I usually make my own christmas cards but some years they are more ambitious than others. Short of time this year, so I made a stencil and then got going with a bit of a production line. I didn't have any coloured paper so had to wash some paper with blue and red for background. The stencil image is just done in white acrylic.
The stencil. I like old fashioned stencil card. Especially the lovely smell!
The finished cards before adding a message inside.
We have two new granddaughters - Molly and Sophia. I thought I would make them each a reminder of their initial.
They are both made in the same way. First I doodled the appropriate letter onto some fabric previously hand-dyed, then painted in as much as I felt like. Then I stitched using both free machining and some of the embroidery patterns already on my sewing machine. I think they are quite cute!
Both finished and ready to go.
The sun was shining too!
I belong to a small group called Threaded Together. We are working towards an exhibition based on the Sixties. We are different ages and, therefore, have varied perspective on the decade. The work will be quite diverse.
I have been making lots of small quilts which each hold a memory of the sixties. Some of them are general memories and some are very specific. I was at primary school at the beginning of the decade and a college student at the end. These are a few of the mini quilts that I have already photographed, in no particular order. They will all be linked together at the end.
Watch this space!
We had our first exhibition - entitled Unfolding Stories, at the West Barn at Bradford-on-Avon. It is a fabulous site, although we were very lucky to have good weather for most of the week. It might be a lot quieter in bad weather. The barn is to the side of the famous Tithe Barn and there is a lot to see in the area, with semi-permanent craft workshops nearby and the river running past.
We really enjoyed talking to the visitors - we had quite a lot - and felt the exhibition was a success. We learned quite a bit too.
We have just taken a reduced version of the exhibition to a gallery at The West Country Quilt Show, which was at the exhibition centre adjacent to the University of the West of England. It is a good site and the galleries were well received by visitors, although the footfall was not great for the first two days and some of the traders were unhappy. I think this show has great potential and is a very convenient place to get to, once you know not to go to the main UWE campus!
These are some rather blurred photos of the exhibition at The West Barn. Work by Christine Seager, Yvonne Larkin, Maria Harryman, Claire Passmore, Alicia Merrett and Kathryn Chambers (and me).
Then some more at The West Country Quilt Show showing more work by Liz Hewitt, Judy Stephens, Jean Grimshaw, Mandi Bainbridge and Helen Thomas.
A view of the swimming pool with some local trullis behind. These fascinating buildings are a feature of Puglia and are worth seeing.
This is were we ate in the shade.
I don't know what this plant is called, but it inspired a monoprint.
We had some delicious local fish for lunch one day - these are cyanotypes "curing" in the sun of the fish skeletons!
Some photos of the sunlight on the swimming pool. I willl turn this into a quilt one day!
This could be a quilt too!
Pauline and Andrew looking at some of the work on our last day.
It is about time we had a new quilt on our bed.
I have been thinking about what to do for some time and have finally decided that it will be a quilt made of stencilled and quilted blocks.
I have made two largish stencils - each about 15" square cutout area, from traditional stencil card. I am planning to use two plain background fabrics - black and lightish silver/grey. I shall stencil white (with a touch of champagne gold) onto the black fabric and black (with a touch of silver) onto the grey fabric.
Allowing for a border around each block, I am going to need 36 blocks altogether to make a good-sized quilt that will reach the floor.
I am not yet sure whether I will just join them up or whether I shall put some sashing in between and, if so, what colour sashing to use?!
Watch this space.
I sometimes stencil with a traditional stencil brush as here, and sometimes use a small foam roller. I have tried both for this, but in the end I usually find the brush gives a better and sharper finish, although, of course, it takes quite a lot longer.
The first block stencilled. Now it needs to dry and then I shall heat set it with a hot, dry iron.
Close ups of the black on grey block and the white on black block after stitching.
Now I only have to make 18 of each and stitch them together!!! I shall report progress.
I'm really into stencilling at the moment. I cut a feather and made a few cards using scraps of fabric and fabric paint, then stitching into them.
More cards I have made recently. The house is a screen print, but the rest are stencilled, sometimes over several layers.
I was thrilled (and staggered) to learn that my triptych "Chinese Journey in Three Parts" has won "Best of the World" in the 2014 World Quilt Show in New Hampshire. It is an amazing accolade and I am so grateful!
My husband's comment was "Perhaps you will now believe that you are quite good at this"!!!
The show tours the US, ending in January in Florida. How I would love to be able to go there!
Work in progress.
