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Contents selv edge.org
INDULGE textiles to buy, collect or simply admire
76 COVER STORY Apolline Into the forest Apolline finds inspiration in fairytales 17 Miscellany Hang ups The history of wire coat hangers 19 COVER STORY A likely notion The prettiest haberdashery around Have nothing in your sewing box that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful 13 COVER STORY Ellie Evans Pick a pocket or two for Mothers Day’s These sweet keepsakes are a gift to treasure 69 Guiding Hand Collecting Katazone Helen Smith of Clothaholics offers tips and advice on the traditional stencil dyed cloth
INDUSTRY from craft to commerce
42 Local treasure The launch of the Blodwen range Denise Lewis and Caryl Terlezki scour the hills and dales to revive neglected Welsh skills 52 COVER STORY Untold stories V&A Curator Sue Prichard reveals the hidden histories in quilts
ANECDOTE textiles that touch our lives
38 Domestic economy The money making venture of Welsh miner’s wives How the quilts of village women went from the coal face to Claridges 67 Curator’s choice Laura Beresford chooses from the American Museum in Britain A highlight from one of the finest quilt collections in Europe 44 Centre of attention Welsh quilt expert Jen Jones’ new gallery A tale of revival and appreciation for Welsh quilts
CONCEPT textiles in fine art
32 COVER STORY Natasha Kerr More then meets the eye Detailed contemporary quilts underpinned by layers of imagination 20 Breathing space Slow down, it’s not an egg and spoon race Katya de Grunwald explores the peaceful nature of pale linen
More than meets the eye NATASHA KERR
At the centre of Natasha Kerr’s ‘At the End of the Day’ is a photo of her grandfather Otto lying on a rug in the garden in front of an empty chair alongside his mother-in-law whose face is covered by her hand. The photo is surrounded by a multicoloured flag. It is, according to Kerr, a ‘displacement flag’ an image of those left behind, those who are missing or do not belong anywhere. This sense of dislocation or searching for the story of what makes sense of individual lives is the theme of much of her work, all of which is deeply considered, controlled and researched.
Kerr’s family has been a considerable influence. Her grandfather Otto, who trained under Freud, came to Britain in 1936 to escape the Nazis. A surgeon and specialist in women’s health, he was the son of a renowned Viennese tailor. Skill with a needle became a family tradition. Raised in a matriarchal household of three generations, Kerr was adept at creating her own style and making her own clothes. She studied textiles at the University of Brighton creating ‘distressed’ fabrics based on Italian frescoes, which always showed the touch of the human hand. (A builder once mistook her work for a cleaning rag.) “I love things with soul,” she explains. “I don’t like broken things, yet I love age and patina. I like the interaction between the human being and the object. There must be care in the construction, which is reflected in the object.
“My granny and great-grandmother both knit and crocheted things that were sold in department stores like Harrods, so maybe the importance of care and investment was instilled subliminally, as neither were doing this in my lifetime. So I suppose it is important to me now that what I make is made with care and attention to detail. The back of the work is neat and properly finished. No one sees it, but I know that it is like that. I was taught ‘if something is worth doing it is worth doing properly’ and I cannot abide slapdash.”
On graduating she designed printed fashion fabrics using ghostly Renaissance imagery and was selected for Texprint in Dusseldorf. The turning point came when her mother gave her a forgotten album of old photographs. She transferred them to textiles, trying to establish the Whys? and When’s? of the family members. Her open workshop show, in the studio she had set up in Cockpit Arts in 1994, attracted gallery interest, resulting in exhibitions at Contemporary Applied Arts and a solo at the Ruthin Craft Centre.
But Kerr wanted to show her work not in a fractured way, but as a chronology of a family, to make it coherent – not just a series of amusing anecdotes. “It is a story of migration, change and the cycle of life,” she explains. A sterile white gallery space seemed inappropriate; she wanted her family to be seen in a house. So her 30th birthday present to herself and to anyone lucky enough to see it was to find a decaying house through the Peabody Trust and with the help of the Applied Arts Agency to create an extraordinary installation, complete with smell, sound, objects and images, that reflected her family’s past. She funded the project herself, but, perhaps because she worked in textiles, the exhibition did not receive the acclaim it deserved. It remains one of the most haunting installations I have ever experienced.
