Friday, 27 December 2013

Improvisational curved piecing

These fabrics have been lying loved but unused for too long, so I decided to use them in some improvised, curved piecing exercises, trying to be logical in my order of cuts.  Each unit ended up being cut to 5 x 9 inches.






Interesting to look at the blocks in black and white to see that the red reads as a medium/dark value.


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

2013 challenge


I am so glad I got my energy back to finish this challenge.   The successful parts of this for me have been learning how to colour cloth with watercolour pencils, testing out various types of  bonding materials, and actually following through on a theme.  Next year's challenge is due to be announced soon, so I hope it will be one that I can learn from.

Merry Christmas all.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Racing to the finish line

With 10 days to spare I have finished my final journal quilt of 2013, on the theme of " Places I Remember"  I've veered a bit off topic for the past couple of months, by including places that are still very current.  That has remained the same for this month.
A bit of bling for Christmas
Shibori indigi-dyed sheeting, machine quilted using circle tool, raw edge applique, hand-beading.  Applique attached with MistyFuse, continuing my exploration of different bonding agents.  MistyFuse seems like the best so far and well worth the cost.
 About 4 years ago, I went to my first course at Morley College, and my creative life has been transformed. I have met very many interesting people, been to many exhibitions, and worked with many different materials. There is so much to see,discover and learn and I hope this month's quilt conveys my enthusiasm for everything that Morley continues to give me.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Twas the weekend before Christmas, and all through the house……

….not a creature was getting on with her Christmas wrapping as she was intrigued by a method for making thread-painted trees, as shown here.  This was a surprisingly straightforward technique.  In process,



Cut away from the hoop

Thread painting trees released

Stitched in dark thread


Mounted for a thank you to be give later today.


Thursday, 19 December 2013

Journal quilt, November, the street where I live

I'm racing to a finish on the contemporary quilt group challenge now, having lost momentum in September. A real benefit of doing the design course at Morley is learning to resist the urge to plunge straight in to the mounds of fabric, and start designing at the sewing machine but instead to get some initial ideas sketched out on paper, or ideally of course in a sketchbook.  For once therefore, I can show the sketchbook and the stitched journal piece.

CQGB November 2013 from sketch to stitch

Raw edge applique, bonded applique, machine quilting, couched edge.  This was my first experience of using Heat 'n' Bond which gave a much finer finish than Bondaweb.

Very close to home. I have lived in the same street for 20 years. My children went to the school at the bottom of the road, my neighbours are great and it will take a lot to make me move. Our door is the only one with stained glass, designed by my sister's partner and installed by one of our neighbours.


This is straighter than it looks, but it was tricky to get a photo without a shadow.  Critiquinq this now, I think the 'doors" should have been longer and the "road" down the middle narrower.  Thank goodness it is only 8 x 12 inches.  

I was going to quilt in several of the requests that have come up during those 20 years, such as “ Can you sew my pantomime cow costume?” and “ Can you check my hair for nits” and “ Do you have a pie plate? ” but decided the space available didn't do them justice.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Silhouette cutting

I really admire paper cutting, as is evident from this blog.  During my tour around Europe, and I was lucky enough to have my silhouette cut by the very talented Charles Burns. In less than 2 minutes, a very realistic image.

Silhouette 2013

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

London art day

No Morley today, so a chance to catch up on a few exhibitions that have been on the "must see" list for a while.  First up, "Threaded Stories" at the Stephen Friedman Gallery.

Painstakingly overpainted woven cloth - the camera focussed on the paint and not the cloth, hence the blurring.  Each of those dots is an individual dot of paint and the piece is about 100cm x 130cm.


This exhibition did nothing for me I'm afraid and having listened to Grayson Perry's lectures about not having to like it all, I'm happy to declare that here.

Next a swing in to the galleries on Cork Street.  Lovely paving outside Browse and Darby


and a wonderful mixed display inside of 19th and 20th century art.  If money was no object, I could have spent a lot in there, particularly on the painting of Euphemia Lamb by Augustus John


Then on to The Redfern Gallery to see the superb series " The Thames Revisited" by Kurt Jackson.  I love the fact that his work done in the open air can includes bits of dust and feather that happen to land while he is painting.  Several of his paintings are like musings from his sketchbook, with descriptions of the sounds and smells added as annotations on the work.  He also doesn't ignore the more gritty, urbanised bits of the Thames, and there is a striking study of the M25 crossing the river.  Really worth seeing and on until 23rd January.  (There is a very good write-up about his published sketchbooks here.)