Monty wearing his new jacket!
I enjoy making cards to give to friends and felt inspired recently to make a small batch. My daughter, step-daughter and daughter-in-law also like to be given some to send to their friends, so I can never make too many.
I have quite a stock of hand made paper - very basic stuff made from old envelopes etc - and I thought I would like to use some of this for the backgrounds to the cards. It is, however, quite fragile and I decided to wax a few sheets to add strength and a bit of a glow. Not having any other sort of wax, I used the remnants of a couple of scented candles I had left. They were originally in glass containers, so I softened these in hot water until I could scoop out the wax and melted it gently in an old tin tray. This is not an activity for children as you really need to be very careful with the hot wax and certainly don't leave it alone for any time. I then just let the wax soak into the paper and left it to dry - the added bonus is that it smells wonderful and, so far, the scent remains in the paper.
As I am into bird images at the moment I made a small template of a bird and used it to cut out shapes from scraps of fabric and arranged these over roughly torn pieces of waxed paper and stitched them onto the cards.
These are a couple of pieces of the paper before waxing. They are about A4 size.
Below is what they look like after waxing. Darker and with a bit of a sheen.
These are some of the results.
And a few more............. (I do other things besides birds!)
Textile artist Bobby Britnell and Janet Middleton of Starchild Shoes have collaborated on a project for the charity Hands Up for Uganda. The aim of the project is to raise awareness of the work of the charity in Uganda. You buy a piece of barkcloth and then decorate it in any way you like and return it to Janet. She will make the cloth into a pair of shoes which will then be exhibited at the ICHF (International Craft and Hobby Fair) shows at the NEC Birmingham and Excel in London.
This is what the project is about - and I quote from the website:
Promoting the ancient art of making bark cloth, a traditional material to Uganda and other countries.
Growing more Mutaba (bark cloth) trees to facilitate the project and create employment.
Creating awareness about the Kisaabwa Project and 'Hands up for Uganda'.about the Kisaabwa Project and 'Hands up for Uganda'.
Linking with artists, makers, enthusiastics, supporters in decorating a piece of bark cloth.
Creating awareness that shoe making is still healthy and alive as a craft at Star Child Shoes.
Transforming the decorated bark cloth into art shoes.
Developing and promoting the craft skills in Kisaabwa.
Bringing all this together to share with a wide viewing public in Birmingham and London in 2014.
This is the piece I have made. I made three simple stencils and printed them with acrylic paint at random. I then stitched around the shapes.
Below is a picture from the facebook page of some of the shoes made so far. Take a look at the https://www.facebook.com/barkcloth2artcloth/photos_albums
Judy Fairless came to Bristol Quilters this month and gave us a fascinating talk on her journey Along the Silk Road with lots of the inspirational photos she took along the way. There was so much wonderful architecture and lots of fascinating people and places - inspiration and ideas for lots and lots of quilts.
She also gave us an excellent workshop entitled "Inspired by Matisse". We looked at the work of Matisse, with particular emphasis on his later cutouts. We all brought something along to inspire us and, in the morning, Judy gave us exercises with paper to build up our ideas for the actual quilt. She talked about Matisse's use of colour although, of course, we could use our own ideas too.
We used bonded applique techniques and then close stitching.
Everyone seemed to have a good time and certainly everyone achieved excellent results. This is my attempt, based on a jug my son had brought back for me from India a few years ago.
This quilt, which measures approx. 40 X 50 cms, was done as an experiment.
I had two striking pieces of hand dyed fabric which I wanted to use, so I simply joined them and it looked to me like a brightly lit night sky reflecting into water.
I made some blocks out of bits of styrofoam from a pizza base and printed using fabric paint (although acrylic would have been fine). I then stitched into the results.
A pile of book covers I made recently. I wanted to do some screen printing, so I made a bird stencil from copy paper and screen printed onto various oddments of fabric that would be large enough to make into book wraps.
This is one of the book wraps opened out.
I decided to make a jacket for my granddaughter, Maisie, who is 8 years old, but tall and slim for her age. I have used a basic pattern from Nancy Langdon and Sabine Pollehn and adapted it for Maisie.
This photo shows the fronts (and some of the lining behind) which I have cut out of blue denim and stitched with a twin needle, using orange thread. The jacket has a curvy bottom.
Side front panels, also twin-needle stitched with added bobbles
Back view with lots of ribbon and embellishments.
The lining is pink with orange spots.
View of the back
I love textiles and especially quilting.