Thursday, 30 August 2007

Quilts from the Alhambra - Star Octagon

Star Octagon is another recurring pattern in Moorish decoration, used in tiling, screens and many other contexts. It adapts easily to patchwork piecing, only two templates being needed to form the pattern which is built up in squares.

In this version I've used a border fabric to add complexity to the design, as you can see in the detail shown below.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Festival of Quilts 2007 - Bob Adams

Apart from the pleasure of catching up with old friends, and of seeing new work by people whose progress I've been following for years, every FOQ holds exciting possibilities for encountering artists who may be well-established but who are new to me. This year it was the artist Bob Adams whose quilted textiles proved to be a revelation.

Do you know the story The Twelve Dancing Princesses, by the Brothers Grimm?
Blue Trunks, shown here with Bob's permission, immediately transported me into the magical landscape through which the princesses passed on their way to illicit rendevous with their dancing partners. It has a slightly eerie, unreal atmosphere; it is a landscape which we can recognise but yet makes us feel a little uneasy.

All Bob's quilted textiles are suffused with atmospheric light - the quilts in the series based on observations of the phases of the moon in particular reveal a truthful observation of celestial phenomena which is transcended and transfomed by the subtle play of light and colour.

As so often the case with textile art, illustrations cannot do justice to the work. The texturised surfaces add depth and complexity to the graphic images: seen 'for real', these pieces express the sheer pleasure and satisfaction which the artist finds in using fabric and stitch. In her book, The Work of Craft, Carla Needleman says this: 'The beauty of the object derives from the quality of the work that went into it. ' Bob Adam's textiles are beautiful, and beautifully crafted. Find out more about him on:

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Heritage Quilters visit The Brown House

Heritage Quilters of Carlisle visited The Brown House on 31st July. Here we are, inspecting some quilts in my attic work-room. This one is a Trailing Stars scrap quilt. Luckily, the appalling weather we'd had the previous day relented and the party were able to look at the garden as well. Somehow, interest in gardens and quilts seems to go together so most people who come to visit the one, also want to see the other!