Monday, August 28, 2006

Carry on Stitching

Have been finishing those UFO's I have found during my big clear up campaign. Quite a few are ready for exhibition now, which is a great relief as I have some exhibitions coming up at the start of next year.
Also visited the local hardware store for pieces of wood and mirror fixings. They have a 10% off everything weekend, so seemed a good opportunity to buy some of the "fixings and wood" needed for the finishing of my work .......and save some money for a change!

Fingers are now better which has speeded up the process.... I now have 8 fingers and 2 useful!! Finished another one of my "kantha " style pieces last night. Just one more to do.

I am still interested in the textures and the movements in the cloth created by this hand stitching. Looking through my photos from the recent Festival of Quilts, I realised I was often attracted to looking at the surface of the exhibits for textural qualities as well as for the overall impact. This piece of work by Liz Hewitt probably illustrates what I mean.

Here is what Liz wrote about her work ( unfortunately blogger insists on writing it sideways!!!!)

Whilst at the Festival of quilts - I was also interested in how others mount their work for exhibition...remember I knew I had a lot of finished pieces of work I wanted to get ready for exhibition. I know it was a quilt show so there were lots of "sleeves, bindings and such like". I was not disappointed , lots of innovation on that front as well. Especially some of Judith James work and Michael.

I really found this piece of work appealing. It was one of those pieces, that I had to go and look at a number of times ......

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Stitching time

Its been a very grey, rainy day today, so perfect to get into the studio.

Spent a lot of time stitching, which was a really nice change. It is so much easier now I have sorted the studio out and can find everything! The downside of course is I have also found a lot of UFO's. So today I have made a start to finish as many as I can.

At the top of the pile was this one. It has been stitched - it needed to be prepared for exhibition and to be hung properly. So here are a few snippets - just in case I ever want to exhibit it somewhere special - and the jurors have seen it on this blog. Unlikely I know - but you never know.

These textiles were developed from some life drawing sessions I went to, just wished I had taken my sewing machine! I love drawing / stitching with the sewing machine.

As you can see I have not really thought about the techniques I have used, I have tried to achieve effects through layering and stitching of threads and fabrics. It's good fun. Well back to work, have a load of hand stitching to do to this before it is finished. by the way -there are 2 of them, made a pair- both different.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

And what did you do there.......?

I went to Tate Modern to see the Kandinsky exhibition- called - the Path to Abstraction.

I had printed out the room guide from the Tate website, as reading material for the train, and was so pleased I had read it too. It gave me an overview of information which I really need. In the Exhibition there was plenty of information on the walls and in a little booklet they gave us, but I find it very difficult to engage both sides of my brain at the same time. Either I like to be visual, or analytical, I really cannot do both at the same time very well at all.

I loved his early work and in particular the works in room2, the colours shone bright, the paintings were displayed so well. In room 3 my favourite was Study for Improvisation 8.

In room 5 the mood changes and the inclusion of the colour brown, made many of the paintings dreary in my view.

My real favourite was in room 6 Composition VII, there is not an image online but there is a study. Apparently Kandinsky did a lot of studies for this very large Painting, and then painted it in 3 and 1/2 days. His lover Gabriele photographed it as it progressed. I could have stood and looked at this painting for ever. I would even go and see the exhibition again if I could, just for this picture.

I made some notes in my sketchbook whilst travelling home on the train, I just loved the exhibition, then started to feel a tingle as the Berkshire Downs came into view, and home is not far then. Always good to get home after a brilliant and inspiring day out.

Where have you been......?

In the Nursery rhyme, it continues ........ I have been to London to see the Queen! (I continue -except the Queen is on her holidays!). The rhyme continues.......... and what did you there? I continue - I went to see the Kandinsky exhibition at Tate Modern instead.

