Busy, busy days but happy, happy times! Recently I went with Darling Daughter to a craft exhibition. The show was located in a beautiful village, encompassing the lovely 15th Century church, village hall and community centre. We have visited Gresford Festival of Crafts many times and never been disappointed. See http://www.gresford-craft-group.co.uk
The amazingly good crafts are displayed in the church, draped across the pews and decorating the nave. We wandered around happy to soak up the inspiration, colour, textiles and peace!
A beautiful display of Daisies hiding in the graveyard
The church is surrounded by a grove of yews, some of which are equal in size and age to those of Overton listed in the Seven Wonders of Wales. Twenty-five of these were planted in 1726, but one growing near the south gate is older. It was already an ancient tree at the time of Richard II‘s proclamation that ordered the general planting of yews to support the army and the use of yew in the Longbow.
I found this cot quilt in a charity shop yesterday ( thrift shop). I think that it is machine made ( or maybe not).I think that it’s not very old ( maybe it is). It is destined to be re purposed in my Textile inspiration packs and have another life. See my Etsy shop firstname.lastname@example.org
Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without!
As I said I recently spent a beautiful weekend in Plas Tan Y Bwlch with the North Wales Embroiderers Guild.
At first I was overwhelmed by the talent of the other Guild members, but then I decided that I can only learn from them. I learned a LOT.
There were three tutors on the weekend and we each chose to attend one “craft” There was screen printing, machine embroidery and Appliqué. I chose to stay in my comfort zone of appliqué.
Our tutor was particularly good as she showed slides of her journey through Uzbekistan and the textiles which are a specialty of that area. The Suzanis were very similar to the textiles that I saw in India.
These cushion covers were embroidered by my Nanna ( Grandmother) in circa 1950 They were embroidered using a variety of stitches and stranded silk threads.
The cushion covers were worked onto white linen and have to be stitched onto the cushion pad as there is no zip or fastening. They have been freshly laundered and had some running repairs today. They now have pride of place in my lounge and I adore them!
They are NOT for sale in my Etsy shop!
What a difference a day makes! Today was sunny, bright and cheerful. There was a “start of the season” party on the sea front today. There was live music, RNLI (which we all hope we will never need!) children’s games and a display of plastic waste! The plastic was shocking and brought home how much plastic waste that there must be in the sea. Nothing better than visual aides!
I have also put another vintage cloth into my Etsy shop Visit noddfacrafts.etsy.com
This is a beautiful vintage linen tray cloth.
Whilst my trip to India was a wonderful adventure, I was extremely disappointed to find on arrival in Delhi that the block printing section had been removed from the itinerary ( as were most other people on the tour) The travel company “Colouriscious” had removed that leg of the holiday and no one realised until we arrived in Delhi. The remaining elements of the adventure however, were amazingly good.
We did see a small example of block printing when attending other workshops.
Used blocks covered in Indigo paint.
Cloth printed and partially embroidered. This fabric is destined to become a sari. When the embroidery is complete it will be washed in the river ( Which didn’t look too clean!) and dried in the sun. The washing removes the indigo print and leaves the white embroidery. It will become a beautiful, very white sari.
Bear with me! Only one more Textile Adventure blog to go!
Surajkund International Craft Fair reputed to be one of the largest in the World! It was huge! There was a great atmosphere with all ages visiting the annual fair. It felt completely safe with much friendly banter. We were the only white faces to be seen and obviously a spectacle of interest. We were constantly asked for permission for the locals to take selfies with us. I felt like a celebrity when even three policemen asked could they pose with me!
There was music everywhere, dance troupes at every corner and street food of every description.
I learned to barter which doesn’t sit easily with my shopping habit! I did, however buy pashminas, scarves and cushion covers!
It was the hottest day of the holiday but that added to the atmosphere of a never to be forgotten experience, in India.
There was men weaving on “pit looms” the most exquisite silk saris. Their sons would often sit with them to learn the trade. The homes where this takes place, were frequently poorly lit. Interestingly they were also listening to cricket on the radio ( and India was winning!)This lady attempted to show us how to work Chiken stitch a traditional shadow stitch often worked on saris and pashminas. I tried hard but failed miserably!Market stalls were piled high with traditional textiles in eye popping colours.
Traditional crafts were apparent in the maintenance of buildings, contrasting with the poverty on the roadsides and city streets.
on my recent “Textile Treasure Hunt” to India I saw many people working long hours in often, difficult conditions. They were invariably pleasant, smiley and happy.