Sunday, 16 November 2014

A new arrival

It's a been a busy and productive week with the best possible results. On Tuesday 11th November Reuben, my fourth grandchild was born, a brother for a very excited Isla!
As you can see at 24 hours old, he is a bonny baby weighing in at 8lb 7oz. I can't wait for my next cuddle!
Of course Reuben had to have a play mat and I really enjoyed doing some 'proper' patchwork to make this for him.
It was fun exploring different arrangements using equilateral triangles and I was pleased with the final decision to use the red fabrics at the top and the bottom of the piece and the binding.
As I was otherwise engaged on Tuesday Ineke took over the teaching of my weekly Textile Inspirations class which is held at Littleheath Barn. During the previous session Ineke had been working on a scroll and as everyone was keen to use their machine embroidery samples produced this term this seemed like a brilliant idea to incorporate them.
base fabric

top fabrics

I have sorted through some of my fabrics and samples, added a few screen printed sections and am now ready to compose and stitch.

base fabric
a possible layout
I added to my collection of Namolio linen threads this week - let's call it an early Christmas present!
I think some of these will work beautifully once I start stitching my scroll.
I'll keep you posted and thanks for visiting my blog.

Edwina x

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Whispers Challenge

Our Whispers Challenge was very popular with visitors to Stitch in the Middle's latest exhibition Nature and Artifice. Although the exhibition is now over I will show you, as promised, the inspiration and resulting A4 quiltlets.
Two groups took part in the challenge, one with six members and the other with seven. The first person in each group was given this photograph from which to design and make an A4 sized quilt.

These were the resulting quilts from group one.
Jan was the only member of this group to see the photograph. The following quilts were inspired by seeing only the previous quilt.

Group two produced a very different collection of quilts.

Again, as first member of the group, Cheryl had the photograph for inspiration.

Who would have thought that all of these pieces of work had the same starting point and how different the results are in each group.
This was fun challenge for a group and was a great addition to the exhibition.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Nature and Artifice

I have just returned from Weavers Gallery in Ledbury where we have set up the latest exhibition of the Contemporary Quilt Group, Stitch in the Middle. This year's exhibition is 'Nature and Artifice' with the work on display influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement.
As you can see, the exhibition opens tomorrow so we hope you will be able to come and see how we have interpreted the theme. Here's a taster of what is on show.

We have also worked on a  whisper challenge with interesting results. We formed two groups each starting with the same photograph taken by one of the group members during a visit to Wightwick Manor in Staffordshire. Only the first person in each group saw the photograph, the rest of the group had only the previous person's quilt as inspiration.

It is fascinating to see how one quilt inspires the next. I will take some detailed photographs tomorrow when I am stewarding, and I will also include the original photograph that inspired the challenge.
Hope to see you there!


Monday, 20 October 2014

A weekend of treats

Well it was my birthday!
On Saturday we visited Gloucester Cathedral to see Crucible 2, an exhibition of fabulous sculptures. This is the second exhibition of its kind at this venue and I can see exactly why as the Cathedral makes a wonderful setting.
Walking in through the main entrance we were met by Pilgrim by David Backhouse . What an amazing face.

Then through the door to be confronted with The Thief by David Mach. An imposing, larger than life sculpture.
Mach uses mass produced items, in this case wire coat hangers, from which to construct his work.
One of my favourite pieces was Sue Freeborough's Let There be Spaces in your Togetherness.
It was a difficult piece to photograph but I found it a powerful sculpture especially where it was positioned within the chancel.
All of the Cathedral is used to display the 100 sculptures, from the Crypt, the Cloisters to the College Green.
In the Cloister Garth was Beyond Silence by Ann Christopher, such a contrast to the architecture surrounding it in this peaceful garden in the centre of the Cloisters.
Lynn Chadwick's two sculptures Sitting Couple on a Bench and Jubilee IV dominate the green near to the Cathedral entrance.
This exhibition is on until 31st October and definitely worth a visit as is Gloucester Cathedral which has wonderful architecture, stained glass windows and other works of art.

As the sun was shining yesterday we decided to find some autumnal colours and visited Bodenham Arboretum which is situated between Kidderminster and Bridgnorth. We were not disappointed!

We needed a walk after brunch with the family and as you can see, it was enjoyed by all!
After the celebrations I must get down to making a play mat for a new member of the family due to arrive next month, a brother or sister for my beautiful granddaughter.
Hope you have all had as much fun as I have this weekend.

Speak soon

Sunday, 12 October 2014


I know that some people clean the windows or tackle a pile of ironing when they are working through their ideas for new work - I attack piles of fabric, books, papers etc lying on the floor of my workroom!

This leads to a major sort out because I then decide to remove the Horn cabinet that I have used for more than twenty years and invest in a Sewezi table to make better use of the space in my workroom.

I have also ordered an extension table which I will be able to set up either next to the machine table or somewhere else in the room depending on what I am doing.
It was quite frightening to see quite how much white fabric I have in my workroom. In fact enough to fill a blanket box! I have to admit I had to stand on the fabric to squash it down far enough for the lid to close! What I haven't admitted to are the bolts of white fabric which are hidden away in the cloakroom. I think it must be time to start on some new work and have a dyeing session.
All of my local courses have now started and the students are producing some exciting work as usual. One of the exercises was to 'draw' with scissors and collage the resulting papers. Most people worked on a large scale as you can see.
Liz's clock mechanics.
Jan  and Jenny working on their collages.
Love Ruth's spirals.
Trish was inspired by a recent trip to Paris.
Jill's take on a circuit board.
I'm looking forward to seeing how these collages develop over the next few weeks.

Thanks for visiting.


Monday, 22 September 2014

A few days in Lisbon

An old school friend and I spent a few days in Lisbon recently and found it to be a fascinating city. The architecture is amazing, even the buildings that are only shells, hold a certain magic. We found the hop on, hop off buses the best way to see the different areas which was great when the sun shone but not so good on the rainy days, especially when we didn't realise that the seats were wetter than we thought and both had a nasty surprise when we stood up!!
Here are a few highlights from our trip.
Torre de Belem, built in the 16th century in the Manueline style on the banks of the River Tagus.

This amazing Discoveries Monument, a little further east along the river, was built in 1960 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of  Henry the Navigator, who led Portugal's discovery expeditions into the New world.

It is in the Belem district that the famous Pastel de Nata (Portuguese egg custard tart) were first made and of course they had to be sampled. I understand that it is compulsory to eat at least two with a bica (coffee).

Several thousands of these tarts are made daily at the Pasteis de Belem where we partook of the delicacies!
Other highlights of our visit were the amazing pavements,
the building art,
a trip to see the palaces of Sintra,

in particular Pena Palace (below),
which had a fascinating courtyard with walls and floor covered in a wide variety of tiles.

Back in the city centre there were wonderful views from the many hills which could be enjoyed from the steps while eating dinner.
Castelo de Sao Jorge can be seen in the distance.

Back home now and preparing for the start of my new courses this week.
Chris was busy while I was away setting up his new blog, do take a look as all comments and feedback would be much appreciated.
Thanks for visiting, I'll be back soon.