Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Design Influences Upon Quilts

There are a lot of exicted quilt historians and quilters looking forward to the March 20 -July 4, 2010 quilt exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London! From their PR: The V&A will present its first ever exhibition of British quilts, with examples dating from 1700 to the present day - a unique opportunity to view the V&A's unseen quilt collection as well as key national loans. Click and bookmark this link to keep updated about the details.

The V&A has recently published an extensivie research paper on a particular aspect of patchwork history: DOING TIME: PATCHWORK AS A TOOL OF SOCIAL REHABILITATION IN BRITISH PRISONS by Claire Smith Research Assistant CLICK HERE to read it.

My First Visit to the V&A
in 2007 was an Awesome Experience

I would even say the experience boarded on overwhelming. There was so much to see and absorb just in textiles alone. One of the many things I enjoyed about this visit was seeing examples of ancient designs that appear repeatedly in American quilting but have thier roots in the older Near and Far East.

I have loved ikat since my first visit to Asia when I was a teenager. This piece is not that old but it defintiely reminds me of an American quilt patern. Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

The above piece is a woven cloth patterned by selectively resist-dyeing the yarns before weaving. It is in the V&A collection and is loosley dated about 1850-1900. The pattern emerges as the cloth is woven. This technique is known as kasuri in Japan and ikat in South-East Asia. Does the alternate block resemble the Hole in the Barn quilt pattern to you?

Needlework from a woman's smock about 1630 England. Doesn't this remind you of late 18th century redwork?

Talk about exquisite patchwork! This Chinese garment shimmered.

(Photos are from my visit to the V&A in 2007.)

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