Monday, 30 August 2010
I have finally finished my Connections piece. It has changed a lot in the last couple of days!!
This piece is about my connection with Australia, place of my birth, sometimes not the best place for me to be, but somewhere I am continually drawn back to.
Originally it was to be an entirely paper (fronted) quilt. I stuck pages from an old book together, painted them, sprayed them, splattered them, then put design of gum leaves and blossoms on them. I have to tell you all this because its not possible to make this out anymore!!
Then I put some reproduction stamps on, in a grid pattern to represent the changes that began with white settlement of this land. The stamps have aboriginals, kangaroos and wallabies on them.
Next I layered up the quilt with wool wadding, and cloth backing, and stitched the gum leaf and blossom design - and that's when it started to go pear shaped. The stitching cut through the paper, except where the stamps were. In what's becoming obvious as a major character flaw, instead of stopping when things werent going right, I kept going!! LOL!!
So then I got the check fabric, another grid reference, layered it up, quilted it with a gum leaf and blossom overall design, and then in green the block design that had torn the paper, and next I picked up each of the torn elements and lightly glued them in place on the new background. An enormously tedious task!!
Tulle over the top - too many grid references? - and then restitch the block design in red, trim, deliberately but only slightly off centre, it looks right, but then when you look closely its not - a reflection of connection - and then bound and finally here!!
OK, I'm going to make my reflections piece a dozen times over or until I'm happy with it, because I now have 2 little quilts I'm not best pleased with!
Sunday, 29 August 2010
Other than that here is a picture of Rayna adding her mark to the cloth we had out for visitors to the CQ Coffee Morning to get involved with (even the NEC staff serving refreshments were drawn in to play!). I actually met Rayna by accident on the first evening while I was running around trying to find Susan Shie. We kept bumping into each other from then on and she always had a smile on her face. I hope you had a good time, Rayna. Her classroom wasn't ideal and she was a real trooper to soldier on.
This is a picture of our Contemporary Quilt booth which we shared with another of the specialist groups of the Quilters' Guild - the Quilt Study group. We had a small retrospective display of the four years our journal quilt project has been running showing how the format has changed each year and that the little quilts cover every technique, style, material, theme possible - and are very achievable.
And here is the wall of our Breakthrough quilts - sorry this is not the best picture but there are 42 quilts spread along a very long wall with a pillar in the way. This faces onto the cafe area so can be appreciated by everyone while they sat and had their refreshment. The quilts are from the last major challenge that CQ organised and which are featured in our first book/catalogue. The next challenge is a new suitcase collection (Childhood Memories), then a fun challenge for the next year's CQ stand at Festival (still to be announced) followed by our major 10th Birthday Challenge for 2012.
Since coming home I have had to finish another quilt for Makower to take to a Quilt Market in Germany - and this is a long weekend here in the UK so my plan to post it in time on Monday was suddenly shot to pieces and had to catch the post yesterday lunch time. Now I have to get quilts and files ready for Hever - a much loved quilt show in the grounds of Hever Castle, home of Anne Boleyn. I'm off to hand over the things at Denbies Vineyard on Tuesday - does that bring back memories Rosie and Dianne? There's an exhibition of journal quilts in Exeter at the end of the month and I have that second quilt and the pattern to write for Makower to finish - and there's that small matter of a quilt on Reflections to start...
Saturday, 28 August 2010
Thursday, 26 August 2010
Here is my Seeing Red piece, I am not happy with it, and I would like to re-make it, but as I'm so late it will have to do till I finish the Connections piece and get on with the new theme... which is???
Anyway, Seeing Red, the Mars Connection. Advances in technology have meant that we can now 'see' the red planet, Mars, with more and more clarity, its getting closer and closer. I've tried to show this with increasing larger planets, and a magnifying glass... will we ever find martians? I mucked up the shadowing on the magnifying glass and instead of stopping and pulling it out, I kept going - only lead to an even bigger mistake!!
Friday, 13 August 2010
While down here Caitlyn attended a dyeing class with my friend Tig at the local craft centre - and she managed 4 T-shirts in a morning. (Apologies for the missing tooth!)
She loves using her hands and is great little sewer. The project is a pre-cut felt handbag with plenty of embellishments. I love the concentration!
