Saturday, 30 October 2010
Sunday, 24 October 2010
The most interesting of all my UFO's is my Korak sampler.
The first time I came across Korak, was when one of the Guild members brought in a patchwork she was working on, but I was intrigued by the method she was using to stitch what looked like a quilt top.
She was working from a book by a Swiss author Ruth Tschudy, which she came across on her holidays in Germany. Eventually I managed to find this book on Amazon. It is a very interesting book, showing some old Koraks, and also some of Ruth's own work and projects to make with instructions.
The text inside the book is in both German and English.
Korak is thought to be one of the most ancient form of patchwork in the world. They were produced in the areas along the Silk Route, mainly in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
Koraks were used mainly as floor and wall coverings by the nomads living in the area, sometimes pressed into still soft mud walls of their new huts. Because they were made along the Silk Route, where the caravans were bringing fabrics from different parts of the world, Koraks were made with all sorts of fabrics, cottons, silks, brocade, velvet ...
Ruth Tschudy's book explains the significance of shapes and colours used, mainly the triangle.
The Koraks are stitched onto a foundation fabric like old cottons, linen etc. I used a piece of calico. A lot of work goes into the preparation, making templates and cutting out the fabric shapes.
You start with drawing a grid onto the foundation fabric, whatever design you want to stitch. Then you lay and pin on the shapes, starting at the bottom, working upwards, overlapping the raw edges as you go along.
All the stitching is done by hand, on the right side, using the straight hem stitch, again starting from the bottom, removing the pins as you sew. Koraks are not backed or quilted.
My sampler is about 40 x 36 cm. I made it only as an exercise, not really thinking ahead what I am going to do with it. Later I decided it could be made into a wall hanging, so I stared to embellish it. I think that at that point I did run out of ideas and it ended up in the draw. May be it is time to resurrect it!
Friday, 22 October 2010
After some thought I decided to dedicate this post to those closest to me, my family:
my friend and husband of nearly 40 years, who has always supported me in anything I wanted to do;
my daughter (who patiently reads my blog) and son in law who, like many, juggle their jobs with bringing up their young family and making a good job of it;
my son, who today started his climb of Mount Kilimanjaro, as a personal challenge and to raise money for "Greenhouse" kids and Marie Curie Cancer Care;
and last but by no means least, our two small grandchildren, who brought so much light and joy into all our lives.
I also want to thank to all of you who read and comment on my blog, without you it would not be what it is.
Saturday, 16 October 2010
I visited here first time over a year ago, on a beautiful summer day. I came with a friend to an antique textile fair, which was held here. We also had a good look around the museum, including the "quilt" room, with some of the museum's collection. Later we sat on a terrace overlooking the valley, enjoying a light lunch. Oh, joy.
Please click on the link above to learn more about the museum.
This year, as a special exhibition, the museum is showing a selection of quilts from their archives and this was the main reason I visited this week.
The exhibition has been open since spring, due to close 31 October.
Unfortunately I can't share the pictures with you, as cameras are not allowed. I can only refer to book below, which I have been given as a present earlier this year. The book contains 55 quilts from the museum's collection. The most unusual quilt of the exhibition is a small quilt made from cigar silk ribbons. During the late 1800s, the cigars were tied into bundles with silk ribbons, which had the name of manufacturer stamped or woven into them. The most common colour for ribbons was yellow, but also red, blue and pink were used, according to the grades of the cigars. The seams in the quilt have been decorated with feather stitches. Most of the silk ribbons were of low quality, so not many of the quilts made this way have survived. This quilt is in very good condition and retained its rich colours.
I can only share with you some of the pictures from the grounds of the museum.
Monday, 11 October 2010
Today was another glorious day, sunny with wall to wall blue sky. I am still picking flowers from the garden, even roses are still showing off, specially the red "Dublin Bay". But even the less robust, pink "Queen of Sweden" still has a lot of promise.
We drove to the garden centre to buy a new tree for our garden, a crab apple. We had seen one not long ago, Malus "Pink Glow", and felt that we just have to have on in our garden. The fruit is a beautiful red, larger then most crab apples, with a very strong fragrance. It should be delivered in next couple of days.
Sunday, 10 October 2010
The wet weekend away last week was followed by a busy week. Even being retired, I miss the time if I am not at home over the weekend. Or just stuck in my ways?
This weekend turned out to be just as busy, because we had visitors. Our son brought his lovely new girlfriend to stay.
As they decided to leave late this morning, to beat the M3 traffic back to London, I used the afternoon to carry on with the quilt. I didn't need to spend too much time at the machine, as the only thing remained was adding of the border.
Monday, 4 October 2010
We usually have a good weather this time of year, well not this year! But the B&B was booked and the weather man promised a better weather for Saturday.
The first stop of our trip was Burford, on a nice day a very pretty small town, not so very pretty on a wet and windy Friday.
Burford Needlecraft Shop, which is packed with everything a needleworker might need. It was very quiet in the shop that day, all the local needleworkers were probably indoors stitching away.
It is the kind of a shop where I forget the time!
And there is the sweet shop, and what a sweet shop!