Her career continued with commissions for cruise liners and even a Millennium stamp, which in typical fashion, she researched meticulously,
THE MONEY-MAKING VENTURE OF MINERS’ WIVES
Study Centre Collection
'Mrs Smith, not very needy, aged 45, bold work, stitches rather large, good double twist border.' That was the verdict of Mavis Randolph, the lady employed by the Rural Industries Board (RIB), and Muriel Rose, a craft gallery owner, to tour mining areas on wash days searching for expertly quilted items on washing lines.
Once something suitable was spotted (standards were high) and contact made, the quilter's speciality designs were noted, sketched and details of home life recorded: 'Mrs Jones, invalid husband, can do cushions, especially a v.good round one called the whirl with scales around.' Selected quilters were offered constructive criticism and encouragement and work was commissioned. But why was someone sent to skulk through the backyards of Wales seeking skilled quilters?
In the late 1920s the import of cheap Polish coal reduced the export price of British coal. To preserve their profits coal mine-owners closed pits and reduced the wages of the miners. This led to poverty and hardship in mining areas and various schemes were devised by the government to give aid. The RIB, formed to assist in the post-war reconstruction, set up workshops and training schools in the mining areas – quilting especially became a valuable source of income.
Quilting as a practical craft is centuries old and at the beginning of the 20th century quilts were still made in rural areas for local use; quilt clubs existed in many
mining villages and small weekly payments were made to cover the cost of the quilt. The quilter was paid £1 for two or three weeks work of daily sewing, and this provided welcome income in areas where the price of a quilt could equal two weeks pay for a miner.
But there was even greater potential for a new type of professional quilter – one who worked for the luxury market rather than the local community. One of the first exhibition of quilts created for the London market was held at The Little Gallery in Sloane Street, the high class craft gallery owned by Muriel Rose. She was influential in providing an outlet and a permanent showroom for work from what was known as the 'distressed areas'. Preference was given to those who could not only produce excellent needlework but who had the greatest need for money, and the wealthy buyer received a glow of philanthropy along with their purchase. Commissions flooded in: HM Queen Mary ordered a dressing gown and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester led the fashion amongst the aristocracy for quilted items of exceptional quality. The 'smart set' followed where they led. When the Claridge Hotel built a new wing, all the bedrooms were furnished with wholecloth quilts. Two quilters, one from Wales and one from Durham, were invited by the RIB to London to tour the hotel and see their work in rather different surroundings from those in which it had been produced.
Do you want to support small makers, to save waning craft traditions, to cherish our dwindling skills and see them passed on to the next generation? Of course you do! What kind of person would say “No! I want to stamp out the handmade and move everything to machine production.” Not a Selvedge reader, that much is certain. But on the other hand filling our homes with the unedited labours of love produced by craftspeople whose ‘enthusiasm’ overwhelms their design sensibility is a high price to pay to keep weavers, woodturners and potters in business.
So it’s a relief to find out that such self-sacrifice is no longer necessary. Denise Lewis and Caryl Terlezki, two Welsh women, have undertaken the task of showcasing local crafts from the Cardigan Bay area and – this is the good bit – making sure each and every carefully commissioned item is designed as beautifully as it is made.
Blodwen’s General Stores (despite its reassuringly solid name, the shop exists only online) can supply you with cashmere knitwear, earthenware made in Wales’ oldest pottery, hand turned wooden vessels or sumptuous ‘carthenni’ (blankets) woven in a 150-yearold mill in Drefach. The list of products couldn’t sound more homely or appealing but standards are uncompromising; baskets are hand-woven from willow, the rosewater distilled from wild roses on a hill in Cilcennin, journals are hand-bound and bespoke clogs hewn from sycamore then hand stitched and dyed. It’s not about a quick fix, a cheap thrill or a disposable purchase. Blodwen joins a growing list of ethical retailers and the company’s principles are high. They aim to kickstart “genuine rural regeneration” and are products will be bilingually labelled in Welsh and English
indulge proud of their links to grass-roots organisations such as the Young Farmers Club and Merched Y Wawr – the Welsh equivalent to the Women's Institute.
