Sunday, 20 September 2009

Sutton Hoo quilt exhibition - pictures and inspirations!

While I was away teaching last week, I had a chance to see the quilt exhibition at Sutton Hoo (see my previous post for links). If you can get there, don't miss it! There were lots of really fantastic pieces and LOTS of inspiration in the main exhibition hall too (you are allowed to photograph the display panels and replica items, so I've added a taster of those too). Sutton Hoo was a Saxon royal burial ground and the mounds included several ship burials. There is even a full size scene of the burial chamber on the main boat in the exhibition hall. The helmet below is a replica of the original grave find and it is amazing to see in real life how it would have looked when new.

A general view of the quilt exhibition space - Angela Seabrook's quilt with a Mariner's Compass and braided patchwork inspired by the cauldron chain in the main ship burial is next to the fire door at the end (it looks mostly golden yellow and white in this photo - hopefully she will be sending me a better photo soon!)

Here is a sample of the quilts on show - just left click any of the photos to enlarge them and read the captions.

There were quite a few big names in the quilt world who had sent pieces, including Edwina Mackinnon and Pat Archibald (one of her Kilimanjaro series is above right - more of Pat's quilts here). Kim Shaw, whose entry is directly below, also has a piece of work framed and hanging in the entrance to the restaurant - unless you are specifically going into the restaurant, you might miss the other panel, which relates to this one. You may have seen Kim demoing at some of the bigger quilt shows around the UK.

This piece is by Nancy Waterfall, who moved to Sutton Hoo after being in charge of Tatton Park Old Hall, where she also instigated regular quilt exhibitions. By chance, I bumped into her at the exhibition and it was nice to be remembered. We used to enjoy those Old Hall exhibitions so much, with Region 13 quilt groups taking turns to inhabit a different room each year, where we exhibited quilts over beds, chairs, tables, hanging as pictures - you name it!

Edwina Mackinnon's quilt -

This quilt used blocks from my "Japanese Quilt Blocks to mix and match" book (although the book isn't credited in the description - the top left kamon, with the "treasure" cloak and hat, is not found in modern crest books and I adapted it from an old tsutsugaki dyed panel).

I can almost guarantee you will come away with ideas for a new project inspired by the grave treasures.

The burial mound site is very atmospheric and worth the short walk to see it too - left click the image below to see my panoramic view.

1 comment:

lizzyanne said...

Thanks for this report Susan. It's nice to hear of Nancy Waterfall again as I too remember the exhibitions at The Old Hall at Tatton with fondness. They were always fun and it was good to get so many like-minded quilters together under one roof. Nancys sense of humour was always a joy.

Anne Carter, ex Beartown Congleton chairman, now living in NSW. Australia.