Must admit the start of the journey from home was a bit dubious. My train had been cancelled, other trains were delayed. As it turns out I caught the earlier train( 'cos it was running late!) but we arrived at Paddington at the time I would have arrived with the cancelled train. Does that make sense?
I was a happy bunny, until I got to the tube (underground) where they announced that the Circle line trains were running late and off shedule, due to an earlier incident. My heart sank - I was meeting a lot of my chums at noon. Within 1 minute the tube was there taking me off to Blackfriars station!Someone was certainly looking after me today!

Decided to take the exit out of the station to go over the Millenium Bridge, the heavens opened up and it poured with rain! Stopped just as quickly and the sun came out. So here are some photos of London yesterday.

Tate Modern from the Millenium Bridge.

Tower Bridge from the Millenium Bridge

St. Pauls from the Millenium Bridge

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Festival of Quilts - The Quilts

All these entries in one day! I must be making up for lost time.
I have been quite selective with the quilts I have chosen to show you, which has been very difficult, there were so many I found to be inspirational, all for very different reasons. Sometimes it was the subject matter I found intriguing, sometimes the close up texture, sometimes the sheer ingenuity, sometimes the colour and sometimes I could not analyse - it was a gut reaction. I decided I would try and limit it to 5 photos, mainly because of blogger limitations. However as usual blogger has other ideas and is limiting me to 4!!!!

Anita's quilt was part of the Husquarna Viking contest, and I suspect many of my visiors from "across the pond" have already seen this exhibition.

Bailey is a member of the Contemporary Quilters and her quilts are made from hand dyed felt.

There were a number of Kantha's in a seperate exhibition area, they were good to see.

Another selection of quilts I would highly recommend to be seen is by the SAQA group....WOW! I found real inspiration there .

Another quilter to keep your eye on is my chum Helen, some lovely inspiring work that she had entered this year.

This is a view of the Entrance/exit - certainly plenty of room to look at and admire the quilts on show. This is only a very small selection in this photo. Rest spaces were basic but very welcome when needing to take the weight off the feet.

Festival of Quilts- The traders

As promised some more about the Festival of Quilts. I had asked my internet chum Carol to tell me of any good exhibitions and stands I should look at and she gave me good advice. Buy the programme and read it carefully before you start - she advised. I did Carol and good advice it was too.
I made the decision to visit the traders first this year, as it gets very crowded later on, and look at the quilts after lunch.
I wanted to buy a rotary cutter and that was my first purchase, I also bought a ruler to go with it, it is gridded so I will have to find out why and also how to use it. Any help gratefully recieved, please!

This is my little stash of goodies I purchased. The ruler is on top beside the rotary cutter. I also bought a little mini ironing/cutting pad. It was very expensive £6.00 but I thought it would be useful by the sewing machine and at workshops. I also bought some udder cream ( in the tube). Anyone else used it?

I also went to see my chum Maggie Grey. Her and Val's new book is just published "Stitch, Dissolve and Distort" - good stuff. It's been a couple of weeks since I have seen her so it was good to catch up.

Also went to see Myfanwy of Winifrid Cottage, she had some pages from her new book on the Embellisher as a sample to show me, its due out in September 06, You can see her leaflet in the photo above. Suspect I will be parting with some more of my cash. Please don't forget to bring some copies for sale to the next Urchfont weekend Myfanwy!

Then I found Bailey and Susan ( both members of the Contemporary Quilters Guild), so that was another long chat. It was mainly about computers, so dh became involved with that discussion.

One of the problems of taking dh with you, the unusual rear view photos of yourself chatting to your chums!

Will cover the exhibits from after lunch, in the next post.

The stash is sorted and excitements

Its taken a long time (a whole week!) to sort out the studio, but at last its done. As a reward for all my hard work dh took me on a trip yesterday to The Festival of Quilts in Birmingham ( UK). He very kindly did all the driving.

Following this vehicle on the Fosse Way in the Cotswolds, we both commented that it was like being on Safari. This landrover had obviously been to the Sahara, however we were hoping to get to Birmingham! Mind you the fields around us were badly scorched by the recent heatwave and drought, so the Saraha might have been an apt description.

