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.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

December's JQ, a mermaid and an e-reader (Kindle) cover.

December's JQ is called Button Moon. I have used self dyed fabric, overlaid with sheers, and free motion machine stitching. The tree is knobbly knitting wool couched down with yet more free stitch, and the moon is a clear button, covered with white net and a cream sheer,, held down with silver stitching. I've finished the piece with some clear beads for the appearing stars in a sunset sky.

This little mermaid was an extra present for my six year old grandaughter at Christmas. I had recently made her a pair of curtains for her newly decorated bedroom, and with the leftovers, I had enough for a small bed quilt, and a scrap for the tail of this mermaid. She was fun to make, and very well received on Christmas morning.

I was very pleasantly surprised on Christmas morning myself, because my husband gave me an e-reader, (Kindle) so ofcourse, I've just had to make a protective cover for it. I decided that it needed to be quite rigid, rather than soft and floppy, so used some medium weight pelmet viline, Decovil from here. It has a sticky side, so I ironed on a strip of some hand painted fabric that I made a few months ago.

As you can see above, I free motion machine embroidered all over the surface in green and pink thread, filling in some areas for added texture. I then placed two linings onto the back, rounded off the corners at one end, and then zig-zagged around the edge. I folded up the front to fit the Kindle, and then stitched and zig-zagged the edges together, I've used a small square of velcro for fastening.

I hope you've enjoyed this post, I haven't given any measurements, because it's all really  very obvious and easy to make this pouch to fit. This is also my first attempt at downloading a short video, so fingers crossed it all works for those of you who choose to watch.

Happy stitching everyone, and a very Happy, Peaceful New Year to you all!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Getting out the paintbox!

 I like to make a small textile or watercolour with the name of the new babies when they arrive in our family. The one above is for our newest addition, a grandson. His Mum and Dad both enjoy taking part in triathalon, so I decided a watery theme was called for.

I haven't done much in the way of textile work this month, the run up to Christmas is always so time consuming, but I shall be looking forward to getting back to my beloved sewing machine early in the New Year. I still have Decembers JQ to make, and then the last one of the series in January. I think I've more or less worked out what I'm going to do, but it will now be 2012 before they are made!

As we are looking at watercolour for this post, I thought I would include a painting I made of our cat Elsa a couple of years ago.

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas, and a Peaceful New Year.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Lavender Ladies and Hearts

The two photos at the top of the page show the reverse sides of one Lavender Lady. She has been made from my self printed fabric, and embroidered and embellished, and then stuffed with lavender from my sons garden. The two Lavender ladies below are also hand emboidered and embellished with beads and sequins. They are lovely to hang near a radiator, the warmth helps to extract the florally lavender scent. The alternative is to hang them in a wardrobe to keep the moths away, but it seems a pity not to be able to see them., The hearts below are also stuffed with lavender, and I'm making lots to put into Christmas cards. They can be hung on a Christmas tree, or also hung in a wardrobe, or placed in an undies drawer! Lots of fun to make, and something easy to pick up and stitch whilst watching the TV on these dark winter evenings.
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Saturday, 5 November 2011

November JQ, and some gallery pieces.

Here is my JQ for November, and I've called it 'Trapped Button' This group of four JQ's has to have a button/buttons included somewhere. It is inspired by yet another of my Dungeness photos, this time of the inside of a very weather worn and derelict Fisherman's shed. There are plenty of them on this part of the Kent coast. I've used self dyed fabrics, some black sheer, vegetable netting, and just a whisper of inktense pencil on the background. I also zig-zagged some black wool around the broken planks of the shed wall, free machine and hand stitch.

The above three images are my latest pieces to make a set of four. The fourth one can be seen in my previous post. They are all now for sale in a local gallery, so fingers crossed that they will sell.

That's it for now folks, enjoy the fireworks and November 5th celebrations!!

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Sunday, 30 October 2011

A Busy Half Term

This is a small piece that I made today, black cotton with cream totem shapes overlaid with natural cheesecloth. I free machine stitched the patterns onto the totems, outlined them by zig zagging some black wool around the edges, and then hand stitched onto the cheesecloth. I've mounteed this onto a small canvas.

Above are two images of another piece I have been working on for most of the week. The top image shows the whole, underneath is a section in close-up. I started by rolling on sweeps of royal blue print paste, inspired by a photo I took of some blue rolled up hose pipe. I drew in blue lines between the curved sweeps, and when the dye was dry, I scraped over the whole surface with some diluted brown dye paste.

After the fabric had been cured and washed, I had to decide how to continue with the surface decoration. I backed it with some loosely woven linen, and started by outlining the broad blue sweeping curves. I used the same technique described above, outlining by couching down blue knitting wool with a zig zag stitch in a heavy blue quilting thread. I then filled in all the spaces with a variety of free motion machine stitching in various blue and neutral shades of thread. It is quite dark, which is a shame, and in retrospect, I wish I had used a lighter coloured thread for all the stitching.

My final three photos show the results of a very enjoyable day I shared with my KAIROS friends on Saturday. We decided to 'have a go', at some of the suggestions in Cas Holmes latest book, The Found Object in Textile Art, and we played with paper, cloth, threads and wall paper paste! Great fun, and now I'm looking forward to working on these samples further, maybe with some machine stitch, one of my favourite techniques!!

Some stitch has now been added, results above with a section in close-up. I decided to stitch leaf shapes, as the colours in the piece were autumnal. This is really experimental, but I enjoyed using cloth and paper together, so will have to take this technique further.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Funky fun, bird and egg table mats.

