Monday, 30 November 2020

Street library - Brisbane


I loved this topic and had a flood of ideas. I decided it had to be a library I could visit. I decided on street libraries and heard there was one a few streets from me. So off I went only to be disappointed to find it was no longer there. I knew there were street libraries in Brisbane where I go reasonably often so googled those. I chose an image and planned to go and see it for myself and work from my own photos but, well, the Queensland border closed and then I finally got the all clear to travel to NZ to be with my mother (where I am now) so I couldn’t get to Brisbane. However, I went ahead with the project using this image from as I know one day I will get to see it!

I used fabric from my mother’s stash (thanks mum 😊), drew the books and lettering with textile pens, machine appliqued and machine quilted.

By way of showing that there were books inside the fridge (also from the above link), I used print fabric for the backing.

Helsinki University Library

At first I thought this was going to be really difficult until I found so many absolutely beautiful libraries around the world.  It was a difficult choice, but for those who know me well I do like curves so when I saw some of the images of the Helsinki University Library I was hooked.  This is therefore my inspiration for my piece.

You will see that in the one image there is a touch of dark red which I placed in my piece to give it a focal point and to bring in a touch of colour.

I really enjoyed working on this piece.


 After trolling the world libraries the moment the Birmingham Library came up and with my love of free motion quilting, this was the one. 

I started with dyeing the cloth in the two shades of yellow and blue and the intention was to fade the fabric out to bare cloth on the left.  This proved harder than I thought so after a couple of attempts I chose the better of the bunch and painted the left hand side using white paint. The intention with the fading out was to also fade out the circles towards the left.  I felt it was becoming too flat and uninteresting as I worked my way across so stopped at an angle and then added rows of curvy lines resembling book shelves giving me an outside/inside perspective.

Again it needed a focal point, something to lift it, hence the tree silhouette.  The final bit was grounding the roots which need a bit more tweeking.  I ran out of time as I am sitting in the bush on the banks of the Crocodile River overlooking the Kruger National Park while I load this post.

I need to also knock back the binding with more colour as it is too 'white'. 

After my initial panic attack when I read the challenge, I actually enjoyed completing this piece as it certainly made me think. 

Saturday, 28 November 2020

And the winner is.......

 With the help of my random number selector (Robbie - choose a number from 1 to 8!)  the next architectural designer is Linda Forey.  

I noticed that there are a number of drafts sitting on our site.  If you want them to come up on Nov 30th they need to be post dated and published.  


Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Library in Alexandria ,Egypt

The Library in Alexandria is the most ancient library that we know of . It contained valuable scrolls of the ancient world which were lost when Julius Caesar burnt it down during his campaign in Egypt. It was only rebuilt in the 20th century and has a back wall which ,on the exterior has images of ancient heiroglyphics .The woman depicted comes from a frieze on the wall of Tutankhamen's tomb.

Saturday, 7 November 2020

Virtual reality tour

 One of the things that inspired me to suggest this was a virtual reality tour of 10 libraries in a video created by Robert Lepage, a local brilliant director.  I have no idea where or how you would be able to see it, but there is a 4 minute trailer that you can watch.  The beginning is how our tour started, in what seems to be a small, personal library.  Then you go into a room with lamps with green shades and you put on the VR glasses.  And then you can see all the libraries -some very old, and look around at all there is to see in them.  It's very moving.  You get just a hint of it in the last minute.  If you ever have a chance to see "the Library at Night" it is well worth it.

If the link doesn't work, google The library at night and then click on the trailer.

Sunday, 25 October 2020

LIbrary challenge - thank you

It's been a while but I'm finally making a piece that is talking to me, and it's all down to Dianne's choice for our next challenge. Thank you. I'm thoroughly enjoying the process of choosing fabrics and filling spaces with quilting. I suspect the final piece isn't going to be too exciting but falling back in love with the process definitely is

We have an amazing library in the John Rylands Library in Manchester - There are lots of amazing images on Google, once you get past the Harry Potter shots, but the history of the library and its' collections are interesting too.

But in the end this wasn't the library for me, or at least not at the moment when a visit isn't sensible. I've moved on to a library I visited just before our UK lockdown the impact of which I can still recall.  

This badly lit photo isn't giving much away, though some may guess my inspiration source from it, but you can't have a blog post without a photo! 

Saturday, 5 September 2020

Mies Van der Rohe

   I didn’t enjoy this challenge as I am not a fan of modern architecture. It is  too cold, bleak and clinical for my taste. All I could see were the straight lines disappearing into the distance (I wish I’d found that staircase!), so I tried to do something with those. Like Rosemary I liked the view of the buildings when looking up, and decided to use that in an abstract quilt. My original design was similar to Rosemary’s, but it was in plain colours: blue to represent the sky and I decided on an orange to represent the building. It was really boring as there was nothing to hold the interest, the lines just leading the eye off the quilt. Finally I decided to make four ‘buildings’ leading into the centre of the quilt, changing the colours around as the orange was a bit too overwhelming. I hand dyed some ombré fabrics, which took two attempts to get something that I could use. The blue fabric could have done with being a bit darker at the centre. I experimented with using inktense to darken it on some scraps, but it was too patchy, and when I tried using Markal with a stencil brush, the colour didn’t really go, so in the end I left it as it was as I was worried about ruining it. I hated it, and felt that I’d just made a glorified quilt block! However, once I’d quilted in the black lines, I decided it wasn’t quite as bad as I thought. It hasn’t photographed very well, the blue looking a uniform colour however I photograph it. The only way that you can see a difference is in the black and white photo.

Seagram Image chosen

This is the image of the Seagram Building which I chose to interpret. I liked the perspective .

Friday, 4 September 2020

Mies van der Rohe

 Here is Rosemary's piece.  

If anyone is using a Mac and would like to help her be able to upload an image and not just text, both she and I will be very grateful.  It just isn't logical.


Tuesday, 1 September 2020

The library???

 My first thought was panic but this was quickly replaced by thoughts about a potential source of inspiration - one to be explored before committing to publically!

Then I remembered a "library" created many years ago for a dear friend. At the time I belonged to a round robin group of seven friends and we went through the usual styles of round robins before breaking out and making our own rules. This friend invited us to each make a bookshelf  which she added to to make this bookcase. I'm not embarrassed to admit that given my friends antipathy to dusting I made the shelf with the, now faded, polish spray and duster lingering amongst the books.

What Will You Put on My Bookcase?
​by Margaret Menzies