Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Canadian Red Cross Quilts

Went to a lovely exhibition today of Canadian Red Cross quilts at Maidstone Museum. These quilts were made in their thousands by women and men in Canada and shipped to the UK by the Canadian Red Cross and distributed to bombed out families.

There are about 20 quilts on display, beautifully but simply made. Some of them are showing signs of wear (not surprising given that they are now getting on for 75 years old), and the colours are now faded and subtle. A lot of them  were tied and not quilted.

I couldn't take photographs, so you will have to make do with some drawings:

There is one quilt made out of suitings thought to have come from a tailor's sample book.

There is a similar quilt in Sevenoaks Museum, made in the early 1900s by a lady living in Sevenoaks, and that too is made from a tailor's samples book. I was lucky enough to attend a 3 day workshop about 18 months ago, the aim being to make a quilt using the tailor's samples quilt as inspiration. The drawings and notes I made at the time are all in pencil and haven't scanned well enough to include, but here is the piece I made. It's about 26" x 16", has been deliberately left raw edged to reflect the condition of the original quilt. What entranced me about the original quilt was the diversity of woven patterns and textures, which I tried to reflect in the very dense quilting. The piecing is English Paper piecing, and the fabrics I have used are mainly Oakshott cottons,.

In case you are wondering where the bright orange came from, the backing of the original quilt had gone apart from a narrow strip down one side - a reference to it had to be included!