Friday, May 23, 2014
In my case I've been making pieces for the next 10+ exhibition - http://www.tenplustextiles.com/exhibitions.html Unfortunately when I came to mount my work today I discovered that a couple of the frames I'd planned to use are slightly damaged. I've had them in the house for several weeks so I can't be sure when the damage occurred so I'm going to have to write them off, I just hope I can get replacement frames quickly! So instead of a picture of the work here is one of the cards I've made to sell alongside my quirky bird pictures, which are being re-named 'too fat to fly' in my head!
Saturday, April 05, 2014
I'm still stitching. Sometimes my choice of stitch feels quite forced at others it flows nor does that seem to change with time.
I had no plan for the pieces when I began and every one who sees them assumes that I will be sewing them together at the end. At the moment that is the only thing that I am sure of - these pieces will not form a patchworked textile!
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
I like Shelley's work but it is so far from anything I've ever done that I was either going to love or loather my day. Fortunately I loved it and I can see the exercises that we did becoming part of my practice. Shelley was both giving and patient which removed the workshop paralysis that I often experience, though I did struggle during the second half of the day In some respects there was little that was totally new but the presentation and variety of exercises all slotted together and made sense. For a literal person like me, it was an extremely free-ing day. You can see the small bundle of letters that I used as my 'one thing' to the the right of this set of exercises:
Rather than loose the impetus by putting my materials away until I could find time, I've selected the bits that best represent what we did and have created myself a reference book. But the element that I will definitely be exploring sooner rather than later are these marks:
Saturday, March 22, 2014
I've had an Evernote account for ever or so it seems (Since the time of the day job, which seems like forever ago!) and never really got to grips with it. This morning I decided that I either closed the account or got to grips with it. In true visual learner style I turned to YouTube and came acros a video by Paul Boag about how he uses Evernote. As I seem to be in need of some organisation, I've decided to give it a go. I've also subscribed to ifttt which I hadn't heard about before. If that works a link to this post should appear in my under-used (Since the day job.) twitter account!
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Yesterday was a case in point. I've three large-ish quilts that are nearing completion but are frustrating me for different reasons. Yesterday I decided to add more quilting to the one that I used an experimental grid pattern on and then I decided that I didn't like. If I'd written that down as an item on my list it would have read 'do quilting' and I'd have done what I did and added the extra quilting, but somehow the time spent sewing felt as though it had had no impact on my work.
I'm a starter not a finisher so whilst I love starting new projects and thinking about starting new projects I actually get a lot more self-satisfaction when I finish things.
So from now items like yesterdays quilting will be written differently, instead of 'do quilting' it will be recorded as 'Finish quilting' (Even though I
may not even have started it!!!) and I'm going to see if I can create more completion goals to up my sense of using my time purposefully!
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Friday, March 14, 2014
Using my Gelliplate printed fabrics has made this interesting for me, but I need to print some more for April onwards. More often than not when I've been printing I put my fabrics to one side, that 'Too nice to cut up' mentality kicks in and then they become too special and lurk in the back of the cupboard. So this time, knowing that I wanted to use them for the JQ's I cut them into pieces before they went into the cupboard. That way I was (Mentally at least!) using up my scraps which I always find more interesting any way!!!
Sunday, March 09, 2014
Then, I sprayed the piece ready to block it and as if by magic one side of the piece turned bright red - some colour from the backing fabric had leeched through! Into the washing machine with a colour catcher it went. The red dye came out easily but so did the colour on the strip cloth - out came the paints. I didn't quite manage to capture the warmth of the original colour, but I was quite pleased with the end result.
The piece has now been handed over and you can see it and the other 'plank' pieces, which vary enormously in size, at www.buyaplank.com/ . The quilts are now available for bidding on the site. They will also be shown together at the British Quilt and Stitch Village in Uttoxeter on 25th, 26th and 27th April 2014 where viewers can place a bid in person. Bidding will finish when that show finishes. All quilts have a starting bid of £75. "May we encourage you to view the gallery and, even if you cannot bid, to enjoy the art, to be inspired to make your own art and to consider how you could use it to help others."
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Guess what the theme for the next Twelve by. The Dozen challenge is! I've had my gelliplate out again and have been having fun. For someone who always finds the 'add some more' way of working difficult the gelliplate is helping me break that habit! Mind you the fabric got a bit shiney in places. ...
Friday, January 17, 2014
I was really pleased with how these little Adrinka symbol squares turned out. Each symbol is only 1" square and I drew and painted them myself but they look as though they could have been printed. I can be just bit clumsy with a paintbrush hence my satisfaction!
