Monday, 29 February 2016


Hello everyone ,
I now feel as though I am officially a member and am looking forward to participating in the "Artist " series ,daunting as it may at present feel .
I thoroughly enjoyed looking through all the colour series and intrigued with the may different styles and techniques which you all used.
Rosemary (Rush)

Square Roots challenge

Landscapes of the Imagination, 16 x 16
Here is the piece I was telling you about.

Because of a change in the sizing midway through the initial layout, (yes never do this) I made the design much harder for myself to complete to my satisfaction. Hopefully in my next attempt at this new size I will not be fighting with such a dominant element running up the center, (the gold) in order to balance the final composition and will be thinking in square and not rectangle from the start. Oh well, I think it works as a surprise element here and the green and red move you around.


  I found it hard to choose a subject and found myself hesitating between  the beautiful mimosa blossoms that I saw in a garden near here a few weeks ago, sunflowers, tansy and this image of bees and honeycomb I had in my mind. The bees won. It came together fairly easily ( markel through a stencil and a bit of embroidery), except for the wings, which were really fiddly: my first attempt ended in shredded silk organza when I applied them.

Did someone say yellow?

There's not a lot to say about this other than it was an exercise in varying the thread colour and quilting pattern to observe the effects.
Interestingly the threads varied from a mustard yellow to white in colour and from 12 to 50 in weight. There's a rayon thread in there as well as cotton and polycotton. All of this is totally over-ridden by the quilting patterns:

Yellow Challenge

Fields of Gold Continued..
Our final colour challenge of yellow was a good fit for my current work, with a gold and blue needlefelted piece just recently finished. As the  jewel tones in my silk stash dwindle, I have added only a few earth tones and will be sure to make future purchases paying careful attention to value as well as colour, especially now that we plan to work much larger. Gold is a very dominant colour (and a higher value than I suspected) so a little can go a long way but how it shines and brings life!!

 I love having the pleasure of silk to work with and it has been my saving grace this winter to keep me engaged in colour, texture, and thinking about simple design. As you can see there is still a fascination with the diagonal going on for me and landscapes seen from above, and so it continues....
I have just finished a piece in our new size, 16x16, for a local fibre challenge called "Square Roots". It has been a heads up for me to shift my thinking again to a square format, most often in an asymetrical composition. Always good they say, to mix it up.

Yellow ... a bit of fun

Taxis in my country have quite a reputation. They seem to have a different set of road rules, they more often than not are overloaded with passengers, they hoot continuously, play very loud annoying music, rev like mad and a lot of them are yellow.

As this is the last colour in this series I thought I would finish with a bit of humour along the lines of a comic piece.  Unfortunately I knew where I was going very early in the challenge but for some reason I left it to the last minute and almost ran out of time. Not 100% happy, in fact I may redo it but this is it for the moment.

Sunny Side Up

When Dianne announced 'Yellow' I didn't have a flood of ideas but I loved the thought of being able to choose more than one shade.  I have long admired simple collages and pieces with clean lines so this was the route I took.  I pulled out all my scraps of yellow, auditioned and rejected some and settled on this combination hoping that I had enough contrast and variety.

The black scribble-circle took almost as long to do as the rest of the quilt.  It is a piece of fancy knitting yarn and none of the feet I have for my sewing machine worked in stitching it down in a smooth curve.  In the end it was pinned with lots and lots of pins and stitched carefully.

The letters in the middle are stamped acrylic print paint.

I am not totally happy with the edge treatment in that I still feel I should have used a deep corn coloured thread instead of the blue (taken from the blue wavy stripe).  I used a fancy stitch to hold the gold coloured cord on the edge of the piece.  I feel it draws my eye to the edge and I don't think it is always necessary to 'frame' a piece. It goes to show that although I made several samples I wasn't able to see the end effect until it was too late.  Fiddly but I will do this again. 

This has been a really good series and I've enjoyed it and the places it has taken me.  I've loved seeing what everyone else has done and often thought - Oh, I wish I had thought of that! or Wow!



When I travelled to New Zealand over Christmas I took with me a whole stack of yellow fabrics and decided to work on my "yellow" piece whilst I was there.  I decided to do a variation on a sunflower and after doing the first one I enjoyed that so much so proceeded to do another and that led to a third variation on a theme.  Instead of having three variations separately I then thought it might be a good idea to join them altogether and make a frieze, so this evolved, and as I liked them all and instead of choosing one of them I am putting up the whole piece as I couldn't decide which one I liked the best, so instead of putting up three separate pieces I am giving you all the whole frieze, and as it is the last colour in this series I thought it might be fun just to do it this way.

