Monday, 29 March 2010

NEC Visit

Now I have to include this chair because it was simply SO stunning and I wanted to there and then chase off with it in my arms. This was being exhibited by Dr Isabel Elliott whose 3 or 4 display stalls were marked up 'A Celebration of Stitch' and by jove they were exactly that! They weren't even all her lifes work, she said she had as much again and more,
 at home!
Isabel was former Mistress of Embroidery ( now I LOVE that title!) at Gloucester Cathedral but way before that was a Geologist for the, what is now Natural History Museum.
She may be an elderly lady, but what a 'Gentlewoman' she is. A Lady from an era long gone now,she is articulate, interesting, a lively communicator and seemed to have boundless energy considering she must have been there thursday to sunday! I spoke to her both friday and saturday and she kindly allowed me to take these photos, to show friends who are Miniaturists primarily, but who also recognise fascinating stitchery too.
The chair she saw and felt sorry for, at an auction and bought it though in well worn condition for  a £1. It had been upholstered very well in its day she recognised and she hung onto it, until one day it dawned on her what to do with it.......well, it was Childs chair afterall, she said!

These were what I knew my friends would have found such fun, an alternative wall hung miniature house, well, shops in this case!
But she had also stitched a whole village! Her houses ranged from twelfth scale down to 24th scale and smaller. She displayed all manner of cushions, cosies, pillows and other such items but these were what took my eye especially.
Now Im starting to work my way through the treats that I bought and it must be said Im happy with what I brought home lol
I now have The Art of Felt - by Francois Tellier-Loumange but Im saving that to feast on later so it satill plastic wrapped........such self discipline eh!

And having watched Lynda Monk and her fabric altering techniques on the Art Van Go stand, I now have her Stitching the Textured Surface. And its a cracking book, laid out well and very informative with sumptious photos.

I have no idea why, but I bought The Creative Edge by Mary Todd Beam and tho it is for painters, it struck me as showing good instructional paint techniques that could well transfer to some fabrics. It has lots of mini workshops within it, so you extend your confidence with colours and mediums.

Then an absolute treat for me at only £6 on the second hand books stall.......Patty McCormick's ( as new) - Pieces of an American Quilt. Now this is about the making of the quilts used in the film
- How to Make an American Quilt.
I saw this film years and years ago and have never managed to find it again to watch! Yes it was shmaltsy but I had just become interested in patchwork back then and I loved it.
The film was from a fictional book by Whitney Otto, who is an author, not a quilter or patchworker and when Spielberg, yes HIM, set his team on to make the fim......the Props Department soon realised, they would need a person with historical, cultural, patchwork and quilting knowledge, to organise the various quilts mentioned in the story and the blocks being made by the actresses in the film.
Now Anne Bancroft had appliqued before but Dr Maya Angelou, Jean Simmons, Ellen Burnstein, Kate Nelligan, Lois Smith and Alfre Woodward all needed much help along the way!
Winona Rider was in it too but didnt stitch, in fact in one scene she runs with the Friendship Quilt of the story wrapped round her and she trailed it through all sorts of muck! She will never be forgiven for that, despite it being part of her role in the story!
I also now own several wonderful threads but more of those later lol

OH and finally, here are some of the Killed Catalogues, that Maggie Grey has inspired me to try and alter. She mentions them on her blog
www. and Im trailing behind but hope to catch up!
Bear in mind, mine are not so much catalogues as Funeral Directors Diaries from about 1921 and I want to try and preserve some of the text!
It will bring a whole new twist to 'Who Do You Think You Are'
and local family history!

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