Saturday 30 September 2023

Threads of Memory series by Annabel


"Marcia Watson - Validation"

Quilt 100cms x 118cms
The Windrush series is about fading away with memories lost. Marcia's experiences on moving to the UK from Jamaica when she was 8 years old.


Saturday 16 September 2023

More from the Collection - Miss Cox

Miss Cox donated several items of clothing and a parasol to the collection at Leamington Art Gallery and Museum, and they are listed below.

Miss Cox of 75 Leam Terrace, who gave her collection of antique textiles to Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum in the 1920s. She is in costume as an evzone, an infantryman in the Greek army.

  1. Cream coloured silk stocking, for a man, embroidery down the sides of the ankle, embroidered topPanel of fine white net encrusted with seed pearls and large pearls.
  2. Long panel of white lace, elasticated top, floral patterns woven into the lace.
  3. A large fabric panel. The panel is for the front of a long full length skirt. The panel has a floral pattern and is made of black silk with black embroidery and encrusted with beads.
  4. Lace half collar, cream cotton, floral and leaf decoration intricately joined with little embroidered rings (tatting?), thread and finer lace at edges, forms a point at one side. Completed with high Edwardian style collar and embroidered net flounce.
  5. A waisted black satin jacket with a pleated peplum. The sleeves and bodice are lined with cotton and the bodice is boned. The front panel, collar and cuffs are made with black net on blue satin, heavily decorated with blue sequins and black beads. This decorative trimming may been added later.
  6. Black velvet jacket (looks dark blue), short with long sleeves, black beads along edges, cream lace with white beads on collar and cuffs, black bead buttons. Inside is boned and there are cotton protectors under the arms. The waist band is cotton tape wit hook and eye fastening to secure the jacket at the waist. An added placket of black velvet under button fastening. Silk chiffon is tacked into the back of the neck.
  7. Black velvet fitted jacket, long sleeves, no collar, turned back cuffs, tog fastenings. There are four weights, possibly pennies, in the hem of the jacket. It has half cuffs, sewn into inner sleeve seam but attached to outer seam, open at cuff edge. Hook and eye fastenings on the front opening 
  8. Black silk bodice, vertical self stripe fabric with beaded decoration, frilled black lace collar and cuffs, hook and eye fastenings, beaded tassles and decoration along the bottom edge. The bodice is lined with satinised cotton and is boned with whale bone. It is machine made but hand finished. Scalloped,
  9. beaded and tasselled decoration with lace frills at the cuffs and collar. Bodice made by Mrs Sydney Miles of 76 The Parade, Leamington Spa.
  10. Two tiered, black lace cape, decorated with black beads (jet?) embroidery over shoulders, ruffled lace collar, hook and eye fastening, satin lining on shoulder and net inner lining
  11. Blace lace over-dress, long skirt, long, wide sleeves, hook and eye fastenings to bodice
  12. Short black velvet jacket (appears dark blue), tailored velvet bodice, long black satin sleeves, may have been altered as lining is missing. Remnants of original sleeve material on inside of armholes. Black and cream appliqued satin with buckram lining. Sleeves have been adapted, possibly from the original linings(?). Press studs at inside of wrist may have secured the original sleeve. Another possibility is that teh decorative area was only at the top of the sleeve.Fastenings down the front, 5 rings on either side, which were secured with laces.
  13. Agricultural labourers smock, cream coloured linen, long sleeves, ruched and embroidered bodice and cuffs.
  14. Carved ivory fan, decorated by hand painted multi-coloured flowers on a fine mesh net. Gold sequins are stitched onto painted flowers.
  15. Black cape with high neck and front with knee length panels. Embellished all over with bronze beadwork. Sleeves have heavily beaded areas at cuff level; also front edges. Hook and eye fastenings. Beaded fringe at neck and sleeve edges. Tapes to tie at waist, Black lace and satin flounce at base of back - bustle effect.

Thursday 14 September 2023

Stepping Off The Edge


Stepping Off The Edge


103cms (40.5") long x 69cms (27") wide

From sampler to momento mori.

A momento mori inspired by a sampler in the Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum's collection. (Memento mori is a Latin phrase meaning 'remember you must die'. A basic memento mori painting would be a portrait with a skull but other symbols commonly found are hour glasses - or chicken egg timers to bring it up to date! - or clocks, extinguished or guttering candles, fruit, and flowers). It's called Stepping Off The Edge because of the bronze stepping off on the left hand side and symbolises life after death, and going into the unknown.

The quilt also has from the collection, a child's balancing toy, and a large pot which I've put honesty seedheads in. The scarf is an "infinity scarf" - one with no ending and no beginning. The key is a key to something but what?  The raven is dripping paint onto a small book which has the words "The moving finger writes..." stitched on. The quote "I wasted time and now time doth waste me" is from Richard II, Shakespeare. The clock hands are made of the stitched words *the life of time is motion*  and were taken from a clock at Snowshill Manor in Glos.

The sampler 

  Text from the V&A 

"The English word 'sampler' derives from the Latin 'exemplum', or the old French term 'essamplaire', meaning 'an example'. Before the introduction of printed designs, embroiderers and lacemakers needed a way to record and reference different designs, stitches and effects. The answer was to create a sampler – a personal reference work featuring patterns and elements that the owner may have learned or copied from others, to recreate again in new pieces.

Such stitch and pattern collections may have been assembled in a number of cultures where decorative needlework was widely practised. Early examples rarely survive, but the quality of the oldest surviving samplers suggests they were made by experienced hands, as well as children, (in many cultures learning needlework was an important part of a young girl's education). The earliest in our collection were found in Egyptian burial grounds, and probably date from the 14th or 15th centuries.

LSAGM have a number of samplers in their collection, but I liked this blue and white one, with it's prayer at the bottom.

The V&A continue about 19th century samplers...

"Moral or religious texts, though usually less personal (than Parker's), continued to be a frequent choice in the first half of the 19th century. First popular in England in the mid-17th century, these improving or pious statements are central to the often fairly unsophisticated pieces we now recognise as a 'classic' Victorian sampler. This type of piece was also important in the embroidery traditions of European settlers in America, whose strongly felt sense of religious purpose helped to sustain them in an unfamiliar and often unforgiving landscape. A more accomplished piece stitched by 'E Pratt' in the 'New Orphan House Ashley Down Bristol' in 1886 helps demonstrate that in the 18th and 19th centuries samplers were increasingly being used as an educational tool for girls from all social backgrounds."

The sampler in the LSAGM collection

And a close up of my version 

The balancing act toy

The pot that holds the honesty seed heads.