Friday 30 November 2012

Prims Magazine of Folk Art Dolls

While enjoying Susan Pilotto's wonderful Mousedroppings Blog, I saw she had links to a Folk Art Magazine called Prims. So I decided to investigate more and I found some wonderful, inspiring treasures there.

Here you can see a few pages culled from one of the Prim magazines and if you visit their website, you will find many more to enjoy.

You can subscribe and yes, there is international delivery. What is helpful is that the first edition is now out of print, so for $9.99 you can download the copy (nearly 150 pages)to get a flavour of the magazine before deciding whether you want to subscribe or not. Click here to go to the Prims website.

Thursday 29 November 2012

Sewing Tools @ Bleasdales Auctions 4 & 5 December 2012

We talked the other night about pinballs and samplers for sale at Bleasdales on 4th and 5th December - but do look at their catalogue (click here to see) because this is a major sewing sale and features hundreds of antique needlework tools, including many examples of Tunbridge and Mauchline ware as seen in the recent Winter edition of Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly. Here are just a few examples to whet your appetitie. Lot 9 is a good early Tunbridge ware multiple sewing clamp of cottage and skep form, the rectangular block frame line decorated and with a red and black painted panel of a Chinaman and flanked by a pair of skep form cotton barrels, the upper circular tier supported by a cottage with door, two leaded windows, a birdcage and trees, the upper tier fitted with a skep pin poppet and a skep form tape measure. Estimate: £400 - £600.

Lot 4 above is an early 19th century Tunbridge whitewood painted sewing clamp, the turned right angle frame supuporting a cylinder box painted with a figure and farm buildings in an open landscape below a screw-off cover incorporating a circular velvet pincushion. Estimate: £60 - £100.

Lot 204 above is a novelty brass tape measure in the form of the Coronation Coach, complete printed tape. The estimate: £30 - £50.

Lot 210 above includes two painted wooden tape measures, one in the form of a pear, the other an apple, both with worn printed tapes, 5.3cm and 4cm. The estimate for both is: £40 - £80.
Lot 290 is a set of six mother-of-pearl top reel holders, with matching emery, waxer and tape measure, the reel holders with cut pearl tops, brass stems and bone bases, 2.5cm diameter, the three remaining pieces with bone bodies, the tape measure complete and nicely printed with leaf border. The estimate: £150 - £250.

Wednesday 28 November 2012

V&A Short Course : British Patchwork and Quilts: Concealed, Discovered, Revealed

Beginning on Thursday 17 January 2013 in Seminar Room One in the Sackler Centre at the V&A Museum will be an 8 afternoon weekly short course on quilts (Half Term 21 February). The object will be to discover the hidden histories and untold stories of some of the very best examples of British patchwork and quilts in the V&A’s Collection. Historically, the term ‘quilt’ was used to refer to a variety of covers made for the bedroom. ‘Quilt’, ‘twilt’, ‘coverlet’, ‘counterpane’, ‘counterpoint’ and ‘cover’ were all used interchangeably and appeared in British inventories with references to decorative textiles used to dress the bed. Joined by some of the leading experts in the field, as well as curators responsible for some of the country’s leading regional quilt collections, explore the significance of domestic quilt production within the context of the bedroom and its transition from hearth and home to fashion house. Sessions will include at least one external visit to a Museum Collection. Time is 14.00–16.30 and the fees are: £258, £206 concessions. For more details of this course and other short courses run at the V&A, click here.

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Pinballs, Samplers & Needlework at Bleasdales Auction

Bleasdales of Warwick (click here for more details) have a treasure-trove of needlework exercises coming up for auction on 4&5 December. First off are 2 pinballs, the first is Lot 269 and is knitted in brown and cream, one side initialled E.M. – 1809 within Quaker style geometric motifs, the reverse has two birds and geometric motifs. It is 6cm in diameter and has an estimate of £300 - £400.

Lot 258 is a sampler style knitted pin ball, one side in light brown and cream, inscribed C. Mewall, 1795 within hearts and other motifs, the other side polychrome with a tree, birds, hearts, etc.. There is damage as you can see. It also measures 6cm in diameter and has an estimate of £100 - £200.

Then there are many lots of needlework exercises - here are just a few. Lot 804 is a group of educational samplers by sisters, comprising; a small sampler Rosa Betts Aged 12 Years, Hilda Board School, New Clee, worked with alphabets, another Alice Betts Aged 12 Years, Hilda Board Scho, New Clee, another unfinished and another A.B. for edges, button holing, etc., all approximately 16.5cm square. The estimate of this lot is £100 - £200.