Next, to the Bernard Jacobson Gallery to see an exhibition by William Tillyer, " The Watering Place"  that seems to have been extended.  These are really fascinating pieces of art, but I'm not sure whether they  are paintings or mixed media pieces, as the paint is applied to a mesh  in various layers, the mesh is then mounted to the canvas, and on occasions, more paint is applied from the front.  Very interesting textures that cannot be conveyed in a photo, although there are some good images here that can be zoomed into.  The colours were wonderful on a grey day.

From colour to a lot of monotone, at the Herbert Zangs exhibition at the Mayor Gallery.  The cloth works here were a lot more interesting to me than those at the Friedman Gallery.


Up to the Royal Academy and some thought provoking bronze and marble sculpture by Kevin Francis Gray.  I loved these sculptures, and enjoyed seeing  that he works in bronze and in marble.  The heads are on an enormous scale, while the figures are life-sized.






Natural sculpture on the tables of the Royal Academy cafe.




Lots of amazing decorations around in London, with snow globes a bit of a theme.  The amount of snow in the ones at the bottom depends on the power being expended on the bicycles around them.


Three more squeezed in, Andrew Stock at the Mall Galleries and then at Somerset House, Stanley Spencer and Julian Stair, but they are for another post.  Whew!

More Christmas stitching……..oh no it isn't!

I live in a cul de sac, and therefore it has been very easy to get to know all of our neighbours over the years.  There had been many strange requests but this weekend's is one for the annals - " can you sew a bit of a pantomime cow for me?"*
*No animals were injured in the making of this post.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

October journal - 2 months late….A river runs through it

The River Thames has been an important part of my life since I moved to the western suburbs. Walking the paths, cycling by it, supervising wobbly scooter rides,visiting events, and even once, being part of a the team on a dragon boat that paddled 26 miles down it. This is the shape of the river between Twickenham and Teddington with colours that portray different seasons of the year.  The postcode is given a bit of lip service here in the bottom corner.  This is much more regularly shaped than it seems here, just struggling to gets a photo in daylight at present.

Block printing, felt applique, watercolour crayon, machine quilting on recycled cotton sheeting.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Christmas is coming...

… of course it is time to add a project to the already long list of things to do.
Seriously, my Christmas preparations are much simplified this year, due to several positive changes in family commitments.  I have long admired the work and teaching of Gina Ferrari, but live too far away to take advantage of her classes.  So, in an attempt to make a "non-taught version" of her Xmas wreaths, shown on her great blog,  I splashed out on some 100% wool felt from Creative Quilting, found a bit of yellow silk, got stitching furiously ( a full 200m reel of thread), found a suitable ring ( about 25cm in diameter) and this is the result.
Thank you Gina from a distance.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Red trees

The tree theme continues this week, experimenting with using print pastes on a polystyrene print block, rolling, painting and applying with a foam brush.  My polystyrene sheet wasn't long enough, so I had to split my tree.    Paper seems so much more straightforward than cloth.  Where is this going - still not sure,but plenty to ponder over the Xmas break from the course.

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Thursday, 28 November 2013

Trees, continued

Morley this week, and back to my printing project to do with damaged trees, Paul Nash, bleeding canker, the garden museum, wounds, bark, trenches, identity tags - as my tutor says, I could be getting a bit overwhelmed by my subject matter and need to simplify.

Experiments with painting thickened dye paste directly on the screen

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experimenting with polystyrene blocks

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Finally, a tree image

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Tree printed

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This could finally be gong somewhere.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Trying to continue the journal quilts

Now that this year's big projects have been delivered, I have returned to the journal quilt series for this year.
Commercial fabric, leather, machine trapunto, machine quilting.
I left the excitement of the inner city for the suburban life in Twickenham. Although I have lived here for 25 years, I have to admit that I have never been to see the game for which Twickenham is famous, this tribute will have to do.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

23 + 50 = 18

Today, my elder son is 18, on the day of the 50th anniversary edition of Dr Who.  For a dedicated fan, there was only one birthday present possible from a quilting mother.






Quilting on back, detail


Thanks to every designer n the Dr Who stitchalong who contributed their designs so generously.  Keeping this secret from April until now , in a small house, has been a challenge.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

On the print table

At Morley this week, I was lacking inspiration for my long term project based on a collaboration between the college and The Garden Museum, commemorating the start of the First World War.  I managed to do some colour testing, and then ,using these colours, set up a deconstructed screen to print from next week.

Colour testing

Deconstructed screen in preparation, using large and small bubble wrap

I then decided to see what would happen if I put one of my feather drawings on to a screen.  I wanted an indistinct mark rather than a sharp line.
Partial screen

Full screen against the light panel

Printed on top of earlier print from a deconstructed screen.