Sunday, 27 January 2013

Snow dyeing results

Finally ironed and photographed, and they are lovely.  These pieces are about 1metre x 0.5 metre.





The marks are much more organic and less well-defined than with tray-dyeing.  Lots to explore, but we may have no more snow now.  It is either wait till next year, or else buy a bag of ice to crush.


I still haven't decided on a journal theme, but it is coming.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Journal challenge 2013, choose a theme, any theme…..

So this should be straightforward.  Select a theme for 2013, on which to base this year's journal quilts, each of which is to be 12 x 8 inches in a landscape format.  So far, I have written notes on

  • there are places I remember, exploring 12 of the addresses where I have lived.  As these have all been in the Uk, it doesn't give much scope for riotous explorations of other cultures, and there may well be memories that I really don't want to commit to cloth.  However, I've evidently been mulling this over as one of the addresses I had forgotten flooded back to me today.

  • foods that are part of my personal history, from pear tart, via limeade and on to pitta bread pizzas and flapjack, this could be a rich seam


but are these themes likely to lead to pictorial outcomes, which I want to avoid?  If they don't head to pictorial outcomes, will I be able to convey the full sense of what these addresses  / foods meant to me, and indeed what they mean to me with the hindsight of today?

So  perhaps I need a theme that can be interpreted in a more abstract way?

  • learning to draw.  I'm determined to try to learn to draw to a higher standard this year.  How to convey this in textile and stitch?
  • changes.  My family has a lot of change ahead in the next two years,  most planned, but some not, how to evoke this?
  •  a single word in all its manifestations, e.g. Pipe: drain pipe; ceci nest pas  une pipe; pipeline; piping ( with three different meanings); piped music?
  • maps and what they mean to me?
  • 150 years of the Underground?
  • metal gates, grand and mundane?
  • colour studies from my memorable photos of 2012?

The deadline to declare a theme is 15th February, so I hope I'll have sifted through this lot by then.

Saturday, 19 January 2013



Enough to try out snow-dyeing.  There are lots of tutorials on the web,but this one seems to be the most straightforward.  So, wrapped up like a baboushka, I slipped about on the snow last night  after work to set up two trays with two different colourways.  I modified the technique a bit by putting another layer of snow on top of the squirted dye, and left it outside overnight.  This morning, 


a fair amount of melting, but still enough snow to justify leaving it outside today.  Whatever the results  this will be an interesting experiment.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Scallop textile, work in progress

Morley is back in full swing, so I'm tackling my design ideas based on the scallop sculpture.  Besides exploring pebble shapes and rust/ ochre/ earth tones ( more in another post), I've been extracting shapes from the sculpture.


cutting them out in paper and auditioning these against some of last year's tray-dyed fabrics.

Photo0243 Photo0242 Photo0245 Photo0246

The aim is to use these shapes to make a silk screen, and then print the shapes on 4 tray-dyed pieces of cloth, each dyed with a different palette to represent earth, air, fire and water. I'm hoping that these don't look too much like a hood from a super-hero film, but for now I'm convinced that they don't.

Lots of potential for overlaying and stitching in to the shapes, and stitching with different colour and texture mixes as a result.That's the plan for now.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Aldeburgh Scallop

Last year, I had a magical weekend with my husband in Aldeburgh, when we went to hear our younger son play in a a concert at the end of a music course.  The course was in Aldeburgh, so gave me a way to combine the visit with a long-term plan to visit the sculpture of The Aldeburgh Scallop

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The sculpture proved to be as magnificent as I had hoped, and has many resonances with various points in my life such that it has been brewing into a textile project for some time. P1080797 P1080799 P1080800

I love the way that the sculpture changes as you move round it, and that the marks of the makers ( the Pegg family) are so visible on it. P1080807 P1080815

I was very pleased to come across a book written by Maggi Hambling about the process of making and installing the sculpture, " The Aldeburgh Scallop". This is a beautifully produced book and the colour photography is stunning. Well worth a read, regardless if you like Maggi Hambling's work or not, to get some insight into how public sculpture is funded.

More thoughts to add to my planning of the textile piece.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Journal quilts 2012, summary

The final posting of the 2012 A4 journal quilt challenge is now done, and we have been asked to load a photo of all of our journals in one picture.  I'm quite pleased with the results of this year, particularly as I made these only from materials from my collection, or from  cloth dyed / printed or otherwise coloured during my course at Morley.   I'm happy to see that there are only 2 out of 12 of these where I have used unaltered commercial fabrics: top row, far right and middle row, far right.


Unfortunately the album of everyone's collections is only available for viewing by members of the Contemporary Quilt Group, but they are stunning.

The theme for 2013 is yet to be announced - I can't wait to get started.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Sketchbook snippets

Two events of last year are gradually thawing my terror of keeping a sketchbook.  The first was doing Karen Ruane's course on " An Embroiderer's Ledger" and the second was going to see and handle some of the results of " The Sketchbook Project".  It is finally getting in to my head, that it does't have to contain sketches.  That word fills me with dread and brings back memories of school art lesson tasks such as "draw your shoe".  No instruction, no introduction to colour theory, how t draw perspective, how to shade light and dark, how to use a pencil, how to mix colour, what happens with different media on different papers.  I think the teaching is much better today, judging by the results I see from my sons.

So, in that spirt, I pasted in some of the snippets of cloth from the trimming of the Kaleidoscope quilt top and played about with them………….in a sketchbook.


These snippets suggested heads with hats, emphasised by the existing little clips into the lower corners.  It is interesting that the right hand page suggests sniping and malicious gossip, while the left hand page suggests more gentle exchange, to little purpose, but enjoyable all the same.  The left hand page lines were drawn with a lovely Prismacolour pencil, really soft on the page, and flows easily from the hand.  Definitely some ideas to pursue further here.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Kaleidoscope kontinuing

At least the rain has meant plenty of time for composing the kaleidoscope top.  I am really enjoying this, although there were some nerve wracking moments with the last round when the strip-pieced block turned out to be too narrow, and I had to insert another strip in to the middle of the block.

Kaleidoscope , round 4, with some of my blue / brown hand-dyed fabrics P1000491

Round 4 , detail P1000492

Round 5 P1000494
Next is stitching together each wedge, hoping that my cutting has been accurate throughout. Fingers crossed.

My return to work yesterday was eased by driving alongside a beautiful sunrise.  Still can't sort out this formatting issue, but I am remaining calm.P1000498 P1000499