Wednesday, 14 April 2010

V&A Quilt Exhibition

Tonight I'm designing a quilt for the lounge.

Its function-
:: to brighten up our lounge
:: a play mat for baby when he/she arrives
:: a garden rug to picnic on
:: a blanket to keep us warm on a chilly spring/summer evening

It will require-
:: pretty, bright fabrics for the front
:: a fine wading for the centre
:: a durable and easily cleaned fabric for the back

Inspiration has been sought at the V&A quilt exhibition today in London and ideas are flowing from my head to my sketch book. But I wanted to take a brief pause to unload my thoughts on the exhibition. The two things which I took away from the exhibition are:

Pattern less, free formed patchworks are my favourite. These two pieces by artist Jo Budd really made an impression on me.

I love the colours, the sizes and the compositions. I love the large scale instant impression and yet appreciate the small scale and intricate stitching which holds the pieces all together. Is it just me, or are people a bit like this too? Obvious in one sense yet so much more intricate when we spend time getting to know them.

The second thing which captured my thoughts was the quilting done by inmates at Wandsworth Prison.

Quilting is therapeutic. It keeps our hands busy. My friend once told me that the best way to lose weight was to take up knitting. When we are knitting we can't be reaching for another chocolate from the box or we risk staining the wool with our mucky fingers when we return to the needles. It is the same with quilting. But even more than losing weight it keeps our minds busy, it makes us feel positive about achieving and it stops us from worrying about other things in our lives which can't be changed.

Mavis FitzRandolph in Traditional Quilting, 1954 said she could take no interest in life until she decided to get out her quilting frame. In spite of her unhappiness she was soon absorbed in the old fascination of 'studying what to put on' and then 'seeing the patterns form under her hand'. 'The quilting saved my life'.

Watch this space for my new quilt!

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