Quilted Treasures

Today, members of CE visited St Fagans for a talk about quilting and to their surprise and delight it wasn’t just about quilts but quilted clothes and related artefacts from the past were also shown.

We were taken back to the 18th century when women wore quilted petticoats. These were the days before zips, hooks and eyes and press studs and ties were used to keep clothing in place. Neither did clothing didn’t have pockets – they were also tied in place. The photo below is of a quilted petticoat and pockets made from recycled quilted fabric.

A child’s skirt from the same period was also shown.

Next we were shown some lovely little folding needlecases and a handkerchief holder that had been exquisiitely made and preserved. These would probably have been kept in the pockets (above)

We then moved onto the 20th century. In the depression of the 1930s cooperatives were set up in 6 areas of Wales to train women in the art of quilting. The quilts were made and sold to the wealthier population and brought in much needed income.

Individuals could create their own design and Welsh designs evolved.

Wholecloth Sateen

Velvet front

Click here to view a quilt made in 1933 by the Porth Quilting cooperative which was one of 6 quilting groups established by the Rural Industries Bureau to revive the art of quilting in the depressed South Wales valleys.

This bed jacket was made in 1948

and around the same period this nightdress case

In 1951 a large-scale quilting exhibition was staged at St Fagans as part of Wales’ contribution to the Festival of Britain. Billed as ‘the largest, most comprehensive and the most interesting of its kind ever staged in the Principality’, the exhibition showcased the work of 60 contemporary quilters, alongside historic examples from the Museum’s collection and private owners.

This little baby bonnet won 3rd prize in the competition.

This quilt is thought to have been made for a bottom drawer. It has what appears to be a regal centre piece of fleur de Lys and crowns indicating it might have been made around 1911.

And this quilt is more of any every day quilt – well used but also well preserved

A huge vote of thanks to Elen, our host, who took us on a wonderful journey to explore the variety of ways that quilting has been used in the past – backed up with some fascinating Welsh history.

And before we left some of us popped into one of the galleries to see a beautiful 18th century silk gown that is currently being exhibited

Click here to view more examples of the Welsh Quilt Collection.


New Year – New Projects

Today’s Cutting Edge was the first of the New Year and as usual busy as ever. Some were busy working on new pieces of work and others were busy with ongoing projects.

Rosie was busy cutting Japanese fabric for a project that she started a while ago

Corinne and Keris had resumed work on beach themed quilts that they had started last year

Fiona was busy sewing a skeleton with a view to hanging it in her workplace – and it glows in the dark!

And she showed some lovely bags that she had made

Hilary showed a bag that she had made from an apron

Monica showed a mouse that she had made from the Luna Lupin range

And, Mary was very pleased with the fabric that she had Procion dyed at the recent Dyeing to Paint session

At morning prayers members were encouraged to join in a new group project entitled Make Do & Mend. The theme is to create something from recycled fabrics e.g. denim jeans, old shirts, vintage table cloths etc or.. to use up scraps of fabric from their overflowing scrap buckets – none of which should be a problem for the group. Maggie was already busy using a vintage table cloth and wool fabrics to create her own brand of vintage crafts

And, Amanda was already busy making a scrap quilt as was Jan and Brenda. Plus, Frances was making a hexagon quilt

To start the them off with the challenge Chris brought in an old dolls pram to see if anyone would be interested in renovating it… which sparked a lot of childhood memories!

In addition to the initial suggestions put forward a few people offered ideas which will be shared at future meetings – so watch this space!

Dyeing to Get Going Again!

After the Christmas break there was a flurry of activity at Dyeing to Paint today. And, to kick start the day Fiona very kindly gave a demonstration of printing fabric with opaque fabric paints before overdyeing with Procion dyes. She showed some fabulous samples on both fabric and paper.

block printing before overdyeing

Overdyeing the block printing

And, before long there was a wonderful array of fabrics being hung up to dry….

Whilst this was going on others in the group were busy with their own projects.

Isobelle had been experimenting with eco-printing which gave some rather interesting images

Jan was trying out lino cutting and printing…..

Chris was doing a bit of drawing

Keris was stencilling elephants on fabric she had previously ice-dyed

Pat was transforming a lampshade that had been water damaged…..

Mary was trying out the Thermofax

And Glynis was enjoying her 70th birthday with some yummy choclate cake – Go Glynis!!!

Lots of wet procion dyed fabric was taken home and we look forward to seeing the results soon!

Carry on Sewing at Christmas!

Today was our last session before Christmas and the one where we celebrate with a Christmas lunch and Secret Santa. But, before the merriment got underway there were a few projects to crack on with and a glorious variety of beautiful completed projects to enjoy at ‘Show and Tell’

Caroline, Sally and Jan were busy beavering away and Caroline showed us some lovely bags she had made for her WI

In one corner there was a focus on Christmas and in another we had a knitting circle happily clicking away!

Jaci was in modelling mode and showed off a lovely pair of handwarmers and scarf that she had made. She emphasised that it was a very easy pattern – should anyone be interested

There were some lovely table runners in the making, or completed – courtesy of Julia and Corinne…..

