Saturday, December 31, 2011

Newyear in the Netherlands


While I am working my socks off to finish Splinter's Delight before midnight (half blocks are finished and pinned to be completed to 30 full blocks), I'll tell you more about the Dutch way of celebrating Newyear, as we call it "Oud & Nieuw". I won't bother you with pronunciation however. When you know that ie is pronounced as the ea in lead, and the ou as in cloud, you can have a guess!

In the Netherlands we celebrate the Newyear with family or friends, either at big festivities for the younger people or at home for anyone older than 30. Now that age limit is very subjective and based on my own experience but one way or another, in my experience, it's something like that. The big festivities are with a lot of music, at home we have television on or play games.

Most important part. We have oliebollen. Oliebollen are like doughnuts, no hole, and raisins in them. We also have appelflappen, that's oliebollen with apple in them. Lots of sugar on them, and enjoy! It's a lot of fun to bake them yourselves, but as it also is a lot of work, we buy them. Tomorrow we stood in line for almost an hour to get ours! Added to the champagne that's opened at 12 exactly (or 0.00 AM 1 January...;-))
Everybody in the family stays awake until 12, and at 10 seconds to 12 the countdown starts. At 12 the champagne is opened and we congratulate each other with the New Year and say "Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!".

For those who are interested, here is the recipe of oliebollen from allrecipes.com with a link to it. Enjoy and have a Happy Newyear from the Netherlands!

Have fun quilting!
Anymart



Oliebollen

Prep Time:
2 Hrs
Cook Time:
8 Min
Ready In:
2 Hrs 8 Min

Original Recipe Yield 1 dozen
Ingredients

1 (0.6 ounce) cake compressed fresh yeast
1 cup lukewarm milk
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 egg
3/4 cup dried currants
3/4 cup raisins
1 Granny Smith apple - peeled, cored and finely chopped
1 quart vegetable oil for deep-frying
1 cup confectioners' sugar for dusting

Directions

Break up the compressed yeast, and stir into the warm milk. Let stand for a few minutes to dissolve. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Stir the yeast mixture and egg into the flour and mix into a smooth batter. Stir in the currants, raisins and apple. Cover the bowl, and leave the batter in a warm place to rise until double in size. This will take about 1 hour.
Heat the oil in a deep-fryer, or heavy deep pan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Use 2 metal spoons to shape scoops of dough into balls, and drop them carefully into the hot oil.
Fry the balls until golden brown, about 8 minutes. The doughnuts should be soft and not greasy. If the oil is not hot enough, the outside will be tough and the insides greasy. Drain finished doughnuts on paper towels and dust with confectioners' sugar. Serve them piled on a dish with more confectioners' sugar dusted over them. Eat them hot if possible.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Splinter's Delight progress


After the second Christmas day I could just think of one thing. Finishing the yellow purple quilt, Splinter's Delight. All squares were made into three square rows that day, and I thought I could manage before 31 December, while working this week full time at university. I'll manage. But don't look at the mess! Splinter was watching carefully whether the progress was up to his standards. Under the lamp checking out whether the sewing machine was moving fast enough, supervising me working late in the evening. Dinner on the other side of the table, eating on 2 square feet with me and my spouse. No complaints though! It works, I get the top finished. But it will be a big job to handle!
Here they are, all the rows, first seam done, second seam pinned, neatly in a box. The first seam has been done Tuesday night, and the third row was pinned that night and yesterday evening. Then I started sewing the second seam. It just feels like labor... Seam, after seam, after seam... Although, when I open up the blocks it looks amazing.
As long as you don't look at the corners. I am a hand piecer/quilter. I always make sure my corners meet. But now my machine is thinking for me. And it sometimes just doesn't work out! I promised me and my quilt mom that this quilt is for the cat. And cats seem not to notice that corners do not meet.
So this time I decided that I will only sew in a negative way (i.e. seam ripping) when the blocks are positioned wrong. But I will not rip any seam for corners that doesn't meet. With that in mind, and knowing it's my second machine quilt, first with triangles, I am doing pretty o.k..

