Sunday, 23 March 2014

An Idea

A little inspiration for a cold and wet Sunday afternoon.  This is an image of a Roman mosaic found in Malta,  how wonderful it would be as a quilt.  One day, maybe.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

A Little Finish

This afternoon I have finished the boro book cover that I've posted about a few times. I am pleased with it and love all that it represents. I have added the length  of "kimono ribbon" that held our name cards when we travelled to various places during the Japanese Textile Study Tour in 2012.  The book inside is A4 size. 
The weather has turned chilly again after persuading us all that Spring had arrived. Good weather for sewing. 
Al and I have been looking after Sam for a few days. We are exhausted (there's a good reason why we have children while we are young) but have been having a great time. Here's Sam dressed in a onesie for the Sports Relief activities at school yesterday and he's showing off his odd socks which we all wore in support of World Down's Syndrome Day, also yesterday. 
I apologise to the writers of blogs I follow. I have not been receiving notifications from Bloglovin recently, nor have I been able to post comments from my phone when I've eventually read your posts. I will investigate but I am thinking of you all and enjoying your posts. 
Happy weekend. 

Monday, 17 March 2014

Artists' Studios Spotted

These is a terrible photo, which I snapped through the coach window when I visited London at the weekend, but I wanted to make a quick record so that I could find out more once I got home, and now I want to share it with you.
The terrace, on Talgarth Road, West Kensington, is of purpose-built artists' studios, hence the large windows, which face northwards for the light.  They were designed by Frederick Wheeler in the Arts and Crafts style for James Fairless who was a publisher of classical prints.  Built in 1891, they were designed for bachelor artists and had a basement kitchen with a room for a housekeeper. The small, vertical windows on the upper floor are for the ease of bringing larges canvases in and out of the properties.  
There was an article in Country Life, which included an old drawing of the properties, which were originally known as St Paul's Studios.
One of the studios sold in 2012 for £1.3 million, leading to articles in the newspapers:
and estate agents are interested enough in the properties to do some research:  
Several estate agents' details came up in a web search and I found this photo on Rightmove, which, although the property listed is no longer for sale, shows several interior photographs too.
Further searching led me to this wonderful website, London Details, to which I shall be returning.  Travelling through London you spy so many incredible buildings, in such varied styles, and they all have their stories.  Talgarth Road is now a very busy, noisy and dusty route into central London, but the St Paul's Studios retain their elegance and their attractive features, they were Grade II listed in 1970, so the "special characteristics of the building" cannot be altered. 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Boro in London
"This April Somerset House will host an exhibition on the Japanese textile tradition of boro. Translated to ‘rags’ in English, boro is the collective name for items – usually clothing and bed covers – made by the poor, rural population of Japan who could not afford to buy new when need required and had to literally make ends meet by piecing and patching discarded cotton onto existing sets, forming something slightly different each time they did so. Generations of Japanese families repaired and recycled fishermen’s jackets to futon covers, handing them down to the next and weaving their own sagas and stories through the threads. 

"As such boros are seen to have significant sociohistorical status by providing an insight into the modest lives of those that made them and a snapshot of the country’s impoverished past, but they can also be viewed as articles of great artistic value. Consciously or otherwise, the once humble objects can be considered works of art with their unique arrangements of shapes and beautiful hues of blues and browns, reminiscent of the paintings of Paul Klee or the combines of Robert Rauschenberg. In this context, Boro will showcase 40 historic boro pieces in a new light within Somerset House’s East Wing Galleries from a collection never before displayed and compiled over six years by antiquarians Gordon Reece and Philippe Boudin."

Gordon Reece opened a gallery in Knareborough and another in Mayfair and promoted the appreciation of non-European crafts.  The galleries closed in 2007.

Philippe Boudin is the director of the Mingei Arts Gallery in Paris.

I am planning to see this exhibition and will, of course, report back.  In the meantime, pop over to Susan Briscoe's blog where she has shared some of her own collection of boromono and a lot of information about these evocative textiles.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Beach Huts and the Seaside

I made good progress with my projects while I was away in Norfolk. I finished a block and a mug rug for the Global Piecers' swap, while I can't show you as I only posted them off to South Dakota today.  On the first day I also did the centre of my beach hut quilt:
I was pleased with how it went together as the last time I did an Attic Window block it was a bit of a mess. This time I was very much more accurate with where I stopped and started the stitching. 
On day two it was a fairly straightforward process to add the border fabric, with four more mitred seams. 
I now need to make the "quillow" part of the project and get quilting. 
It wasn't all stitching though. I was joined by Sara and Sam for the weekend and we were joined by the sunshine so headed to the beach.