2019 has begun and I am cruising around New England to find interesting places and people that are as joyous over a vintage textile as I am. Those of you that know me realize that my excitement over a piece of cloth can be over the top crazy! My hands begin to wave in the air, my voice gets all squeaky and I can be seen doing a happy dance before embracing the cotton as if it were my first-born child!
Now flash to the Boston Design Center and a market stall that specializes in vintage textiles from All Over the World!! If I could have stood on a chair and shouted to the roof tops of my joy and excitement, I would have. Thankfully I had a fellow design colleague that kept me in line and on the floor.
I had persisted in setting up a meeting with Ginger Lyons De Neufville. She has been traveling the world with her husband and although her career was in the health care field, she was drawn to vintage textiles and began collecting them. Mostly patch work quilts at the beginning and then breaking out to other quests for specific pieces. Yes…I had struck gold. Gold in more ways than one. Not only does she have a collection to surpass all others, she is a wealth of information. She showed us the collection she has in the sales space at the Boston Design Center and then began speaking of textile artists she met on her travels.
One is Brigette Sengh from India. A French artist that now lives in India and creates block printed textile designs. Brigette has a team of employees that hand print, quilt and sew her designs. They are exceptional! Ginger has these textiles in her market stall as well. From coats, to pillows to bed covers. The textiles are amazing.
I learned that the MFA in Boston has a group for like minded people that love textiles. Happy dance all the way to the museum! I learned of magazines and newsletters that tell of upcoming markets, fairs and travel experiences across Europe, Asia and India and the inside scoop of how to carry all the beautiful textiles back from an international adventure. Life is good!
My favorite piece in the market stall was a Federal Toile. It features landmarks in and around Washington, DC. The artistry behind the blue print on an ivory ground cloth is breathtaking. Ginger has hung the 4’ x 8’ cloth on wall of the stall for all to admire. Her husband commented to her that she often treats textiles as works of art and hangs them in every nook and cranny of her home. A high five to Ginger. (Score..another thing that I tend to do at my house. There are other like me out in this world!)
So at the end of the day, why does she collect? Her reflection was that she is drawn in by the hand artistry, the people that have made the textiles and the women behind the images. Ginger has given me a new appreciation for pieces with darns and mends. Life is not perfect, but how you live it can make life beautiful.
I encourage you to visit the Market Stalls at the Boston Design Center. The treasures you will find will be mind blowing! If only I could squeeze into her bag for her next trip!!! She has promised to bring me back a textile within my budget. I can’t wait to see what it will be. I’ll share it with you in the coming months.