Sunday, 19 September 2010

Review of Hat Works Decade Parade

Though I don't consider myself a hat person, I do like to go to the exhibits at the Hat Works. Yes, some of my enjoyment is just because I can go on there on my lunch break, taking a break from sitting at a desk all day. However, they do put on some inspiring stuff, and I always come away with ideas to try in my own crafting.


The current show (on until 28 November 2010) is a competition to celebrate their 10th anniversary. I have no idea how they came up with the idea of a miniature hat competition- it's not what would have sprung to my mind. But the show is full of interesting fabric sculpting ideas, so I'm very glad they put it on.


hatworks review scanI actually went to the show before going on vacation, but because I couldn't remember the makers' names, I went back last week and MADE NOTES! So, now I can blog without making constant apologies for missing people's names.


I'm just putting down what caught my eye, what I want to remember for my own crafting projects, but really, I want to thank everyone who participated in the show. It's packed with clever, quality work, and I feel like seeing such a variety of work helps me understand more about what I'm personally interested in. (Does that sound totally self-centered, or only moderately self-centered?)



  • Molly Bunce is the competition winner in the professional strand. Lots of what I would call fabric manipulation- making little bundles tied around what I assume are cut out shapes or bits of stuffing. Very interesting, organic shapes, reminds me of lichen. I'm wondering if it can be applied to quilting.

  • Judith Flack's Le Souk features wonderfully frayed rolls of hand dyed fabric.

  • Recycled Haberdashery by Ruth McGarry has what looks like a hessian base, a surprising choice for a feminine hat but I really liked it. Her fabric flowers with the blue yarn centers really caught my eye, and obviously I liked the recycled aspect or the piece.

  • I'm also thinking about using something like the little bouquets stuffed into fabric folds in Vernoica Hartley's Contrasts in a quilt. It reminds me of the encrusted crazy quilting Sharon B does, perhaps because of all the rich colour and texture.

  • Using the edge of braid/ribbon to build up a shape, Lorna Muir's Dansette looks so clever. I've wondered about something similar with folds of fabric, and her work made me realise how it would work.

  • I adore the flower on Striped Suprise by Laura Hankey. The petals are of two pieces of fabric, sewn, turned, stitched down. I've seen similar, simpler flowers as quilt embellishments (my google-fu is too weak to find it again), but the one on the hat had loads of petals, inner ones plain red and larger outer ones in a blue stripe fabric! I wouldn't have thought of striped fabric for petals, and it looks so good!

  • The woven ribbons on Maureen Brook's Buttons, bits and bobs makes me want to play with the ribbons I've collected over the years. My ribbon box is too full to close completely. Perhaps I should do a piece of weaving just to tidy things up.



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