Monday, August 20, 2012

Evolution of a traditional technique: petals, triangles and more

For my Quilt Judging course I am investigating a broad variety of textile techniques both traditional and contemporary. This is the first I am planning to write about.
Using "petals" and triangles of fabric fixed on backing to create volume and pattern was not invented by modern quilters. They were popular in China and Russia they could be found in ancient French coverlets and scrap mats in Luxembourg.

In any peasant home in Russia one could find lots of varieties of similar utilitarian objects. The techniques were nowadays transformed in beautiful and decorative quilts like one that Tatiana Bogachuk (Ukrainian artist) makes.

Her "triangle" quilts derived from modest but colourful textiles made of scraps in many countries for years.
The works of Miao people of China are exquisite in it’s craftsmanship but are based on the same principle, only they used stiffened silk "paper" that is why they could decrease the size of the triangles to a miniscule 0,5 centimeter.

The next example of using the traditional technique is this “petal” coverlet.

I first saw this technique in France, it was in a collection of an antique textile lover Michel Perrier and attracted my attention by its beauty and clever construction. Last year I found lots of similar things in Luxembourg and this year in Birmingham young textile artists (three of them, two from one university in UK and another from absolutely different country,Latvia, made quilts and textile objects using the same principle. Katie Anderson and Dawn McColgan from UK and a student Elina Veilande-Apine from Latvia. Same principle-absolutely different results. Katie created very sophisticated natural textures, subtle colours, slightly dyed and lots of variations of the same motif.

Dawn Mc Colgan used organza of different colours with carton (?) and leather triangles.

The two UK girls didn’t make quilts, their task was more to create general textiles, the student from Latvia made stunning, very original quilts. They are not bright, she prefers pastel colours. Lace flowers remind of household textiles of our grandmothers, but the regularity of these little motives lined on the surface of the quilt makes an impression of a patterned fabric. She cut the “petals” from sheer organza and covered the edges with satin stitch.

One more example of Elina's quilt. She first made hundreds of tiny circles, the same kind of circles that were made by my grandmother. Photo of the rugs was taken at some Ukrainian market by Alla Ivanova.


  1. Таня, спасибо за интересный пост! Приятно увидеть в качестве примера работы Тани Богачук.

  2. I love the work of Tania Bogachuk because she does something very contemporary and fresh using the old technique everyone is familiar with