Ruth Singer at The Quilt Association

We were absolutely delighted to welcome textile artist Ruth Singer to Llanidloes yesterday. Ruth, winner of the Fine Art Masters at the Festival of Quilts 2016, was visiting us to do preparatory work for our Summer Exhibition at which she will be displaying some of her wonderful work and tutoring a three-day Summer School on Experimental Quilting Techniques.

 

Our trustees were on hand to bring the quilts out of the storeroom and then refold and replace them after Ruth had finished her research.  Ruth photographed and made notes on the quilts and fragments and it was fascinating to work with her and listen to what she had to say about each one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You can see what a long day it was by the number of boxes we got out in the picture below but from our point of view it was so rewarding to see our collection being used and appreciated by a leading textile artist.  Thank you so much for coming Ruth.  We’re so looking forward to seeing your work hanging in our gallery and to your Summer School in August.

If you want to find out more about the Exhibition and Summer School click onto the relevant areas of our website.

To find out more about Ruth Singer go to her website https://ruthsinger.com/

Reasons to be cheerful

What a gloomy time we’re having here. Although the cold snap saw very low temperatures, at least the clear skies meant that the sun was able to show his face a little. Now it’s warmer but overcast, the sky a never-ending wash of grey. But cheer up!! Here at the Quilt Association we have lots to look forward to in the first few months of 2017.

Our first exhibition of the year opens on March 8th, is called Passion for Fashion and consists of an inspirational collection of clothes by a group of innovative designers. I’ll give you more details nearer the time. That runs until March 22nd. Then on March 25th it is World Textile Day here at the Minerva Arts Centre. This is always a very busy, popular day when we welcome visitors from far and wide to view stunning woven, printed and embroidered fabrics from around the world and buy scrumptious things from the Fair Trade market. There’s also a presentation, at 11am, by Liz Beasley of Añañuca Chilean Textiles called Dyeing to Weave: Of Spiders, Plants and Pigments in Chile. Sounds fascinating! Here’s a link to their website: http://www.worldtextileday.co.uk

 

A selection of items in the Fair Trade market in 2016

 

 

 

 

On the workshop front we begin with a two day workshop led by Linda Paris called Print and Stitch which will give participants the opportunity to learn the techniques of thermofax printing and to create a unique stitched item. The first day of the workshop is on 31st March with the follow-up day on 4th April. More details here: http://www.quilt.org.uk/index.php?topic=workshopdetail&id=103&year=

 

 

 

Here’s an example of Linda Paris’ work from her website  http://www.linda-paris.co.uk

Gorgeous!!

 

Our second workshop of the year follows on 8th April when Sandy Craig will be giving some lucky people an Introduction to lino printing. Details here: http://www.quilt.org.uk/index.php?topic=workshopdetail&id=102&year=

I’ve always wanted to have a go at lino printing.  Let’s hope I survive it with all fingers intact.

It’s going to be a busy few weeks and we’re so looking forward to welcoming you all to the Minerva Arts Centre.

Brrrr!!!

It’s suddenly gone very, VERY chilly here in Mid-Wales.  We had all been fooled into thinking that Winter was never going to arrive but this morning we awoke to a really heavy frost which hasn’t budged all day.  It’s got me really appreciating my central heating and I’ve been thinking, if I had been here over a hundred years ago, how glad I would have been to have a warm, cosy quilt to keep my toes warm.

The area around Llanidloes was renowned for its flannel making during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and, naturally, we are proud of the locally made flannel quilts in our collection.  This stunning one was made by Elizabeth Ashton (1873 – 1930) of Ty Capel, Llawryglyn near Llanidloes between 1890 – 1900.  Llawryglyn is the next village along from me and so I can picture exactly where Elizabeth was when she made this quilt. It measures 2105 x 2020mm and is a patchwork crosses design made of woollen fabrics, some of which have been fulled. Some fabrics are plain weave, others are twill. The quilt is held together with simple hand quilting. It has a plain weave red flannel binding.  If you look at it closely, as in this next photo, you can see how lovely and warm it would have been in the depths of winter.  It looks well used and loved but also very carefully looked after.

We’re so lucky to have been given this quilt to care for, so that future generations can see the work and love that went into making it.

‘Tis the Season…

Time almost seems to stand still at this time of year, doesn’t it?  The decorations are up, the presents are wrapped and the cake has been iced. And so there is a lull in the proceedings whilst we await Christmas Day. And during this lull we begin to take stock of what we have achieved since last Christmas and look forward to what we have got planned for the coming twelve months.

