I meant to put this on after the class in March - I thought I had!
We had a great class at MQ with a great variety in results. Here are some of the pieces of work - not usually finished, but well on the way.
I am exhibiting at Quilt Expo in Villefrance-Sur-Saone this year. Do come and visit if you are around the Beaujolais region. There will be masses to see.
I am certainly not the only person who has been snow dyeing in the past week. You have to grab the opportunity when you can.
I soda-soaked various bits and pieces of fabric and put them into cat litter trays. Then it is just a question of covering everything in snow and sprinkling procion dye powder over the top.
I put the trays into the garage, which is pretty cold and left them for about 36 hours until the snow had melted. Then lots of rinsing in cold then hot water.
This is how one tray looked before rinsing.
These are the end results. Some interesting patterns. Not sure what I will do with them, but it was fun to do. A similar result can be obtained by using lots of ice cubes instead of snow.
It has been a disgracefully long time since I last blogged, so I thought I would get going again with some idea of how I have been making some recent work.
I wanted to do something on urban decay - and have been obsessed with litter in general, photographing all sorts of rubbish.
I had also been thinking about looking at small area, i.e. how when you really observe a small space there is really a lot to be seen, even if it is only cracked paving and bits of rubbish that have fetched up there.
The larger one developed as I kept seeing all sorts of evidence of urban decay - crumbling buildings, graffiti, begging, rubbish, rubbish and more rubbish, with scavenging crows, and I eventually started doodling a street scene of nowhere in particular, but one allowing me to introduce some perspective which would emphasise the rubbish as it came closer to the bottom.
All these thoughts have eventually lead to a largish quilt and three smaller pieces that I have mounted onto frames. They all have the title "Decay and Detritus", with the larger one having a supplementary title "Where do we go now". I shall be submitting them for jurying into the C Q West exhibition "Unfolding Stories 3" which will be shown at three venues this year. Starting at Harbour House in Kingsbridge, Devon 27th April to 2nd May, then Festival of Quilts 9th - 12th August and finally at the West Country Quilt Show in Bristol 30th August to 2nd September.
I had a great time exhibiting at Midsomer Quilting in July/August. De, Birgitta and Chris are very kind and supportive and it was lovely talking with so many enthusiastic visitors.
Following the exhibition there will be two workshops "Paint and Stitch" in March 2018 at MQ.
With just a few days until my exhibition at Midsomer Quilting, I have been working hard to get my latest quilt "Joe's Place" finished.
I blogged a while ago about my visit to Joe's place in the Sierra Nevada in Spain. This quilt is based on some of the photos I took. As always, accuracy is not the prime concern and the yurt here is a mixture from more than one side. The planting is also quite random.
The top right shows the shower facilities (I didn't go as far as the compost toilet in stitch) and, beneath it is the view - quite breathtaking.
Joe has lots of olive trees and almond trees, so they are both represented.
If you are interested in seeing it, come to Midsomer Quilting, Norton Green Garden Centre, Chilcompton, BA3 4RR from 27th July to 7th August. I look forward to chatting to you.
I have an exhibition at Midsomer Quilting, in Chilcompton from 27th July to 7th August. Every day from 10.00 until 4.00.
I have been making a series of 24 pieces, each 6" X 6" about shoes as I find them fascinating (mostly when they are being worn). Here are a few of them. You will have to come and visit to see any more..... I hope you will.
I am a member of SAQA - an international group with a very strong base in the USA. Recently we have become larger in Europe (thanks largely to the UK rep - Chrisse Seager) and Chrisse persuaded the main board that there should be a SAQA exhibition specifically for european members. Hence a new challenge "Made In Europe".
I blogged about my entry for Made In Europe I a while ago "Three Come Along At Once". This quilt is now somewhere in the US and won't be back home for a while yet.
A second challenge was issued - "Made in Europe II" and these quilts are to be shown at the Festival of Quilts in August.
