The magpie has been out collecting again …
I had a glorious weekend away, and one of the highlights was a trip to Healey and James near Alton in Hampshire. It is an aladdin’s cave of glorious, beautifully hand-crafted oriental textiles – scarves, throws, quilts and clothes - in an out-of-the-way little business estate … if you didn’t know it was there, you’d never find it by chance. Rachael Healey, in addition to being an incredible artist, is hugely knowledgeable and wonderfully enthusiastic about the textiles, so I had an amazing hour pulling out and caressing any number of beautiful pieces.
I was brought up in the middle east, and I think my love of tribal textiles stems from there …. I always remember being surrounded by vivid colour and texture, and all the reds and oranges. And so I have always collected – a little bit here, a little bit there.
Last year, I acquired this horse breastplate:
I just adore the detail of the embroidery with the shisha mirrors, and the beading and fringing around the edges.
So this year, I added to my indian textiles with this:
I adore the vibrant colours, and the detail on the stitching is incredible … I wonder if I would have the patience to sit and work something as complex as this?
Last year, I had a covetous moment over a huge sami quilt … but the price put it out of my reach, and the size wasn’t practical for anyplace I could use it. So I was delighted that this year there were some smaller sami quilts …. the only problem was choosing which one I adored most. In the end, I made a departure from my usual colours and went for this vivid green:
I think it works well with all my reds, and I kind of like to be a bit on the eclectic side The colour drew me (even though it is a rayon), but the stitching was what sealed in for me …. the layers and layers of running stitch, with those spashes of intricate repeated detail … just glorious.
I’m already looking forward to going back again, next year.