Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Antique quilt inspirations and two forthcoming exhibitions

Antique quilts have such wonderful designs and two forthcoming exhibitions will no doubt provide more inspitations.  At York, the Quilt Museum opens their new exhibition, 'The Blossoming of Patchwork', on May 18th.  With its focus on early printed fabrics, this promises to be very interesting and it will include some well-known quilts and coverlets from the collections.

One of the quilt images being used to promote the exhitbion online is the Mrs Billings coverlet which appears as a tiny thumbnail on the exhibitions page - here's a link to the larger image in the Heritage Collection online.  I'm looking forward to seeing this intricate early patchwork.  Australian quilter Karen Styles has drafted templates for a version of this patchwork, shown here on her website.  It's got a few changes from the original, but they are hard to spot and the effect is really lovely.  I wonder if there will be some more quilts inspired by this complex patchwork coverlet after the exhibition.

The patchwork in the photo at the top is my version of a checkerboard quilt that was shown as part of the V & A's 'Quilts 1700 - 2010' exhibition in 2010.  Like Karen's version of Mrs Billings' coverlet, it isn't identical to the original. I was interested in the process of creating a quilt with a similar effect to the original but not necessarily a replica, so I resized the squares so I could use charm packs. It's two thirds the size of the antique quilt. I left off the mini checkerboard blocks visible at the edges of the original quilt in the photo below (one taken by Sally Bramald when we attended the bloggers' preview), because the pieces would have been really tiny - less than 1/2in finished.  More links re my V & A repro quilts here.


Many of the quilts from the V & A's exhibition are about to be shown in Brisbane, at the Queensland Art Gallery, 15th June - 22nd September 2013, so our Australian friends will have a chance to see them and, I hope, be just as inspired to make their own modern versions.  If you can get to Brisbane, don't miss these quilts!

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