And here is what it looks like now in the living room. Going seam after seam, working the whole stack to finish the nine patches.
It's a huge organized mess. On the right on the floor is the box with nine patches to be sewn. In the middle on lap level is my sewing machine. And behind the sewing machine on the left all the finished nine patches end up like a large chain of flags. 120. Fast accountants now figured out that the quilt will not be 8*10 ft. I measured it. It would be too big for the couch. So now it will be 7*9 ft. Still large, but manageable.

I promise you, 31st of December the top will be finished. Don't know how, but I will. Will show you at 31st December 0.00 AM. But I still have to decide whether that will be Dutch time or US Westcoast!

Have fun quilting!
Anymart

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Treasures and Splinter's Delight


It was second Christmas Day, and my spouse and I celebrated our own small Christmas: me quilting, my spouse cleaning the garage. That was what was needed and so that was what was done. I was behind my sewing machine, sewing seam after seam, and later on ironing to get all those seams on the right side. In my old clothes, my hair not done, no make up, in my pj's. Terrific!
When you look at the picture of the box, progress might seem limited. I am, however very proud of me. All the rows are finished and I already pinned together the rows that need to be sewn together in the next session. That will be tomorrow night. Then two thirds of the quarters are done. I love seeing progress! And the cat? He sleeps somewhere on an old cushion my spouse threw out of the garage. Now so much for all my effort! Fortunately I like the quilt better on the couch than the old cushion.

I was also surprised with some gifts for Christmas. A fountain pen, really beautiful, and a book (not on quilting) I really wanted. But the biggest surprise I got is an old sewing box, a so called Juffertje, made in the end of the 19th century. A "Juffertje" always has a pincushion on top and is usually made of a more expensive wood like mahogany.
And look at the inside of the box! Isn't that amazing? It used to be purple velvet, now through the years the velvet has discolored and is a greyish purple. But the mirror and the decoration is still beautiful. I really love this box. And in the box are some old notions like a braider (I think it's called), some old thread and needles. The thimble I bought a month ago is great with it, so you can already see it in its new habitat. It is such a special feeling to own something with a history that goes way before I was on this earth. Even my parents weren't alive when (I assume) a woman was mending her socks or making clothing using this box.

I hope Santa has been good to you too? Any gadgets I definitely need to be aware of? Always interested in new tools and notions!

Have fun quilting!

Anymart

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Eve, low-budget fun!

Yesterday was Christmas Eve here, and this year, a friend, M. came over. With this friend we have a Christmas tradition of celebrating a low budget Christmas, with as much presents you can get for 25 dollars. That means we saved halve of the Customer #1000 groceries for her (they costed nothing), kept the mini tooth paste of the dentist to add and found at the thrift store and the outlet store many items that added to that. And as we both give 25$, some bigger gifts, can be added to that. And M. does the same for us. Note that with 100$ under the Christmas tree it was loaded with about a hundred gifts!

Quilt books from M.
And for 25$ M. even got me amongst DVD's and kitchen utensils some quilting gifts, really fabulous books she found in low budget bookstores and thrift stores. Look at these! Aren't they amazing?
Quilt books in the Netherlands are usually very pricey, think of 25 dollar for starters. That's a thin one.
And she got me a beautiful hardcover Amish book with fantastic Amish pictures. Then M. got me a pattern of a White-on-White quilt as you go hand quilt. If I won't make the quilt, the quilt patterns are amazing!
The final quilt gift from M. is the $100.000 contest Best Quilts 2006. Some of these quilts I have seen in Houston 2007, some of them are new to me and inspire me to do an even better job.

My spouse also went with the minimal budget job. We give each other tiny presents, because the bigger presents to each other are now planned for second Christmas Day. And even my spouse found something quilty! Although it may be kitsch, cheap and whatever, it is a rarity to find something quilty in a thrift store here. Look at this, a polystone cat family on a stack of quilts and yarn.
Kitschy, plastic, great quilty cat statue!!!
It will be standing proudly in my quilt studio. The planning is that next year my quilt studio will be redecorated, with a full design wall and more room for books and fabric. The cat family will get a prominent place!

