Monday, 27 August 2012

Craft Night Road Trip

Hello everyone! 

Two of the Crafterteers went on a mini road trip today to Beamish Open Air Museum in County Durham. They had a quilt exhibition on over the weekend so Amy and I went to check it out - we both have passes to get in free which was a bonus too! The museum is an open air museum, great on a bank holiday in August right! No, it was drizzling the whole time (see the very soggy sign below!), but we made the most of it and wrapped up warm :)

Beamish is one of my favourite museums, and they have a fantastic collection of locally made quilts from the 1800's to the present day. The exhibition was put on with the Quilters Guild, and mixed quilts old and new - with the newer quilts inspired by the ones from the museum's collections.

These are some of the old and new quilts on display, we both really like the family tree (second one from below) which told the family history of the quilt maker, complete with photographs and quotes from marriage certificates. It went all the way back to the 16th Century which was pretty amazing!

The display also had a few hands on elements, and a display from the Young Quilters Guild. They also had some members of the Quilters Guild there to speak to, who were doing lots of English Paper Piecing.

The most interesting part of today was finding out about regional craft groups from the past! Both from the exhibition displays, but also the brilliant book I bought afterwards, about how craft groups have been going on amongst groups of women for centuries - made me feel part of a long tradition! It is amazing to think that our little approx-once-a-month craft night is doing all the same things those women used to do, getting together to help each other out, figure out how to create new patterns, and eat and talk!

I particularly like this little passage above about the preparations for craft night being an "awful sight", and the worst thing about craft night was that the women were looking after themselves and not their men! Good on 'em!

The rest of the museum also had some bits and pieces on display, including a yoyo quilt and a fantastic granny square blanket in some fantastic colours!

Oh, and before I forget, this was my new book Amy talked me into getting...

A catalogue of Beamish quilt collections, but also a decent handful of women's history in there too, makes me feel itchy for my History degree days!

See y'all next time!

Love Ali


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