Thursday, 16 April 2015

Our white challenge

I have been having a fascinating time looking at white. Is it really white or does it just look white because of its neighbouring colours?  Is it the contrast?  How much do you need for it to say: the focus of this piece is white!

What would constitute a white piece for me?  A piece of white cloth with black lines sketching out something?  How about something inspired by Piet Mondrian - lots of white.  In the past I have made a piece for the Steps challenge which was white 'snow' (actually a faux chenille technique).

Thank you, Jinnie.  I'm not saying this is easy but it has been a pleasure looking for inspiration.  And, BTW, I haven't decided on anything yet - typical.


Thursday, 2 April 2015

Santa Cruz de Tenerife

It's been more than a month since Jinnie threw down the gauntlet with her "Lily White" challenge, and I thought I would share with you my first response to the subject. Not to worry: "Santa Cruz de Tenerife" didn't make the cut, and another one is waiting on the sidelines for the official reveal.

Santa Cruz de Tenerife
For years I have had a photo of Tenerife, torn from a travel magazine, posted on my design wall. I have always loved Mediterranean hillside towns, the way they have developed so organically, adapting to a twist of the road or an outcropping of rock. They look a bit like termite nests, though more picturesque, of course.

"Lily White" is very much a challenge for me, as I find it difficult to work with white. So often in nature, white reflects the colours around it. Nevertheless, I decided this was the Big Moment for the Mediterranean Hillside Town.

I chose a printed cotton, a mottled green-and-brown Stonehenge, to suggest the vegetation and rock that serves as a background to the dwellings, and then blocked in the large white shapes with a facing of white cotton, to minimize show-through of the dark background. Then I cut small squares and rectangles of white, beige, grey, tan and orange to serve as the buildings themselves. The windows are so small they are indicated with ink, and the stitching in grey thread goes all around the small shapes to secure them.

I am happy with this piece, which serves to remind me of a visit to the Canary Islands a few years ago, but have settled on another scene I want to translate into fabric for our 12 by the Dozen challenge. Meanwhile, this will make a nice addition to the dozen cityscapes I have made in this 8.5" x 11" format.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Colour Thesaurus

It's a good job we didn't have this when we began our current round of challenges -

Monday, 2 March 2015


Continuing in the theme of my daughter's wedding, I submit my piece for the colour 'sand.'

A conceptual piece.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

The next colour is ....

                                                                     Lily white


  The photograph of the cliffs that Hilary posted when she chose the colour made me think of the cliffs at Lyme Regis and the fossils found there. I decided to 'find' my own fossil ammonites in hand sewn trapunto done on  a commercial fabric. I hand quilted it with seeding and added some machine quilted ammonites. The latter should have taken just over an hour to do, but in the end I spent five hours sewing (in the wrong colour), unpicking and resewing it and I thought I would never finish in time, despite having spent two months on it. It was very difficult to photograph: the photo above gives a good idea of the colour and the one below shows the trapunto better.

Sand Challenge

Sands of Mombasa

The colour of the soil in Kenya where we spent a few weeks this December was very red and it seems to have been imprinted on my visual memory. No matter what I produced for the challenge, the colour of sand was never a warm grey or brown or yellow but always a bit pink or rust. I have finally given in and settled on this selection, as it does celebrate a warm neutral as its central theme .The black cotton fabric was discharged using cascade dishwashing liquid and a round brush.