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A Kaleidoscope of Colour for Christmas at the Manx Museum 19 December 2007

Guests at the private viewing of Manx Quilts and Patchwork Manx National Heritage opened its new Christmas exhibition, Manx Quilts and Patchwork – Stitching Through the Years, at the Manx Museum on Saturday 8th December. The new exhibition is a rich and exciting kaleidoscope of colours and fabric, illustrating the history and tradition of patchwork and quilting on the Isle of Man from the early 19th Century through to the modern day.

The exhibition contains a variety of historic patchwork quilts from the collections of Manx National Heritage, together with examples of modern Manx patchwork produced by local quilters. An international perspective has been provided for the exhibition by the work of Helen Granville from South Africa and Cheryl Cheek from America. The exhibition was formally opened at the private view on Friday 7th December by Lady Haddacks.

Yvonne Cresswell, Curator of Social History for Manx National Heritage said:

“The exhibition is a colourful and fascinating insight into the creativity of people, both past and present and of all ages.
Hopefully, it will also inspire people to try their own hand at producing a piece of patchwork, finishing a piece that they started in the past, or maybe joining a group such as the Mannin Quilters on the Island. As can be seen in the exhibition, patchwork comes in many sizes, shapes and styles so there should be something for everyone to try their hand at from the simplest to the most ornate and complicated.”

The exhibition is accompanied by a full programme of events which began on Saturday 8th December with a workshop by Helen Granville, entitled How to Design a Patchwork quilt (and not be frightened by colours). Over 25 people attended the fascinating and informative workshop, where Helen Granville captivated her audience with details on how to choose fabrics and colours to how to find inspiration and ideas for one’s work, from everything from modern art and stained glass through to pictures of trees and the surrounding landscape. As the fabric samples and pictures were passed around the group, it was obvious how enthusiastic and inspired everyone was to start their own projects with the ideas stimulated by Helen Granville’s workshop.

Members of Mannin Quilters The programme of events continued with an illustrated lecture entitled Pursuing the Passion of Patchwork in Africa by Helen Granville at the Manx Museum on Wednesday 12th December. The talk was a personal account of how she found quilting, or more accurately how it found her, and of the fascinating people she had met through teaching in Zimbabwe, Kenya and South Africa. Helen also talked about the stories and inspiration behind the various quilts that she has made, including those on display at the exhibition Manx Quilts and Patchwork – Stitching Through the Years at the Manx Museum and at the Ramsey exhibition Quilts for Now, Heirlooms for the Future staged by St John Ambulance.

The exhibition Manx Quilts and Patchwork – Stitching Through the Years is on until Saturday 29th March 2008 and further workshops and lectures to accompany the exhibition are being staged in February and March. For further details contact Manx National Heritage on 01624 648000. The Manx Museum is part of the award-winning Story of Mann and is open all year from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday, with the exceptions of Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day. The Manx Museum will also be closing at 4pm on Friday 21st, Monday 24th and Monday 31st December.

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