Monday, 1 February 2016

Yellow everywhere

A few years ago I helped our local church minister with a community project to make some big banners to hang in the church at Christmas.  This time he has asked me to help with some similar banners for Easter.  The only problem is that Easter is very early this year, and I have had/will be having four weeks of holidays between Christmas and the end of February, rather reducing the time I have to prepare the banners.

So on Friday I ordered 35 metres of fabric from Whaleys (a very good supplier of ready to dye fabric here in the UK) and 450 g of dyes from Kemtex.  The fabric arrived at 7.50am on Saturday, the dyes at 11 am and I started dying the fabric on Sunday morning (I had a dinner and overnight stay on Saturday).

Thank you to Stuart at Kemtex who suggested I dye all 32 metres of yellow fabric in a wheely bin in one go - it worked.  And I finally found a use for the metre long wooden spoon our son gave me two years ago.

Now all I have to do is iron all the fabric and sew sleeves in the ends of each 4m long banner before I go to France tomorrow!  Oh, and finish dying the 3 metres of green.

At least I managed to remember to put in a 1/2 metre chunk of fabric into the yellow dye bath for our next challenge.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Queen of the Night featured in Quilting Arts magazine

Imagine my surprise when I opened the latest issue of Quilting Arts and found a full page photo of "Queen of the Night" aka the dragon fruit in an article about SAQA's Food for Thought exhibition! This exhibition is really touring the world, visiting 3 continents. 

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Fun with dyeing 

Patricia and I have had lots of fun with quilting and dyeing fabric .
We have used several colours in gradations and a combination of yellow to blue .

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Profiled in Art Quilt Collector journal

I was thrilled to be chosen as an Artist to Watch for the new journal, "Art Quilt Collector", published by SAQA.  Issue 2, just released, includes a four-page spread on my work, and similar coverage of two artists whose work I very much enjoy: Natalya Aikens and K. Velis Turan.

The issue focuses on urban landscape, and includes an article on documenting your collection, another on storage, and an in-depth look at the recent work of Michael James, as well as other features. For information about subscribing to "Art Quilt Collector", please click here.

With SAQA's permission, I have included my profile below:

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Before all the dust has settled...

... just wanted to express my appreciation for everyone's efforts on the Apple Green challenge. I personally think it was our best showing ever!

My very best wishes to everyone for the holiday season, and for lots of creative energy in 2016!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

And the last colour is!!!


After red, I think yellow is my next favourite colour, and of course almost any combination of the two.  I hope that it will make you happy - for those in the northern clime we could do with some cheering up as we have just gone through November.

I was going to put a Panetone colour but decided that any yellow will do.  Enjoy!

Monday, 30 November 2015

Light reflections

I had this idea almost from the beginning and when I finally tried to take scissors to fabric it wasn't working for me.  So hence the last minute!

I saw light reflecting off a globe into a mirror at a friend's house and wanted to recreate the lines.  Of course, taking a picture didn't work.

Apple Green

Winter Crop

At this time of year the many fields surrounding Hudson have been harvested leaving only the bare stalks or shredded remnants behind for the birds. Outbuildings now reappear in brilliant colour and fall crops of mustard vibrate visibly against the  neutral earth tones of exposed soil.
Another  source of inspiration for this colour right now would be the surprising fresh green  moss found growing on the north side of rocks and trees when all the other colour in the forest has long gone awaiting a blanket of snow.

 For me it was an easy choice to  continue with my silk series based on abstracted fields and  bold colour  contrasts .Working with dupioni silk on the embellisher is a mesmerizing process as the bottom threads  emerge and blend before your eyes with the top layers to form a whole. Perhaps a little too many passes in this case has caused a  puckering through the middle which I hope will flatten out with a delicate steam iron. If not, it will have to serve as a textural effect.

Wishing you all an absolutely wonderful holiday with family and friends and looking forward to all good things in the new year.




  This is definitely my favourite green and I almost chose it when it was my turn to choose a colour. I had bought a fabric paint in this colour, along with the darker green, just before it was announced and had been playing with it and my gelli plate, so I decided to try to make something from my printing session. I made a few small sketchs and chose this layout.  

Helena on Green

This was a two-for-one challenge. First, this is my most favourite of all greens and I just love to work with it. Thank you Heather! Second, I used the opportunity to create a self-portrait for our guild's self portrait challenge, due tomorrow. So perfect timing! This portrait is based on a photo taken at my daughter's wedding two years ago. My two daughters and their two babies (one each) are visiting at the moment, so I forgot to post until I checked my email. And now for your viewing pleasure, Oscar, age 11 months, who just happens to be wearing our green this morning.

Pop Art

Bridget Riley - Ra 2

Thank you Heather.  You gave me the opportunity to do something I have had in the back of my mind for ages - a piece paying homage to Bridget Riley.  I have long admired her work. There are some wonderful examples of her work if you google her name and then click on 'images'.  I have based my piece on the work she did after her trip to Egypt and seeing the wonderful colours in ancient Egyptian art.

Here's my piece.
Bridget Riley - Homage
I hummed and aahed about whether to try and piece or to fuse the strips. In the end I pieced them and it work relatively easily because I heavily starched the strips first.  This made them firm and they handled well.  I used the left edge of my 1/4" foot lined up against the previous seam.

Proportionately speaking the strips should be much narrower but I am happy with the first attempt.  I haven't quilted it because I don't think in this case quilting would add anything to the piece or improve it.

All in all I have thoroughly enjoyed this series based on colours.  One more to go.


I love this colour and use it often in a lot of my pieces but as mentioned in one of my posts when using it against the blue / green it changed colour and looks more yellow than apple/lime green.  I too doodled and came up with this which is really just a design that evolved.  I named it as above as we seemed to go from winter one day to summer the next and there was no "inbetween" season.  With all this, we are now going through a terrible drought, so what was green is now slowly turning brown!  Thanks you - a great colour to work with.