However finally we were getting closer to Birminham on the M42.

When we finally arrived at the NEC, dh then came in with me too. That man deserves a medal!

On the approach to the doors following lots of ladies, he said to me " You are not grey haired enough for this Festival..........we'd better go back home!" Still not sure if that is a compliment or not!

Anyhow, just before we went I also did manage to finish my colour quilt, so I was really pleased with myself. So imagine what a joy it was when I saw that Helen Deighan had a stand at the FOQ and I was able to tell her all about my dying and making her style of quilt from her book Magic Dyeing. See my previous entries of how I did it - here.

I also visited the Bernina stand, I have had my 170 since 1997 and thought I would have a look at the newer models to see what they do. They had some very well trained staff, (I was impressed) who told me I did not need to upgrade as my machine does everything the newer ones do anyway. I have to admit that made me feel really good and I thanked her for her honesty too. That is what I call service!

Have loads more to tell you and pics for you, but will carrry on in a little while.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Sorting the Stash

This is one of the sculptures at the V & A, I love it.

No time to blog yesterday as I have started sorting out the studio, and the stash and all the UFO's. Really need to downsize the quantity of "stuff".
I have also been looking for some decent tables to work on, a long run of tablespreferably. At the moment I have two desks, both different and an old dining room table with drop leaves.
Happened to go into Staples locally yesterday and they had a reception table in the Sale for £44.99,which is a good deal. the desk is a right angle and the 2 long sides measure 160X140 cms. So pleased, but I have spent the rest of last 2 days sorting out. Two of the fingers are still out of action, so its a bit of a nuisance, but I am managing.

Have finished all the machining on the colour quilt, just have to finish hand sewing the sleeve on the back.

So back to sorting out. Cannot decide what to do with the stuff I have "outgrown" seems a shame to dump it, suppose I ought to try and get people who would like it to take it away. Know anyone??

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Day trip to London

Have had a wonderful day today in London with daughter and granddaughter, the plan was to be culture vultures. The coach dropped us off right outside the Kensington Museums and the weather was fantastic.

So to the V & A , first stop was the conveniences which is accessed via the British Galleries. GD was enthralled by what she saw there, especially the Latton Jacket and the interactive music from the Tudor period and Stuart periods. Took us quite a while to get to the conveniences!!
Eventually we ventured into the Sixties fashion exhibition, and it was pleasing to see some of Ossie Clarks fashions featured, as my wedding dress was made by him! I was also surprised to see a collection of paper printed dresses.

Those paper dresses.......Talk about a walk down memory lane! I can recall "Vilene" asking the College I attended, to print and develop some designs - block printing "Vilene" . I can remember the brief being to create designs as disposable childrens clothing- we had to create the design of the garments as well as the surface decoration and then make them as well. One of my original designs still resides in my loft space somewhere, the College and Vilene kept the rest. As you can imagine the work was totally original. That was how it was in the sixties though wasn't it?It was great fun and the results of our work went on display at the RCA and I can recall feeling very proud, I really had no idea how prestigious the RCA was in those days.......The innocence of youth.

So today I was the butt of a few jokes about clothes etc, we then ventured off to have lunch. The courtyard garden is now open and very pleasant it is too. Loved the sculptures in the garden as well. I had planned to go to Tate Britain to see the Constable Exhibition, however the little person with us begged to go to the Natural History Museum next door. So that's where we went. Not my sort of place at all!!! All dinosaurs and beasties! However squeals of delight from the smallest member of our party! I did find the section on rocks and minerals fascinating though.

Had bought GD a small notebook and on the journey home on the coach, she was writing about her day in London and drawing pictures of dinosaurs and beasties. Natural blogger?? Need to get her started on her own blog methinks.

I was going to post a few more pictures, but blogger is not co-operating...sorry folks.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Colour Quilt update

Have been working some more with the colour quilt and with expert guidance!!! Pictures tell all.