And yesterday I did even some quilting. I pieced on Splinter's Delight, the yellow purple purple yellow quilt. That is, I did something stupid. I thought I sew the wrong ends of my squares for part of the blocks. I didn't. I just had to turn the rows 90 degrees. But I realized that after negative sewing (that is seam ripping...) for half an hour. Tomorrow I will do it all again. Let's make you a promise. The top will be finished before 1 January 2012. With or without negative sewing!

Have fun quilting, even during Christmas!!!

Anymart


Friday, December 23, 2011

Quilters do not iron. Unless it's for quilting.


The last week I have been away for a week training for my day job. It was great, in Belgium, on an estate with amazing woods around it! It was really great, and although it was intensive, I enjoyed it.
Being there gave me hardly time for quilting. I had some hexagons with me to work on (a project that's always with me for on the go quilting), but I couldn't manage to do more than a few. When I came home I started ironing on my yellow and purple blocks. By Twitter FabricsNquilts suggested Splinter's Delight and that's what it's name will be.

Although at this stage it's not my delight. Because I was ironing like no girl has done before!
All squares done!!!
Triangles to go
Every square has to be ironed open, to prepare it for sewing it in to rows into blocks into rows into a top.
See those stacks of triangles... I had some ironing to do! And this was when I was halfway done. I am organized in that all the triangles have the purple side up, so the seam is always on the purple side when flipped open.

Square after square after square popped up from under my iron. All put with the yellow site to the same site,  to be quicker in putting them together in rows, and the rows into blocks. And when my squares were all flat and neat, I couldn't stop starting and finishing my first block. Tadaa!

The blocks are arranged on color only. No light, no dark, just purple with purple, yellow with yellow. And because I have all the yellows and purples in the book, the quilt gets (well, according to me) a more playful design. And as it is a big quilt, the pattern has to be bold, and not to tiny. So at this stage: 1 block finished, 34 to go! The second Christmas day will help with that.

Have fun quilting. And ironing is part of that!
Anymart

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!

Splinter is laying on the table, purring and telling it's his favorite time of the year. The lamp above the table is on, and as it gives lot of light, but also warmth, it is his favorite spot. Whatever we are doing, when the dining table lamp is on, he is right under it. Is that why he is black on his back but white on his tummy?!

The open fire is on, the Christmas tree is fully decorated and full of lights. In the Netherlands giving presents with Christmas is not a habit with everybody, but in our house it is. So slowly and gradually the presents are appearing under the tree, the usual cd's are replaced with Christmas cd's and the groceries for the upcoming days are already in. And as we do have Christmas eve, and two (yep 2) Christmas days, it will be Tuesday before Christmas is over in the Netherlands. Christmas eve will be with a friend,  the first day with family and the second day with just the two of us (and the cat). On Christmas eve and first Christmas day, quilting will not be in the planning. But on the second day, with just the two of us and the cat, quilting will definitely be part of the festivities!

For all of you, from the warmth and quilting happiness of my home
I wish you a very warm, happy, quilty 
Merry Christmas! 
And for all cats a very warm lamp to add to that.;-)

Have fun quilting!
Anymart

Monday, December 19, 2011

My Quilt Mom


Christmas Tree Rag Quilt
© Carol G.
In this week just before Christmas I start to think nostalgic. About the year that has almost passed, about family, about friends. I write my wishlist for Santa, and one way or another, I do have everything I need. My wishlist is very short. As we do not have Thanksgiving in the Netherlands, this is also the time that we express our thanks, remember the bygones, are grateful for new friends and think about the people around us.

