Sunday, 14 August 2011

Reminders of a Bygone Age

I should have posted these photos before I went to the Festival of Quilts but I ran out of time so excuse me if I just catch up before I start posting about the FOQ extravaganza.

We have been in the process of sorting out my friend Grace's house as she hadn't any family to do it for her.  In the process I have come across some very interesting things from the past that will be sure to find their way into some art work.  

As you can see I've found a mountain of these crocheted doillies, many more than I could use so if you would like some do leave me a comment.  Grace would love to know that they were being put to a creative use.

These silk flags were given away with cigarettes back in the 1930's (we think) and have been hidden away from the light and thus are still lovely and bright, if a little dusty.

These beautiful flowers were given away by Kensitas cigarettes in the early 1930's and I almost discarded the little pieces of paper as I didn't realise they were hiding these beauties.  Fortunately I had a second look and you can imagine my delight and surprise when I opened the first and found the jewel like colours inside.  Sadly there is not a full set but there are quite a lot of doubles and trebles so I may well use a few in an art quilt.  While I was at the Festival of Quilts I saw several pieces that inspired me and suggested a use for some of the things I have found so I may use some of these beautiful woven tags. (More of that in my FOQ posts).

Aren't these embroidered linens beautiful?  Some of them show signs of a lot of use over the years. 

This little gadget looks like a variation on the old cardboard rings that I used to make as a child to make pom poms.

Sadly we are having to clear the house tomorrow with the help of a local charity so, in the light of my new inspiration, I have been round there again today to make sure I haven't missed anything and have rescued some more linens and sewing paraphenalia.  I just need to collect about 12 woollen blankets tomorrow before the clearers go in!  My friend who took us for the natural dyeing a few weeks ago has a use for them so they won't end up as rags.

I've just spent 3 days in Birmingham at the Festival of Quilts and am still processing all the photos I took so I'll post about my trip soon.  It was a fabulous show and I met up with lots of people, not to mention fellow bloggers!

It was wonderful to put flesh and blood to virtual friends.  Pictured here are, from left to right, me, someone I don't know (sorry missed her name), Carol McFee (Textiel Tales), Carolyn (Loves Stiching Red), Mags (DigitalGran), Jackie Cardy (DogDaisyChains), Gina (Fan My Flame), Chrissie Galley, then two ladies standing who I don't know and Sue Krekorian (seated) (Magic Armchair Traveller).  Sandra (The Dyer's Hand) and Penny arrived after this photo was taken and most of the girls had drifted off to continue their viewing and shopping so escaped being captured for posterity.

Finally, after a hectic few days you would have thought that I would have had chance to relax at home to day but, no, after going to Grace's house this morning I went into town to meet up with some old friends, some of whom I haven't seen for 37 years!  37 years!!!  Where did they go?

This motley crew trained to be teachers in the 70's and most of them made it (except for me!)  It was lovely to have a catch up. :-)


Moogsmum said...

Oh Julie, those beautiful textiles of Grace's are so poignant. Isn't it incredible to gain such an insight into a dear one's life? We're still trying to go through everything of Mum and Dad's and I have to say, it's a bittersweet moment when you find something unexpected or forgotten.

I am fighting the Festival of Quilts envy here! Every year I know when it is but never quite get there. I'm going to put it firmly on my 2012 calendar before all else!!

Love that picture of you with your friends - 37 years seems like nothing when you all just pick up where you left off :o)


Emma said...

What lovely finds & I know Grace would love that so much is going to good homes- you probably had to trawl thru a lot of stuff to achieve these delights, well done you. Who's was the quilt that inspired you to use some of your finds in a quilt?

Great catchup with all these bloggers & your college mates.

Penny said...

What a wonderful collection of memoribilia, Not sure if you feel like sending to Oz but a couple of doilies wouldnt go astray if you can.
Have been enjoying seeing photos of the FOQ from various blogs, makes me very envious.

gill said...

The doileys from Grace are so beautiful - if you have one to spare I would love one!
I look forward to finding out more about your little 'gadget' I'm sure I have one at the bottom of Mum's sewing box!

Heather said...

Lovely post Julie. What a lot of treasures you have rescued from being discarded and lost forever. I'm sure you will be able to incorporate them into your lovely quilts. I remember those silk cigarette cards from my youth. I love old lace and if you aren't inundated with offers of a new home for the doilies I'd love a couple. I recognised you and four other bloggy friends from the FOQ photo. Sounds like a great day. Hope all this effort and excitement hasn't worn you out.

gilby said...

Hi Julie,
I would love to give a home to a couple of doilies,they will be great for collage and texture for a print plate.
Love Gill.

Dosfishes at Sparkle Days Studios said...

I know that you will remeber Grace each tome you create something with these textiles...she would love it and will be with you in spirit. Great shot of the blogging ladies at Birmingham! Must have been quite spectacular. Everyone is sharing pics, so great to see. xox Corrine

Gina said...

Sad to have to go through Grace's things but some lovely treasures that I'm sure you will put to good use. Happy to take a couple of doilies although it seems you have already had quite a few requests so don't mind if there is not enough. It was lovely to see you on Thursday - hope you enjoyed the rest of your time there.

Maggi said...

Clearing a house of it's memories is never easy but how lovely that you have been able to find so many things that you can use yourself. Grace would be delighted to know that they are in safe hands.

Linda said...

Lovely treasures left by a lovely friend....
She must have been a very interesting lady.
It was great to see you on Friday Julie....glad you like Photoscape.
Love Linda

Susan said...

Hi Julie! You certainly have been busy! My heart goes out to you and the challenge of sorting through the remains of a friend's estate. With loss in your heart, the task must be painful even as it is inspiring future work. It would be my honor to use any of Grace's items in my art. Thank you for thinking of me.

Now ... the photos of the "cabinet" at the Festival of Quilts is quite interesting. While I absolutely adore the concept and most of the surfaces, I honestly don't like the novelty letters and assorted new embellishments. Of course, my opinion doesn't matter! I just prefer keeping such "collections" that suggest "vintage" as just that ... vintage! The piece also reminds me of my "Archeology Project" (which is on my website). It was so much fun to create and I can imagine the the artist who created the "cabinet" also had a total blast making it. Such work is so suggestive of a a magical story of an eccentric history lover! Anyway ... thanks for the photos ... and especially for reminding me that I really, really ought to submit "something" for the Festival of Quilts next year! Okay...I'll just make that my early New Year's resolution!
PS Hot Springs National Park is AWESOME. Being the "artist-in-residence" is SO COOL! It's like a "month of Sundays" dream come true and has allowed me to tackle a few projects that simply required more time than I ordinarily could devote to them!

Annette J said...

You have reminded me that I inherited some of those silk cigarette cards (flags)they are somewhere in the house, must have a look for them. I've always meant to do something with them but not sure what.

liniecat said...

Looking at those lovely old linens with embroidery made me think of the insect soft sculptures by paul finch. He uses those old linens to amazing effect!
So sad that these are the pieces left from a life well lived, but so few see them as of emotional 'value' or social history, womens history even.

smarcoux said...

doubt you have any doilies left but just in case you do Julie I will take one off your hand.
Dangling by a thread