Founder Denise Lewis was born in Newcastle Emlyn, Cardiganshire, and is a Welsh speaker (products will be bilingually labelled in Welsh and English). She loves the local area but also knows her country crafts are likely to end up in urban apartments. A marketing consultant and formerly Group Director of Corporate Affairs at Orange plc, where, over a period of seven years, she oversaw the brand’s global expansion,
Denise is perfectly placed to reposition craft in the consciousness of previously uninterested consumers while business partner Caryl, an international interior architect, will no doubt ensure the design ethos of Blodwen never falters. Together they have “sprinkled some contemporary style and design, and added some technology” to an existing resource – centuries of craftsmanship. And although they are modest, preferring to turn the spotlight on the talented makers they represent, they deserve to be praised – cutting and polishing an existing gem is a skill in itself.
Join us in a celebration of Welsh craft. On May 8th we will be visiting The Jen Jones Welsh Quilt Centre for a private tour and lecture on Welsh Quilts (see pg 44). After lunch, Denise Lewis will speak on the history of Welsh crafts. Guests will receive a Blodwen ‘goodie bag’ worth £10 and all Selvedge readers are entitled to a 10% discount on the Blodwin website. Tickets £45 including transport between the local station and the Quilt Centre, coffee, cake and a buffet lunch, T: +44(0) 341 9721, www.selvedge.org, Blodwen, T: +(0)797 901 6292, www.blodwen.com selv edge.org images Kristin Perers selvedge.org
Centre of attention WELSH QUILT EXPERT JEN JONES’ NEW GALLERY
It can take an outsider's eye to appreciate something we take for granted. Back in the 50s when I had a lowly job at the Metropolitan Museum New York, I was amazed to see quilts lit and hung like paintings on the walls of the American Wing. The patterns looked Irish to me, but were American made and much treasured. In rural Ireland at that time quilts were often sad things piled on beds, slung on the hedge to dry and even covering a stack of turf.
I had a similar epiphany in Jen Jones' new quilt centre in Lampeter, Ceredigion. This is the first purposedesigned gallery and museum in the country devoted to Welsh quilts and was converted by Jen's husband, architect Roger Clive-Powell, from its earlier incarnation as town hall and law court. There you can see the cream of Jen's collection. Her choice is graphic and strong, a tribute to the landscape and the skills of local women.
Jen, an acknowledged expert, lectures, writes and campaigns for her beloved Welsh textiles. Her dream – thirty years in the making – of creating a centre in the heart of Wales that would give her textiles the status of art objects was achieved last year, opening with a display of quilts in a jewel-like setting. The effect, with lighting worthy of a stage, is of the Rothko gallery at the Tate . Here blacks and reds in geometric flannel quilts dominate, side by side with cubist flashes of colour in patchwork. True quilt fanciers look for single-colour wholecloth quilts with exquisite stitching in low relief on matt surfaces. This is where expert lighting and hanging are essential so that the raised surfaces and fine stitching may be studied. "Always look sideways," is Jen's advice.
There are intriguing echoes of Amish quilts as so many Welsh emigrated to the Pennsylvania area in hard times. Pioneering women shared their skills and as Sheila Betterton, former textile and needlework specialist at The American Museum in Bath once said: "What is an American quilt but a pattern that once emigrated from Ireland or Wales and Scotland?"
Jen, an American who travelled the world with her diplomat father, is a graduate of Bennington College. She became an actress, married a writer and emigrated to Wales. She began dealing in bric a brac and, with an eye trained by her family's American quilt collection, began to take notice of the, then marginalised, Welsh quilt. A determined person, she succeeded in making the Welsh quilt as highly regarded as its American counterpart and in giving the ladies of the valleys a pride in their once overlooked sewing skills.
