Saturday, December 22, 2012

A day at the museum

Not a textile, but a brick wall

Yesterday some friends and I went to the Textile Museum of Canada. The Toronto public library now offers passes to local museums, so I just signed out a pass with my library card and got free admission to the museum. Yay me!

There was a great exhibit called Perpetual Motion, dealing with reuse of textiles. There were the expected crazy quilts, but also a camel cover, rugs, a lovely little child's jacket.

This is a bedspread woven of strips of cloth. Very pretty, soft colours.

And then we get a bit bolder in the hooked rug. It looks like it could have been done by Kaffe Fassett, but it was actually, likely, made by someone sitting by the fire in Nova Scotia in the 1950s.

This is a crazy quilt made of all sorts of fine fabrics: silks, velvet, wool, and even badges of local groups. There's embroidery everywhere, and the colours are amazing. If you go here and "zoomify" you can see every little bit of it.

Another exhibit showed the use of different natural materials used around the world. Bamboo, cloth made of bark and various other bits of plants, things woven of grass, decorated with feathers and shells and beads.

This amazing creation is an undershirt made of little teeny bits of bamboo netted on thread.

This is a skirt of bamboo and bottle caps, which would make a nice jingly-shaky sound!

Brown, brown, brown. Does the richness of the colour come from mixing the different tones? I wonder if this would look so great without the lightest bits. Anyways, it is gorgeous: a skirt of raffia, dyed with plant dyes. You can zoomify this, too!

These are also made of raffia, and the fabric is textured, with velvety pile here and there. Fantastic! 

You can see the raised pile here.

Then it was time to play and learn! There was a spot with wool to card and spin -- we did not do too well at that. Once you've wound the wool around the spindle, how to you get it off, and how do you prevent it from untwisting when you do? We also tried our hands at weaving, and that was slightly more successful, but perhaps our greatest achievement was this laying out of Penrose tiles. "Achievement" used rather loosely... 

And then I went and got my hair cut. All ready for the festive season!

pink and lopsided


  1. oh wow! what a wonderful exhibit!

    your hair looks great!
    happy holidays!

  2. What a great idea with the library card admission to the museum!

  3. Cute pink hair - I had the same haircut in the 80's!


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