Busy, busy, busy – patchwork bags

Since I’ve had a bit more time to myself recently I have been making some patchwork bags. the first is a cross body bag complete with a small external zipped pocket. It was the first time of using that particular way of doing the pocket and I almost ended up trapping the bag inside the pocket lining. A moment of panic and a quick bit of unpicking before it all got sorted out. The material is from some small charm squares bought in Canada in a shop near Banff on our way to Calgary so good to use it up.

The other items were a slouchy bag and a small purse to go with it. I love the colours. I made it from some fat quarters I bought in John Lewis in Sloane Square and I think they go rather well together.


London Calling – Quilts in the Library

I recently visited a brilliant quilt exhibition from the London Quilters held at the Swiss Cottage Library in Hampstead. The library has a lovely gallery space that I remember well from my working days there many, many years ago.

Kaffe Fassett at Standen

Had a really good visit to Standen National Trust property today and not only had the chance to look at a lovely Arts and Craft House but also got to see a temporary exhibition of work by Kaffe Fassett. There were three rooms dedicated to showing off a collection of quilts and other textiles. In addition there were lots of quilts, shawls and needlepoint cushions scattered around the property itself and used as furnishings. It was really refreshing to see them alongside all the sculptures, paintings items of pottery within this gorgeous house.

Some of the knitted shawls. I particularly liked the one in muted colours

Some of the hanging quilts and details from them

Hanging displayed on the wall of the cafe plus some of the items used as furnishings in the rooms.

Fabric of India at the V and A

On the 9th Jan I went to the V and A in London and got tickets to see the exhibition of Indian textiles “Fabric of India”. The exhibition itself was brilliant and had lots of beautiful examples of fabric and design produced by a great variety of techniques. There was definitely a wow factor in both the range and intensity of colours and in the sheer scale of some of the pieces. Some of the woven pieces were complete floor size and full of amazing designs.

Sadly though, the organisation of the exhibition did not live up to the standard of the exhibits themselves. Entry was by timed ticket – but far too many tickets had been sold for each time slot making it extremely crowded and almost impossible to see any of the smaller items. And I say this as someone who is used to attending very high profile, high demand exhibitions at the British Museum and the National Gallery. These too can be very crowded – but nothing like the crush at this one.

There were several videos of how various fabrics were produced. For some inexplicable reason these were displayed on screens at waist height, in front of other exhibits and on a screen no larger than an iPad. With more thought these could have been on plasma screens at a raised height where a whole group of people could watch at once rather than just one person.

The cynical part of me thinks that the museum sold more tickets than necessary to make more money. Personally I think I would have preferred to be told it was sold out, rather than spend a frustrating hour or so in a crush without seeing very much in any detail.