Siamese is fed up with Schnauzer stealing all the limelight with this colour quilt, so thought he would supervise the stitching on the machine!

Takes a lot of concentration this stippling.

Chief supervisor also wants to get in on the act. She is totally deaf, but certainly knows how to keep a siamese kitten under control.

All these wonderful bits of paper and fabric in the studio soon distract the attention of Siamese.

So its playtime.

So whilst Siamese is busy playing, the quilt is nearing completion, bindings nearly on, stippling all done. As you know I have been really unsure about "sleeves" but I must give a big thank you to my quilting pals for their help and assistance, especially Briony. I now know how to do it. thanks Briony, also she gave me some good advice about naming and recording the quilt. Brilliant.

The studio is in a right mess though, however I have some ideas for that........more later. I have to go and prepare for a day out in London tomorrow, I am going to be a culture vulture!

Planning to see the 60's Exhibition at the V & A, and then I want to go to Tate Britain and see Constable, and the cups of tea in the National Gallery are good. Should be a good day out.

Talking of Exhibitions, please remember to go and see the Exhibition of Contemporary Art Quilts , at Uffington until the 13th of this month, and then it goes to Wales and the start of next year in London. I have just found out that Jennifer and Carol create this wonderful Exhibition without funding or support from anyone, so please give them your full support, by visiting and buying the catalogue. Its only £5.00 and worth every penny. Above all enjoy it as much as I did.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Uffington Exhibition

Part Two of the pictures.

Here is Sandra Meech's that I tried to blog yesterday without success!

Margit Kupsch

Sue Tarbitten. Most unusual installationion, you really need to see the pieces of work I have posted today. The photos do not do them justice, the surfaces are wonderful.

Annette Claxton

Annette Morgan

Need to go and do some of my own work now. I am in the middle of Vermicelling my colour wheel quilt, quite chuffed with myself. Will post some pictures when its done. I was asking Sandra Meech for advice about these hanging sleeves on the back of quilts, she advised me to make a gusset . If any of you have advice or can direct me to some beginners help....please let me know.

The computer is going to be updated shortly, and I have more pictures to post. If you return and find it is not updated , please don't will just be a short break, whilst the computer is sorting itself out!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Visited the country today

Did not drive very far, it was a beautiful day about 27C, the air con in the car was welcome though expecially as Schnauzer came too.

This is the foot of the Berkshire downs ( they happen to be in Oxfordshire since 1974 - don't ask -its political!) we were going to the village of Uffington, better known usually for the White Horse up on the hill. We were however going to something much more important. The contemporary art Quilts 2006. Fantastic -get there if you can its running until the 13th August at the Thomas Hughes Memorial Hall. This is a juried exhibition and 33 were chosen forthe touring xhibition. The Jurors were Diana Harrison a quiltartist, Jennifer Newman artist and furniature designer, and Audrey Walker, artist

This is a felt quilt by Bailey Curtis, Bailey has a fantastic eye for colour.

Linda Colsh.

Heidi Foerster.

Of course with all this excitement - we had to stop to have refreshments a cup of afternoon tea and a slice of Victoria Sandwich ( cake). Had a long chat with Sandra Meech, she had just finished teaching at the long weekend of quilting at Hartpury, her quilt was lovely. looks like I will have to upload the image of Sandra's quilt tomorrow, as blogger will not play anymore! If you wish to catch this exhibition you have until the 13th August at SN7 7RP which is Uffington

You can also see it at the Minerva arts Centre in Wales, from 21 August to 23 September 06 ( SY18 6BY)


Morley College Gallery, London. 12th January - 1 February 2007 (SE1 7HT)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Next circle

Have just finished attaching the next lot of colours to the circle. I attached them with Bondaweb. It was so easy! I think this is what many quilters call fusing?

