Sunday, 31 August 2014

Message from Pamela

Hi all
We moved house on thurs
I am unable to post to blog from my iPhone All the pieces are magnificent This is an extraordinary bunch of talented women Can't wait to do my piece And i love the next color Helena Love to you all Pam

Pamela Chasen


I loved the colour when Colleen announced it and had a couple of ideas in mind but it was a disappointing piece in a lamination workshop that gave me this idea.  The gel medium applied in a 'dry brush' style seemed at first a disaster - her eyes hadn't been captured (see below).  The face was empty and I was about to bin it when someone suggested I embroider the missing bits back in.  I love a challenge.  The embroidered details have been designed and digitized in my Bernina software.

I discovered that the additional details needed to be quite subdued colour to avoid standing out starkly - and lining up the embroidery and the image was tricky.  I think I need to add a bit more of her hair.  It was a conscious decision not to add the pink face paint.


The original photo

'Cutout' filter image

The workshop piece

When I first saw the colour, and after printing it out, there were quite a few variations of grey in the sample.  Nevertheless, I was feeling very daunted by the challenge as I don't usually work in grey and am definitately a person who loves bright colours - so I guess the answer is 'combine the two'.  This is a very simple piece with no special techniques but the more I worked on it the more another idea came into my head.  We have a challenge which is to be revealed in November within our local quilt art group.  We have to choose a song title and work around that - watch this space and when the reveal is over I will post it up for you.  It is much bigger, with a lot more interest.  Therefore, on two fronts this has been a great challenge, and fun too!

Storm 1

As I was driving home from the grocery store one day - 3 months ago - I was taken by the black clouds that were building in the sky, and the bright green of the spring time trees below them.  And then I got home to see Colleen's post with the colour grey!  So I knew then what I would do.  I also had in my head the memory of a roadside scene in South Africa of an ominous sky over a golden field. 

So this is the first of a series I think.  The others are still in my head. 

And here in Montreal this morning it is a grey day with rain forecast -  a great day to be sitting here looking at all the great interpretations of the colour.

Jinnie's grey quilt

I have almost finished my quiltlet: I just have to add some 'moss'. We have visitors this afternoon and it might be a struggle for me to post it today, so if I don't manage it , it will definitely be done tomorrow. I found the colour grey to be difficult, never having really considered it before: I much prefer bright saturated colour. However I have always loved the contrast of dark stormy slate grey skies against the various shades of green of the countryside. I tried to use this, but my first attempt ended in the scrap bag: perhaps it will come in useful for something else, but definitely not for this. Then I began to panic, and began to think that I would never come up with anything, until I found inspiration under my feet on wednesday. I painted my fabric on thursday,  did the appliqué on friday and finished quilting and binding it yesterday. With the 'moss' I will be able to use the slate grey and green combination. I am impressed by the quilts that have been posted so far and will add my comments later. A bientôt!


I found this colour very interesting.  I went thru my photographs and found quite few possibilities. The one I settled on was a picture that I had taken on holiday at the Berg a couple of years ago. It is of the wooden fence that surrounded the veranda of our cottage. The fence is very old and sun bleached and fitted the challenge.

Here it is !   I photographed the fence onto light lutradur, used Inktense pencils to add some colour to the grey background cloth, placed the Lutradur on top of the three layers and stitched into the Lutradur using the image as a guide.  Once finished I cut the excess Lutradur away and quilted the rest of the piece.


I'm sorry ...

Having posted my teaser, and painted and marked my fabric I managed to construct over half my piece before our Festival of Quilts.  Unfortunately I came away from FoQ with a bad back which I thought would recover with rest but it hasn't so now I'm waiting for a Chiropractor appointment in ... September. I daren't touch my machine in the meantime so until my back is better I'm afraid that machine work is on hold.
My back problem doesn't stop me from getting on with life but there is something about the way that I sit, particularly at my machine, that aggravates it and I've finally learned to err on the cautious side!
I'll be back as soon as my Chiropractor has worked her magic!


This started as a piece of dyed linen in a class with Leslie Morgan.  The first dyes were spread with a credit card in stripes, and they just kept me thinking about men's pinstripe trousers.  The figures of the men were screen printed on top, using cut pieces of masking tape for the men, which meant my ability to add small details was almost non-existent.

I wanted to try some hand stitching in different yarns, and as I was stitching I found myself thinking about all the bad news currently in the world, and wishing people could ignore their differences and just link hands and live in harmony.  After a few rounds of hand stitching the work was quite lumpy, and so I added some machine stitching to flatten the areas between the men.  Is this one of the possible solutions to the world's problems?; as more 'machines' allow us to communicate more freely via the internet and mobile communications, perhaps we can smooth out the differences between people and achieve a unified whole.

Port Clyde

Port Clyde

Just after our Grey challenge was announced, I was lucky enough to take a one-week holiday, driving down the coast of Maine. Port Clyde is a tiny town at the southernmost tip of a peninsula jutting into the Atlantic, and its claim to fame is as the departure point for the ferry to Monhegan Island, established as an artists’ colony over 100 years ago. Actually, Port Clyde reminded me of Port Wenn, the fictional setting of the Doc Martin series, because of its terrain, its quirky characters, and its fishing culture.

Port Clyde, original photo

When I saw this photo, taken on a very grey day, I knew I had my subject. I especially love the web of wires overhead. 

When playing with the various greys in my stash, I was struck by how the hues become more apparent when the greys are placed next to each other: blue-grey, green-grey, violet-grey, warm grey.

Port Clyde is made of hand-dyes, fused, and machine-stitched with heavy black cotton thread.


Mazelle is a beautiful standard poodle we inherited this spring, she loves watching over her yard. I used an Ultrasuede sample that was made by from the picture of her hair. Although the proportion is not correct, I just had to use it.

