Friday, 18 July 2014

Here, there and everywhere!

It certainly feels as though I have been here, there and everywhere over the last few weeks. I hate to think how many hours I've spent in my car in the heat with no air conditioning but I had a free day today so it's been to the garage and is hopefully now fixed. So that's probably the end of the summer weather!!
The Pojagi workshop I taught in Southampton produced some lovely pieces of work.
Everyone enjoyed working with the hand dyed cotton organdie and to have the excuse to sit and hand stitch all day. This is not a quick technique but the results are worth it.
The students went home armed with a lot more fabric so I'm hoping that these will develop into larger pieces.
I stayed with old friends so it was good to catch up and have the obligatory walk by the sea. Living in the Midlands this is an essential part of any trip to the coast.
I love a train trip to London and I managed to fit one in and visit the Making Colour exhibition at  The National Gallery and an added bonus, the Summer Exhibition at The Royal Academy. Something that has been on my 'to do' list for a long time. Both not to be missed, but for very different reasons!
Another excursion on my 'to do' list was the Eden Project near St. Austell in Cornwall and we escaped down there for a few days last week. This is an amazing place to visit with so much to do and see. It is also a photographers paradise with so many unusual plants to capture and drool over later. Here are one or two of my favourites.

Needless to say the rainforest biome was my favourite.
The last few days have been spent stitching, printing and dyeing - what joy! I have finished quilting 'Matera' that I printed last year in Italy following a trip to this wonderful town. I have used a variegated thread and quilted vertical lines over the whole piece. I felt that the quilting needed to be simple to allow for the design and colours to dominate.
This will be on display on the Mettler stand at Festival of Quilts next month. Do come along and see it.
I have been busy printing some banners for the stand this week.
Here they are having just been printed and pegged up to see how they look. This piece may be on the stand as well. I placed the Lutrador over a length of cotton poplin so that any excess printing ink would not be wasted. A few hours later and an application of dye and this was the result drying on the washing line!
More out and about next week before teaching at Oxford Summer School and then it's Festival of Quilts. Who says summer is for relaxing!

Thanks for reading.
Bye for now

Monday, 23 June 2014

Exhibition photos

What a fabulous weekend for an exhibition! If you didn't manage to visit here is a selection of images of some of the work on display from students attending my Textile Inspirations, Journal Days and Block of the Month courses. Apologies to students I haven't included!

The following images are of Ineke's students work.

I treated myself to a little relaxation this afternoon and watched Andy Murray win his first round match at Wimbledon and then went into the garden and dyed some cotton organdie in preparation for a Pojagi workshop I will be teaching next week in Hampshire.

Now off for an evening walk by the river in the sunshine.

Thank you for visiting.


Saturday, 21 June 2014

Exhibition open!

Our Textile Arts exhibition opens today at 10am. The sun is shining, the work is displayed and the coffee and cakes are ready to be served! Hope you can join us.

Here's a taster - photos taken last evening as the sun was low in the sky!

I will post some more photos next week.

Have a good weekend.


Monday, 16 June 2014

Playing with colour

I spent a very enjoyable session last week experimenting with a new colour palette.
I used Procion dyes thickened with print paste (Manutex) and applied the dye with an old credit card. It's great fun playing with colour mixes like this even if you don't have access to your inspirational photo!
I started with golden yellow and a small amount of dark brown dye and then gradually changed the value by mixing in more and more print paste. For once I was sensible and noted down what I was doing each time so that hopefully I will be able to achieve the same colours again! Usually I enjoy the  serendipity of dyeing but as I have an end goal I thought I would practice what I preach!
Once I had created a colour run I then added different dyes to the pots - just to see what happened. I experimented with adding scarlet to the 4th pot and then diluting it with print paste, turquoise to the 5th pot and royal blue to the 6th pot. The greens in the next row up are a mixture of pot 6 and the royal blue. As you can see this is very addictive and it is amazing the wonderful colours that result.
The coloured section on the side of the chart is the result of cleaning off my credit card each time I had recorded the colour. I'm sure this will find it's way into a piece of work.
This is the photograph that I was inspired by. It is a stained glass window in Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford.
Apologies for the wonky image but I must say I was quite impressed by the colours I had produced.
The next stage in the process is to use these experiments as a guide to dyeing a collection of cloth. This is working towards one of several pieces of work for an exhibition next year - I hope you are impressed by this early start!
We managed to spend some time in the garden this weekend and one of the major jobs was to trim the bay tree which was getting out of hand. As you can see, it makes quite a statement.

