A blog about making art and other things using cloth, paper, paint, colour, stitch, and all sorts of exciting techniques, some of which I'm sure I still have to discover! I hope that the joy all this gives me is visible in what you can see here.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

A Jubilee June Journal Quilt!

This is my journal quilt for June, and I've called it 'Late Tulips'. We had that very warm weather in March, but April and May were so cold and wet, some of our garden plants seem to be later than usual. Our azalias and rhododendrons are only just beginning to flower. I coloured the cotton fabric with silk paint, outlined the tulips with couched down black knitting wool, free machine quilted the flower and leaf shapes, echo quilted the background and then finally added some extra colour with textile crayons.

I took the above photo of the Thames earlier in the year, but with the Jubilee River Pageant coming up this Sunday, I'm sure that London is going to be much filmed over the next few days. I've managed to get tickets for Battersea Park, and am hoping to get a glimpse of some of the flottilla as it sails down to Tower Bridge. The weather forecast looks dire though, so it may be a rather wet occasion for Her Majesty and the spectators! Such a shame  considering the glorious sunshine of the last week or so.

Thanks for reading, and wishing everyone a Happy Jubilee weekend!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Cards for Father's Day, and a totem tree!

The Corner Gallery asked me to make some Father's Day cards, the results are above. Hopefully they will fit the bill for any dads who enjoy sailing!

I just had to take the photos of the tree above whilst out walking with my grandson last week. It was a beautiful tree anyway, but apparently dangerous, so has to be taken down. It reminded me of a totem pole with a unique beauty of it's own. I expect even this will be gone when I next go walking there! Shame.

Just a small boast now. The two pieces above which I also had in an exhibition at The Corner Gallery have been sold! It's so thrilling when you find out that someone loves your work enough to purchase it!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Above is a piece that I've completed this week, using a technique inspired by textile artist Anne kelly. I visited five of the open houses in Hove at the beginning of May, and loved the textiles exhibited at, 'Polish and Pin' made by Anne. Some of her work has a heavily machine stitched background, which not only holds down smaller pieces of fabric and paper, but adds to the texture of the pieces. When I got home, I dug out two unfinished projects that I had been playing around with, inspired by leaves and foliage I had photographed in New Zealand two years ago. With the piece above,  I had started by bonding small bits of fabric to a background, all in different shades of green. It was all rather bright and lurid, so I covered it with some white net to knock it back a bit. The leaf shapes were placed on top, and heavily machine stitched over, and in between in different shades of thread. I also used some blue, to try and replicate the light shining on water that was glowing through the foliage. (See the photos underneath.) Finally, I have outlined the leaves by free machine couching knitting wool around them. I have to say that I now feel I've lost some of the freshness and glow of the greens, with the net and stitching, but it's a technique I think I will experiment with further. Funnily enough, the piece below I gave up on months ago because I wasn't happy with the stitching between the appliqued leaves. Now looking at it with a fresh eye, I think I need to continue working on it, and maybe add yet more stitching. I also think that the darker background is more successful, helping to throw the green of the leaves forward.

Anne Kelly is also involved in an ongoing collaboration, 'Resonant Textiles' with Cas Holmes, another textile artist whose work I really admire. I'm booked onto a days workshop with Cas at the end of June which I'm really looking forward to, so no doubt I will be sharing the experience on here in due course.

If you've managed to last this far, many thanks for reading, or at least taking a peek at the pics!!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

......and a golden pear!

My Journal quilt for May. This next batch of four will be in shades of yellow. Quite a difficult colour in my opinion, but I decided that my 25% of another colour would be black. Here, I have used black knitting wool which I have free machine couched down to both outline, and to 'draw' the patterns inside. I have also free machine quilted with black thread, and then filled in two areas with a gold Markal stick, and four or five other areas with a lemon yellow wax crayon. The background is echo quilted in yellow thread. The fabric is the reverse of some hand printed and dyed cloth that I made a couple of years ago. It was a complete disaster, but has come in very useful for this months JQ.

On another note, I had some very exciting news this week. My challenge quilt for CQ@10, (Contemporary Quilt), has been juried in, and will be premiered at The Festival of Quilts at the NEC, Birmingham this August, before touring other venues. It will also be published along with 22 other quilts in a book produced by CQ. I'm really chuffed, because I found the inspiration for this challenge quite difficult. It is partly to celebrate the 10th anniversary of contemporary quilt, (a specialist branch of the Quilters' Guild of the British Isles), and we were provided with a black and white photograph of a Cornish tin mine. Anyway, in the end, I came up with my interpretation, which I will be able to show on here after August. I am also looking forward to seeing the other 22 quilts, so if you fancy a trip to Birmingham in August, I'll look forward to seeing you there too!!

Thanks for your time, and for reading.