A PIECEFUL LIFE
Boxing Day 1990 I moved to London with my husband and 2 small children (and one on the way). As we flew over the Middle East the first Gulf War was breaking out and we were greeted at Heathrow by armed soldiers and tanks.
It was a long cold winter in London beset with many challenges - the War, the IRA bombing campaign and heavy snow to name a few.
A kind neighbour invited me to her sewing group where they were working together on quilts. I borrowed a sewing machine from the lady upstairs and didn’t look back. Then and now my quilting friends are my life-blood.
I mark time by stitching, always with something big or small at hand; all my time spent, but not wasted, at basketball practice, at cricket training, in doctors’ waiting rooms. Quilting has taught me the value of time but more importantly it is the expression of the value of my time. My collection of quilts is the culmination of many years of stitching.
Each quilt is made by placing layer upon layer and making stitch after stitch. Like relationships, slowly developing, layers of life experiences, things revealed with time as stitching reveals the personality of the quilt. Consistency and perseverance are virtues for quilt-making and life.
My collection of quilts is the culmination of many years of stitching.
This is my first solo show. It features quilts that have been exhibited in :
• Tokyo Quilt Show,
• World Quilt Show, New Hampshire, USA
• Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza, Oaks, Pennsylvania
• Pacific Quilt Festival, Santa Clara, California
• World Quilt Show – Florida, West Palm Beach, Florida
• Greater Chicago Quilt Exposition, Schaumberg, Illinois
Room One holds quilts that have been made of fabric obtained from used kimonos. I first started using vintage kimonos as a reaction to the cost of American patchwork fabric. The kiminos were being used as padding for imported furniture. I unpicked the handstitching and then carefully soaked and washed. Many were filthy! I developed a respect for these beautiful fabrics and have loved working them into quilts, giving them another life.
The focus of these works is their texture, marked by stitches; once a garment now a quilt.
In Room Two I have been attempting to make quilts using only one or two colours and exploring the texture and tone of a limited palette. My objective was to make a series of quilts in primary colours, finding the light and the shade.
Misao Wada Misao Wada lives in the gorgeous little historic town of Takayama (three stars on the Michelin guide). It is five and a half hours from Tokyo by bus, close to the west coast and a stone’s throw from the mountains. Everything is quiet and serene there, except during the two large spring and summer festivals when throngs of tourists turn up. Apart from these events, life is peaceful, which attracts many artists. Poets, painters, and craftsmen make the name of the city that was founded around the 8th century. Misao is famous there both for her poetry (it holds a big place in her life) and for her textile work, a topic we are particularly interested in today. We found this exceptional woman, again thanks to Dominique Greliche as she had produced a small exhibition in Limoges, France, a few years ago. Misao was 20 years old when she met her mentor, forty years ago: Ayko Miyawaki, a great Japanese textile artist and adulated wife of a famous painter. For 10 years, until the death of Ayko, Misao learnt from her how to combine the subtlety of a detail with the technique of practically raw appliqué, how to capture the pure essence of a subject (that is the most interesting part of the work) and how to reproduce it by free hand cutting each piece (no template!!!), how to work in layers and develop an eagle eye to be able to select just the right printed scrap of old fabric (her only material) to breathe life into the subject. (…)
You can read more about this article on the issue N°80 (November / December 2010)
Quilt World Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Family Man.
After studying Business Administration at the University of South Carolina, Mark entered the sewing business as a sales representative for Talo Zippers & Thread. In 1970, he and his father started a quilting and sewing distribution company, servicing 2,000 independent needlework stores.
When his father retired in 1975, Mark moved to Texas and opened United Notions.
Mark started distributing fabrics and notions, but very quickly, as the quilt revival was starting around the Bicentennial in 1976, he sensed that interest in patchwork and quilting was about to grow into something big. The values conveyed (warmth, sensitivity, artistic creation, group spirit) still feel so close to his own values today, and so he decided to launch into this new venture.
Nowadays, twenty-eight designers work with MODA, from the most traditional ones to children’s fabric designers, going through Folk Art and trends like Rural Jardin by French Connection. In short, there is something for everyone and for nall tastes. They even work with designers from other states and from Europe and Japan. A new collection comes out of the factory every six weeks! It is easy to understand that the best place to have batiks made is Indonesia, but Mark Dunn also has fabrics produced in India, Korea, and Japan.
Another surprise is that MODA and United Notions make and market many other products as well as fabulous fabrics. (…) The continuation of the article is developed in Quiltmania Issue september / october (#79) and is signed by Mary Evelynn Sorrell.
A designer of boutis work and textile accessories.
Kumiko Nakayama Geraerts’ creations daringly combine Provençal boutis and Japanese textile art. Totally enamoured with vintage textiles, she uses both of these solid traditions as her sources of inspiration, without sticking to them too closely, to design finely embroidered accessories. Her distinctive style strikes a balance between tradition and modernity and is embodied in an interplay of shapes, materials and colours. Magnified everyday objects reveal the delicate world of this virtuoso artist who likes to share her innate love for a beautiful way of life.
