Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Some Great Textile, Needlepoint, Quilt and Tapestry Exhibitions in London

This week I have been to two wonderful quilt show, one at the Victoria & Albert Museum, South Kensington and the other at Swiss Cottage Library close to Finchley Road in London.

'Quilts 1700 - 2010' which runs at the V & A until 4th July has I believe already had the most visitors that have ever attended an exhibition in the history of the museum.

Starting with a beautiful quilted cot cover for a child's bed dated 1690 - 1720, it traces British quilt and patchwork right up to the modern day when there is a poignant piece made by prison inmates.

A very informative booklet is included in the ticket price and there is programme of talks, courses and workshops all associated with the exhibition.

The Victoria and Albert Museum has always been my favourite London Museum, a great source of design inspiration and interesting exhibits.

The Textile Study rooms are open for study without appointment, good facilities for sketching or making notes for the panels - my own dining chairs are diaper patterns researched from these archives.

The period rooms are well worth a visit where contemporary items for each century are displayed together, needlework, paintings, furniture all giving a true feeling of that century.

Not strictly needlework but tempting to visit is 'Grace Kelly - Style Icon', on until the 26 th September; many key pieces from her spectacular wardrobe are on display and the workmanship in these pieces will surely thrill everyone.

If a visit to a museum is not possible then do go on line and enjoy a leisurely browse.

The other exihibition, on until the 5th June (free admission) shows the work of the London Quilters. One aspect I most enjoyed was to be able to talk to some of the ladies who had done the pieces and hear some of the inspiration and design decisions they had had to make.

I am a great believer in taking a few lessons when trying a new craft and am pleased the the London Quilters have regular meetings, welcome new members and hold workshops in North London. www.londonquilters.org.uk

Again, the Swiss Cottage Library itself is worth a visit. Being a resident of Camden I am fortunate to be able to take books and films out but any one can enjoy the reference books on display.

If you have a favourite museum with textiles, needlework or similar crafts do let me know so I can share your knowledge in future blogs with, of course a credit to you!

Anna's Books include:-
The Complete Needlepoint Course (UK / USA).

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Anna's Travel Inspired Needlepoint

For a long time now, much of my inspiration for new needlepoint designs has come from travel and the rich design heritage of different cultures. I should love to share some of the stories with you and in turn hear what visual stimulus has excited you.

I am new to blogging so your comments and suggestions will be gratefully received.

Some of you however will already know my books Needlepoint Stitch By Stitch (UK / USA) and The Complete Needlepoint Course (UK / USA) are my personal favourites. Others may have attended classes with me either in the UK, USA or Australia.

You may have heard of my work with the 'American Needlepoint Guild' or the 'National Trust of Historic Preservation' in the States, or the 'Needlepoint Network', which I set up in the UK.

Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced stitcher everyone is most welcome to join me in discovering how to see beauty in ordinary every day objects.

My aim in creating this blog is to share my thought processes and how I turn an image into an original work of art. I also plan to share some of the problems I encounter translating my vision into reality.

By sharing this process I hope to enable you also to create your own unique pieces.

I hope to write about new designs and whenever possible the location that has inspired me and lovely exhibitions that you too can visit.

Travelling with my needlepoint has started interesting conversations and made me many new friends - I do hope that this blog will encourage you to join in, send me feed-back and tell me what you would like to hear and share your stories of inspiration.

All the work I share will be my own designs, stitched by me except, on a few occasions, they have been stitched by a friend, I shall be sure to give these lovely people credit!

This first design has a double purpose, it is a 'K' worked on a patchwork ground of painted canvas the lacey stitches allow the background colour to show through.
Why K? Well while having been Pearson for many years I am now married to a lovely man, Robert King, who loves to travel as much as I do and tollerates my needlepoiint addiction.