Funky, bird table mats and coasters! I made three thermofax screens from my sketches, and printed with a discharge paste onto some black cotton sateen. I made each print, three of each bird, and six eggs into a quilt sandwich, and then free machine quilted with some cream thread. I've backed them with fabric gifted to me from New Zealand. They are fun, and will look good on the table, especially when the grandchildren are visiting! I also still have the screens, so I can print more funky birds and eggs.........maybe some curtains to match?........I think not, but they could be used for some fun cloth bags.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

October JQ, The lost Button!


For the next four Journal Quilts a button, or buttons has to be incorporated somewhere. I decided to use a photograph that I took last year of a rusty drain cover as my inspiration. It was partially covered by gritty soil and bits of dried grass, so lots of texture for me to play around with! I used self dyed wadding for the base, and other self dyed fabrics. I trapped bits of snipped wool under a sheer, and then used hand and free motion machine stitch to complete the surface. There is a button, half hidden under some of the gritty soil, it obviously fell from someones cuff or shirt front!!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Nothing like colour to cheer the soul!

Nothing like a bit of colour to brighten up ones mood! I've also had my hair dyed a rather bright shade of auburn.....gorgeous. Because I've had a break from my textile art for the past six weeks while my daughter and grandson were visiting, I thought I'd cheer myself up by playing with all the scraps I had, no matter what the colour. This is the result....oh, and I've also added some dots and spots in white and dark grey paint.

This is the finished art quilt inspired by a moths wing that I showed a small part of a few weeks ago. Partly paper lamination, hand dyed fabric, and an old grey scarf, finished off with lots of free motion machine stitch.
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Saturday, 24 September 2011

Getting started again.

My Journal Quilt for September. I have called it September meanderings. It started out as scrap cloth for mopping up some silk paint, but I decided to fill in the white areas with yet more paint before free machine stitching the surface with a meandering pattern, including some text.
I have been very busy since the middle of August with family affairs. My daughter and grandson have been staying, they live in New Zealand, so it has been wonderful to have them here. They returned on Thursday,and I'm feeling very lost, and rather sad at present. However, we also became grandparents again on the 31st of August to another darling little grandson, and luckily he only lives a twenty minute drive away.

I can't remember if I've put this small quilt on here before or not, so apologies if I am repeating myself. This little quilt is also only about 10'x10', and is called 'An English Country Garden'. It vaguely resembles our garden, which is also quite small.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Festival of Quilts 2011, Birmingham NEC, UK.

My visit to the Festival of Quilts this year was for one day only, and what I normally manage to do in two, I had to cram into one! Exhausting! I think the flooring in the NEC must be concrete under that very thin excuse for carpet, because after a couple of hours, my legs and feet are just as heavy as lead, and It's as though I'm having to drag a sack of potatoes behind me. Anyway, enough of that, because I still thoroughly enjoyed my day, and it is always so inspiring to see so many wonderful quilts and pieces of textile art. There is always a wide range in quality of workmanship and design, but as time was short, I tried to limit my closer study of exhibits to work that really stood out and demanded my attention. I did take some photos, but the lighting was bad, and so the quality of most is disappointing.

The above three images are wall quilts made by The Tentmakers of Cairo. Sadly, it seems it is a disappearing trade in Egypt, where there are only about forty older stitchers left. The younger ones who are being trained, often drop out because the work is hard, slow and low paid. From what I could understand, these stitchers are mostly male, and I watched Mohamed Dendon and his brother, sitting crossed legged, stitching these wonderful quilts. I asked them how long it had taken to stitch the top one with the foliage and birds. About five months they said. It was priced at £550! Needless to say, they all had a red sticker on the price ticket.

Above are three images of the work of Dr. Mary Loyd Jones, Hon. D. Univ. Wales. http://www.marylloydjones.co.uk/ I just loved these cloths, they were huge, but very atmospheric, and full of energy. Mary was born in Ceredigion, and says of her work, "My aim is that my work should reflect my relationship with the land, an awareness of history, and the treasures of our literary and oral traditions. I search for devices that will enable me to create multilayered images. This has led to my involvement with the beginnings of language, early manmade marks and the Ogham and Bardic Alphabets."

Another young woman whose work really impressed me was Padmaja Krishnan. Unfortunately I couldn't photograph her work, and since returning home have found it difficult to find any really good web-sites relating to her work. She makes embroideries using the Kantha style of stitch, which is basically a very simple straight stitch, but her work is very beautiful, and full of the spirit of her culture, but with some modern influences. She also likes to use another technique called Boro, which is an old Japanese tradition of  making use of remnants, or rags. Some of these have been very densley stitched to create beautiful articles of clothing and wall hangings.

Yoshiko Katagirl also had some wonderful applique work. Most of her wall hangings were on a black background, which really allowed her jewel like glowing colours to shine out.:

Finally, but by no means least, was the work of Alice Fox. http://www.alicefox.co.uk/ and http://www.alicefox-textiles.blogspot.com/ Alice was a joint winner with Rose Wood for the Students Awards - Graduate Showcase. Her work had a simple honesty about it, but with an underlying complexity that excited my senses, and left me wanting to explore her techniques and ideas.

I apologise for the lack of 'visuals' in this post, but urge you to further explore the links I've given above. I'm sure you will find lots to feed your creative muse! Enjoy.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Moths Wings and Lobster Pots

A section from an art quilt that I'm working on. It isn't finished yet, so I'm only showing small areas to give a flavour of what it's all about. Again, this is inspired by a moths wing, and this time I've used the paper lamination technique. Below are two more images.

Finally, below is the finished article from a previous piece of work that I posted about in July. It was from a photo that I manipulated in photoshop that I took on Ferring beach. My daughter has taken a shine to it, so I've finished it off by quilting in some ripples and reflections, to make it appear as though the lobster pot, rope and pebbles are under water. Hope you still like it Emily!!