And when I do that, I first think of my Quilt Mom. I have a Quilt Mom indeed. She emails me every day, writes about everyday life, about her quilting and about her progress with her quilt work. She asks me how my quilting goes, taught me how to machine quilt (with tweezers!), and worries about me when I work to hard. And I email back with all my stories about work, life and quilting. Sometimes I am so busy, I cannot find the time to email her back. And that always makes me feel ungrateful. And when she doesn't agree with me, she tells me. Like a real Mom she gives advice and her little notes get me through rough times. But I always can count on her being there for me. Also when she is in rough times and I help her in my way to pull her through.


My Quilt Mom is so precious to me. She filled in a part I didn't know it was missing in my life, makes me happy, gives me advice, is always there when I need her (and I do need her).

She hates it when she is put in the limelight, she doesn't want to be named so I won't do that. But Quilt Mom, I know you read this, because you read every letter I write on this blog twice: Thanks for being my Quilt Mom. It means more to me than you'll ever know.

And for all others who don't have a Quilt Mom? Get one. They are hard to find, but when you have one, don't lose her. But not mine. She's taken!

Have fun quilting!
Anymart

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Quilting 2.0: Infinite variety

In March 2011 the Folk Art Museum in New York had a quilt show that was absolutely astonishing! Red and white quilts from all ages were brought together in a great exhibition. All quilts were on loan from the collection of Joanna S. Rose. Quilts were built up as spirals, walls, circles and the red and white only was terrific to see. I wasn't able to be there, but saw so many pictures, and that gave me a good impression of what has been there. 650 Quilts in red and white, it is an amazing sight on photographs and film.

Now why would I post on this in the Quilting 2.0 section? Well, the app belonging to this exhibition is just as amazing.

The app is available for Apple and Android and gives an overview of the quilts and the exhibition. Of course it's not possible anymore to follow the audio tour as is given, but the app leaves a lot left to experience! A video of the show, photographs of the quilts, background, audio information, it is really terrific. Just to enjoy the story of 650 quilts, in public gathered for a few days in history only!
And the best part of this app. While other apps are filled with great quilts for $2,99, this app is free. Nothing. Nada. Niente. No reason not to get it.

And while you're downloading, enjoy the following three videos on the exhibition. Enjoy!

 
 

Have fun quilting!
Anymart

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Quilt Artists in the Limelight: Cass Mullane

What If We Put Aside Our Unspoken Fears?
What if we put aside our unspoken fears?
In the limelight is about quilt artists that inspire the people around them by color, technique, a special use of design, or anything that makes my heart jump for joy to start quilting again. And Cass Mullane is such a quilter! Certainly not a traditional hand quilter, but a fiber artist who uses color and fabric as her means to make the most intriguing quilts and other works of art.

I met Cass in Birmingham UK on a quilt show when she visited the UK with her mother and sister. The girls were a show by themselves! We had so much fun. Little did I know that this woman made the most beautiful quilts, certainly nontraditional, in the brightest colors of the world.
The quilt "What if we put aside our unspoken fears?" intrigued me by it's name. The fluent characteristics in contrast with the straight horizontals reminded me of crossing a river by sheer determination. That makes me feel powerful!

Cobblestones
Cobblestones
The quilt "Cobblestones" made me looking at what was falling down, it creates movement by color, quilting technique and size of the quilt. It really looks like every cobblestone will fall down on the right! I love to look at it.

I also loved the use of the 3D technique on the left part of the quilt composition.


First Flight
First Flight



The last quilt from Cass I keep looking at is "First Flight". It brings back memories of my youth, when blowing dandelion seeds in the air. And every umbrella of seeds was a wish that would come through. The quilt makes me playful, creative and happy.

Remember those summer days, running around in an open field?

Check out Cass's website and see her other fiber art, so totally different than mine, and so joyful to look at.

And while you look at her work, remember her motto:

Stay curious, make art!

Have fun quilting!
Anymart

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The purple and yellow quilt, the name game...