I will give you the artists challenge in the next day or so.  As my computer has developed a glitch Hilary has very kindly offered to put this up for me so hopefully I can get things sorted out with my computer in the next day or so.



For this final instalment in our colour series, Dianne's yellow challenge, I decided to work from a photo taken on my holiday last fall in the south of France.

Haut-de-Cagnes, 11 x 8.5
I think the sunny yellow conveys some of the warmth of my experience in the hillside town of Haut-de-Cagnes. Paired with the blue of the sky, it's a typical Proven├žal combination. Hand-dyes and commercial prints were both used, with a little water-soluble pencil for shading.

photo taken in Haut-de-Cagnes, September 2015
For this series, I have created twelve Cityscapes in a rainbow of colours. It is satisfying to look back and see the whole collection. I would like to think doing this series has taught me something about colour and composition!

Looking forward to seeing everyone's response to the challenge, and to launching our next series, when we respond to fine art of the modern period.

Yellow Bird

As usual, I was totally unprepared for this challenge, other than having dyed a piece of bamboo/silk fabric a wonderful bright yellow.  I find yellow a difficult colour to work with and I was completely devoid of ideas, and fast running out of time.  I wanted to use purple with the yellow, as that is an almost automatic pairing for me, but not too much.  I found a couple of orange/browns that I liked, then stalled again.

It is a long while since I have tried weaving fabric strips together, but I had a feeling that this might work with my fabrics.   I drew a couple of random shapes on paper, then pieced them together.  I immediately could see a yellow bird, and that impression was still there when I had woven the strips together.  I used Steam-a-seam-two-lite as a backing, and for the first time wished I had used Bondaweb instead.  The stickiness of the Steam-a-seam worked wonderfully when the strips were in the right position, but it made sliding them into place almost impossible.

I quilted the piece using black thread to roughly draw a bird shape over the yellow areas, then filled the rest with a mixture of spirals (because I like them) and leaf type meanders.

I like the finished piece, but I'm looking forward to working larger, even though my last minute tactics are going to be more of a problem!

Campfire Eggs

My objective was to use Texture Magic, a product I purchased 4-5 years ago and have never used. Sound familiar? Heather jokingly suggested that scrambled eggs would fit the bill.

This is a 3-D piece, the frying pan is a painted piece of foam. Texture Magic is a light weight interfacing type fabric that is quilted onto a piece of fabric. I used a small stipple stitch to give a more dense-like texture. Once quilted steam is applied to shrink the fabric and create the texture.


I have signed up for a masterclass with Elizabeth Barton and the February assignment was to explore movement.  I discovered that this is not easy to do if you exclude people and things actually moving.  I started with skiers going down a hill in my drawings and decided to eliminate the people and with a suggestion from EB as I wanted to be more abstract, the yellow sky was tried out - and seemed to go beautifully with my indigo dyed fabric.  This piece became a sample for my quilting.  I can't say I'm totally pleased with it, but the big piece looks better for having experimented so I have posted that too. 

8 1/2 x 11

about 18x24

Snow Bubbles

One of my greatest winter pleasures is walking with my dog on the frozen lake across from my house. The snow is clean and fresh and when the sun is shining, it feels like being on the beach. This winter, though, the weather has been up and down a lot, with little snow and lots of freezing rain. Walking on the lake is too dangerous now. But about a month ago, the conditions were perfect for walking, though the thermometer hovered around -25 with howling winds. I snapped a photo of the patterns on the snow, which was my inspiration for this piece.
Made with my hand dyed fabric, covered with black silk organza.

Friday, 26 February 2016

The numbers are wrong!

I'm really looking forward to this challenge, the larger size is a bit daunting but I'm hoping to discover some new artists through your choices!
Here's one I did earlier - unfortunately Van Gogh died in 1889 and the piece is only 6" x 4" but it was a great exercise in looking closely!

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Our new adventure!

Drumroll please!

Patricia - you have the honour of starting us off. 

The guidelines for our next challenge as summarized by Hilary are:

1.    Members will choose a fine artist (painter) when it is their turn and the rest of us are free to choose to be inspired by any painting by the artist.  You must post a picture of your chosen work of art by the artist together with your own piece.

2.    The artist can be any from 1880 up to the present time.

3.    The size of the little quilts will be 16” square.

4.    As before, you can use any style, any technique, any material to express how your piece is inspired by your chosen painting by the artist.

And my big wish to all of us - have fun!


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.