I can put it off no longer. I have been given the honour of representing my area of the Quilters Guild of the British Isles, for the "In the Spotlight" exhibition which is run every other year at the Festival of Quilts.
I have had lots and lots of ideas running through my head and I have made a few sketches, but I realise that I can put it off no longer and need to get down to some serious work.
I am playing it safe, as this will be the first time I have put something into a major show and feel a bit apprehensive. I won't be experimenting with a new style and on this occasion will stick with what I know.
With that in mind I have been going through some of the samples that I produced for City and Guilds about 5 years ago, and thought I would share some of them with you.
My inspiration was obviously the Heritage Coast where I live. I spent a lot of time looking at pebbles, rocks and strata, eventually producing this piece here.
These three samples are different types of applique, and looking at them I see that it was here that my love of hand painted fabrics began. They seem pretty basic and I'd like to think that I have improved since then but it is also good to find some things that had been forgotten about and to see how they can inspire now.
These pieces are pretty much stuck to the info card that I attached them to with double sided sticky tape so I have left them be.
Now the theme/title of the exhibition is "The Romance of Words" chosen because 2011 will be the 200 year anniversary of the publication of Sense and Sensibility.
So what does that have to do with rocks and strata and pebbles. All will be revealed over time, and there will be lots more to share on this topic.
I might rename the "working wednesday" posts as you can see I have moved my working space to a different part of the house.
For a while I took over the sun room at the front of the house so called because being South facing it gets very hot and bright, to such an extent that it curtailed the amount of time I could spend in there.
So I moved into the kitchen/diner at the back of the house, but that was too dull (there's no pleasing some people I know) and more importantly I didn't want to be responsible for my family not staying together by taking over the dining table permanently! You all know the saying
"The family that eats together, stays together".
However I think I am now happy, as I have moved to the side of the house, into what is simply a small add on built by the previous owners to take advantage of the view from the side, - not looking that great on this Wet Welsh Wednesday, it has to be said.
Even though my husband had built a lovely window seat in there, it was probably the most under used part of the house, only ever frequented by the dog, as seen in this post, and although I feel a bit guilty about denying her one of her favourite places, I have left a place for her to gaze out of should she feel the need, and I feel I am making more productive use of the space, which in turn will make me more productive. That's the plan!
I will share pics it when it is more organised, but in the mean time the above shows what I am working on today, making use of the fabric I mentioned here, more of which to come.
I have decided to enter this quilt that I first blogged about here. This quilt was a turning point for me in how I approach quilt making and it taught me a lot about where my strengths lie and about the type of quilter I want to be. It was also the first quilt that I basted using the "plank" method of Susan Schamber which has made my quilting life a lot easier.
So that's my offering called 21 Flowers.
Hope you like it!
Thanks to Amy for organising this wonderful event.
Well, it's done. Has been for a couple of weeks. Just haven't been able to get my head around the blogging thing for a while. You know how it is.
It is far from perfect, but I am strangely pleased with it, even though the colours are way out of trend now.
It is the amount of stitching that I have but into it that pleases me and I feel that I have turned a corner in which direction my quilt making is going to take.(And when I say quilt making, I mean quilts that are made for a functional use, not "art" quilting. That is a whole other story.)
Anyway there are more photos here than you need to see I am sure, but it's nice to still get out into the garden.
I don't have that many UFO's but this is one of them, and in my attempt to have a sort out, I decided it was time to get this out of the loft and finish it off. In my mind I was going to stitch a perfectly straight grid all over it. How hard can that be?
Very hard as it turns out. Or should I say, very hard for me.
But actually I am really glad that I am doing it because it is teaching me a great deal.
I have learnt that I am never, and I mean NEVER, going to be one of those quilters that stitches in wonderfully straight lines.
But I have also come to the conclusion that it doesn't matter. I am going to stitch and stitch it with lots of lovely dense quilting and it doesn't matter if the lines are not straight. In fact I will prefer it that way because one of the things I have also learnt during my many hours reading quilting blogs is that there are lots of other quilters out there who quilt in a more "organic" style and I love it their work.
It may not be the most attractive of quilts but for me it is also a memory quilt. It contains some hand dyes, some leftovers from other projects, some fabric given to me by my mother, some IKEA fabric, and some fabric that I bought in an out door market place in Sarawak about 15 years ago. I made a sarong style skirt from it, which has long gone, but it is here in this quilt to remind me of that time for years to come.
I had one day at the show this year, and I packed in meeting up with a few friends, some shopping and looking at the quilts. I didn't buy a guide because I knew I wouldn't have the time to study it and get around and do everything I needed to do, so my viewing of the quilts was hurried and all I really got was an overview. As ever there was some really stunning work on show. These quilts are the ones that stood out for me.
This is 'The Heart of Borneo' which I loved because I lived there for several years and it is close to my heart and because I now know the artist Anne whom I first met online but who I have now met twice at the Festival. I love the way she portrays the rain forest in her work and you should go visit her blog to see some more of her work.
The following two pieces really caught my eye. I can't tell you anything about them (because I was too cheap to buy the guide!) but if anyone out there knows please let me know so that I can give the artists their due credit.
It wasn't until I got home that I wished I had given this one a vote for Viewers Choice, but I was in a bit of a daze to be honest.
It is actually a very wide thin piece which I found hard to photograph, but I have added a detail of one of the ends. I think it got 2nd place in the Art Quilt category.
To be totally honest, part of the reason I didn't spend too long gazing at quilts is because I have been nominated to represent my area of the Quilters Guild in their 'In the Spotlight' exhibition next year, and I have already got an idea of what I want to do and I didn't want to be confused by any other work, if you know what I mean. Plus I didn't want to be freaked out by the quality and get into a panic about my own abilities.
Anyway, more on my efforts will no doubt be revealed over the coming year.
Many years ago I spent a wonderful summer on the island of Crete. I worked part time as a holiday rep which allowed me to finance myself for 6 months but also meant that I had lots of free time to explore the island.
This fellow is taken from a wall painting taken from Knossos. This guy is the "Prince of Lillies"
I imported a postcard image into my computer and traced around the outlines. Printed it out on paper and then traced the design onto fabric.
I used undiluted fabric paint and fabric markers for the brown, blue and black elements, and the skin tones were done using an oil stick which I also brushed over the whole surface because it gave a nice "chalky" effect
reminiscent of old plaster walls.
Here are some images with the added stitched detail.
Got to the Victoria&Albert museum in London last weekend to see the Quilts 1700 - 2010 exhibit.
As a "contemporary quilter I thought it would be the more modern quilts that would hold my attention. How wrong can you be. I was blown away by the traditional quilts, by the workmanship and design and by the amazing choice of fabric they had access to as far back as the 1700's. The other thing that struck me was how much we do now that we think is modern was being done hundreds of years ago.
I haven't decided if I am comforted or a bit depressed by this fact. It is comforting to be part of this long line of women who are expressing themselves now in the same way as those who came before were and that is the thought I am going to hold as I strive to do something "different".
No photos allowed of course but I did treat myself in the gift shop.
I have been stitching up some more pennants for the ladies over here. They are so quick and easy to do and a great way to use up scraps from other projects. This pennant was made from the leftovers from this, which in turn was made from the leftovers from the quilt I showed in my previous post. There were also a few more bits left to do this next one.
This one was done from some painted fabric scraps from a table runner that I did for my Mum.
The leaf motif was freezer paper stenciled on. I love that method as it gives nice crisp edges to painted images.