It was while driving round the valleys of Wales, peering into farmyards and byres, that Jen found her calling in the early 70s – the rehabilitation of Welsh quilts. Newly married with a young daughter, Jen needed to earn a living and began dealing in local artifacts. "My bed at home (in Massachusetts) was covered in a beloved American quilt. These pieces were revered. Imagine my horror, when driving the lanes of Ceredigion, seeing a perfect patchwork quilt on an old tractor or a wholecloth protecting the potato bed from frost!" Traditonal Welsh quilts had fallen out of favour and fashion. Among the images Jen treasures is a snap taken years ago, of a proud farmer and wife with a beautiful local quilt draped over their best cow. "The salvage operation took over my life," she says.
Jen wrote articles, talked on radio and TV, toured the country researching, studying and persuading people to see the light – and restore their quilts. She alerted Welsh Americans to what was happening to "the handiwork of their ancestors".
Her enthusiasm is contagious: now Welsh women bring their quilts for her attention – "It was found under a mattress... "and proudly supply photos of the women that made it. Jen is used to having an effect on people, Roger sums it up: "When Jen moved in with her bright textiles and mirrors, her six year old – and we had a new baby – it was an explosion!" But he’s still there in their cottage... along with a poodle, a cat and thirty ducks. "I get up smiling," Jen claims.
The public is beating a path to the door of her centre on the pennant stone High Street in Lampeter. The airy listed building offers changing exhibitions, quilts, shawls and blankets for sale, together with local designer fashion, Jen's books, bric a brac and hand sewn replicas of early geometric patchwork sewn by a woman's group in Ethiopia, a favourite charity of Jen's. Jen's daughter and son-in-law even run a café on site offering visitors delicious locally grown food, Welsh cakes included.
Jen says "In the town I feel I am – with my family – in charge of something special... we are here to educate, to give love, to rally the forces, to spread the word." Deirdre McSharry Unsung Heritage: The Quilts Of Wales, 6 March 31 December 2010, The Jen Jones Welsh Quilt Centre, The Old Town Hall, High Street, Lampeter SA48 7BH T: 01570 422 088, www.jen-jones.com
indulge selvedge.org 5
Fashions ebb and flow, sometimes a style percolates down from the catwalk but, more often, a look filters up from street. And if the road a designer walks down is in a rural part of India the influences she absorbs can lead, not to punk or grunge, but to refined garments inspired by the dress of local Rabari women and ‘gamcha clad’ men from Assam.
Aneeth Arora, a textile graduate from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, and a fashion graduate from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, firmly believes that local people are the true trend setters. Her label, ‘péro’ (which means ‘to wear’
in Marwari the local language of Rajasthan), offers loose pedal pushers, flowing smocks,
tunics, dresses and blouses in fresh combinations of checks, stripes and tiny florals that are layered and teamed with delicately embroidered or beautifully woven scarfs. While these garments look patched and stitched together the alternating patterns are actually woven on a single warp, a technical achievement worthy of note.
Each garment draws on simplicity, skill and the textile traditions Arora has observed in remote areas of her country. She recreates and adapts these elements in clothes that appeal to women who seek peace, comfort and pleasure from their clothes. And her children’s range means their daughters can feel similarly relaxed in refined but rustic partydresses. Like a folktale passed down through generations these clothes have a familiar, friendly feel, and the message, the importance of retaining local skills and techniques, is beautifully illustrated.
indulge selvedge.org the V&A
Images courtesy of
Untold Stories V&A CURATOR SUE PRICHARD REVEALS THE HIDDEN HISTORIES IN QUILTS
In 2010, for the first time, the V&A will reveal a major exhibition showcasing over 300 years of British patchwork and quilt making. Drawing on the rich resources of the Museum’s textile collection and loans from some of the UK’s finest regional museums and private collections, the exhibition seeks to uncover the hidden histories and untold stories of the makers whose vision, creativity and skill continue to resonate across the centuries.