Lot 810 is an Edwardian sampler book, by Ann Docwra 1847, a folded card covered in blue holland, 46cm x 29.5cm, eleven samples, buttonholing, darning, etc., and including a small sampler of alphabets, numerals, Bassingbourn British Sc., 1847, one sample mothed. Estimate: £40 - £80.

Lot 822 is by E. G. (E. Goodland) from 1902and is a group of samples and specimen work, comprising; an embroidered green and orange envelope bag, initialled and dated, containing a group of six samplers and exercises executed in vivid colours on even weave cloth, the bag 29cm x 45cm. Estimate: £30 - £50.

Lot 802 is a 19th century sampler recording the births and marriages of the Selden family, Scvyer And Catherine Selden Father And Mother Of Eliza Selden Was Bornd September 2nd in 1833 and records marriages to 1862. It measures 26cm x 35cm, is unframed and has edge staining. The estimate for this lot is £80 - £120.

Not at Bleasdales but at Anderson and Garland (click here for more details) is Lot 437 which is an interesting mid 18th century banded sampler, possibly German, decorated from top to bottom with alphabet and numbers, swans, a rearing stag, crowned double-headed eagle, Adam and Eve beneath the tree surrounded by other figures, initialled and dated IEF 1765. It is framed and measures 30 x 12 1/2in. (76 x 32cms) and has an estimate of £150 - £250. Happy bidding!

Monday 26 November 2012

A Token Of Friendship From In The Company Of Friends

It's still only November but already it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! Dear friends Julie and Becky have invented this wonderful new necessaire. I so love their creations. Inside this tiny coffer are scissors and thread cutter anchored to the lid by a lovely rose bow and a needle held securely by a cunning magnet. In the base is a pin-keep decorated to match the lid of the coffer. Such attention to every charming detail leaves me gasping with delight! Just click here for more details.

Sunday 25 November 2012

The Weekly Wash - 1556

This needlework piece appears almost contemporary in its bold narrative design. It is astonishing to discover that it was worked in 1556 - some 450 years ago! It is Swiss and what interests me apart from its depiction of all the activities associated with laundry in the 16th century, are those town walls, towers and cloud formations which recall similar depictions in Stuart embroidered pictures of the mid 1600s. Embroideries such as this were made to replace tapestries when tapestry weaving had fallen into decline. In England tent-stitch was used for such hangings, but in Switzerland the stitch employed was Kloster or Convent stitch - a form of couching.

You can read more about this piece and other needlework masterpeices in Pamela Clabburn's book - Masterpeices of Embroidery. And you can purchase this book for just a few pounds at the moment - click here for more details.

Saturday 24 November 2012

Kathy Coull - Traditional Spinning and Knitting Tuition in Shetland

If you have ever fancied hands-on tuition from an expert using locally hand-dyed and spun fleece from sheep grazing at your door on the rim of the world, then Kathy Coull's courses with accommodation in Shetland are where you should be heading for.

Shetland has been famous for knitting for centuries and the island boasts the fastest knitters in the world!

Work on hand-made sycamore wrought muckle wheels and knit your own gloves to bring home.

Think next summer, when the sun hardly sets and the sky goes on forever in those northern climes. Click here for more details.

Friday 23 November 2012

Mary Jenkin's New Welsh Folk Art Sampler Blog

I was chatting to Mary Jenkins the other day when she mentioned she had set up a blog devoted to Welsh samplers and I thought you would be fascinated to read about this subject, interpreted by an expert on the spot.

Mary is principally known and loved for her quilts. She has a lovely quilt blog which you can visit by clicking here. But she is also a collector of textiles and one are of her specialism is Welsh samplers.

Mary believes that Welsh wool samplers should be judged as folk art rather than needlework because they are not finely worked. They were made in Wales in the latter half of the 19th century when sampler making had become less fashionable. Mary's blog will record some interesting examples as they appear online - an entirely new research resource. She hopes you will visit her - just click here.

Thursday 22 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Emergency Santa * The Micheál & Elizabeth Needlework Collection Volume 2

There is still time to order Volume II of the Micheál and Elizabeth Feller Needlework Collection from your local needlework store for Christmas delivery. If you are unable to obtain a copy by this means then panic not, the Emergency Santa can still get you or your friend a copy in time for Christmas. Prices to include postage are £70, €105, $140, 14000¥. Just click here to browse or buy.