If you read about my inspiration for MIE I, you will know that I was walking through London and thinking about the challenge. My quilt for MIE II came from the same walk, although I had to make a separate trip to London to take photos as the idea took a while to settle in my brain.
It is entitled "Protesters outside the Royal Courts of Justice".
It could have been any sort of protest, but Brexit was everywhere in the news when I was planning it, so it seemed like a good idea. I have put as many banners for as against and the Union Jack and the European flag colours in the binding are of similar size - I don't want to be accused of bias! I know my own views, but will keep them to myself. My interest was in the people and their reactions.
The RCJ has significance for me as, before retiring, I needed to travel there most weeks to attend court for my job. Often, I would emerge at the end of whatever hearing I had been attending to find a crowd protesting, or lots of photographers outside if there had been a controversial hearing going on, or maybe a celebrity had been in court. I got used to dashing across the zebra crossing to get out of the way and make my way to the tube.
It could only be in London.
I also wanted to tie it in a bit with Made In Europe I so, of course, included the London buses.
It is not a scene that you could actually see as I have shifted some buildings on the right in order to gain a longer view, but it should be recognised by anyone who knows the area.
I haven't blogged for a while, although I haven't been idle.
With reference to the last blog on my trip to visit my son, I have decided to make a new quilt called Joe's Place. Watch this space.............
We had a great week visiting my son, Joe, who lives in a yurt on top of a mountain in the Sierra Nevada. We stayed in a delightful Air b and b house in the nearest village (not that near). It is a very tough walk/climb up to Joe's land and I am simply not up to it. Also I have a real fear of heights. Joe has some very kind neighbours (15 minutes walk away) and Tom very kindly offered to drive me there - it is a very different route and involved me clamping my eyes shut for 30 minutes and trying not to imagine the wheels going over the edge of the track and down the sheer drop. I was beyond terrified but, thanks to Tom, made it. My husband finally got the circulation back in his leg where I had gripped it.
Once there it is fantastic. The yurt is really substantial with windows and a wood-burning stove. The almond trees had already blossomed, so we missed that as the mountains are covered in them and are apparently sensational.
The views are magnificent with a snow-capped mountain in the distance.
The shower is outside, of course, and this is the view!!!
All you can hear is a lot of birdsong and the occasional goat bell.
Staying with my daughter last week. My grandson has a 6th birthday coming up in May. You might be able to guess that the theme is The BFG. Spent a day making BFG bean bags for the games and goodie bag to take home! For around 25 of his closest friends.........
I made 37 in the end!
I have finished my one-off quilt about my trip to Cape Verde. I had a few things to consider when putting it together. One was the background. I wanted to somehow suggest the ripples in the sand after the waves have gone, so I made a fairly simple stencil and printed with that. Then I stitched fairly randomly over it.
Lots more stitching on the sea too and more place names, then it was a matter of working out where to place the postcards to make a pleasing picture.
The finished quilt. Not the best photo - it does hang straight!
It had it's first outing last night to a talk I gave to a delightful group called Churchdown Quilters.
This one is for those people who like to go home at the end of a day's workshop with a completed piece of work! It is only small - 6" X 6" and very straightforward to do in a day. Quite sweet I think?
We had a week in Cape Verde in January. A real "fly and flop" holiday, and it was great.
I took lots of photos - just on my phone - and have been looking through them. It occurred to me that they would make great postcards, so an idea has been fermenting for a new quilt. This would be a one-off, although I generally seem to work in a series, or at least with an ongoing theme. This will be just for fun. So watch this space..........
Here are a few of the postcards in their raw state - untrimmed etc. I know I am going to stitch them around a map of the region.
The people are delightful and very attractive. We were staying within sight of the jetty where small fishing boats are constantly landing fish - lots of tuna.
Cape Verde is a popular windsurfing area.
I have blogged before about a new class that I am going to be teaching. The first time will be at Midsomer Quilting in Chilcompton.
