Saturday, October 12, 2013

Alexander Palace - the Knitting and Stitching show

When we arrived at the Knitting and Stitching Show on Thursday we had to queue to get in, despite having pre bought tickets. However it did give me the opportunity to get a photo of the knitted London taxi outside.. amazing isn't it! See here for more details

However once inside.. there were many excellent  exhibitions to see, so here are a few that I was given permission to photograph.
The photo above shows part of Ruth Issets and Bobby Britnell's work,( see here) and as always lots of colour from Ruth. She was also promoting her new book, which looks exciting. I am very lucky to be able to take a 2 day workshop with Ruth at the end of October, so I shall have the opportunity to purchase the book then.

Also exciting, James Hunting's subtle, spacious work - and he patiently answered my questions. He works from the back so that the stitches are embedded in the cloth to create texture at the front, and he doesn't frame the work. I am hoping to take a workshop with him next spring.

( to read this--- double click on the photo)

Dorothy Caldwell had a large display and her work was in muted colours, but the surface textures were very subtle, and really demand closer inspection. It was wonderful to see so many of her pieces here together. ( her website is here)

The graduate showcase this year was excellent - they had a much better space this year as well, and their displayed work and natural enthusiasm  was so inspiring. ... just look at that wonderful smile from Faye.

After spending some time in the shopping hall.. I then  returned to have a look at Jan and Jean's work.

Jeans work was inspired by renovations to her house, and her intricate surfaces were a delight, and the embellisher machine was used very subtly...... wonderful. 

Jan's landscapes are immediately recognisable, and I enjoyed the textures she created in these new works. The sketchbooks from both artists are always a delight, and those on show did not disappoint. I also had the opportunity for a long chat with Alex Carprara, who was visiting the stand. 

All too soon it was time to leave, and the weather was changing as well, in fact it started to rain as we boarded the coach. As you can see the  trees  are still in late summer leaf, not many signs of autumn colours yet.
2 hours after leaving Alexandra Palace, we finally managed to creep onto the M4.... which resembled a 5 lane car park. The traffic was horrendous.. but the sunset sensational.

4 hours  after leaving AP, we were finally travelling through a very damp and dark Marlborough... just half an hour from home, fortunately all the traffic jams had disappeared... nearly home at last. it had been a long day.. but so enjoyable and inspiring.

So here are my purchases... so have plenty of goodies to keep me busily working and  playing and reading over the next few months. I will try and show you some of the work as it is completed. 

Thursday, October 03, 2013

GWE workshop

I attended a really interesting workshop this week run by Kate Dowty for my Great Western Embroiderers group. It was called scrappy quilts.
We had a wonderful time and Kate is a very supportive teacher, and we all worked very hard without realising it. The results of the day were most impressive. we all left with a little work to do... but with clear guidelines from Kate about how to finish.

Kate clearly demonstrated what we had to do - every step of the way.

Kate's examples were a wonderful inspiration and we all thoroughly enjoyed our day.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday Funday

The quilting frame has been sitting with the top cloth, wadding and backing on the rollers for a couple of days, just waiting really for me to oil and clean the sewing machine. So today. I watched the video again that came with the frame, to make sure I knew what I was doing..... so easy.  

Here the frame, is all ready to go. Next I needed to find something at the right height to sit on. Solved that too. the old wooden stool used in the garage for all sorts of jobs was cleaned up and is just the right height.

I am absolutely delighted..... am playing to my hearts content.. and no sore shoulders ...!!!!! yeah!! Only had to stop to cook the evening meal. What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Drawing workshop

Went to a inspiring drawing workshop today at Gallery Nine organised by Declan. We worked to bird and forest sounds.





We meet again next Saturday and Declan is encouraging us to work on this drawing again. I am really looking forward to working with this group again.

I tried to walk into town after the workshop.... but the way was barred by a huge crowd and the police, so I dashed off to catch the bus instead...............

and.........was stopped again by mounted police and large crowd. Apparently this is the Bristol football crowd who were visiting our town to watch their team play. Well everyone to their own hobbies I suppose, I know I would rather draw than watch football, much more fun.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

After the Open Studios weekend

We have been very busy transforming the studio back to a working area, rather than an Art Gallery now that Open Studios have finished for another year. It has been a much quieter year than previously, I have no idea why, however it has meant I could get on with my own work.
I decided to take the clean up opportunity to give  the studio  space a bit of a deep clean. The walls really need a coat of paint too, but that can wait for another time. As you can see I had lots of help from Herr Schnauzer !!!
There is also another motivation for all this activity .... it is....
The quilting frame I ordered in August at the Festival of Quilts arrived 3 weeks earlier than predicted. I am thrilled with it .. and cannot wait to start working on it.
Other activities are getting in the way at the moment and so I must be patient. As you can see the flat packed trestles have been constructed, and the frame too was very easy to put together.
Next on my list is to organise the quilt layers, and then clean and oil my sewing machine, then I will be ready to play. I promise to share my first experiences with you.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Maggie Grey visits GWE

I spent Monday recovering from the Swindon Open Studios weekend, as Sunday was quite busy lots of lovely visitors, and it was also  lovely to catch up with Anna on Saturday when she visited.
Then yesterday I went to a wonderful GWE meeting in Cricklade and were very pleased to have Maggie Grey ( with her presidential West Country Embroiderers hat on) visiting us.

