Archive | September, 2013

Social Patches

30 Sep

Artes Mundi is coordinating a series of activities called Social Patches as part of Artes Mundi’s offsite projects.

The activities are focus around the Indian artist Sheela Gowda, who’s work incorporates textiles, quilts and appliqué.

Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 October, 10am – 4pm, Unit 10, Morgan Arcade, Cardiff City Centre

Develop your sewing skills with professional textile artist Lisa Porch, as she demonstrates a range of textile techniques from appliqué, patchwork and stitched text. Help to add a patch to our developing outfit or begin to start your own project. Whether you’re a beginner, novice or professional, drop in and start to share your ideas and skills.

*Free workshop
Material provided. No booking required.

Wed 16 of October, 2 – 2.45pm, Unit 10, Morgan Arcade, Cardiff
Talk entitled Piecing the Past: The Wrexham Tailor’s Quilt

Discover the story of James Williams, a military tailor from Wrexham, who spent a decade meticulously piecing a patchwork quilt during his leisure hours. Join Elen Phillips, Curator of Costume & Textiles at St Fagans, National History Museum, to hear more about its fascinating history.
Spaces are limited, to book a place please email: or ring Artes Mundi on: 02920 2055 5300.

Monday 7 – Friday 18 October 10.00am – 4.00pm, Unit 10 Morgan Arcade, Cardiff City Centre

Draw inspiration from the patchwork quilts used in the artwork Down Under, and work closely with fashion designer Tara Tarapetian on your own fabric pieces. Down Under was originally constructed from bits and pieces of fabric collected by poor women in Gujarat, India. Looking closely at Gowda’s artwork we will start to collect fragments of fabric and textiles to develop your own designs. Bring in your own piece of fabric, or use our collection of donated textiles by local retailers.

Friday 25 October, 2.00pm – 2.30pm, National Museum Cardiff
Explore the relationship between art and fashion through paintings that influenced a century of style. Join Anne Pritchard, Curator of Historic Art, National Museum Cardiff, on a guided tour focusing on works by artists such as Rossetti, Renoir and Augustus John. Spaces are limited, to book a place please see National Museum Cardiff website –

On Display: A selection of tradition Welsh quilts from The Jen Jones Welsh Quilt Centre, Lampeter, will be on display in Unit 10 from Monday 7th – Friday 18th October.

Artes Mundi will be running a series of free creative activities placed outside the gallery in Cardiff city centre until the end of the year, keep your eye on its website for up and coming events –

Visit to Cardiff Quilters

23 Sep

On Saturday 21 September a group of Glamorgan Quilters accepted an invitation from Cardiff Quilters and visited them at the Heath Citizens Hall in Cardiff.

We had a wonderful welcome and everyone was extremely friendly. After tea and cake and a chat to everyone their meeting started with announcements and then a ‘show and tell’. We had been asked to take along some of our work so we were able to join in. By this point we began to be a little worried as to what had happened to our chair Lynne! There was no sign of her and no text from her. However, not long after she arrived -a little frazzled after an argument with her sat nav!! Sometimes technology isn’t all it’s hyped up to be!

Lunch followed. Members had brought along a wonderful selection of savoury and sweet items and we were spoiled for choice. Their speaker in the afternoon was Robyn Coles, a milliner from Cardiff. She gave a very informative talk about her career as a fashion buyer for Armani and Liberty, how she was made redundant and eventually retrained as a milliner after following a college course in London. She set up her business a couple of years ago and has now opened a shop in the Castle Arcade and has had one of her hats worn by Princess Eugenie. If you want a bespoke hat for a special occasion she’s well worth a look.

Below are some of the pieces of work that were exhibited at the show and tell



Helen Hughes

What Is It You Do In The Shed?

16 Sep

At our first meeting of the new year we had the great pleasure of hearing Pat Johnson speakr. Pat talked about her passion for felting and while this seemed a slight diversion from patchwork and quilting, it clearly comes under the remit of textiles. Pat’s entertaining talk more than engaged the audience, such that they were clamouring for a workshop with her!

Pat started her talk by answering the question of one of her neighbours in Colwinston “What is it you do in the shed?” The answer, Pat says, is that she cossets and tickles beautiful fibres of silk and merino wool in warm soapy water until they happily link up with each other to form the basis for her beautiful felted work.

Pat described the process to us and it scotched the experience of some in the group who had tried felt making before and found it extremely hard on the arms. She always works gently with the fibres to fuse them and made the point that she would happily link arms with her neighbour if she was lying down nice and warm and relaxed, rather than being beaten or pounded into submission! You do see her point!

It was certainly a treat to see the great variety of items Pat makes with her felt in a wonderful mix of vibrant colours. Gorgeous waistcoats and jackets, bags, cushions, scarves, wraps – pretty much anything you can make in fabric. There was even a wall hanging that mimicked a quilt design. And her items can be washed. The highlight was her collection of hats. Pat had brought her earliest prototypes and called them “hats to frighten the neighbours in” and she modelled them to the great amusement of us all. She has certainly improved since those first examples.

Sadly, I do not have any photos to show you, but keep an eye out for Pat’s exhibitions which will be held in the Old Hall and St. Donat’s in the near future.

We send our grateful thanks to Pat for a hugely entertaining and informative talk, delivered in a wonderful warm and humorous way.

Author: Pam Stead