While working a busy job, currently a full week of in-house training to follow, a spouse with a job and a passion next to that, I try to plan in as much quilting as possible, if only 10 minutes. Although I asked for extra quilting time from Santa, I'll have to plan in what is possible and make do with the time I have. All the 2500 triangles are sewn in pairs to squares by chain sewing, and I am ironing batch by batch, while watching television, checking my mail, answering the phone and twittering with girls from all over the world (Hi FabricsNquilts!). Never a dull moment!

See here the batches of yellow and purple ironed blocks that will be formed  into bigger squares, based on a pattern as you can find in this antique quilt from the Dutch Quilting guild.

And while I am ironing and all the other stuff I am doing at the same time, I am thinking about a name for this quilt. It's a half square triangle quilt, 8x9ft, for the old cat on the new couch, machine made by a hard core hand quilter. Yellow and purple, but you couldn't guess that I suppose, by the working title yellow and purple quilt, sometimes purple and yellow quilt. Now tell me, the name game:

What will be the name of the quilt?! 

Help!!!! Any suggestion is welcome!

And while doing other things, have fun quilting!
Anymart

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Alice Dressed Up

In two of my first posts I posted about Alice, my Jasmine Heirlooms Quilt frame. She's dear to me and with her history she is a great part of my living room. When I started to work on my quilt frame I noticed working on a frame is different than working in a hoop. Working in a hoop means I can have all my stuff next to me on a table, the couch or a chair. My frame doesn't have that option. I worked with a bag hanging from a strip, but it wasn't really handy, to say the least. Ever tried to find needles in a bag? There you go.

So I needed another option. The original manufacturer of the Jasmine Heirlooms Quilt frames made a caddy that works really well. The caddy is positioned on top of the quilt and hangs on both poles. Unfortunately the caddy is not available here, and I have heard the frame and its accessories are also hardly available in the US.

So a carpenter in the family (Paul Pluijms) was prepared to check out the original caddy from pictures and to make one especially for me out of beech, based on his own design. He did a great job! He even added another feature: the back of the caddy is open, so I have made a mini quilt in it, hand trapunto and hand quilted. This addition to my quilt frame, with room for scissors, thimbles, pin cushions, needle pullers and everything you can imagine, is a great asset! I have everything I need just in reach. It was a tough job and Paul promised me he will never ever do it again, although he has made one in the same time for a quilting friend of mine on my request.

If you happen to have a frame and are struggling with where to keep what: you know now what to look for: a very skillful carpenter!


Have fun quilting!
Anymart


Friday, December 9, 2011

What did they say about your quilt to you?


Sometimes remarks of people can be funny, blunt or ignorant. Or all of the above. I know many of us have heard like remarks that, in hindsight, are just to laugh about.In this post I just let it all out and you may join if you want to. I'll tell some of mine and you're invited to enter yours!

I gave a handmade quilt to a person with the remark: "I made it myself by hand." She answered: "Oh, that doesn't matter, financial times will get better." Next time this woman gets a voucher for a book or something alike!

And what about the question when I told I quilt: "You mean those Scottish skirts?".

A few months ago somebody asked whether I would like to make a quilt for her. She was prepared to pay a lot for a king size handmade applique quilt, she said. I had to buy the fabric and she would pay me 100 euro (about 130 dollars). And that was well paid, she told me, because fabric on our local market was offered for 2 euro a meter ($2,20 a yard). She was so surprised when I told her I wouldn't do it! Now she is happy with a "quilt" from the dollar store...

A few years ago I made a wedding quilt according to the design of the invitation. I did everything I could to make it exactly alike. The kind remark when I gave it: "I don't know whether it fits with the colors of the couch". Hey thanks, you're welcome!
Quilting cartoon
 The last remark is about a wall quilt I made as a thank you gift for someone who did a kind thing for me. When I gave it, they looked at it and said:"Now what am I supposed to do with that?".


And really, I noticed, most of the times it's ignorance for the effort you gave and the unawareness of the costs and the work spent on a quilt. Nowadays I laugh about these things. And of course you get the remarks like: "Why would you cut the fabric if you sew it together later on?" and "Why don't you buy one, that's faster/easier/cheaper?".

