Last weekend was the opening of the exhibition at Chelmsford Cathedral some of the Material Girls and friends went along. All very covid friendly of course!
this is a youtube video of the exhibition made by The Cathedrals creative team
Post cards that the Cathedral have had printed and will be available at their exhibition.
The cut off date for Postcards for the ‘Good Lament and Hard Hope’ project to be sent to Chelmsford Cathedral is rapidly approaching (1.6.21). The creative team at the Cathedral have now taken over all aspects of the project including the display and aim for the work to be exhibited from 26th June. So if you have any queries please contact Chelmsford Cathedral directly and if you still have a card waiting to wing it’s way there please pop it in the post ASAP.
Covid regulations will apply to the exhibition so you might want to check with the cathedral on any restrictions if you wish to visit.
We would like to thank everyone who participated, even responding from the other side of the Atlantic. Paraphrasing the card above ‘what would we have'.......
As a member of The Material Girls I’m very much looking forward to our next exhibition in August at the Maeldune Heritage Centre in Maldon, Essex. It’s about eight years since we last exhibited there with our friends from Canada.
The new exhibition will be called ‘The Enchanted Garden’ so I’m very busy making some favourite 3D flowers as well as painting an upcycled coffee/children’s table with a Mexican flower theme inspired by my favourite holidays in Mexico.
I’m sure we are all looking forward to getting back to a near normal life again so please do come and enjoy a day out in Maldon - plenty of eateries ‘inside’ and ‘out’ depending on the weather. The Maeldune Heritage Centre is in the main high street and also home to the famous Maldon Millenium Embroidery which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. It is the 850th anniversary of Maldon’s Royal Charter as well. More information is available from the Tourist Office situated within the Centre.
The site of the Maeldune Centre was formerly the Church of St. Peter in 1180 hence the West Tower. The church later became redundant and fell into a state of disrepair until it was rebuilt in the 1690s by Dr. William Plume as a library. Then in 1817 it was extended to accommodate the new National School until 1840.
‘The Enchanted Garden’ exhibition will take place from Thursday, 19th August until Saturday, 4th September 2021 Opening times are 11am - 4pm. Free entry. Closed Sundays and Mondays
During the last strange year, there have been many challenges and not all happy ones. Early in lockdown I made scrubs for Queens and King George's hospitals. As an occasional machinist, I struggled with Xxl scrubs trousers. Then I volunteered to make caps, they were so fiddly with their elastic inserts. I am filled with admiration for the Sewing Bee contestants.
Later, I was given some wool, so every cat and dog I know had a crocheted blanket, some in their owners football teams colours, I even made a Joe Exotic crocheted doll. I joined various Facebook swap groups, mainly making paper projects and I found I loved the challenge of making to a theme, using materials from my collections of magazines, old books, and ephemera. I also signed up to make a four inch stitched heart each month to swap. It's been really interesting seeing how many different techniques have been used. I'm mounting the ones I receive in a fabric book and decorating each page
My latest involvement has been with a local community group project making textile items for a church. This has been a real labour of love, trying to organise work for 16 members on zoom and emails. We have tutored each other on zoom, and swapped dyes, fabrics, threads by post.
I am really looking forward to being being able to meet with the groups face to face and to plan new and exciting projects as we move forward.
So it’s my turn to write the Materials Girls’ blog.
I’ve started and finished three quilts this year so far. In style, all three are modern quilts and feature ‘improv’ piecing with free machine quilting.
The first resulted from a Zoom talk by Alaskan-based quilter Maria Shell. I’ve liked her work for some time so bought the book (ages ago now) but then did nothing with it. The opportunity to attend the talk arose during the current lockdown. This inspired me to get out the book and have a good look through it. Using up several small scrap bags of Oakshott fabrics, this small wallhanging is the result. The quilting is also based on a style Maria uses on her own quilts.
The second quilt started life during a one-day workshop I taught for Region 8 of the Quilters Guild back in February. The blocks were made to demonstrate my ‘disappearing crosses’ technique. Using an Oakshott fabrics fat quarter bundle bought the last time I was able to go the the Festival of Quilts, and still on a high from the Maria Shell inspired quilt, I stayed with the same style of quilting, a different pattern in each space.
The third quilt uses the same fat quarter bundle (it was one the very large bundles from Oakshott) from which I selected autumnal colours plus a batik for the thin inserts. This piece forms part of my work the Material Girls exhibition later this year. Within the umbrella theme of ‘The Enchanted Garden’, my own inspiration is trees and leaves. The design source for this piece is tree age rings.
You can find my own weekly blog at https://www.mariaspillertextiles.com/blog.
‘The spring is sprung, the grass is ris’ as Spike Milligan once said.Last week we had a little glimpse of the sun and also a little glimpse of motivation here in The Material Girls land and I was spurred on to try and finish my panels for an exhibition we hope to stage this August if Covid gives us a break. Our topic has been ‘The enchanted garden ‘ and I have been engaged in all things Bee for this one ( although I must admit to suffering from Bee overload at this point). We started our journey to this exhibition in 2019 full of hope because 2021 is the group’s 20th anniversary and we had great plans for a mega celebratory exhibition at Rainham Hall. Unfortunately life ( or should I say global pandemic ) has intervened and plans have had to be scaled down and altered but we go forward with hope just as we did when I started the group with 6 members 20years ago ‘just for one exhibition’. All these years on I have lost count of the exhibitions, talks we have given, workshops we have led and projects we have been involved with but hopefully there will be many more adventures to be had and textile art to be created.
As with most groups our face to face meetings ended in March 2020 and since then we have been meeting via Zoom and instead of our once a month meeting we have met every two weeks. This not only helped give support to each other but also we hoped would keep us motivated with our work. Whether the later has worked I'm not one hundred percent sure, I think keeping motivated has been a struggle for us all and I know I fluctuate between being very productive and then go for weeks without really doing anything useful at all. During the first lockdown I was baking bread and cakes and had grand ideas of knitting, stitching and using my vast stash of fabrics and threads! There were plans for getting well ahead with my work for The Material Girls upcoming exhibition at The Maeldune Gallery in August 2021, I have ideas but not produced anything as yet, although I have made four baby quilts and another one still to do. At yesterday’s MG meeting we were asked what we will be putting into the exhibition so now I'm committed to actually producing at least four pieces, now I will get the ideas out of my head and actually get started.....
Two of the Baby Quilts.