As I also like to take the Contemporary Quilters Journal Quilt Challenge, I thought I would combine the two. The JQ challenge involves a small quilt each month for a year (see journal quilts elsewhere on this website). This year the brief is that they must be 11" X 11" and to a theme which we can set for ourselves, but commit to at the beginning of the year.
As I like to have samples to show in class, I decided to make my jqs on the theme of Black and White, with a splash.
It is almost the end of January, so I thought I had better get started. This jq is the result of looking around my desk and deciding to draw a mug of assorted items, adding a small pile of notebooks to the side. Almost anything can look ok if the colour is right. The mug is actually blue, but I decided to make it pink.
I started stitching and then decided to put a simple suggestion of a window and curtain in the background. The strong pink should bring the mug forward.
Ready to paint.
The finished piece.
My quilt "And then three come along at once..." has been selected for the SAQA exhibition.
The inspiration for this quilt came gradually. I had been wondering what to do for this challenge and struggling to come up with something i really wanted to do (there is no point in starting, I believe, unless you really feel driven to make a particular quilt. My quilts take quite a lot of work and time and, if I am not committed, it will show in the result.
My friend, Liz, and I had been to see an exhibition at Tate Modern - Georgia O'Keefe - which we had really enjoyed. I particularly liked some of her paintings of skies. I think it was late November.
We decided to walk for a while to stretch our legs before getting the train home. It was late afternoon and quite busy. I was taking the odd photograph on my phone (I do this all the time - you never know!) and there was a bright peachy/orange sky in the distance above the buildings. This is what started the process in my mind.
I had also been thinking about the red London buses and that they were so representational of this country.
The following morning I went swimming, which I do twice a week. This is almost always when the bits of ideas which have been floating around in my head, come together and I start to resolve things. (not just quilt issues). I am a very average swimmer and just keep going in the lane for medium swimmers. Although I am doing something, my head seems to clear and solutions often come! Maybe it is just water as I sometimes have useful ideas in the shower!
Anyway, I suddenly knew that I needed to make a quilt based in London at commuter time. This is not any particular street, just vaguely based on some of my photos. I also wanted to get a tree in to get some balance. When I started to draw a bus, it seemed obvious to include three. The colour of the sky was important too.
The exhibition venues and dates are on my About Page.
I have been experimenting with ideas for a new workshop - "Black and White with a dash".
It will be about painting and stitching in black and white, but with the option of adding a dash of colour. It might be quite a lot, as in the picture below (which is a simplified version of a lovely clock tower I saw in Madeira earlier this year), or just a small dash of colour to create a focal point, as in the picture below of the staircase with a parasol in red and white just showing.
More ideas are fermenting! I will add some more pictures later.
There will also be various options on how to mount/display the pictures.
It was very nice to receive "Best Machine Quilting" for my quilt "By the Light of the Moon". Not a very good photograph though!
Often, when I really should be getting on with a particular quilt, my preferred displacement activity is card making. I especially like making a new stencil and printing, then stitching.
I have several (mostly comic or fantasy) birds in my card range already, but there is always room for more!
I played with making some new stencils.
Then I had a lovely time messing about with assorted bits of background fabrics, created at various times.
Here is another one.
This is the original drawing for one of the designs.
No more excuses - back to the real quilt!
I have just spent a great two days on an indigo/shirbori workshop run by Jane Callender. Thanks to Liz for organising it so well.
We learned various folding, clamping and stitching techniques and how to achieve tones of colour by using different strength vats and by the number of times the fabric is dipped into the vats.
The number of variations is overwhelming and clearly in order to create some of the masterpieces Jane showed us you would need to study the subject for years. However, two days was great fun and I have just rinsed out my efforts and hung them out to dry (with blue hands - I always try and keep the rubber gloves on but somehow fail each time!)
The fabrics are all different - cotton poplin, lawn, cotton velvet and silk.
I love textiles and especially quilting.