Now tell me, did you receive funny, strange, bold remarks that are to laugh about? I look forward to them!

Have fun quilting!
Anymart

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Notion alert! What is it and what do you use it for? The Tweezer

Have you ever seen these? Those tweezers with a bend point? Some use them for stuffing or for boutis. Some very clean women use them to pick up cotton wool for their make up. Others use them to remove lint from their quilt. I use them for something different. 
Currently I am machine patching. Something I hardly ever do, because I am a hand quilter, but for the cat and the couch a machine quilt has its benefits. And so I am machine patching.

Maybe you have noticed that, when you have a patch to go through your feed dogs, one way or another the corner closest to you will not stay nicely in its spot. The upper fabric moves away from the lower fabric, leaving a gap that's the difference between a perfect corner and the always so nice question: "Shouldn't those corners meet?". 

Therefore I use the tweezer!  I work for my yellow purple quilt (I still haven't thought of a name) with a Marti Michell template 3 inch triangle, so my corners are all blunt.
I stack a yellow and a purple triangle and feed the first corner in. Then my tweezers come in. I grab with them the corner closest to me and assure the upper and lower fabric stay together. The final part of the fabric is fed in with the tweezers right up to the end, so everything stays in place. My tweezers help me out here without risking my fingers.

For a more visual description, see me here on this video behind my Bernina while sewing those triangles into squares.
Have fun machine patching and quilting!
Anymart

Monday, December 5, 2011

Winner of the Give Away!

So many people reacted on the give away for Sinterklaas! And many of you wanted, next to the batiks, the running shorts and the Millenium Long Arm (;-)), time, health and a job. I hope for all of you Sinterklaas, and otherwise Santa Claus will hear your wishes and fulfill them.
One person will have an additional wish fulfilled today: She is the winner of the Sinterklaas Give Away!

The winner is number 41, Caroline. She said:
I was born and lived in Germany (as a young child, my step-father was in the Air Force) and remember St. Nickolaus Day being on Dec 5th. Your post brought back memories of my childhood. Thank you for the giveaway. What I want the most this year is for my children to find happiness in life and their relationships. And also, for my husband to come to his senses and decide to stay here with his current job and not to move with a new job. I do not want to leave my family and friends.
Congratulations and I hope everything you wished for will come true!

And because the reactions were so overwhelming, I added two extra presents, two real Dutch chocolate letters, a treat that is so related to Sinterklaas that a Give Away for Sinterklaas really can't be without it.

 The two winners of the chocolate letters are number 21 and number 48, Anja M. and Gill!

They wrote:
Anja M:
Wat lief van de Sint, hij gaat hier al jaren ons huisje voorbij, niet dat ik daar mee zit.
Want wensen heb ik niet veel, een boek of een lapje daar ben ik al blij mee.
Quilt groetjes Anja.
 
[Translation: How sweet of Sint, he has passed our house for years, although it doesn't bother me. Because I do not have many wishes, a book or a swatch makes me happy already]
and

Gill
How lovely to read of your Christmas traditions!
I'm hoping Santa will bring me a Kindle!
Enjoy the treats (although at the time of arrival Sinterklaas has already gone back to Spain, according to the legend).

The winners have received an email.
Have fun quilting!
Anymart

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Grey, wet and loads of fun!

Do you have those days too? That the weather outside is grey and wet, nobody is outside and the world looks like there is no color at all?
And inside, the closed open fire is on, the lights are shining, the cat is purring and... my sewing machine is doing her best to give everything she can. Making a quilt for the cat who is now laying under the lamp in the middle of the dining table. And that's where I am sewing. I do have my own quilt studio, but with the fire on, it is so much more fun to be down in the living room.