Tuesday 20 November 2012

3 Dutch Samplers @ Wilkinson's Auctioneers * 25 November 2012

These three early Dutch samplers are for auction by Wilkinson's of Doncaster, Yorkshire on 25 November. The first above with its potted blooms and Spies of Canaan is Lot 148. It is initialled IH and dated 1775. It measures 12½ ins x 15½ ins (32 cms x 39.5 cms)and is in a modern frame. The estimate is £600 - £800.

Above is Lot 149 - a stoplap dated 1775. The pattern darned blocks border a centre panel with birds and potted flowers and a device which appears to bear the initials gs flanked by the date. It measures 12½ ins x 15½ ins (32 cms x 50 cms)and is also in a modern frame. The estimate is £200 - £400.

Lot 147, above, is the latest of the samplers and appears to be dated 1801. It is worked with the alphabet above a Dutch flag and initialled heart. It measures 13 ins x 9½ ins (33 cms x 24 cms) and is in a modern frame. Its estimate is £200 - £400. To register for the auction or to learn more, click here.

Monday 19 November 2012

Celebrating 378 Years - The Red Maid's School Bristol

Founded in 1634 by Mayor John Whitson, The Red Maids' School in Bristol is celebrating 378 years this month - making it the oldest girls' school still in existence. John Whitson, a wealthy merchant, sadly outlived all three of his daughters. On his death he chose to leave his estate for the foundation of a unique establishment – The Red Maids’ Hospital. Whitson’s will stipulates that The Red Maids’ Hospital would be created for 40 poor women children and that they would be apparelled in red – a cloth that he himself manufactured. His importance to the school is celebrated each year on Founder’s Day when the school processes through the streets of Bristol to a service at Bristol Cathedral where his will is read aloud. The school has grown from the original 40 to over 500 students but still benefits from Whitson’s legacy. For more details and history visit the school's website by clicking here.

Sunday 18 November 2012

Susan Pilotto's Wonderland

I love the serendipity of blogging - you just never know which wonderful and creative person is going to pop up before your eyes. Yesterday Susan Pilotto walked into my virtual world when she bought a copy of one of Sarah Don's charted design books.
Susan left me a calling card for her blog that I just had to follow - a bit like Alice following the white rabbit - and I truly felt I had fallen down a hole into wonderland when I saw Susan's pin cushion creations.

Susan Pilotto is a mixed-media artist who specializes in creating one of a kind miniature animals from recycled wool felt fabric. Susan graduated from Vancouver's Capilano College with a Diploma in Studio Art.

And here you can see just a few samples of her creations and below, Susan herself, taking a siesta with her new dog Jasper.
Do visit Susan at her blog - tomorrow is a particularly good day as she will be selling some of her creations. Click here for your trip to Wonderland!

Saturday 17 November 2012

Sarah Don's Charted Alphabets and Numerals $50 Including Shipping

Just like Border Patterns, Sarah Don's Alphabets and Numerals is extrememly hard to come by these days.

This book is also spiral bound with 39 strong craft paper pages of hand charted alphabets. The book pages are clean - it is my scanner that is playing up and giving the yellow tinge.
I am sorry these books are now sold.

Friday 16 November 2012

Sarah Don Charted Border Patterns $50 Including Shipping

Sarah Don's pattern books of the 1980s and 1990s are like dragons' teeth these days. She charted these border patterns by hand from old samplers - I presume while she was researching her book Traditional Samplers.

The books are spiral bound and this book has 42 pages of strong paper/card. Here you can see some scanned pages - though my scanner is playing up and giving the pages a yellow tinge when in reality the pages are clean and white!

I am sorry these books are now sold

Thursday 15 November 2012

Amy's Bewitching Mermaid Mirror

It was hard to see from the initial images we posted of this mirror just how extraordinary it is - in every respect. First of all one has to remark that the object, concept and design are totally at one which is one of the reasons why it was given first place by the judges. Another reason is that the design is humourous and self-referencing with a mirror and image worked on a mirror - and its fish shape with fish tail covered by glinting scales. A pair of silver scissors is hidden in the base of the tail.
While this design recalls work on 17th Stuart panels, it is innovative in its execution and use of materials.
The choice of colours and shading is perfect and here you can see just how much fine and detailed work is going on.

Here perhaps you can see the glint of that precisely laid metallic mesh. To appreciate the dedication of work in this piece you have to look close at the image below to see that the linen has been given an extra weft of shaded blue thread in the background to the coiled dolphin and other mermaids on the mirror side of the piece. I would love to show you more, but I know that Amy is planning a special class to teach the making of this mirror. Anyone joining the class will create an object the like of which people like me can only dream about!
Below you can see the accessories to the mirror.