On Saturday 6th October I gave a talk about my quilt, ‘The River Ran Red’ at Eaton Bray for Region 7 of the UK Quilters Guild.
This region covers Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire. And what a friendly and well organised group they are!
These regional days pack a lot in: traders’ stalls, a big bring and buy table and a raffle for guild funds, superb cake, show and tell of members’ quilts and, of course, talks.
The phenomenon that is Philippa Naylor
In the morning we were in for a treat. The speaker was international prize winning quilter Philippa Naylor. I have long admired Philippa’s exquisite, flowing whole cloth quilting, but I never realised what an absolute hoot she is. Her main message to the audience was that we should enjoy life to the full and that success does not depend on unique special talents or gifts. She told us that her success is down to dedication and lots of hard work. Anyone can achieve an outstanding standard of work, if you have the discipline and commitment. She says life is short, so do what you love and work at it until you become really good. She did also emphasise that having been born in Yorkshire helps, it gives you grit!
It was clear that Philippa knows how to remain connected to joy and fun which fuels her creativity and staying power. She entertained us in words and pictures with details of what she really loves in life. Family, her chickens and ducks, her flower and vegetable garden, her home, her county, beauty and nature. Hard not to smile just remembering how she conveyed her passion for life. And all of this shines through in her stunning quilts, several of which were on show.
River Ran Red Quilt
More modestly, the group heard a talk in the afternoon from me about my City and Guilds quilt inspired by the 19th Century Norwich Shawls. With added info on our dye garden and how to use grand teint plant dyes to achieve bright and fast colours on fabrics.
Here are some links I promised for anyone interested in learning more.
Costume and Textile Association (C&TA) – http://www.ctacostume.org.uk
Norfolk Museums Service https://www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk
The Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell has a Jacquard loom and displays of Norwich textiles.
The Castle Museum holds one of the country’s leading costume and textile collections.
Textile tours often feature as part of Norfolk and Norwich Festival https://nnfestival.org.uk/ and are also promoted by the C&TA. A good general trail is https://www.ifootpath.com/display-ifootpath-walk?walkID=839. The official tourist information centre tours take different themes every year and the programme can be found here https://www.visitnorwich.co.uk/shopping/shops/listing/tourist-information-centre/
Aviva Leigh – now based in the Norfolk market town of Aylsham – is a tinctorialist and designer who has studied and promoted the history of Norwich textiles and recently presented her work for the Geoffrey Squire Bursary Award of the CT&A recreating dyed woven textiles from 18C Norwich pattern books.
Clabburn, Pamela (1995) The Norwich Shawl. Norfolk Museums Service London HMSO.
Hoyte, Helen (2010) The Story of the Norwich Shawl. Norwich: N. Williams.
Morris, Thelma (2008) Made in Norwich; 700 Years of Textile Heritage, Norwich: N.Williams.
Chenciner, R. (2000) Madder Red, A history of luxury and trade. Curzon, Caucasus World
Dean, J. Wild Colour – How to Grow, Prepare and Use Natural Plant Dyes. Mitchell Beazley, 2010
Liles, J. N. The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing: Traditional Recipes for Modern Use University of Tennessee Press, 1990
Cardon, D. Natural Dyes: Sources, Tradition, Technology and Science. Archetype Publications Ltd 2003
Mordants and plant dyes :
Willo Fibres http://www.willofibres.co.uk
Tim and Denise have taken over the dye supply business of P&M Woolcraft.
Helen Melvin at Fiery Felts http://www.fieryfelts.co.uk/shop/
For plants – a lovely family run nursery in Wales – https://www.7wells.co.uk