Textile news and accessories :
A lover of textile art, Kumiko is launching Les Couleurs françaises de Kumiko N. Geraerts (The French Colours of Kumiko N. Geraerts), a fabric line comprising seven cotton and linen prints in three, four or five colours. This line was inspired by Provençal and Toile de Jouy fabrics, two distinctive styles she particularly enjoys. She plunged right into this new project, designed motifs, selected colours and created a range of accessories. The colours conjure up a material or a style such as celadon, antique rose, ruby red or ash grey. They create a soft harmony with floral motifs called Marly, Medicis, Bouton de Rose, Chantilly, Eugénie, Malmaison…Plain or striped items coordinating with her prints complete the collection. These fabrics are made in Japan and they became available in early 2010.
Kumiko Nakayama’s Boutis :
Her studio is a hive of activity because she never suffers from any shortage of ideas and works on several projects simultaneously. Her worktables are covered in sketches, fabrics, kits being prepared, notions and Boutis works in progress. She has just started a large white table runner in a Vermiculé design that is going to take months of work.
She spends most of her time creating new accessories that she then offers as kits. Currently she has 40 projects in her range, corresponding to different levels of expertise. Some items call for serious embroidery skills while others are suitable for beginners wanting to learn Boutis. The projects she uses for demonstration purposes are often made from patchwork fabric because that is where she finds her lucky colours: white, pink, blue, aniseed green and saffron.
Kumiko pays special attention to the closing systems of her bags. She likes to use Japanese fasteners on her Boutis bags, a little twist that allows her to create a finishing touch between two kinds of textile art. She goes to Japan several times a year to find the cords, leather, bamboo or horn handles that will give her items a much sought after final touch. The firm Hobbyra Hobbyre distributes Kumiko Nakayama’s creations in Japan. She exhibits and participates in international shows including the Tokyo International Quilt Festival. Kumiko has created accessories to highlight her new prints: a handbag, a hat, a bento bag (Japanese lunch box), a make-up purse, a box and a sewing basket. This new collection is characterized by natural chic and gives a vivid impression of cheerfulness.
Classes and techniques :
Neglected for over a century, Boutis has come back into fashion since the 1990s. Kumiko teaches regularly all over France or from her studio in Vincennes, near Paris.
You can reed more about boutis in the article of the July / August Quiltmania issue, it will be signed by Anne Laure Camilleri!
Boutis et Creation
Kumiko Nakayama Geraerts
51 rue Defrance
94300 Vincennes- France
Lida Niels, is coming from the Netherlands and just celebrated her 70th birthday !
She came upon a real surprise on the 11th April 2010 when she discovered her family has secretly planned a beautiful exhibition : 100 of her quilts were exhibited for the greatest pleasure of her family and friends.
Lida started to quilt about 30 years ago to fill her long winter evenings when her sailor husband was away.
Like many, she takes pieces of tissue from her own clothes, her family's and that's how she started to practice and took the creation to heart.
As early as 1980, she started taking lessons and created her first patchwork. She never stopped quilting since then.
Over the first years, some of her work was even exhibited and others have been published in a few books such as "Handbook for patchwork" by Karin Pieters.
When Lida's daughter first met her husband, he made up with his own hands a big Japanese bed and Lida quilted the beautiful 'Monkey Wrench" red patchwork which you can find in another Karin Pietersen's book.
For Lida, quilting is a way of life. She prefers the hand quilted traditional patchwork, that she makes for her children and grandchildren.
Lida is a faithful reader of Quiltmania since it was released in the Netherlands (2002). She fairly often is inspired by a quilt published in this magazine. For example, she created the "Little Houses from the 2008 September/October issue. She is always out and about on the French and English exhibitions and never forgets to pay a visit to the Patch shops she comes across with.
She is a real passionate who well deserves this beautiful portrayal of her !
Here are two videos so you can discover all of her work…
We visit Béatrice Airaud, our latest addition to the Quiltmania team, in a lovely longhouse in a little green piece of paradise, very close to the Mayenne area in western France.
Béatrice’s difficult task is to write out all the project instructions we publish in our magazines, special issues and books but also to illustrate them with diagrams. It is an enormous job, which she has been calmly carrying out for three months now, patiently, carefully and with many smiles and tremendous dedication. She has had to learn how to use drawing software in record time, but she has also been forced to reduce the number of classes she teaches to local groups. We would like to apologize for taking their favourite teacher away from them! Béatrice started to quilt 10 years ago in a traditional country style that she interprets lovingly and poetically. I really enjoyed her work when I discovered it at an exhibition in Le Croisic, France, in 2006 and I kept her details, just in case…Since then, she has also discovered ribbon embroidery, thanks to Léa Stansal, and delights in making bags, satchels, purses and adorable accessories (and yes, we have a project on this topic!)