Thursday, 31 January 2013

January Journal Quilt

I decided to sign up to the Contemporary Quilt Group Journal project again this year. I rather like the discipline of producing a small monthly quilt as it is an opportunity to explore and experiment with new ideas.
This year each quilt must be 12in x 8 in with a landscape orientation and each person has to state a theme to follow each month for the whole year. As I had already considered working with an actual landscape theme that is what I have chosen to do. I will also include city and seascapes to allow myself a little lee way!
For January my inspiration came from a photograph I took at the beginning of the month of a beautiful sunset across the Worcestershire countryside. The foreground was inky black but there was so much colour in the sky - just stunning.

There is no piecing in this quilt, just layering of fabrics with the occasional bonded strip.

I enjoy this collage like approach for small pieces of work.

This is the completed quilt with added stitch in both hand and machine although it is difficult to see the hand stitching on the black fabric!

Here's a close up of the stitched detail on the black fabric.
I think next month's quilt is probably going to give me similar photographic problems as I have a snowy landscape to work with. Perhaps I need to improve my photographic skills!
Hope you are having a creative week.

Speak to you soon

Friday, 25 January 2013

Results of snow dyeing

The fabrics are rather interesting. This length was the result of my first experiment - snow, dye solution, soda ashed fabric, snow and more dye solution.

I think because I used dye made into a solution I achieved a fabric with very little white background. I really like the explosions of green/blue surrounded by the magenta.
My second experiment had fewer layers - soda ashed fabric, snow and sprinkled dye powder (rust brown and indigo). The resulting marks on the fabric are much softer but still rather good.

Isn't that selvedge edge rather gorgeous?
In a way I hope that is the end of my snow dyeing experiments for this year. The snow has almost disappeared here and I don't really want to see anymore until next winter!
Yesterday I went to Oxford to visit the Ashmolean Museum where there is an incredible exhibition of Japanese embroidery and tapestry, Threads of Silk and Gold. The work was exquisite and I would definitely recommend a visit although it does finish this Sunday, 27th January.

The textiles were made for western homes during Japan's Meiji era (1868 - 1912) a time when European Impressionist painters were influenced by Japanese art and Victorian homes were filled with Japanese decorative arts and crafts. Exotic birds and animals, blossoms and landscape together with scenes from everyday life were all on display. The workmanship was mind blowing!
I feel the need to stitch!
Have a creative weekend and thank you for dropping by.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Dyeing in the snow

The dyes were out and there was plenty of snow at the Barn today so why not experiment?
I had seen the results of other peoples' snow dyeing experiments so decided to try out some for myself.
I started with some snow in my cat litter tray and while my fabric was soaking in a soda ash solution, I mixed two dye solutions. One solution was a mixture of indigo and golden yellow and the other magenta and charcoal and I dripped both of these over the layer of snow.
I then scrunched my fabric over the top of theses layers and put more snow on top before dripping over the rest of the dyes.
This concoction is now batching in the utility. I really want to rinse it out as I'm eager to see the results. As I write this the snow is falling once more so there may be more opportunity to experiment again later in the week!
Images of snow dyed fabrics to follow soon!

Thanks for reading

Monday, 21 January 2013

A little bit of quilting

At least with a few inches of snow on the ground it is a good excuse to stay indoors and stitch. I must admit I'm ready for it all to disappear now so that life can get back to normal. I'm looking forward to my Textile Inspirations students starting on the first step of their family dyeing session tomorrow and my new course Inspired by Art starts at the Bramble Patch on Wednesday, so let's hope the snow has disappeared by then.
If you have checked out the sixandfriends blog recently you will see that I quilted my latest sushi quilt on Linda's long arm quilting machine last week. Spurred on by this I have now trimmed and bound the edges and started adding some hand quilting to some of the circles.

I like the sharp pimento red thread on the mainly black and white fabrics.

As you can see I decided to bind the edges with grey fabric. Having auditioned black, white, green, red and patterned fabrics this was the colour that worked best. I may add some extra stitching in the binding   when I have completed the quilting within the blocks.
At last I have finished the skirt I started making before Christmas - that was my first mistake! Hopefully it will fit when I have lost the extra Christmas pounds that seem to have collected around my waist!
I hope you have had a productive weekend too.

Speak to you soon

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

A new term

It's always good to get back into some kind of routine after the Christmas holidays and yesterday was the start of a new term for my Textile Inspirations students.This term we are looking at colour inspired by a favourite painting, so armed with a pile of magazines and a gridded copy of their source they set about matching the main colour in each section. Once completed the next task was to add a small cut out shape of magazine to represent another colour seen in each section. The results were very exciting and I thought they were definitely worth sharing with you.
Ann worked with long thin rectangles which echoed the bamboo
Annette challenged herself with this explosion of colour
Jan's favourite painting translated in an interesting way
Jenny produced a design full of colour
Jill's painting by Martin Procter inspired this colourful scheme
Kathy's photograph inspired this layout
A colourful bag was the starting point for Rita's design
The colours of a painting by Van Gogh inspired Sheila
Sue was inspired by this beautiful painting
Trish worked with this painting by Joan Miro
This still life inspired Wendi

Ineke and Ruth made a start on the next activity which was to paint papers to match their colour swatches and develop more possible designs.
Next time we will be dyeing fabrics appropriate to these exciting colour schemes so it will be interesting to see how these initial ideas develop over the next few weeks.
Hope you have found these inspirational and thank you for reading.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

New for 2013

As it is the beginning of a new year I thought I would add a couple of new workshops to my list. I have taught these workshops a few times over the last year and I have had an excellent response to them.

Colour Confidence is as it suggests - providing a few simple rules to give students confidence to put together an exciting colour scheme. I am amazed at the number of students in workshops who say they are not confident with colour when the joy of patchwork is working with colour. Hopefully this workshop will change that!
I am offering this workshop at Littleheath Barn, Bromsgrove B60 1HU on Thursday 7th February. If you would like to join this class or would like further details then please email me.

The second new workshop is Pojagi Piecing.Those who follow the sixandfriends blog will know that I made a piece of work for our latest Orientation exhibition using this traditional Korean technique. I taught a workshop at Forge Mill Needle Museum during the exhibition and here are some of the pieces in progress.

I provide threads and hand dyed cotton organdie for everyone to use in this single layered technique.

There are several methods of stitching the seams which create the main structure of the design.
This is a hand stitching workshop so for once, the sewing machine can be left at home. All you need is a simple sewing kit!
If you would like to have a go then I will be teaching a workshop on Tuesday 19th February at Littleheath Barn, Bromsgrove, B60 1HU. Please email me for further details.

Starting on Wednesday 23rd January at The Bramble Patch, Weedon Northamptonshire, I will be teaching a day a month course over 6 months, Inspired by Art. If you would like to experience new and different ways of developing your own designs, inspired by your favourite artists, why not have a go?
During the six sessions there will be opportunities for dyeing and printing fabrics appropriate to your designs for use in at least one completed piece of work.
For more information either email me or contact The Bramble Patch.

One of my new year challenges was to knit and make clothes and I'm pleased to say I have knitted a scarf and cut out a skirt ready to stitch.
The scarf is made from Rowan Kidsilk Creation, an impulse buy whilst Christmas shopping (it was half price!) and I knitted it on New Year's day while relaxing and catching up with recorded TV programmes. With only 2 stitches per row it grew very quickly!
I will keep you updated on the progress of the skirt - it's been a few years since I made clothes!
Speak to you soon