Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Quilts

Look what I went to see yesterday....

I met up with my good friend Jude at the V & A to see the long awaited quilt exhibition... and what a treat! I'm never quite sure how I feel about quilts. My first instinct is to say I'm not that keen... but actually I am. I then might say that they are okay when they are used and I just don't like them on walls but some contemporary quilts that I like very much are meant to be on walls. So I've now come to the conclusion that I do in fact like quilts... very much... but just not all of them!

However, this wonderful exhibition with over seventy items on display was amazing. The first item is this stunning 18th century bedhanging, exquisitly hand stitched in a clamshell design.

Can you even begin to imagine the hours it took!

There were so many different examples... beautiful whole cloth quilts, some pieced from silks and brocades, one from tiny woollen hexagons stitched by a serviceman in India in the late 19th century, others made from paper, some fine examples of contemporary quilts too... I liked those by Grayson Perry and Michele Walker, Pauline Burbridge and Jo Budd. Far too many to list them all. The last exhibit, like the first, was another four poster bed with embroidered and appliqued bed linen by Tracey Emin. I know she's not everyone's cup of tea but I like the rawness and honesty of her work and I thought this was a fitting end to the exhibition. I'm so glad I'm going back again in a couple of weeks.

Of course we had to pass through the shop and Jude came up with an idea for our annual challenge (I'm sure this gets earlier every year). We both bought a fat quarter of the same fabric and we have to use it for each other's Christmas pressie... no doubt I'll be doing this in early December. I only hope I remember where I put the fabric in the mean time!

Jude thought this might be us with our quilts... which one was you again Jude????

After a tea break we also popped in to see Grace Kelly: Style Icon which features 50 items from the wardrobe of Grace Kelly. I thought this was disappointing. The outfits seemed dull and drab which seemed strange at first because in the photographs and film clips of Grace wearing the outfits she looked stunning. We concluded that in fact it was Grace Kelly that was stunning and it probably didn't matter what she wore. The outfits on their own just didn't seem that special.

Our day finished as always with supper at Joe Allens... pretty much a perfect day!

19 comments:

  1. Oh Gina -- you're soooo LUCKY!!! I'd LOVE to see that exhibition - if only I weren't so far away {insert wailing}. Maybe it will come to the U.S.??? ;-)

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  2. Great day Gina I am hoping to run a school trip to that exhibition ....Lorna

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  3. My blog friend Janet, A Quilters Journal has been showing photos of the exhibition for a few weeks now...it's something I'd love to go to.. she's on my blog list..

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  4. Sounds like a fantastic day Gina. I feel the same about quilts - some of them are fascinating and exquisitely made and others don't have the same appeal. Obviously the saying 'it's not what you wear but the way that you wear it' applies to the Grace Kelly exhibition.

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  5. i am soo looking forward to seeing this exhibition - can't wait, your pictures look brilliant.
    x

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  6. I enjoyed the quilt exhibition very much and will make at least one more visit. Marie and I are going to see the Grace Kelly on Thursday, if I not too thrilled I will just have to pop again into the quilts so thanks for the warning.

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  7. Though not a quilt maker I just love quilts and admire the work in them ... that bed hanging is wonderful!

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  8. Oh thank goodness someone has finally come down on the side of Tracey Emin. She might not "do" pretty but she has a different take on life. I had considered not going to see this exhibition, but based on your post, well.......

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  9. One day I want to go to the V&A...I think there was an article in Selvedge about quilts...I love them, I also loved the film how to make an american quilt...wish someone would make me one of those...love H

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  10. Glad you loved the V & A - I met my sister there on Monday and oh it was wonderful - I couldn't decide which was my favorite, tho some of the stories behind them were somewhat moving - the quilt made by the women on the convict ship and the hexagons made by the girl guides in the japanese prisoner of war camp. We ran out of time so did not get into see the Grace Kelly exhibition.

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  11. Two exhibitions in one day? Are you trying to turn me green?!

    Sounds blissful.

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  12. I'm the one on the right, completely obscured by the quilt frame...

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  13. The quilt exhibition looks fascinating, and I always think of how hard those quilts were to make with th eamount of time they took.

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  14. The Grace Kelly exhibition has been panned by the critics - one of them wrote that it looked 'moth eaten'. The Horace Walpole exhibition is very good and I hope to pop back for another look.

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  15. I understand your opinion, until recently I would not have used quilting as a technique to create a piece of my work but for some bizarre reason I have been making quilts.. I love painting onto the fabrics with acrylic or oil sticks and then being able to stitch into the fabric surface has been theraputic for me. Additonally, they take up less storage space than canvas and the fabric allows me to work larger than ever before. I too prefer contemporary / art quilts.

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  16. Oh those bed curtains!! I sometimes love the thought of spending so much time on one gorgeous project don't you Gina? Trouble is I always feel I am missing out on something! x

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  17. Wow, sounds like such a good day out. That's really interesting about the Grace Kelly things ... I think you're probably right. She did sort of 'glow' didn't she? x

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  18. That shell design quilt is beautiful - isn't it funny - the fabric designs look like modern ones - or is it just that those little ditsy florals are very fashionable now. Fascinating stuff.

    A Christmas challenge already? Sheesh!

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  19. I'm looking forward to going and seeing this too.
    Shame that the Grace Kelly exhibit was disappointing though. I also wanted to see this but might give it a miss now.

    Monda
    x

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