The V&A’s collection of historic patchwork reflects the great diversity of fabrics available during three centuries of textile trade and production, from the sumptuous silk velvets of the 17th and 18th century through to the colourful, mass produced cottons manufactured during the Industrial Revolution. But the exhibition does not set out to create a seamless history of British quilt making, nor does it intend to provide a catalogue of changes in textile design and manufacture. Instead, it navigates a path between the myths, misconceptions and actual histories surrounding professional and domestic quilt production in Great Britain.
Quilts stimulate memories of warmth, security and comfort; their layers concealing both personal and collective narratives. Many quilts travel down through generations undocumented, but some may be accompanied by individual histories, passed down by word of mouth. Unsurprisingly, over the years, names and dates become confused and stories are embellished. However these stories help to explain the importance of the textiles contained within the patchwork, often referencing familial heritage or a sense of kinship with patrons. Providing an historic framework for domestic objects helps to understand the significance and legacy of such objects. Yet the potency of the voice from the past is sometimes more powerful than the evidence revealed in the textiles.
Some of the stories handed down with quilts and coverlets have passed into Museum documentation. The exhibition will feature a stunning early 18th-century patchwork bedcover which was acquired in 1984, accompanied by the assertion that the fugitive eldest son of Charles I (and future King Charles II) slept under the quilt in Bishop’s Court, a medieval manor house at Clyst St Mary near Exeter, as he sought to escape to Jersey in 1645 at the end of the First Civil War. Close examination of the quilt revealed that it had been made from a wide variety of silk velvets and plain and complex weave silks, including a blue silk with brocaded pomegranates and flowers in silver and silver-gilt thread and a green bizarre silk dominated by a silver ground. It is all too tempting to imagine a scenario whereby the young prince, hair cropped as a disguise to escape capture, nestled under the cover safe in the knowledge that his host was both protector and ally. Unfortunately both the blue silk and bizarre silk are thought to date from the 1690s, five to ten years after the demise of King Charles II in February 1685.
Despite the inaccuracies in the narrative, the construction of the quilt suggests that it was probably made professionally and would have been an expensive commission. The arms at the head of the quilt suggest a strong connection to a family of high status. The Bedford family had owned Bishop’s Court until the onset of the Civil War, when it was acquired by Peter Beavis, the son of a wealthy Exeter merchant. The arms would have been created by a highly skilled heraldic embroiderer and could have been made specifically for this quilt or recycled from another object. Whilst it is extremely unlikely that Charles slept under the quilt, at this point it was not unusual for a family to declare their love for a king or a patron through domestic objects such as this. The act of gifting or handing down of objects represents significant moments in personal histories; as such, the social significance of quilts rests on their ability to communicate an association with either an individual or a group of people.
Despite extensive research, it is sometimes impossible to trace the personal histories of the makers of unsigned and undated quilts and coverlets, particularly those acquired at auction or in antique selvedge.org
The textiles of Green Knowe LUCY BOSTON’S GREEN AND NIMBLE FINGERS
A visit to the 12th-century moated Manor house where patchwork quilt maker and children's author Lucy M. Boston lived is as wondrous now as it was for the hero of her classic children's story TheChildrenof Green Knowe when he arrived at his great grandmother's house for the first time.
“The entrance hall was a strange place. The walls were partly rough stone and partly plaster, but hung all over with mirrors and pictures and china. There were vases everywhere filled with queer flowers –branches of dry winter twigs out ofwhichlittletasselsandrosettesofflower petals were bursting, some yellow, some white, some purple. They had an exciting smell, almost like something to eat, and they looked as if they hadbeen produced by magic, as if someone had said
'Abracadabra! Let these sticks burst into flower. Above these vases, wherever there was a beam or an odd corner or a doorpost out of which they could, as it were, grow, there were children carved in dark oak, leaning out over the flowers. Most of themhadwings,onehadarealbird'snest on its head, and all of them had such roundpolished cheeks they seemedtobe laughingandwelcominghim.” Built in the 1130s it is one of the oldest continuously inhabited houses in Britain and much of the original house remains virtually intact in spite of various changes over nine hundred years. The entrance hall was actually a Tudor side extension housing the scullery – it still has a butler's sink so is not the grand entrance you might expect but more the humble artisan's cottage which accurately reflects the Boston household as was. After the break-up of her marriage in 1935 Lucy had been to Vienna to attend painting and drawing lessons. The whole house is crammed with art works (Her son Peter did all the illustrations for her books and Elizabeth Vellacott was a friend.), unusual things and has evolved organically creating a totally unself-conscious but aesthetically pleasing and haphazardly bohemian interior.
