Friday, May 30, 2014

Finding the Story between Patching and Dancing

Here it is the end of May and the sun has finally warmed the deck enough to sit outside and enjoy the yard! Frost has come most nights - so as yet the bedding plants still make their nightly trip to safety in the shed. Maybe by the weekend they will make it to the planters and begin their lives on my deck!

To celebrate International Museum Day in May, the Acadian Museum on the campus of the University of Moncton recently featured an interesting workshop for all fibre artists. Annette Léger White, who is a recognized textile conservator and restorer, included in her workshop "Every patch tells our story: darning, mending, patching and renewing techniques" all the different ways that you can creatively darn, patch or mend.

We were shown articles of clothing and other household items from the Acadian Museum's collection where creative and thrifty hands and minds had either extended the life of an early ladies cap with a little patch or reconstructed a christening dress from a mothers wedding dress.
The Little Red Patch

Annette Léger White at the Acadian Museum workshop
Also on display was a rug c.1905 that was still being used when it was recently donated to the museum. The green dyed mat is made from strips of frayed burlap that are sewn onto a burlap backing. The burlap came from old fertilizer sacks and all of the printing can still be seen on the backing. It's sewn to a piece of heavy clear plastic for display so that you can see both sides.

Front and back of Green Mat

Something else that the Acadian Museum recently acquired is a rug hooking/quilting frame (c. late 1930's )
that was made by Pierre à Fabien Léger, Breau Village, NB. Two sets of interchangeable side pieces make the frame adaptable for either a mat or a quilt.

So, how did I make the leap from patching to dancing? On May 28th I had the wonderful experience of watching the Atlantic Theatre Ballet perform their newest production "Piaf" at our restored historic Capitol Theater in Moncton, NB. It's all about creativity and taking a leap - for Edith Piaf to begin again after many set-backs, for the dancers to dance as a troupe and to literally catch each other while interpreting Piaf's story, to the pioneer women who used what they had to make the everyday beautiful.


  1. It is good collection and I really like to go for this worship. All fiber work has done beautifully. I like the most Green Mat because of its backside printing.


    1. For sure, the green mat is really special! I have never seen a mat made this way with strips of frayed burlap used as the nap.

  2. It appears we were both making the leap from patching to dancing as we were at the same two events at the same time!Nice to see your blog Patricia. The interpretation of Piaf's life by the dancers was so well done. We need more performances like that in town!

  3. Thanks for your comments Annette! It was a very interesting workshop.

  4. Thanks Pat for this update, otherwise I would never have known about the exhibits. I'd like to go see that frame. I enjoy all of your blogs.

    1. It is amazing - very rustic and has probably seen lots of use.