A Gardener’s Paradise

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Nature’s beautiful surroundings have always been a source of inspiration for creative works, and patchwork and quilting are no exception. Whether it is printed floral fabrics or a decorative patchwork or applique design, the beauty of flowers and birds can be found in many of our Collection pieces. This exhibition explores the variety of different ways that nature and the garden have inspired makers.

Floral and chintz fabrics are present in many of our pieces. Often recycled from dress and furnishing fabrics, floral designs have been a firm favourite in patchwork and quilting for centuries. Printed cottons provide a wealth of different designs, but since the eighteenth century, makers have also embellished their plain fabrics with embroidered floral decorative motifs. Some designs are highly stylised, some are naïve in style, and others are very recognisable as flowers that we would be familiar with today.

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This furnishing’s strippy coverlet with central square on point demonstrates the type of floral glazed furnishing fabrics that were fashionable in homes of the late Victorian period. The fabrics have retained their high sheen, which means they were probably new when they were made into this piece, perhaps bought specifically for the coverlet or pieces left over from other domestic projects.

1992-8-D

This piece by Myfanwy Price, made in 1951, has a central pieced bouquet of flowers surrounded by squares of different flower groups. Myfanwy’s skilled piece, made from a mixture of many different fabrics, competently creates sets of very realistic flowers using the mosaic patchwork method.

The ‘A Gardener’s Paradise’ exhibition runs from 8-12 October, 10am – 4pm, at The Quilters’ Guild, St Anthony’s Hall, York. Tickets are £3 and must be booked in advance through Eventbrite, here. Current Friends of the Collection annual pass holders and students with a valid I.D. card have free entry.

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