These are just a few of the pages to date.
It seemed to me that I ought to do something during Lockdown to record what is going on and how I feel about it. I decided to make a Lockdown Diary - this will be in book form, eventually. I am making pages which are 8" square. There is not a page for each day, but I am recording things which occur to me, or I feel are important at the time. I hope there is some humour, as well as some despair.
These are just a few of the pages to date.
More to come.............
I belong to a group of six women - four from England and two from France, calling ourselves Six Dames.
We completed our first two year challenge recently and have now begun our second.
Every third month one of us will decide on an artist and we must make a piece "in the style of" or at least as a response to that artist. The first artist was chosen by Claire Passmore and is Cesar Manrique. He is very well known in Lanzarote where he has had an enormous influence on the architecture and art of the country.
I had been to Lanzarote some years ago and had visited the Cesar Manrique gardens. I loved the wall that he had decorated and decided to use this idea myself, but to paint it with topical graffitti i.e. Covid-19 - as it is currently dominating our lives.
I kept the background sunny and cheerful in the hope that we will feel this way again some day!
I forgot I had made this piece for the challenge issued by the Chair of Bristol Quilters. The brief was that it should measure 12" X 30" and should have a line across at some point.
This place is purely imaginary, but I liked the idea of reflections.
This series is my response to the death of my husband. It is probably obvious that this represents the turmoil I felt at the time.
Leaving II is a more general representation as it could mean many types of losing someone.
Leaving III still shows John leaving, but is, hopefully, a little calmer and slightly more accepting. I don’t intend to make any more in this series.
It has been nine or ten months since I added anything to this blog.
There are two main reasons for this.
The first, and main reason, is that my husband became ill towards the end of October last year and deteriorated rapidly, dying just before Christmas. I had little interest in either creating or writing a blog for some time.
When I did start to paint and stitch again, I found that I couldn't get into my website to do anything and it is only because my very good friend, Chrisse, sorted things out for me that I am writing this today.
I haven't done a lot this year, but one thing I did complete was my entry for the SAQA Made in England III exhibition and I am glad to say it was accepted. The title is "A View through the Window". It is painted with a bit of piecing and a lot of applique. It will be exhibited first at The West Country Quilt Show at the end of August in Bristol and will go on to Quilt Expo in Villefranche-sur-Saone, France next spring and then (I think) to Czechoslovakia and Germany later in the year.
The challenge issued by Anne - current Chair of Bristol Quilters - was to make a quilt (no particular size) that must in some way be weather-related and must also use a piece of the fabric issued at random - I got a piece of red and white spotted fabric.
I like a bit of drama, so a storm seemed appropriate. I also like buildings and perspective and so the idea for my quilt began to ferment in my mind. I wanted some relevant text in the piece and so used the quote "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain". I know this has been used over and over, but it is still relevant and I like it.
The plan was to paint the background in murky, rainy colours - very muted. The sky was to be dark and stormy with a flash of light to show up the figures dancing in the rain. I also wanted to put in silhouettes of figures huddled against the weather - again to create a contrast with the (hopefully) exuberant dancing pair.
I started with a rough drawing, marking in the perspective lines.
I wanted a large area of sky so I could emphasise the storm and create a bit of drama.
Next I took a photo of my drawing and, using an upsizing app on the Mac, I scaled it to the size I wanted. (the finished quilt is 20" X 28")
I pinned this onto my design wall and started playing with positioning of the text and various anonymous figures.
Putting something weighty in the bottom of a piece helps with the perspective and anchors the picture.
This doesn't look very impressive but is the beginning of getting the lines and some colour onto the cloth.
Below is the finished quilt.
I played around with some colour to represent reflections in the wet street and made sure I used the red and white spotty fabric. I had thought of using it for umbrellas, but that seemed just too obvious.
I quite like the little bit in the binding to balance the red in the quilt.
Dancing in the Rain.
A few more pictures from a recent Paint and Stitch workshop at Midsomer Quilting. The first three are unfinished but with the very useful addition of a couple of black paper 'Ls' we can see how they will turn out.
Jenny sent me the photo of her completed piece - inspired by a photograph taken in her garden and enlarged.
I did a bit of sun-printing today - it was so bright that it didn't take long. I'm not sure what I shall do with the results, but I am quite pleased.
I had a great day teaching a workshop to Guildford Quilters, following a talk the day before. It took place in a charming village hall in a very pretty village near Guildford with lots of wonderful Pugin chimneys.
The ladies worked hard and produced some fantastic results. Most of these are unfinished at this stage.
I have family living in Guildford, so was able to stay with them and see two of my granddaughters, which was a joy.
Deena kindly sent me a photo of her finished piece - which looks fabulous.
I was changing the drop cloth on my printing board recently (not very large - about 20" X 30") and thought it was such a waste to abandon the old, saturated one.
What to do with it?
I washed it thoroughly and decided to make it into a bag. In fact I had two, so it made sense.
I could have left it there and just made a decent bag, but I decided I felt like painting, so I made pockets from painted panels of shoes - nothing new, just copies of four of the pairs of shoes on my "In These Shoes?" quilt.
The results are ......... different?!
I spent a lovely day at Ardington last week, with my friend Claire Passmore. We went to a class taken by Jessica Rose who is a linocut artist and teacher. She had developed a new way of colouring a linocut.
We printed our cut blocks onto a special, thin, japanese paper and mounted this over watercolour paper which we had painted with blocks of colour - great fun and very effective.
Another lovely group of ladies at the workshop last week. We were doing a "paint and stitch" day. Some very original ideas and a lot of talent.
A great day teaching a workshop for Brockhampton Quilters. Such different and original work. The lunch and Georgina's organisation were magnificent!
Most of these are works in progress, taken during the day.
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 love textiles and especially quilting.