"This beautiful, thoughtful exploration of Scotland’s rich engagement with textiles weaves together the personal stories of quilt-makers with the industrial, social and artistic history found in quilts.
Rae has written extensively about textiles and Scottish crafts and for eight years operated a small arts and crafts gallery in the Scottish Borders. In Warm Covers she has drawn extensively on visits to the Fife Folk Museum in Ceres and many photographs of their gorgeous quilts are reproduced in the book. Warm Covers is a treat for quilters and the curious alike!"
Details of Janet Rae's forthcoming event at Topping's can be found here.
After all the excitement of this afternoon's Wimbledon men's final* some calming needlework may be needed. I have too many canvases already on the go to think of buying another one, but if I were in the market I'd be very tempted by Kaffe Fassett's unusual and striking 'A Lady' in the Ehrman summer sale.
In this video and this one, Kaffe talks about his use of colour and his organic approach to needlepoint design.
*Kudos to Andy Murray, and commiserations to Milos Raonic whose semi-final match against Roger Federer was supremely entertaining and a highlight of the tournament for me.
In the greenhouse the tomatoes are coming on, and the Marmande* shown above will be the first to be ready. As I pinch out side shoots and tie in new growth, so that unmistakable tomato leaf smell is released. If you want a perfume that recreates that fragrance - and makes it more complex - try La Feuille by Miller Harris.
*Grown from the seed of a supermarket tomato we ate. The plant sat on the kitchen windowsill for a couple of years during which it flowered but didn't fruit. I moved it out to the greenhouse a few weeks ago, repotted it, and waited to see what it would do - 'vigorous' is the best description now!
Over on Instagram I asked a question about the correct spelling of this variety. Daniel's Run Heirloom Tomatoes kindly answered me and said that the full name is Rouge de Marmande, and it dates from 1925, though I read that there is also a more recent introduction called 'Marmonde' which is what my Waitrose ones were labelled as. Whatever its origin, it's a good tomato.
Doing a bit of fact-checking yesterday I came across the website All of Bach, a marvellous ongoing project by the Netherlands Bach Society. Every Friday they post a new video, a special recording of one of Bach's works with background information and interviews with the performers. Thus far there are well over 100 pieces up, searchable alphabetically, by BWV number, and genre, instrument or series. If you're a Bach lover, do take a look.
Martina says: "Sometimes, the world around me seems a little bit too loud, too crowded, too busy. When that happens, I take out my knitting, find a place to sit and feel how the noise slowly disappears while I knit one stitch after another. As I focus on the work of my hands, I notice how my mind regains clarity and strength - a state called 'Samadhi' in the ancient Asian language Pali [...]"
As florid, hyperbolic nonsense goes, advertising copy for perfume is up there with the best, don't you think? I offer you the following by way of example:
"As if in a dream, a fantasy, hovering between euphoria and delirium, Heliotropia inspires such reverie as it unfurls, arousing Elysian visions that threaten to overload the senses. Like a hazy veil of white flowers in the early dawn light, wild gardenia and jasmine sambac appear effortlessly elegant and serene, their fragility belying the intoxicating sweetness and indolic warmth beneath. A weightless floral, both gentle and fresh with glints of piquant green illuminating powdery, swathes of heliotrope. Billowing clouds of silvery white, plumes of sensual, spiritual Somalia Incense and fragrant woods combine for a deep melodic base. A heady fusion, in turns virginal and narcotic, Heliotropia carries the mind to a dream like place, a higher state of illusion."
"The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most."
"We are more than aware that the psychology of colour names is powerful. Many people might doubt the wisdom of calling a colour 'Dead Salmon', for example, but this name is actually derived from a painting bill found for the decorating of the library at Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire, in 1805. Salmon is the colour and Dead actually refers to the matt paint finish rather than a deceased fish. [...]
However, all the names are rooted in much more than quirkiness or attention-seeking. We use the connotative power of language to describe colours. [...]
There was a deep desire to make a white that was almost gossamer in appearance - a white with very little additional colour and almost translucent - like a spider's web. This was the birth of the colour 'Wevet', named after the Dorset dialect for exactly that: a spider's web. [...]
We all know the hue of a mix of mist and drizzle, which creates the colour 'Mizzle'. 'Dimpse' is also quaint local dialect for the colour of the sky, but this time at twilight. These colours are joined by another weather-related name, 'Cromarty', a sea area referred to in the BBC radio broadcast of the Shipping Forecast, which warns sailors about impending gales and is very much part of the fabric of British life. 'Cromarty', a little lighter than 'Mizzle', conjures up the colours of swirling mists and turbulent seas."
Just a quick post to point you in the direction of Surrender to Chance, a perfume samples shop which I discovered recently. It stocks CB I Hate Perfume which I was keen to try and which is hard to get here so I ordered one or two things which were despatched very promptly and arrived about a week later. Black March appealed on paper as it's described as "a fresh clean scent composed of Rain Drops, Leaf Buds, Wet Twigs, Tree Sap, Bark, Mossy Earth and the faintest hint of Spring", and I'd say that's exactly what it is. I understand that Christopher Brosius (the eponymous CB) used to be the nose behind Demeter, and I have a bottle of their famous Dirt; Black March is very much along those lines but more subtle and more authentic - for lovers of rain and wet earth, like me, it's quite delectable.
Karie Westermann (designer of the Vedbaek shawl*, among many other lovely things) has just this morning launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a most interesting-sounding project. This Thing of Paper is, in summary, "a knitting book with ten patterns and accompanying essays – all inspired by the age of Johan Gutenberg and the invention of the printing press."
This is Daughter of a Shepherd yarn. If you've not already come across the story behind it (click here, here, here, here, and for a bit more background, here) it's very much worth reading, and if you have a liking for 'real' wool, then snap up a skein or two if you can*.
It's the colour of bitter chocolate, darkest peat, or good earth, it's soft but characterful, and it smells deliciously of sheep and hay and fresh air. I like it so much I've ordered more.