Friday, August 29, 2014

Arts and Crafts at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London

Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone for the
facade of the South Kensington Museum in 1899
when it was renamed the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Courtyard, perhaps the original 1857 facade.
The Museum's website gives its history:

"The Museum was established in 1852, following the enormous success of the Great Exhibition the previous year. Its founding principle was to make works of art available to all, to educate working people and to inspire British designers and manufacturers. Profits from the Exhibition were used to establish the Museum of Manufactures, as it was initially known, and exhibits were purchased to form the basis of its collections. The Museum moved to its present site in 1857 and was renamed the South Kensington Museum."

We found a hotel within a few blocks of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, so we could visit often. My first question at the door was where to see Arts & Crafts items. They have a room in the British Galleries devoted to the style.

Here is one of my favorites: a silk collar designed and stitched by 
Jessie Newbery of Glasgow

Most of the museums we went to
permit you to take photos without flash,
which is a great way to make notes.

On display were samples by various British designers
of the aesthetic movement, including C. F. A. Voysey with
a piece of his owl fabric.

I took this fuzzy picture of an inlaid Liberty chair
with its 13 square spindles because I
recently found a pair of chairs with 12 square
spindles at an estate sale. I'm still trying to
identify my chairs. I certainly identified the inspiration.

Embroidered table runner by Frances Mary Templeton, 
1909, perhaps stitched in a Glasgow class taught by Ann Macbeth.

A few more fuzzy pictures....
I  took these as reminders to look up a much better
photo in their online catalog.

The museum's image.

A panel from a Manxman piano designed by Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott. 


Woven silk, Kingfisher by Bruce Talbert

William Morris's handwritten recipe

Roseanne and the girls (we traveled with two recent college graduates)
 spent time in the natural history museum
down the street. It's filled with impressive bas-relief
animal sculpture.

We also liked this bench for visitor seating at the V & A.

This museum has an excellent on-line catalog with  414,228 images. Browse it here:

The catalog is a great design resource, but it will only make you long to see the objects in real life.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Richmond Reds plus Yellow for Jane Austen

Block #1 Bright Star for Jane Austen

Here's the post for the first block:

Block 2
Sister's Choice for Cassandra Austen

Georgann's been using my latest reproduction collection Richmond Reds
to make up the free weekly pattern. She's adding a few golds and yellows from her stash.
(I gave her my preview pre-cut package, which should be available in shops any day)

The colorways also feature browns and olives
but red is the theme.

Block 3 
Cross Within Cross for the Rev. George Austen

Block 4
Thrifty with a toile from the scrapbag

Georgann's also adding toiles---after all, the block of the week series is about Jane Austen
who was born in the time of toile.

Block 6
Empire Star

Block 7
Philadelphia Block

Block 8 Eliza's Star

Block 9
London Roads

Block 10
Good Fortune

Block 11
The center is another scrapbag toile.

Block 21
West Wind

We're up to Block 22, scheduled for this Sunday, and I'm working now
on digitally drawing the last  patterns for the 36 weekly intallments, which will be posted
in November and December, 2014.

Check out our Flickr page to see what others are up to.

Sign up using your email address and you'll get a weekly email with the pattern and the story.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Nameless Star Variations

From an online auction, mid 19th-century
I did a post a few weeks ago on this old pattern without a name---
a star with satellites. 

An example from Olde Hope Antiques

Embroidered on the reverse of this one:  "Noctem quitam, et finem perfectum concedat nobis Dominus ominpotens. R. Amen," Latin for "May the almighty Lord grant us a quiet night and a perfect end. Amen" 

While looking at examples I found lots of variations.

From Berks County, Pennsylvania

In some the satellites were less complex.

Here's one dated 1929

In some you get the feeling she threw in whatever was
hanging around from the last project...

This was on the cover of Quilters' Newsletter years ago.

By Mrs. Elijah Edwards, Wayne County, North Carolina
from the North Carolina project and the Quilt Index

In a few the satellite stars are more complex.

Laurie Simpson of Minnick & Simpson was inspired by an antique quilt
to do her Lone Star reproduction pattern, which is similar
to Mrs. Edwards's quilt above.

From an exhibit at Quilt Market

From the Thomas K Woodard collection in an old
Quilt Engagement Calendar.

From the Shelburne Museum Collection

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Backstitch at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah

My quilt in Paducah

Backstitch: A 25 Year Retrospective of Advances & Milestones in Quiltmaking, an exhibit celebrating the silver anniversary of the New England Quilt Museum, is now at the The National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky through September 16, 2014. Curators are Anita Loscalzo and Laura Lane.

Hickory Leaf by Barbara Brackman,
Quilted by Lori Kukuk

I was pleased to send a quilt. At the original venue at the New England Quilt Museum I loaned the Hickory Leaf above, an interpretation of an antique quilt from about 1840. That quilt was not available (I couldn't find it until last week as I am moving from my Victorian house of 40 years) so I sent another reproduction, also an interpretation of an antique from about 1830-1850.

Birds in the Air
by Barbara Brackman

I hand pieced this quilt (except for the strip set), one reason it took so long to make. The other reason
is that this is the last large quilt I did before I started designing reproduction prints for Moda, so finding the perfect period prints was a challenge. A shopping challenge, which I will always accept.

The brown-ground chintz was curtain fabric from Calico Corners. The setting triangles are cut from a great Pilgrim/Roy print, still one of my favorites.

More information about the Backstitch exhibit:

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Richmond: Free Quilt Pattern for Richmond Reds

"Richmond," pieced in Richmond Reds
by Becky Brown

Becky, who used to live in Richmond, Virginia, wrote she couldn't resist making up the "Richmond" block in my new 19th-century reproduction line called Richmond Reds. The Moda collection has a good variety of dark and light calicoes to give a period look to her block.

Twelve 8" Richmond blocks set side by side.
The block was given the name in Hearth and Home
magazine about a century ago.
With a 6" finished border the quilt will be 36" x 44"

Instructions for the border:

Quilt from the early 20th century. The setting squares
of light calico or shirting have faded with hard use.

The idea of using a print rather than a plain white was a standard look for everyday quilts from about 1870-1930. The lighter prints can be viewed as contrast, background and neutral.

Pine Burr about 1870-1890

Patchwork patterns in the magazines and newspapers certainly influenced taste. Light calicoes were advised in the Prairie Farmer's homemakers' column in the year 1886.

"Patchwork Pattern
Mrs. H. E. Snow contributes the specimen of patchwork given...It is to be pieced of two colors of calico, a light and a dark, or may be of medium shade and white. The plain illustration needs no description."

This quilt with its light calico background from about 1890 may have been inspired by Mrs. Snow's design in the 1886 magazine.

Another Prairie Farmer pattern contributor during that year was "Elder's Wife" who advised setting quilt blocks with "light calico of small figure" for practical reasons.

"As a rule, quilts are more useful as outside covers if set together with light calico of small figure, than if white were used. Especially if there are children, the white very soon gets soiled and makes much hard work in the washing..."

By "outside covers" she means a spread to top the bed clothes.

Back to the pattern for "Richmond".....

I could tell you as Mrs. Snow did in 1886,
"The plain illustration needs no description,"
but there might be sobs in the comments.


So I will direct you to the pattern for an 8" in my Civil War Quilts
blog that Becky did a few years ago:

And also tell you that it is # 1654 in my BlockBase program for PC's, where you
can print out a pattern any size.

Here I've had BlockBase print rotary cutting instructions for a 12" block.


I said: "It needs no description!"

Just be glad it's not 1886 and Mrs. Snow is not writing this blog.