So now it is full steam ahead with getting organised for hanging two exhibitions at the Festival - a retrospective of the four years that Contemporary Quilt has been running a journal quilt project and the 42 quilts from our group's Breakthrough challenge. Contemporary Quilt is the arty specialist subgroup of the UK Quilters' Guild. We have nearly 500 members - including our own Linda!
I am taking a two day class on composition with Elizabeth Barton and have promised to meet up with Rayna and say hello on your behalf.
I'm away from Monday till the following Sunday (22nd August) - yippee!
Techniques have been paint, embossing powders, hot spots and foil, glue and glitter powders and the quilting varies from small to large stippling, changing the thread colour and I have included some pearl shapes. These will not hang together as the continuous 9-patch at the top of the purple will have to be continued to flow. The next theme is 'symbols' and this one will go between these two.
Thursday, 12 August 2010
Some of the ideas I considered for Connections included neurons and a map of the London underground. In the end, I thought about how knitting stitches are connections, and about how knitting has connected at least four generations of women in my family. My grandmother taught me to knit, and I know my mother was accomplished in knitting, embroidery and dressmaking. I have stored away baby sweaters that she knit for my sister and me. Now I have taught my daughter to knit. So there has been a transmission of skill that connects us, as well as many expressions of love, in the form of scarves, slippers, sweaters, ponchos, and goofy hats.
The photos of the four women were all taken at roughly the same age, late teens or early twenties. I included transfers of knitting instructions, photos of baby sweaters from patterns, buttons and a corded yarn edging. The background of the piece was a monoprint. I knit up a square of roughly 14" with string and big needles. It was pinned to a cardboard, dabbed with paint, and used to print on hand-dyed cotton. I actually made four of these prints, and it's a good thing too, because much experimentation followed.
I tried to use some of the techniques from my collage workshop, which worked so well with wood and paint. The clear contact paper doesn't lend itself to fabric, though the matte version might have some possibilities. The rice paper also could be helpful for future projects. In the end, it was TAP that worked best, either printed onto a light grey cotton, or directly onto the monoprint base. Ink-jet printed organza was another option, but it yields a more faded, indistinct image. I added tints of colour to the sweater transfers with acrylic paint, mixed with lots of matte medium to make it transparent.
So now it's onto "Reflections." Hmmm….
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
This set shows some examples of straight gathering stitch. Top left shows more widely spaced, wavering lines of stitching, whilst the two on the right were stitched on drawn straight lines. Middle left fabric was folded in half, then stitched in squares, before being gathered tightly. The two pieces at the bottom were pole wrapped; the one on the right was then redipped after it had been removed from the pole.
Top left shows the results of the milk 'pullers', plus cling film. Top right was rolled round a rope, then the ends of the rope tied together. Done twice, from two opposite corners, it was one of the last pieces I did, and is one of the palest. The bottom piece is a mystery; can't remember what I did. In fact, I'm not even sure it's mine - does anyone else recognise it?
These four pieces were all shibori pieces. The left two pieces used a running stitch about 1/4 inch down from a fold, The ones on the left used a straight running stitch, plus knotting on the lower sample.
These six pieces are my favourites. Various shibori techniques, though some did not justify the effort of removing the stitching afterwards. Shame a couple of them are so pale.
And finally... a mixed bag of techniques. Top left shows the 'rolling round a rope' technique; top right was concentina folded, then gathered with a running stitch. Middle sample was just scrumpled into a metal pencil holder (see detail below). As large areas were still white after the first session, I re-scrumpled it and repeated the dipping about three times.
General conclusions - a fantastic three days at Dianne's. Wouldn't have missed it for the world. I think I love shibori effects, but now want to try them with Procion dyes where the results might be more predictable. Pole wrapping also intrigues me, and I'm about to try it for over-dyeing some fabrics.
Monday, 2 August 2010
Thought I would post these pictures of the pieces I made at a 5-day workshop in Ottawa last week, on collage and assemblage, taught by Christina Lovisa. It was great fun for Michele Meredith and me to muck about with spackle, gesso, paint and glaze. Some image transfer techniques would apply to our work with fibre. These pieces were done on scraps of plywood and masonite, and measure 12" - 18" wide, and 16" - 21" high. I was able to use bits of lace, ribbon and buttons. Two of them feature family photos. It was exciting to work in another medium, and I hope some of what I learned will transfer to my work with cloth.