Unfortunately with the trimming of the tree we removed four pigeon nests but I'm sure they will find somewhere else to take up residency nearby.
This one was a double decker! How the eggs stay in the nest is quite beyond me as the nests are flat.

Just a reminder about our exhibition this weekend. Looking forward to catching up with many of you at Avoncroft Arts Centre and if you can't get there I promise to post some images next time.

All for now and thanks for reading.


Monday, 9 June 2014

Exhibition time

Here's a date for your diary!
I can't believe that it's time again for Ineke's and my students to exhibit their fabulous work that they have produced over the last year. I hope you will be able to come to Avoncroft Arts Centre to enjoy the work and have a chat over a cup of tea and a piece of homemade cake. We look forward to seeing you!
At home I'm still stitching facings and bindings onto my quilts for Identity and quilting an extra piece which will be laced around a canvas to be displayed at the same gallery at Festival of Quilts. I am really enjoying quilting this.

It is a mixture of machine and hand quilting on a background created from a collection of my indigo and potassium permanganate dyed fabrics. The canvas is 120cm x 40cm so there's a lot of stitching still to do.
Last week a group of us visited Kelmscott Manor in Oxfordshire, the summer home of William Morris and his family for many years. Unfortunately we picked the wettest day of the summer(!) so far but this didn't spoil our time there. It's a fascinating house with collections of textiles, furniture and ceramics produced by William Morris and his contemporaries. I liked the way Morris hung his textiles not only as curtains but as wallhangings. We all decided that we could happily move into the attic space which would make a fabulous studio.

A beautiful garden full of traditional plants and I even managed to find a plan for the garden.

Let's hope the next time I write we will have had some sunshine.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, 2 June 2014

A busy month

May seems to have flown by but with a lot achieved. Hopefully June will move at a slower pace, although looking at my diary, not much slower!
Our week in Scotland was wonderful. It was so good to catch up with friends north of the border and to take part in the last Loch Lomond Quilt Show.

There were nine venues for the various exhibitions in churches from Dumbarton to Balloch, a town on the banks of Loch Lomond.
Sushi quilts in the chancel
Four Seasons across the pews
My quilts were in Riverside Church in Dumbarton together with over 250 quilts from 22 groups taking part in a Chinese Whispers challenge.
This was a fun challenge. Each group started with a photograph of the Clyde Arc, known locally as the Squinty Bridge, a road bridge that crosses the river Clyde in Glasgow. This photograph was only seen by the first person in the group who made a quilt inspired by it. This quilt then passed on to the next person who made a quilt inspired by the first quilt, and so on. It was amazing to see how the ideas developed over the course of the challenge. Unfortunately I didn't take any photographs!
There are some beautiful windows in this church. I went up into the balcony to photograph this one which is behind the altar.
The colours were so vibrant with beautiful shading through the angels wings and drapes.
The above image is of the Millennium Window which was designed and painted by John K.Clark This window is situated above the main entrance to the church. Such an interesting contrast between the two.
Once back from Scotland the pressure was on to complete three quilts for photography for the Art Textiles catalogue. This I managed apart from bindings and facings but there were a few late nights! I must now work on the bindings to make sure I'm not stitching them the week before Festival of Quilts. Here are a few tasters.

I hope you are all managing to meet your deadlines for up and coming exhibitions.
Thanks for reading and speak to you again soon.