'Lucy carried out some renovations when she first arrived and having finished decided as part of the war effort to invite the airmen from the local airbase over for musical evenings. Having been vetted and given the OK by the padre she had to fix up some seating for the anticipated guests. Pillows were covered and used as cushions, ticking covered mattresses were laid on the floor and hung from the wall as impromptu sofas and even the back seat from a car was brought in and wrapped under the Norman window,’ explains daughter-in-law, Diana, who is now custodian of the family home. It was this spirit of thrift, of make-do and-mend that led Lucy to patchwork quilts. 'Lucy used quilts as curtains in the sitting room which she had purchased from Muriel Rose’s gallery (the first place in London to sell artisanal work as art, see Selvedge issue 21, pg 44, and this issue pg 38) and as they wore into holes she mended them again and again.'
Art of courtesy Philadelphia Museum
KanthaLIVESANDLANDSCAPES OF BENGAL’S EMBROIDERED QUILTS
Recycled rags, household cloths, ritual actions, women’s personal expressions, intergenerational bonds, icons of cultural and national identity, links with the ancient past, representations of cosmic reintegration, works of art. To their makers, users, and collectors, the embroidered quilts – or kanthas – of Bengal have many identities. These identities shift and merge yet do not come into conflict, as this tradition encompasses the practical, personal and symbolic in equal measure.
Over the centuries, women in many parts of the world have combined thrift with meaning through the act of reconstituting functional textiles from tatters. Sometimes, as in the European American and African American traditions of patchwork quilting, meaning comes as much from the diversity of the fabrics – each distinctive fragment evoking a memory – as from the patterns and imagery they create together. At other times, as in the Bengali tradition, comfort and family are invoked by the fact that the base cloth has been worn and softened against the bodies of close kin. Yet it is the motifs, embroidered in coloured thread on the gently puckered white ground, that convey the explicit stories and symbolism embedded in each piece.
At the most fundamental level, kanthas are household textiles. Embroidered kanthas, such as those in the Stella Kramrisch Collection and the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection in the Philadelphia
Museum of Art were often created as gifts for family members to mark life-cycle occasions. While they appear in a fairly limited range of sizes and shapes, each was made for a purpose. Large rectangle pieces might have been bed and floor cloths to seat honored guests, blankets and wraps, or even shrouds. Smaller rectangles may have been made for newborn babies or as prayer mats, while tiny elongated pieces were often created to enfold mirrors, combs, and other personal items that also had ritual uses, or stitched to envelop Qur’ans. Square kanthas were often made for worshippers to sit on during pujas (Hindu prayers), to wrap or store cloths, or to drape tables and trunks. Especially beloved pieces would be carefully preserved and passed down through generations, but most filled a succession of functions, becoming ever more stained, faded, and fragile until living a final incarnation as diaper or dishcloth.
While kantha is the generic term for the type of textile represented, the word for this type of textile is applied to a broader category of quilted works encompassing everything from simple rag quilts with widely spaced running stitches to the commercially produced furnishings and clothing popular today, often stitched with silk thread on silk fabric. The term nakshi (figured) kantha is preferred in Bangladesh for embroidered work; sujni (needlework) is a generic term for kanthas, although it also designates a few distinctive types of quilts.
The earliest preserved kanthas seem to date to the first half of the 19th century, while the majority were most likely produced between the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries. The traditional base cloth for kanthas was the thin white cotton fabric, handspun and hand-woven, favored in Bengal for both men’s and women’s garments well into the 20th century. Over this white ground, women embroidered auspicious motifs and patterns using coloured threads, traditionally pulled from the ornamental borders of their used white cotton saris. Indeed, embroidered replications of these woven borders are some of the most common motifs.
