Quilting and Craft in Scandinavia

The reason for the long silence in terms of updates is that I have been away on a four week vacation to Germany and Scandinavia. The trip was excellent and all my detailed planning really paid-off. Even though I think it occasionally drove my beloved a bit crazy, I found it very useful to have rental cars booked in advance and train tickets already purchased.

The itinerary in brief was a week in Munich, a couple of nights in Oslo, then to Sweden by train, where we spent almost three weeks, with five nights in Stockholm and the rest of the time split between a farm house in Sodermanland province and a holiday cottage in Uppland province. Anyone planning a vacation to those parts is welcome to get in touch for tips.

Houses at Norsk Folke Museet

Houses at Norsk Folke Museet

While my beloved focussed his attention on matters relating to engineering and boat building, I paid particular attention to crafts.

For craft related matters I would particularly recommend visits to the Norsk Folkemuseum in Oslo and Nordiska Museet in Stockholm. The Norsk Folkemuseum has a fascinating collection of traditional folk clothing from different regions, while Nordiska Museet had an amazing embroidery collection, as well as a display of folk arts and fashion over time. One of the most interesting things I saw there was a sheepskin petticoat, designed to be worn with the woolly side facing in. Just the thing for those freezing cold Scandinavian winters.

Bib and log cabin quilt at Oslo's Folk Museum

Bib and log cabin cot quilt at Oslo's Folk Museum

I saw only two historic patchwork quilts on my travels, one roughly made of woollen squares in a Swedish 1800s rural home and one finer log-cabin cot quilt in a recreation of an urban 1800’s home at the Norwegian Folkemuseum. I can only guess that Scandinavian women focussed their attention on weaving and embroidery instead, as they still do today.

I bought a couple of books on craft related topics on the journey and will post photos and a bit of commentary about them some time soon.

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2 responses to “Quilting and Craft in Scandinavia

  1. I love those log cabin houses. Beautiful quilt.

    • Those buildings are lovely aren’t they? Must have been mighty cold in the depths of the Norwegian winter though.

      I’d love to understand better why quilting and patchwork don’t seem to feature strongly as crafts in Scandinavia. You do see patchwork, but not that often. One reason may be that people wove their old garments onto rag rugs, which do a great job of making a wooden floor softer and warmer.

      Rag rugs still popular today. I’ll post some pictures of weaving in Scandinavia soon.

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