With the help of Charlton Stitcher  we both demonstrated how to do mono - printing on fabric to the group. It was lots of fun.

 As you can see... everyone managed to print out 2 pieces of fabric.. ready to be stitched.

We also bought along our finished tapestry weaving from the July meeting with Sarah Beadsmore, and it was good to see the pieces finished.

Much too soon it was time for Maggie Grey and Clive to leave, and we did enjoy seeing them and the opportunity to have a chat. .

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Launch Party - Swindon Open Studios and Private view at the Landing Arts Gallery

The launch of Swindon Open Studios was a very enjoyable occasion and well attended on Friday evening.

Tony penned a wonderful poem for the occasion.
art in the making
art for the taking, taking in
taking in to validate

as tea does to fruitcake
- well that does it for me
validate that there's more to Swindon
than its Roundabout Magic and media joke butt
No ifs no buts, talent abounds
with PoMo as fulcrum
creativity knows no bounds
witness exhibits here all in rows
now bid welcome to
Swindon Open Studios
Tony Hillier, Swindon Community Poet Emeritus at the launch of Swindon Open Studios 6 Sept 2013
Then on Saturday evening the private view took place at our exhibition at the  Landing Arts Gallery in Old Town.

  A good turn out and lots of interesting chat. thanks to everyone who came and made the evening so enjoyable.( I managed to take the photos before the guests arrived.) the exhibition continues until October 3rd. .so plenty of time to catch it.

I opened my studio to visitors on Saturday and Sunday all day and am pleased to say I had a steady stream of wonderful visitors.

I have been working in one corner of the studio on some new work, and it has been a wonderful opportunity to talk to others and get more ideas and inspiration from visitors.

Some visitors saw my journal quilts and have booked me to give a talk and demo to the regional quilters meeting. So exciting.

The studio is also open next Saturday and Sunday.. so please come along and chat if you are free.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Swindon Open Studios 2013

My studio is ready for visitors. Hopefully lots will come and see me tomorrow.... I am number 19 in the Swindon Open Studios brochure.
 I shall be at the launch party this evening, so if you need any more information, come along and have a chat. A selection of work is on display at Artsite ( including a few of my pieces), to give a taster of the art on show in the studios this weekend and next.
My joint exhibition- Intimate Spaces- is also ready for viewing at the Landing Arts Gallery.... the private view for that is tomorrow evening . A selection of my work is for sale in both venues.
Displayed in my studio will be my sketchbooks, which relate to the work on display at the different venues and there will also be a variety of  work  to view and  for sale.
I will be working in my studio, during the opening times, on some new work which has been inspired by my latest sketches. I am very excited to get back to my latest work, after the interruptions of so many exhibitions to organise, cannot wait for tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

The Swindon Massive

I went along to collect my work which has returned from the recent exhibition in Bath..... so just before I left, I went online and also had a quick glance at the local paper. They ran an article on the Bath (Swindon Massive) exhibition today.. read here... I must admit I was quite disappointed with the article. Not only was it published 2 days after the exhibition finished, but the headline was negative in my humble opinion. 
Very disappointed really.

I am busy getting all my work together for my joint exhibition at the landing gallery at the Arts Centre, as we are hanging tomorrow. As to my previous dilemma......I have decided to have half my studio as a gallery of finished work with the accompanying sketchbooks and workbooks. Also I shall be working on my latest pieces, as another exhibition opportunity is looming. So the studio will be a hive of activity during the Open Studio weekends. Looking forward to it. Just hope lots of visitor come along to chat.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Open studio... the dilhema for next weekend!

This was my studio today.. I have been exploring a variety of drawings and using the embellisher machine to interpret the marks on the drawings. I gave the studio a good tidy up last week as well, as I wanted to do some dyeing of fabric, and did not want to splash dye in the wrong places. Dyeing is finished and I am very pleased with it..... so it was back to the drawings.
However I need to make a I leave it like this for Open studios next weekend... or do I take it all down and hang lots of my work around to make a gallery atmosphere.... and showcasing my finished work.
I am leaning towards leaving it like this.. and just use the facing wall for finished work. I have a joint exhibition at the Landing Gallery in Swindon during the whole of September to showcase finished work .. so maybe my studio can remain a working space, but the gallery is 5 miles away in the middle of town.. will the public go to both??
I would be grateful for any ideas and comments. What would you do?? Leave my studio as a working space.. or transform it into a gallery to showcase finished work.
It would be lovely to see you if you are able to visit.

The local paper gave a brilliant write up to the event.. see here...

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Cupcake Cottons- quilt exhibition

I was invited to demonstrate at the Quilt Exhibition at Burford in the Cotswolds, which was organised by Cupcake Cottons. A highly successful 2 days , and I have met some wonderful quilters. There is one more day left... tomorrow, so if you have the time, go along.... its a great event.

This was my area for demonstrating the needle felting machine ( embellisher). I am a member of the Contemporary Quilters see here, and I was showing my journal quilts and the techniques I use in making them with the needle felting machine. However......

I also attended a class at Cupcake Cottons, last year, on using the rotary cutter and machine piecing..... and this is the quilt I made. I really enjoyed making it... but it is very precise compared to my normal way of working. I had bought the fabrics at the V & A quilt exhibition in 2010, and they seemed appropriate to use last year to celebrate the Jubilee and the Olympic Games in London, as the colours of red white and blue, were so appropriate.