Lonely Planet selvedge.org
Into the forest
APOLLINE FINDS HER INSPIRATION IN FAIRYTALES
Did you have a favourite doll as a child? Was it handcrafted or plastic? My favourite dolls now belong to my daughters – they were all handcrafted. What do you think makes a handcrafted toy special? The hand of the creator can be felt a long time after the doll is made, perhaps forever. It is there in every detail. The story of a handmade doll is stronger... Did you teach yourself how to create the toys or have you studied textiles? I have studied textiles so I am confident when crafting the dolls. What is your favourite fairy tale? Why? I like Little Red Riding Hood but it's for aesthetic reasons... rather than the actual story! I like the forest and all the animals. The thatched cottages like dolls’ houses and Red Riding Hood in her hood, braids and basket! What is your favourite animal and why? The red deer (“biche” in French) lives in the forest. It is a herbivore and a gracious animal. It has a strange, magic quality but its life often ends sadly… What were you scared of when you were a child? I was afraid of being kidnapped. Do you think it is strange that so many adults love your creations? I think it has something to do with the fact that our lives lack poetry. We like things that bring us a little. Maybe they feel my toys are truthful and made with love. If you could use the fabrics of any company or designer in your collections (past or present) who would it be? I collect fabrics but I dream of having samples of each of Marie Antoinette’s dresses. Could you tell me about your collaboration with Bonpoint? When I was a little girl I sometimes wore Bonpoint, they sold Start-rite shoes and I had them in red and ‘English’ green! When I had my first baby I became addicted to the brand (it’s expensive but such a pleasure!). My dream was to work with them, so I called and made an appointment with Marie France Cohen, the creator of Bonpoint. She’s wonderful, full of energy and ideas, she (and her husband) can make dreams come true. Now I work on many projects, a doll’s house, card game and new dolls... If you were making a toy that represented Selvedge, what would it look like? A doll in beautiful natural fabrics; linen, felt and wool with drops of pink, red orange, gold or silver and a strong handcrafted touch! If you weren't a doll maker what would you like to be? A movie “costumiere” or an animator! Apolline dolls and mobiles from £40, available from Selvedge drygoods, T: +44 (0)208 341 9721, www.selvedge.org
cohabit selvedge.org inform
ATTIRE critical reporting of fashion trends
46 Rustic beauty The charm of Péro Aneeth Arora’s relaxed but desirable collection inspired by the Indian streets
COHABIT stunning interiors beautifully photographed
60 COVER STORY The textiles of Green Knowe Lucy Boston’s green and nimble fingers The tale of a much-loved storyteller and her love of patchwork
GLOBAL textiles to buy, collect or simply admire
70 COVER STORY Kantha Lives and landscapes of Bengali quilts The many meanings and uses of these stitched treasures 57 Bedmates Do contemporary quilt makers need a wake-up call? Dr Sue Marks views modern work with a critical eye
INFORM the latest news, reviews and exhibition listings
03 bias /contributor Letter from the editor and comments from some of our contributors 07 news A spectacular installation by Christina Kim plus essential textile news 11 competition Writing and illustration competition 14 events Selvedge events and must see exhibitions 29 how to A Tamar Mogendorff chick
84 international listings Exhibitions, fairs, events 86 read Jacqueline Groag: Textile and Pattern design, Quilting Patchwork and Appliqué: A World Guide 88 view Mrs Delaney and her Circle Reeds and Wool, Pattern Screens of Central Asia Stroud International Textile Festival 92 resources Find out more about the articles in this issue
80 subscription offers A pack of linen patchwork squares from Fog for new subscribers and renewals plus Country Living tickets, and Gaurav Gupta scarves 81 SUBSCRIBE 83 Selvedge Affiliates New Selvedge affiliates, a readers offer from l’avia home and the latest news from the Selvedge shop 95 coming next The Romance Issue: A love affair with textiles, Giles Deacon to Jane Austen
SELVEDGE ('selnid 3 ) n. 1. finished di fferently 2.?the?non-fraying edge of a length of woven fabric. [: from SELF + EDGE]