Many Shades of Grey 2

As soon as Colleen announced the colour, I knew what it had to be for me: a miniature version of "Many Shades of Grey" (24" x 20") that I made and sold last year.
This is another of my colour explosions mounted on a painted canvas. In real life you can see the glints of silver in the fabric and on the canvas.

Grey Challenge


Below the Surface

I am choosing to use two  pieces that are on display in my solo show for the challenge as the time has flown by for me this summer. They are both collograph prints, which get their texture and line from a rubbing plate, made by drawing into fine pumice gel with the flat end of a square stick. The plate can then be used for printing or rubbings and any other combination of techniques you may desire. Thin acrylic wash is added in layers to fabric (top) or mulberry paper (bottom) that has been sprayed with a fine mist. The first composition is simple but works as both a  landscape of sorts or as an overview of pods or vessel shapes in close proximity. I like how the pumice stone gives a grainy texture to the print and that this one sold at my show.
 The second uses greys  made from mixing ultramarine, burnt sienna, and umber to get both warm and cool variations that work well with their more saturated family members.


Saturday, 30 August 2014

Friday, 22 August 2014

Heads up

The next colour will be chosen by Helena.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Michele's first solo show!

On Saturday, Michele's first solo show, "Below the Surface", opened at the Rigaud Library. This relatively new building has a small gallery, and a terrace that overlooks a pretty river valley.

Work from several of Michele's recent series is on display, perhaps forty pieces in all. It is satisfying to see so many of her pieces in a gallery setting, nicely lit and thoughtfully organized. Many of the works were framed, and others were mounted on gallery canvas. Michele had some large, colourful banners printed out, using one of her images for the background, and hung prominently to alert visitors. She also had some small books custom-printed, filled with her images, and this gave a really professional look to the display.

The opening was very well attended, and at least one of the larger pieces was sold. Helena, Colleen and I stopped by to represent both text'art and 12 by the dozen.

Congratulations, Michele, and fingers crossed for lots more sales! The show continues until September 26.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Greetings from France!

   Hello, and thank you for asking me to join you. I only hope I can produce work as good as that I have seen on the site, though don't expect too much of me on the first challenge, though I'll try my best! I'm originally from the north-west of England, but have been living in France now for 20 years.I live in a small town in the southern Paris suburbs, just 25 minutes by train from Notre-Dame. Hilary asked me to say how long I'd been quilting, but I'm not quite sure how to answer that. Do I  count the 'quilt' I made when I was 17? Probably not  as it was made of paper pieced squares which did not fit together because I had no idea that  accuracy was important. I'm not sure that using a broderie anglaise fabric that I found in my scrapbag was a good idea either. Twenty years later it was an american friend here in France who introduced me to the american method of patchwork, and I was hooked, learning  to do the quilting at ' Le Rouvray', patchwork shop in Paris. I made a few traditional quilts, but I have always been interested in textiles, having tried my hand at knitting, crochet, bobbin lacemaking and embroidery, and even though I like traditional quilts I quickly became interested in more contemporary work. I'm looking forward to the challenges and hoping to make more progress.

Monday, 11 August 2014

A new chapter opens

It is sad that Venetta's health and other pressures on her time have made it impossible for her to keep up with the challenges.  She is building a new house (very stressful) and has a first grandchild (absolutely fantastic) and is still getting over all her health issues.  Venetta, we have so enjoyed your time with us and value all your contributions.  They have enriched our group and your warmth and generosity to us when some of us visited Houston is legendary!  We genuinely will miss you and your creativity.  Please stay in touch and let us know how you are getting on - it will be appreciated.

So, we have a new member - Jinnie Robison who lives in Paris.  I will leave her to introduce herself but she is a great sport because when I cheekily suggested she might like to try to join in the grey challenge - she has risen to the challenge!!!  What a sport.  No pressure Jinnie.

Welcome to the group.  Hope you feel part of us in no time at all.


Festival of Quilts 2014

A quick post (I leave for a few days away in Norfolk in a couple of hours time) to say that the FOQ at Birmingham this year was very enjoyable, hopefully for all.  Hilary, Phil myself and Linda B managed to meet up on Friday after the show for a nice long chat, though sadly we failed to take any pictures of us all together.  Our Canadian friends were greatly missed!

Hilary was busy as always, and I never knew which stand I would find her working on next, whilst Linda B was a stalwart of the main Guild standard, welcoming people and getting them to join the guild.  I treated myself to a three day course with Leslie Morgan (of Committed to Cloth, or C2C) on screen printing and dyeing - no results to show yet, I won't have time to wash them until after my trip to Norfolk.

I had two quilts in the show, neither of which won anything, but both had nice judges comments!

Here's "Balancing Act", started in a workshop with Philippa Naylor last September.  I shall post a picture of "Mistress Mary" when I get back (and have downloaded all my photos of the show).

Saturday, 9 August 2014

For no special reason...

... I am sharing this recent post from Mirka Knaster's blog. I follow her and find her writing insightful. This latest post is about Perfectionism as it relates to art and artists. Perhaps because of my recent experience in a beginners' watercolour class, it really resonated with me. I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Getting excited. And a teaser

In just a couple of days I'll be setting off for our major quilting event in the UK - the Festival of Quilts. There'll be plenty of quilts to see, galleries to view and shopping opportunities but what I look forward to the most is meeting old friends and making new ones. I'm delighted to hear that Phil is coming over again so there will be four of meeting up at some point over the Festival.

In the meantime I offer you my inspiration for my grey piece. Gorgeous though the building is, it's the contents that inspired my work.


Monday, 4 August 2014

Arts Hudson

There is such a nice article in the Arts Hudson magazine that I thought you might all want to take a look at it.  It's a lovely write-up with pictures about Heather and her work.