Tuesday, 20 September 2011

This and that

Back in August I had some friends over for our annual indigo dyeing day. Ruth had been busy preparing a piece of fabric for dunking in the indigo vat and we were all excited to see how it turned out.
This is the prepared fabric
and this is the resulting fabric.
I am amazed at the amount of detail Ruth has created here. It is beautiful. It measures about a metre square and the plan is to use it as the centre of a quilt and surround it with other indigo fabrics that Ruth dyed on previous summer indigo dyeing days. I will keep you posted on how it develops.
As you may remember I was not happy with the amount of quilting I had done on my entry for Festival of Quilts this year and rather than put it away in the cupboard and forget about it I decided that I would continue to work on it.
This is how it looked at Festival (but not quite so wonky!)
I had quilted some of the lichen shapes but ran out of time and didn't quilt enough of them to create the effect I wanted. Having discussed several possibilities with the study group at Committed to Cloth last week, I set about adding extra quilting to some of the areas.

There is still a lot more quilting to do but I'm much happier with the surface that I'm creating now. I'm also pleased that I didn't just put it away!
It has been a horrible day here with lots of rain. Let's hope it will be better tomorrow as I'm off to Llanidloes again to give a talk.
Speak to you soon

Friday, 16 September 2011

A day in London

This is the second time I have written this blog as I was unable to post my first attempt. I think it was because I used a pound sign  - I won't do that again.

Well it would have been silly not to have taken advantage of such a good offer wouldn't it? A return rail  ticket to London that only cost two pounds is too good to be true especially as it would normally be around thirty five pounds! So off to London we went and had a super day visiting the Mall Galleries and the V&A museum.
There were two very good exhibitions on here www.mallgalleries.org.uk The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition was staged in the main galleries. This was like a very good quilt exhibition where there is something for everyone to enjoy. The other was a retrospective exhibition of work by Max Lowry who sadly died suddenly last year at the age of 34. This was a big, bold exhibition of energetic work which was both thought provoking and amusing.
After lunch we walked through St James's Park to catch a tube to South Kensington and it was at this particular time that the heavens opened but it was good to see that all of the pigeon population are not centred around my back garden!
There was a fascinating exhibition at the V&A until 2nd January 2012 called Power of Making. This consists of examples of all manner of items from  3D animation and printing, dry stone walling,  a woven coffin, false eyes, a quilt made from film strips, a bicycle made entirely from wood and glue, extraordinary sugar craft, a dress made from pins and my particular favourite, a larger than life sized gorilla made from wire coat hangers! This is an amazing exhibition which highlights both traditional and contemporary techniques and demonstrates how problems have been solved and ideas explored through making.www.vam.ac.uk/whatson
Not only does the V&A have the most wonderful collections and exhibitions but I think the building is also worth studying. We are very lucky to have museums such as this.
Speak to you soon

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

This and that

While I was away in Belfast Chris was busy in the garage constructing shelves to store all of my dyeing, printing, batiking stuff. For years it has sat on tables, crate upon crate, and required a lot of shuffling about each time I needed to find a specific crate to take to a workshop. Now it is all neatly stored on shelves and I can see clearly where everything is.
I now have the challenge to keep it tidy as it has already been suggested that probably by the end of the month it may not look quite so neat! Cheek!
I was given a very friendly welcome by the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild last weekend. After giving a talk at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum on Saturday morning I was taken around this fascinating museum where traditional crafts can still be seen. This basket was one of many made on site.
I loved the collection of tins and bottles inside this old fashioned shop. It reminded me of trips to the sweet shop on my way home from school where we would buy Black Jacks and sherbet dips, all for a penny!
There were many buildings to explore but this beautiful thatched cottage was one of my favourites. It had a fire burning in an open hearth, soda farls cooking on a griddle and upstairs, the most wonderful stepped chimney breast that partially filled the bedroom.
Since returning home I have completed my June journal quilt. I'm a little concerned that it is now September and I have three more to complete by the end of the month! Anyway the paper laminated skyscrapers have been quilted and bound and I'm ready to move on to my next one.
Speak to you again soon