Sunday, 28 August 2016

August Allcomers Day

About a dozen happy quilters gathered together at the Red Cross Rooms on Saturday morning for Allcomers Day.  I was happy to be there too, and took my sewing machine along and one of my many UFOs to work on.  Due to health reasons I hadn’t been to many club activities lately, so it was something I was looking forward to. 

Most ladies were working on their sewing machines, a couple of quilts got pinned out, and there was a little bit of hand stitching going on too.  Barbara was hand stitching a pretty little mug rug, just the right size to place your morning tea, she said.  And Debi showed me her paper pieced blocks she was starting, one was a pretty cup cake, and the other was a big black spider!

Wendy has joined a little group of club members all busy hand stitching their own version of the fabulous La Passacaglia quilt.  This is surely a labour of love, and Wendy said that planning the fabrics and colours is so much fun.  These quilts take a lot of time and dedication, and we look forward to seeing the finished products some time in the future.

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Wendy busy hand stitching

Kath was sitting at a table in a lovely sunny spot and showed me her sampler blocks.  Made of of red, black and white fabrics, they looked lovely indeed.

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Kath’s sampler blocks

Janneke makes many quilts for Ronald McDonald House, and was pinning up her latest one, ready for machine quilting.  Some little one is sure to love this.

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Janneke’s charity quilt

I decided to take myself off home after lunch, as the energy levels were starting to flag a little.  With several hours more stitching time, the ladies would have had a lot to show for their day out.  It was lovely to catch up with everyone again, and thanks for your company.

Jenny Benton

Monday, 22 August 2016

Textiles at Te Takare

Have you been to see the “Textiles from Around the World” exhibition at Te Takere?   Our local library is currently showing some of Judy Turner’s treasures collected over many years of travels, starting when she travelled to Beijing with the British Foreign Office in the 1960s. 

Added to over the years, she collected textiles as she travelled through Asia, India, and Africa. She is particularly interested in the cultural role the textiles play in their country of origin.  The beautiful dyed, printed, woven and embroidered textiles  have deep significance to their owners and are thought to convey protection or good fortune.

I particularly liked this piece of colourful embroidered birds, worked on black and white striped cotton, and used in clothing.

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Embroidery over striped fabric from Guatemala

The Marsh Arab red rug made in Southern Iraq glowed with colour.  This traditional rug was woven by men and embroidered by women. 

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Marsh Arab rug from Iraq

The Toran at the top of the next photo is hung over the doorway on special occasions to bring good luck and prosperity.  The embroidered cloth underneath is known as a Dharaniyo is designed to hang in front of a pile of folded quilts and household items  to make the room tidy.  Wouldn’t all quilters worldwide want one of these beauties?  Both items made in Kutch, north west India.

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Toran and Dharaniyo from India

From Nigeria came the Status Robe, assembled from many narrow strips joined both horizontally and vertically to make the garment.  Both the weaving and the elaborate embroidery are the work of men.  The robe sits atop another beautiful textile piece.

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Nigerian Status robe

Of course, there is a lot more to see than is shown here.  Do pop along to the library and see these treasures for yourself.  Judy Turner points out that in many communities art is not a picture on the wall, but a beautiful, intricately made textile.  These are appreciated for the skills of the maker, and  the meaning behind the patterns, and are handed down over the generations.

Jenny Benton