These are the basically the same dyes but with the addition of a small quantity of black. At first I didn't want to use them, as I was pleased with the colour circle as it was. Then I thought I would just lay them out to see what it would look like. I have to confess I like the subtleties of colour.
Does however mean I will have to do a lot more explaining to my students, as the pigments used in paints do not react in exactly the same way as dyes.

Next is the scary bit, putting in some wadding and a backing and stitching through all of them. Thought I would do machine stitching and use that wiggly stitch beginning with V. The word is like those chocolate strands you put on ice may realise the word escapes me at the moment! Then will need to hold the edges in with some sort of binding. This may turn out to be a proper quilt! Anyone any advice???

Friday, August 04, 2006

Playing the blogger game!!

I am seeing if I can dupe blogger, I am in the middle of writing a post about my work and blogger will not accept any more pictures, so I am writing this whilst saving my original entry as a draft, and then if I publish this one first and then my original second, will I have duped blogger??? Clear as Mud eh???? Lets see now.

This is how far I have got with my coulour circle after all the dying. This is only pinned to make sure it all fits together! I have no faith in my Maths or accuracy! I am standing on a chair to take this photo as I have the work laid out on the table, what you cannot see is theSchnauzer taking the opportunity to clean my feet with his tickles and the photo is a bit wobbily!!!

I have been keeping notes as well about how I have created the se colours. I would like to do some more dying and do not trust my memory to get the colours right. Unlike painting which is easy to change colours, dyeing is such a long process. Time for lunch now, and to change the dressings on my fingers, and then some housework and finally time for fabric again................

Well that's cheered me up looking at some of my work, but I am still disappointed about the cancellation.

Blogger won!

Didn't work ......sorry, read the last 2 posts in reverse order please...will make sense in the end!

ups and downs of artists

First of all the "down"..........very disappointed to find out that the coach company have cancelled the trip to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham in a couple of weeks time. What is wrong with the quilters in Wiltshire??? How are they all getting there?

On the "up" side, I have managed to get a few things done this last few days. So a quick resume to cheer myself up!

I have finished stitching this by hand in the Kantha style whilst watching TV. I am on holiday so the TV gets watched quite a bit! Here's a close up.

Have also been using my embellisher a bit more, with a background of white wool felt I have been laying on a varitey of different fabrics for their textural qualities and then needleing them with the embellisher. Finding a lot out about different fabric qualities.

I particularly like the way fine silk reacts under the needles of the embellisher.

Wonder what dyes I can use on this mix up of fabrics, as I would love to add some colour to this. Any ideas welcomed? Normally I would probably use paint, but now I have had a real "go" at dying, there must be a way of colouring all the different fibres in one go?

This idea of using different fabrics has evolved from some work I did with Yvonne Morton, the example above is machine stitched and hand stitched and I just love doing this technique, so to be able to do it on the embellisher is a real bonus.

Here's what I am handstitching at the moment another of my Kantha's.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Seems to come round every year, our anniversary!!!!! Had a great time, as eldest son and his wife took us out to dinner at a local hostelry. Lovely meal and chauffeur driven too. Spent the morning with my daughter, she is a childminder, and had a session with her "charges" and tye dying on calico and silk, they had a great time. Lots of excitement today as they could unwrap the tying. Doing another session next week with them , for the second tye and dye. Will try and get some pictures for you all.

I have been busy stitching today, fingers are still a bit of a problem, but luckily are healing nicely. Received some really lovely ATC's through the post recently. Thanks Dale for sending them.

This is by Diane in Australia. Lovely colours.

This one is by Sally, she is in NSW Australia, and she has used papercaly/paint/beads/stitch and sheers. Awonderful mixture of textures.


his is created by Margaret Bullock also of Australia, wonderful sparkling blue, reminds me of the sea.

This is called " missing New Zealand" and is by W.I.Cook, it reminds me of the New Forest, here in the UK. Truly beautiful.

The last one was from Dale, as featured on her blog and is made on her embellisher machine. Many thanks for sending me a little art made in Australia Dale.