This has been a good year for the QA. We have hosted several exhibitions, including our own Summer Exhibition, and our workshop programme has gone from strength to strength – not least because of our wonderful new workroom which was opened at the beginning of the year. The programme for next year builds on this and 2017 looks like being a busy and exciting year. Our City and Guilds provision is thriving too.

Christmas is a time for tradition – making the pudding, hanging the stockings and leaving snacks for Father Christmas and his reindeer. But things change with each generation and new traditions appear – elf on a shelf, the Christmas Eve Box!  My daughter calls it ‘making memories’.  And thus it is with us at the Quilt Association. In our collection we hold many traditional quilts that have been made using traditional patterns and techniques and many of our workshops and exhibitions reflect this. But we are also inspired by new ideas and ways of working, so we love to run workshops and have exhibitions by many contemporary quilters who challenge the way we think and work.  That is what makes life here so exciting!!

We do hope to see many of you joining us here at the Minerva Arts Centre during 2017, whether you visit an exhibition or take part in a workshop.  Llanidloes is a beautiful little town in a fabulous setting and we are very welcoming to visitors!!

Our New Year’s resolution is to blog more regularly!!! We want to tell you about all the wonderful things that are happening here and keep you up to date with our news. We have vowed to make sure this happens. Georgina and I (Chris) will be collaborating on this and hope to keep you well informed and entertained.  Until our next post, on behalf of everyone at the Quilt Association, I’d just like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and peaceful 2017.

 

 

 

WHQ Round Robin

We have just hosted the Welsh Heritage Quilters’ biennial exhibition. If you missed it you will have to wait two years for the next one.  It filled both galleries and the workshop.  I am aways amazed by the quantity and quality of the work that the group produces and this year did not disappoint me.

There are aways some items grouped together that are the result of challenges.  Today everyone has been asked to start thinking of ideas for the next lot of challenges, so there will be plenty of time to work on them.

One of this year’s was a round robin based on strips.  In groups of 6 each person made a strip 36.5″ x 4.5″ using any design and choice of fabrics. This was then passed on to the next person in the group together with the fabric and a booklet outlining the theme and anything to avoid such as particular colours or embellishments. After all 6 people have done a strip for each of the members of the group, they are returned to the person who did the first one and they have the job of joining them together, in any way they like, and completing the quilt or wall hanging.

Here are the results from one of the groups.

20160330_140836  Strip Jackie

Strip Sheila  Strip Jeni

 

20160330_141030    Strip Maggie

The strips were all made by the same six people but are all so different. Also the approach to putting them together varies. The traditional way is to join them all horizontally without gaps or sashing.  But this restraint was not imposed.  It makes for a really interesting display.

 

 

 

 

 

The Workshop

20160331_150724 20160331_150706 20160330_141800So here we are at last.   The workshop is up and running. On Wednesday it was tested for the first time with a fabric dyeing in a jam jar session for the members of the Welsh Heritage Quilters. From this we realised that we needed a hand towel dispenser and a bin for the used towels. So obvious now but it is so easy to forget the obvious.

The other lesson that we learnt from this was that the public were not deterred from coming into the workshop to view the exhibition while a workshop was in progress. We really want the public to see everything that is going on in our Centre.

We have another workshop this week when those who have dyed fabric will be able to use them in a stained glass block.

The next workshop will be on 30th April when Rosie James will be guiding us through stitching a drawing. There are still a couple of places left if you fancy having a go.  There are more details on the Workshop page of this website.

 

 

 

Back Again

I really meant to write about happenings here at Minerva over the last few months but all sorts of things took over my life. But I am back again now and will have to learn how to write a blog all over again! It’s not easy for an octogenarian.

November and December were devoted to the annual Christmas Craft Fair. This group hire Gallery 1 and fill it with stalls that can provide the whole family with presents.

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The Lifelong Learning Department at Aberystwyth University have also been running workshops on basic sewing skills and upcycling, that looked more like upstyling to me.

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In January work started on splitting Gallery 2 into gallery and dedicated workshop area. The dividing wall is in but the sinks are yet to be installed.  These are going to make those workshops that require screen washing or rinsing fabric so much easier. The deadline for completion is World Textile Day on 19th March, another event that fills the galleries with colour and exciting purchases.

Then our workshop programme gets underway and the exhibitions follow one another in quick succession.  As for City and Guilds, our students are beavering away with some more due to graduate soon.