Last Monday I gave my Liberty talk to London Quilters, who meet north of the river, in Swiss Cottage. I actually enjoyed my journey across London at rush hour, as it made me nostalgic back to when I commuted before children, however hats off to those of you who do this every day!
Once started, the talk went well, and quite a few of the members added in their own reminiscences which was great. There was lots of agreement with the interviewees who remembered quilts hanging over the bannisters in the store in the 1980s. Sadly I still cannot find anyone who has a photograph of them, so if you are reading this and have one...
I always get a little nervous before talks, but especially so this time, as so many of the group started making quilts in the 1970s, and there were quite a few names I recognised from being a Quilters Guild member. They are also the group who I thought would know so much about Liberty, and after my talk I spoke to a member whose mum was a dressmaker there, and someone else who has advised them on fabric.
I always like the comments after the talk, especially the personal stories such as the bridesmaids dresses, and tales of Liberty fabric sold on market stalls. One member felt that I did not talk about Laura Ashley enough. I focussed my research on Liberty, so only looked at Laura Ashley in a wider aspect of trends in textiles and craft at the time. I have been considering going back to my research, and this time looking at the wider story of quilt making in the 1970s and early 1980s, which would give Laura Ashley a bigger role.
We'll see. Last week I announced the changes happening at work, and the reason for these is to allow me more time to work on other projects. I really enjoy the research, and it would be good to go back and do further work on it.