Fiona showed little robins she had made using log cabin method and highlighted the importance of seam allowance to get them the right size

And it was great to see that more of the Christmas trees – started on members day – had been completed

Truda delighted us with these beautiful little creatures that she had made

Salinder showed some indigo samples from recent experimenting

And a lantern she had made from tea bags

Pat and Frances showed beautiful quilts they had recently completed. Frances’was a family heirloom made from shirts

And Pat’s was one of five, made for grandchildren. The children had designed their own qults and chosen the colourways

What a treat to start the day – and there was even more to come!

Our group never fails to deliver when it comes to the Christmas lunch – beautiful quiche, salads, vol au vents, stuffed potatoes, tortilla etc. etc. And the dessert’s were just scrummy – laden with calories – but who cares – it’s Christmas!

A huge ‘thank you’ to Sandra for providing the mulled wine – as always it was delicious!

And to round off the day there was Secret Santa to enjoy…..

The usual day of joy and merriment with the majority of the group coming together to celebrate the festive season. We would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and New Year and we look forward to seeing you in January for another fun packed year!

Below are Christmas wishes from two former members…..

Gilly Middleburgh – former member of the group emailed to say that she is pleased that the tradition of stuffed baked potatoes that she used to make for the Christmas lunch continues. ” I do miss Cutting Edge, there is nothing like it here. Please give my love everyone at CE who knows me – I wish them all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year”.

A very Merry Christmas to you and all at Cutting Edge. I’m looking forward to seeing photos of the lunch on the blog‘. Catherine Pritchard

Sea What You Can Achieve on a Wet & Windy Day!

On a wet and miserable day the mood was vibrant in St Hilary village hall with lots of experimenting going on….

Chris decided today was the day she created the design on her Dyeing to Paint apron – a sea themed effect which looks stunning and original. Loving the colour combination!

Caroline was busy experimenting with wooden print blocks and stencils …. and some plastic lace used as a stencil has great potential

Fiona was busy creating greenery on paper for a course that she is currently doing – and after seeing the procion overdyeing there was a request from members to try it out next time

Monica brought along pattern pieces of a denim bag that she is making so that she could stencil on to them

And then had a go with a new stencil – which proved to be popular

Monica’s steniclling

Keris’ stencilllimg

Another wonderful care free day of creating – what more could you ask for?

Quilt Extravaganza!

Yesterday’s Cutting Edge was a bit of a quilt extravaganza when it came to show and tell – and it was lovely seeing the breadth of talent there is in the group for patchwork and quilting,

Frances showed a beautiful quilt that she had made with japanese fabrics

Marie was busy finishing off this quilt – which is bound to be a jolly addition to any child’s bedroom

Jan also had a fun quilt to show

Helen showed a giraffe quilt that she is making for her grand daughter – which will surely be treasured!

And Kerry also had a show stopper of a quilt

In addition to all this lovely work Kerry showed a whimsical llama rug that she had made

Jaci was working on a beautiful piece of free machine embroidery

And Karen brought in some wonderful pieces of work that she had brought back from her overseas travels

The fabric journal group was busy meeting to share ideas….

And others were busy with Christmas! Following the members day workshop last week Sally was on a mission to finish her tree. Love the pink garden gloves Sally!

Carol was busy making Christmas panels

Caroline had made a beautiful decoration from triangles

Glyis had made some table mats following a visit to Midsomer Quilting

And Truda, Lesley and Rosie showed their the folded Christmas trees that they made at the members day last week. The patterns were sourced by Keris on a trip to New Zealand earlier this year.

Lesley also had a tree that she had made in a previous year – also from a New Zealand pattern.

A busy, creative and enjoyable day, as always. Well done everyone!

The Christmas Tree Challenge!

Today was an unusual day for Cutting Edge – there was an air of quiet about the room and evidence of great concentration as members tackled the Christmas tree patterns they had chosen to make.

There was an simple but lovely design expertly tackled – and completed – by Liz…

Then there was a 2nd choice – a folded Christmas tree which took 76 x 3″ squares. A popular choice and once the pattern template had been tinkered with – worked extremely well!

Rosie’s work in progress

Truda busy at work

Pat’s 2nd tree – she had done a ‘Blue Peter’ and made one earlier

And, then there was the 3rd option – an applique tree which seemed to take a little while longer than the others-can’t imagine why?

There was a lot of drawing….

a lot of ironing to position the pieces.

At one point Amanda seemed to be glued to the ironong board herself!

Sally came with her piece of work bonded and then spent the day sewing – and had a little help from a friend…

What was most interesting was that everyone’s tree was different because of the way they had approached them and Jan’s finished project looks fantastic!

And amidst the Christmas tree frenzy Monica tackled something completely different – to practice her free machine embroidery!

A very productive day with some beautifully completed – or nearly completed trees – looking forward to seeing more next week – maybe?

It coudn’t have been that bad because a number of people have requested copies of another tree pattern to try!

And Lesley is going to Devonport in New Zealand and will visit the shop that the patterns were bought from so hopefully we will be able to have photos to show the shop owner. We are sure that she will be thrilled to see such wonderful works of art….

And not only Lesley will have been to her shop. Keris (who bought the patterns), Monica and Truda have also been there in the past. What a small world!