I spent a lovely few hours in Halifax yesterday. Halifax is a town about 20 miles from here so it was two buses and a train to get there, but it was worth it…
Bankfield Museum is on the edge of Halifax, luckily the bus stops right outside! Bankfield Museum’s displays cover local history, costume, art, toys, military history, jewelery and textiles from around the world. They also host temporary exhibitions including costume, embroidery, quilting, textile art, paintings and photography.
The temporary exhibition at the moment is called ‘Exquisite Threads’, it’s on until 10th September, so there’s still time to go if you get inspired! The work on display is from the Yorkshire region of The Embroiderers Guild and there is some stunning work…
I loved this piece, I think it was called ‘Stitch a Rainbow’, each guild stitched blocks in one colour with different members stitching each square, they were beautiful.
I’ve seen the hare before at another Guild exhibition, I think it’s beautiful, it makes me want to try this kind of multimedia embroidery. He was stitched by Anne Brooke, he’s called ‘Harold the Hare’.
In a room to itself is a huge embroidery from the Game of Thrones. Now I have to confess that I have never watched the Game of Thrones, so character-wise it was lost on me, but I could admire it as an embroidery. The embroiderers Guild did a lot of work for the GoT film, this is called ‘Winter is Coming’ and it’s the Whitewalker. It is HUGE, like about 17′ wide and about 12′ high. I particularly loved the mondials (well that’s what I would call them!) which went all around the edge.
Upstairs at the museum is a commemorative display called King and Country, the Embroiderers Guild have displayed lots of embroideries stitched during both world wars, some by the soldiers to send to their loved ones or to keep occupied when convalescing, or stitched by those at home .
‘It is a poignant exhibition of items that portrays the role of needlework, especially embroidery, as a calming influence in troubled times and links it to personal experience. The exhibition covers both World Wars with embroideries such as postcards, a tea cosy, handkerchiefs and artefacts such as pincushions produced by disabled servicemen.There are also Penelope needlwork kits produced for the sole use of servicemen during World War II and other examples of work made during wartime.One contemporary piece, ‘Comment on the Afghan War’, is by Cobie Erskine, displayed alongside two further contemporary pieces; ‘SOS’ by Fiona Rainford and ‘A Life Worth Living’ by Lisa Earley.’
Bankfield museum holds Calderdales textile collection so other items on display included beautiful japanese silk embroideries, samplers, exquisite gloves, outfits.This beautiful peacock embroidery was stitched during WW1 by Katherine Powell. Katherine was born with only one hand and spent WW1 painting numerals and letters on compasses for the Royal Flying Corps. She produced this work as an examination piece for City and Guilds.
…The other reason to visit Halifax was to suss out Fabbadashery, a fabric shop in Halifax. Ali from Thimberlina discovered it a few months ago and I’ve been wanting to go over ever since, I wasn’t disappointed! They have a gorgeous selection of quilting fabrics, lots of haberdashery, all beautifully displayed, they have a good choice of workshops too, there was one going one whilst I was there and it sounded like they were thoroughly enjoying it!. I’ll definitely be going again!
Of course I ‘needed’ a few fat quarters, mainly neutrals for my Splendid Sampler quilt, a couple of fabrics were in a sale so I thought I may as well get a bit more of those! I fell for a quilt pattern too with applique British birds on it, isn’t it gorgeous! It’s by Janet Clare who I realised this evening is one of the designers for the Splendid Sampler.
…and tomorrow it’s the Northern Quilt Festival in Harrogate!!