Fabric, Fields and French Knots

On one of the last sunny days of summer I visited the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket, Suffolk. I had visited once before and loved it because it’s full of local history, with lots of old buildings and open space to explore.

Suffolk countryside

The museum has several historic buildings that showcase working and domestic life in East Anglia through the centuries. There’s also a heritage farm, a pretty walled garden and a lovely riverside walk.

Boby Building at the Museum of East Anglian Life

The Boby Building at the Museum of East Anglian Life

I had two reasons for wanting to revisit: one was to hand in some Suffolk puffs that I’d made for the Museum’s world record attempt, the other was to visit an exhibition by members of local Embroiderer’s Guild groups in Suffolk and Essex.

Fabric, fields and French Knots Exhibition Guide

The ‘Fabric, Fields and French Knots’ exhibition, comprising nearly 70 works, was cleverly displayed around the 75-acre site, with some pieces in the historic buildings and some outside, hanging from trees. The works, inspired by the site’s collections, celebrate East Anglia and are a fitting way to mark the Museum’s 50th anniversary. There were different techniques on show from quilting to needle-felting, knitting to appliqué and patchwork to embroidery.

Two exhibits at the Museum of East Anglian Life

The Green Man by Lisa Harris and Herbaceous Border by Jane Gamble

Two exhibits at the Museum of East Anglian Life

Suffolk Vista by Carol Sutherland and Friendly Robin by Lynda Elmy

I was especially pleased to see these Dorset Buttons – something that I’d like to try making.

A mobile based on the Dorset button

The Four Seasons by Lynda Elmy – a mobile based on the Dorset button

The exhibition runs until 29 October 2017 and is well worth a visit if you’re in the area.

The Museum recently asked for volunteers to help make the world’s longest Suffolk puff caterpillar.

Suffolk puffs

A Suffolk puff, known as a yo-yo in the US, is a circle of material gathered along the outer edge so that it turns in on itself to form a smaller puffy circle. They’re very easy to make and can be embellished with a button or bead to cover the gathered edge. There are lots of ideas for using them on Pinterest.

Suffolk puffs

If you would like to be part of the world record attempt, you can find further details and instructions on the Museum’s website, but you’ll need to be quick to meet the 21st October deadline.

You can see more photos of the museum and exhibition on my Facebook page.


UPDATE: huge congratulations to the Museum for setting a new world record – read more here





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