilling its designated decorative role. The strength of Anna Zvereva’s work lies in its very special energy field with its strong impact on the beholders. The overall cheerful tone of its graphic-and-colour pattern is achieved through the active rhythm of the patterns combined into blocks, as well as by the colour contrast and its characteristic resplendence. 

Anna Zvereva extensively uses the principle of rhythmic grouping of patterns, of crossing and diagonal combinations, thereby achieving a particularly dynamic and expressive composition in her artwork. Each and every means of creating the artistic form – the scale of the art object, its proportions and the rhythm of the geometric patterns, the line and the colour scheme, everything works together to create the imagery. The author’s method is marked by a clear composition and precise planning, with the place, size, and rhythm of the main decorative module and its accompanying elements being precisely defined.

Another layer of Anna Zvereva’s artwork are imagery and themes taken from nature. The invisible ties linking the author to the nature of her native land, the “blessed moments” of communication with nature, lead her to the creation of epic scenery. Such are her triptychs – The Himalayas, The Northern Light, The Flowers of Yakutia, or her Four Seasons cycle and Summer motives. Here, we see the vast open spaces, the relentless nature of the North, with all its magic power of enchantment.

The synthesis of artistic and technical devices used in each of the artist’s creations is very striking. This alone makes them unique in their beautiful handiwork and individuality. Beadwork, the use of metal elements, tassels, fringes etc. converts her artwork to “real museum pieces in household use”.
Anna Nikolaevna’s more recent work, such as her five-part patchwork picture titled Yakutia [The Sakha Republic] (2005), her triptych Kimberlites (2006), her Sacred Lake carpet (2010), and New York at Night, indicate a new rise in her creativity. Here, the artists clearly demonstrates her firm grasp of the large monumental decorative form of art.

This great artist is drawing upon the inmost depths of folk life, deriving magnificent treasures of art in their more modern rendering from them. The cultural history of her people is immediately present in her creative work. Her carpet titled The Horse Cult. Dedication to the Horse is a tribute and a hymn to the Yakut horse, the Yakut man’s true friend and companion, celebrated in the national epics. In the centre there is the sacred tree, the Aal Luk Mas, that holds together the cosmic world order (this work was begun in the 90s and completed in 2010).

“Olonkho” is the folk epos of the Sakha people. It was declared a masterpiece of the intangible culture of humankind by UNESCO in 2005.



























We only managed to get to Jean Wells gallery almost at the end of Sunday afternoon, as it seemed quite busy the first few times we were nearby.  Wonderful use of colour, texture, design.  I love her work.

Recurring themes in Jean’s textile art has to do with natural configurations: rocks, trees, grasses, flowers, and the land. They are the common threads running through her mind as she works intuitively designing quilts letting the designs take on a life of their own. Nature and the world around her is her main source of inspiration. She is fascinated with line, pattern, shape, color, and texture, and how to design with these elements capturing the essence of what she sees and feels. Her favorite quotation is from Emerson, “Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.”

As owner of The Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, Oregon, USA for 42 years she has been involved in quilting industry as an author, artist, and workshop/lecture presenter. She has taught internationally in South Africa, New Zealand, Austria, France, and England as well as in most of the states. In 2010 she was inducted into the Quilter’s Hall of Fame in Marion, Indiana. Locally she has received business of the year and citizen of the year awards.

She has also participated in several gallery and museum shows with her contemporary quilts, designed fabric, written 30 books on quilting, appeared on televised quilting shows, and appeared as an artist on OPB’s Oregon Art Beat in 2012.  Awards include:  Imagination Award in the 2000 Millennium Quilt Contest, 2nd place in the contemporary category at the International Quilt Festival, 2nd place in the Small Abstract category at the 2010 International Quilt Festival, and Best Use of Color at the 2010 Pacific International Quilt Show.

www.jeanwellsquilts.com