Yesterday Sinterklaas came. This year he came two days early to the house of my SIL and my nephew and niece. And I must have been good, because I got everything I wanted and more! Some kitchen stuff, candles in purple, a notebook with cats on it, a bag full of bruschetta and the Quiltmania!
It was great for me, but also for my nephew of 9 years old, who, although he lost his faith in Sinterklaas, was as nervous as ever. My niece of 15 is a real teenager. We had to twitter(!) her down the stairs, because her planning was a bit messed up, to say the least. Her poems were finished on the spot.

Today was a day of recovery, being inside and doing what I love most. I'll show you what I have done. Do you remember the triangles and the 7500 corners to cut? All those triangles are now made into squares. 3 inch squares, to make a huge quilt for on the couch. For the cat. Or for the couch, depends on how you look at it. The cat claims it's for him. He's 15 years old. I let him.

And although it might seem less on this picture, this heap of fabric makes a quilt of 8x9 ft. Yep, not 10ft as I posted earlier.  A lot of quilt on a couch can be too much! So an 8x9 ft quilt to comfort a cat.

Next step? Ironing. 1250 squares. Making them neat, handy, obedient squares for the blocks. Not that I like ironing. Not at all! But on the other hand, when it's for a quilt, ironing can be so soothing for the soul. And with an open fire, a purring cat and 1250 squares in a basket, ironing is as good as it gets.

A quilter must sometimes be crazy...

Have fun quilting!
Anymart

P.s. Don't forget your last chance for the Sinterklaas Giveaway!!!


Friday, December 2, 2011

Quilts in print: Quilts 1700-2010 by Sue Prichard


I have two passions: quilting and books. And if you know your ABCs, you'll know my quilt book collection is growing per day. Each Christmas, Sinterklaas, birthday, blogaversary or whatever I am celebrating, a quilt book is on my wishlist. I usually do not ask for the ones with patterns, I ask for the coffee table books. And especially those of museums and special exhibitions. Those are the most beautiful to look at!

One of the books that is very dear to me I received last Christmas.
It's Quilts 1700-2010, edited by Sue Prichard. It has been published by the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and is a book after the exhibition that ran there for months in 2010. I wasn't able to visit the exhibition, but the book is really beautiful.

The book is focused on Great Britain, but offers also insights in the expats from Britain in Canada, Australia and the US. The book describes the history of quilting, with examples as early as 1690, that proofs quilting has a long and fruitful history in Britain.

Quilt
Detail of Hexagonquilt 1863-1877
believed to be made by
Francis Brayley

This quilt for example dates from the 19th century, is made in England. The maker is believed to be Francis Brayley, an English soldier who was in the 13-year tour of Bengal, India, in 1864-1877.

He made this beautiful and very contemporary quilt during his service there. Check out the tiny hexagons in Indian Wool. This photograph only shows a detail of the quilt, but the thousands of hexagons in this photograph already show an intricate quilt design that  is so beautiful to look at. In the book is a photograph of the biggest part of the quilt.



Also paintings that contain quilts are featured in the book. Sleeping by Sir John Everett Millais is such a painting. The paintings give a great background to the history about the quilts in the book. And there are a lot of pictures of quilts and their background in the book!
Sleeping - John Everett Millais
Sleeping by Sir John
Everett Millais, c 1865

Many examples are given of the very well known English paperpiecing, but also of the wholecloth Welsh quilts, quilts with a special history and the more modern pieces. It really is a beautiful book to have and to hold.

On the website of the Victoria and Albert Museum you can find many pictures of their collection, and you can even download an app for your Ipod/pad/everything to get an impression of the exhibition that was there in Spring 2010.

When you are looking for a book with patterns to finally start your Christmas quilt for uncle Harry, please pass by. But when you are looking for a great coffee table book to read about the history of quilts in Britain, with great pictures and beautiful description of the era the quilts are from, you will not be disappointed!

Have fun quilting!
Anymart

P.s. Sue Prichard or the Victoria & Albert Museum do not know me. They are not aware that I write about this book or pay me in whatever way. I could get stuck on the Eiffel tower for ages and their life would continue as ever. I just happen to love the book.

P.s. 2 Don't forget the Sinterklaas Give Away!