Saturday, 17 September 2011

Needle Museum here we come!

It's been a busy week. Our exhibition in South Wales came down on Monday and Belinda packed it all up and drove the work from Aberdare to the Needle Museum in Redditch on Tuesday. We met her there, selected the pieces we thought would look best in the gallery and set them up that afternoon with the help of Joanne and Chez. The exhibition was due to open on Friday so there was no time to mess about!

We don't normally have such a speedy turnaround - not sure how that happened! We have been lucky enough to exhibit at the Needle Museum before and love the space. The industrial building provides a fantastic backdrop to our work.

When it was still a working mill, the needles used to be scoured and finished using power generated by water. The Victorian water wheel is an old lady now so she's only set in motion a couple of times a week. We caught her here on one of her rest days!

Of course, if there's a water wheel there has to be water! This is the mill pond at the back of the building.

On opening day Laura and I went back to the museum and worked in our sketchbooks or did a little gentle hand stitching - it was quite a treat.

Visitors arrived throughout the day and seemed to enjoy the quilts. We certainly enjoyed chatting with everyone and were happy to answer questions about our favourite techniques.

This detail is of a quilt of mine called One Golden Pear. It has holes cut through the quilt and beaded leaves and fruit are suspended in the open spaces between the branches - I was very pleased to see how the terracotta bricks of the walls complemented the colours of the fabrics. If you click on the picture you'll get a better view.

The museum holds the National collection of needles and I fell in love with these Georgian betweens. Joanne told me it's difficult to date them exactly but she believes they were made around 1820. Of course they would have been handmade at that time and it was a dirty and dangerous occupation. I photographed them beside my thimble to give an idea of how tiny the packet is. I can't even see the eyes of the needles, let alone thread them! Those Georgian seamstresses would have needed wonderful eyesight.

The museum even has its own cat. This is the very vocal Henry - he kept us company all day.

The exhibition continues until October 23rd so do please go along to see the quilts and the needle collection if you can. We shall be there again from 10.30 till 3.30 on October 20th and would love to see you then but please check details of opening times and entrance fees with the museum especially if you are travelling a distance.

Enjoy your weekend! Talk to you again soon, Linda

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