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.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

To frame, or not to frame!!! Sunday 31st January 2010

It seems that sales of my work at The Corner Gallery are going well, four pieces were sold yesterday. However, I have a dilemma.

Some of my work is more traditionally put together, three layers sandwiched together with batting, edges bound and the surface quilted. These wall quilts are for display, rather than for the bed or as a throw or lap quilt.

It seems though, that customers who have shown an interest in them would prefer them to be framed. In fact, one was sold yesterday ( see image above), but on the condition that the Gallery have it framed first! The additional cost doesn't seem to be a problem, but I just wonder if this is something I should consider doing in the future!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Wednesday 27th January 2010

Wednesday already!! Such a busy week. I had my sister to stay for the weekend, and on Sunday we took ourselves off to The Royal Academy to see the Van Gogh exhibition. What a treat!  I could go again and again, so much to see, read, digest and simply enjoy. What a man, his art and his letters are something very special. Words cannot describe what I feel about some of his works, especially his later landscapes and wondeful ink sketches. I bought the catalogue which seems to have some reasonable colour reproductions of the pieces displayed, and ofcourse his life story. Plenty to keep me reading for a week or two.

Met up with the ladies from the art group I belong to last evening. We always have so much to share and talk about, food wise as well as art wise. We are seven in number, and enjoy being creative together from drawing, painting and ceramics, to photography and textiles.

We have each been making some art in  matchboxes, mainly in white, one of which we will give to each member. These six matchboxes will then be arranged in a white box frame, giving each of us a piece of art to hang on our walls. What a lovely idea.

Our next combined project is to each produce a piece of textile art, 6"x8", and themed "The Sea". Some of us have exchanged fabrics and threads, to give some continuity to the finished panel. The seven pieces will be put together with sashing, then sandwiched and backed with wadding and some suitable "sea" type fabric, before being bound and quilted. We are hoping to raffle the finished hanging for charity.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Saturday 23rd January 2010

I have an exhibition on at the moment of my textile art. It's at The Corner Gallery in Beeches Avenue, Carshalton Beeches, Surrey. It's on until the 13th February, and so far has been doing really well, and quite a few pieces of my work have been sold.

It's been a very busy year, getting all the pieces together for this, my first solo exhibition, but well worth all the hard work. It has really stretched me too, and I've surprised myself at what I have achieved.

Above are some images from the gallery.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Wednesday 20th January 2010

Last Autumn I made my first attempt at discharge dyeing with bleach. I used a good quality black cotton fabric, and soon discovered that it was going to discharge to a lovely coppery brown.

I tried printing, spraying with stencils, tying with string and applying thick bleach with a selection of tools including a comb and some shells.

The results were various, but I particularly liked the effect of combing on the bleach, and pulling in different directions. After rinsing and soaking in metabisulphite, I decided to cut up some of the fabric into narrow lengths, and stitch them together. These were then cut again, only this time across the stitched widths, re-arranged, stitched and cut yet again. I continued in this way until I was happy with the arrangement.

To break up the straight lines where I'd joined the strips, I appliqued some other pieces of fabric over the top, and these were machined down. I also made up a square of textured material by layering about seven pieces of fabric in shades of brown, orange and petrol blue, sewing rows of stitch about 1/4" apart, and then slashing along between the rows of stitch, but leaving the bottom layer in one piece as this would hold everything together. This was also cut up into smaller squares and rectangles, placed randomly on the surface of the quilt and stitched down.

After layering with wadding, and a plain piece of black backing, I quilted with a selection of yellow and orange rayon threads. This was the fun part, because I quilted along edges where the bleach had discharged, and the marks made by the combing gave the surface a real sense of movement. Finally, I added some beading for extra crunch, and bound the edges.

A few more attempts at this technique convinced me that it was time to start experimenting with dyeing, printing and creating my own unique pieces of fabric. I decided to enrol on a workshop run by Claire and Leslie of "Committed to Cloth", and their Wet'n Wild classes seemed the perfect choice. We have one full day workshop every month now for the next 10 months, so more about that next time.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Tuesday 19th January 2010

Why does this feel so scary?

I'm intending to use this blog as a sort of diary really, the only difference being that it's not going to be private! THAT'S the scary bit.

I love to make textile art and to be creative with cloth, colour and stitch. My plan is to post regular updates of what I'm doing, with descriptions and photos. It will be good to look back over the months, and to see where my creative journey is taking me.

You (whoever you may be) will be very welcome to take a peek whenever you feel inclined, and to share in my ramblings.