In praise of… crafts

Jennie Fitzee blogs about life as an elementary school teacher – if you don’t yet know her. Recently she’s run a series of posts about the genesis of two delightful classroom quilts inspired by her children and created by a talented quilter, Milly. Start here and follow the story. You have to be moved, especially when the Governor of Massachusetts bows before her talent.

Anyway, I thought, inspired by reading these I should do my own post on the power and beauty in quilting. These are the epitome of craft skills yet the artistic element – given many quilts have both form and function – is sometimes lost.

I have to admit a bias. The Textiliste – the clue is in the title – is a quilter of skill, imagination and compassion.

Compassion? Yes, indeed. Like so many, like Milly their efforts are to benefit others beyond themselves. During lockdown the Textiliste and her quilt group have not only made quilt covers for prem baby incubators but knitted hot water bottle covers that are supplied to food banks to hand out and scrubs for our local hospital. They work on group pieces that are raffled for charity.

A while ago the Textiliste worked with a charity, Fine Cell that teaches quilting skills to vulnerable, predominantly male prisoners.

She curated a commission from the V&A museum to make a quilt designed and made by the prisoners at Wandsworth prison.

Recently we visited the Museum of The Home in Hoxton, East London. This lovely museum has been refurbished and shows how homes have changed across the centuries. While we were there we saw another commissioned Fine Cell pice, from the inmates at Bullingdon Prison in Oxford that is a life sized bird’s eye view of a standard two man cell. Whatever one thinks of prison the idea of being incarcerated in this small box with one other, regularly for 23 hours a day would do for me.

So I offer three cheers for quilters, and their efforts.

And here are a few of the Textiliste’s creations. My photography does their size scale and quality little justice but may give you a sense of what is involved.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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26 Responses to In praise of… crafts

  1. Fabulous Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I bow to the talent displayed here! Just lovely works.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What a wonderful display of the Textiliste’s skill, compassion, and generosity.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. davidprosser says:

    My compliments to the Textiliste, her work is nothing less than wonderful. The time given to helping prisoners learn something new is generous.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Golly, @Milly, an interesting read. It’s extraordinary how creation/creativity can be so all-round beneficial. We need to work for peace now more than ever too.
    Having had a quick tour of The Textiliste’s creative hub on Saturday, I am so impressed by how much skill and imagination is evident amidst all her other commitments!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jennie says:

    Yes, three cheers for quilters and their efforts! Thank you, Geoff. I’m glad Milly and the story of her quilts inspired you to share the work of your Textiliste. You should be very proud of her!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Jennie says:

    Reblogged this on A Teacher's Reflections and commented:
    From Milly to the Textiliste, three cheers to the work and beauty of quilters!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for sharing this information, Geoff! Quilting is a very high professional way creating usable art. My respect for all people who can do that, but also have the patience. xx Michael

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Your wife is very talented, Geoff. I did wonder what her moniker was for. It is great that she also uses her talent to help the prisoners.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Darlene says:

    I have always been impressed with folks who quilt. Fabric art is amazing. Thanks for sharing your wife’s fabulous work with us. I just finished reading an awesome book by Tracy Chevalier called The Last Runaway which features quilting.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. willowdot21 says:

    I have read about this charity before, all credit to the ladies and their wonderful quilts.💜

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I loved reading your comments in reference to the Testiliste before but didn’t know the form that took. Now I’m enlightened. She is an excellent quilter and a woman of great heart. A large number of quilters including the group I belonged to a few years ago, feel the need to share with others. I love how your wife has found an excellent and unusual way to do that.
    As a long time follower of Jennie’s blog, I followed Millie’s work. Jennie is exceptional in her work and Millie went the extra mile working with very young children and giving them a creative voice.
    Thank you so much for sharing the Textilieste’s work and art with us. It’s inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

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