Monday, October 7, 2013

The quilt Index and another new word (well, to me)

As I think I've indicated before, I don't quilt but love the craft and cherish the handmade quilts that I have. One is over 50 yrs. old and was made for me by my grandmother. I can still remember the patches, which were left over from when I used to sew a lot, which she incorporated into the quilt.

I was watching a sewing program on PBS yesterday and a guest talked about the Quilt Index. I had a quick look at the website and will go back and read it in detail when I have more time. It is extremely comprehensive.

The new word I came across is 'tovacuddies'. I first saw it mentioned in a talk given by Carol Christiansen, curator of textiles at the Shetland Museum. Wonderful Bess Jamieson, who I was extremely fortunate to meet on my first visit to Shetland in 1995, explained it further. From what I understand, tovacuddies are places along the seashore where finished cloth can be firmly attached and the ebb and flow of the sea acts to full the fabric. Bess said the end result is similar to the tradition on Harris when the ladies sit in a circle and move to cloth around, all the while singing traditional fulling songs.

The success of the Scottish Skeins & Skerries tours is entirely due to Bess. She helped me plan the tours, introduced me to a number of craftspeople and over the years, made innumerable helpful suggestions. I should have bought a lottery ticket the day I met Bess!

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