Contemporary textile artists and their journal quilts.

I am still poking around finding journal quilts they have become quit fascinating as documents of our time. Since my last post on this topic I have had a response from June Underwood. Needless to say I took a look at her site. Having just made it through another hot Australian summer I responded immediately to a journal quilt made in August 2002.

Exploring these journal quilts is leading me into nooks and crannies of the web I have not previously explored. Gloria Hansen is another quilter who has also made journal quilts. Her training in graphic arts is easily seen in the bold geometrics her larger quilts display. The smaller format of the A4 size has not cramped her style as although other techniques such as inkjet printing and beading are employed, geometrics still regularly appear through her journal quilts.


Textiles are often associated with the domestic environment with comfort and care. Making political or ideological statements is not commonly seen as their role but textile practitioners have a long tradition of doing so. In last few decades some contemporary quilt artists have used the medium to attempt to bring about a better world. Rehumanize promotes an anti-war message and is in the process of creating a memorial quilt dedicated to the lives lost in the US/UK war on Iraq. Quilters including children are contributing to this project.

As any quilter will acknowledge often oral histories are associated with a particular quilt or textile and the telling of the story is as important as the quilt. True to this tradition this project is also highlighting the many stories behind the otherwise anonymous deaths.

Concealed Garments

I have heard of stuffing the dirty washing under the bed but stuffing clothing in wall cavities of buildings to bring good luck is a new one for me. The University of Southampton has been researching a custom of deliberately hiding items of clothing in wall cavities of buildings. Apparently this practice dates back centuries. According to their site this is a superstitious tradition which relates to the practice of concealing other objects such as dried cats, witch bottles and charms in buildings.

Researchers at the University’s Textile Conservation Centre have launched a new website Concealed garments to assist their research, raise awareness of the custom and to develop an online archive. This project will be of interest to anyone who is interested in textile history or folklore and traditions associated with the domestic.