It was only when I auditioned them on the on-going African plank piece that I realised that they should have been done on point.......
I've no more of the surrounding fabric so if I did them again there'd be a lot of unpicking as well as the painting to contemplate and I fear that my luck with the paintbrush would run out before I completed the task. What to do?
Monday, January 13, 2014
I've had a quilt top waiting to be layered and quilted for a couple of months. It was a top that I was really pleased with as it expressed my idea as well as it could. For a large part of the surface I used the fragmented log cabin technique that I fell in love with last year but I decided I wanted to try something other than the narrowly spaced lines of quilting that I've used in the past. The narrow lines tend to blend the pieces and make the piecing disappear - I wanted to try something that would echo the piecing so went for a horizontal and vertical grid of 'not quite straight' lines. And I don't like it! I was right in that this style of quilting does echo the piecing but it's all a bit too much. So lesson one is don't use this quilting pattern again.
Saturday, January 04, 2014
Like lots of people I met at K&S show at Harrogate I bought my own Christmas present on behalf of my other half. And, if there were a top ten of presents for contemporary quilters I guess a Gelliplate would have been high on the list and I'm no different. I've always enjoyed mono-printing whenever I've dabbled but didn't necessarily see a place for it in my work, but the idea of creating my own textured fabric does appeal and it's something I've seen a lot of since the advent of the Gelliplate.
However the random, chuck everything at it to see what happens approach wouldn't suit me. Even though this was my first attempt I needed a structure so I went shopping:-
And add myself some stamps:
I used a, commercially printed, very pale mottled grey fabric and printed and removed colour. I used the stamps that I'd removed the colour with to add colour back in, but all the time worked with the same Prussion Blue acrylic. (It was rather old paint and splashed across the plate on more than one occasion!) But I learned a lot, mainly about how little paint you need, but also about not leaving thread ends trailing across the plate!
Needless to say my favourite piece was the one that I put on the plate as I was spraying it to clean it at the end of the session. I thought there was very little paint left until the water droplets started to move the colour around:
I now have a batch of fabrics for my 2014 JQ's and am looking forward to my next session when the colour mixing begins!
Thursday, January 02, 2014
Resolutions? Word of the year? Goal statements? Nope, none of the above. Though having decided that it would be useful to record what I did achieve last year I realise that I should make recording what I complete this year a target as I have no record of 2013!
2014 looks like being a good year for stitching. There are some exciting exhibition opportunities coming up, a couple of retreats in the diary as well as some interesting challenges in the offing. Reading through the latest issue of the Contemporary Quilt newsletter I could be kept busy by the challenges in that alone!
One thing I have decided to explore is a hand stitching project that is visited regularly. Kathy Loomis wrote, just before Christmas, about her weekly/daily stitching projects and I found her reasoning behind these projects really appealing. I've tried a weekly project before and abandoned it very quickly. I made it far too complicated and found myself, as ever, focussing far too much on my technique. Subsequent conversations made me realise that I needed something where I could identify an end to a period of stitching and which wouldn't leave me disappointed with myself if I failed to meet a day's target ( My own sense of failure is a sure trigger to make me give up!)
Enter the hand stitch project. The fabric is cut into small pieces 5"x4", and I'm using just one length of thread to 'complete' the stitching. But how often? I've 54 pieces so that's one a week with a couple spare. I'd like to think that I'll do one a day whilst I'm at home but I know that is unlikely so completing the pile in a year will be good enough for me!
And a few that I've completed as a test run!
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Thursday, November 07, 2013
This week I've become even more aware of this 'expertise gained through practice' as I've a) tried a new way of putting a piece together and b) begun to consider a longer term project inspired by comments by Edmund de Waal talking about his 1,000 hours project -
I decided to use a collage technique for my next 12bythedozen piece and happily arranged my chosen components into what I considered an appropriate arrangement but then what? None of my experience applied - did I use glue, hidden stitching, running stitch, overlay with organza then stitch?? There were so many questions it was some time before I realised that I just had to do something to find out whether it was viable for me at all. (The piece is finished, was fun to do but veered away from the original challenge - oops.) Will I do another collage, yes and another, because only in that way will the significance of the technique become secondary to what I want to make - the circle completed!
In thinking about how I could apply Edmund de Waal's re-iteration of a process to an idea that's been stewing in my mind for some time I realised that I was putting technique before the work I wanted to make and my reasons for making it. My idea is something that needs to be 'got on with' but without too much thinking. In this case I have the technical ability and need to let the stitching direct the next steps - but wait, which fabric will I use, will I finish each piece individually, how will I mount the work ...
Monday, October 21, 2013
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Returning to the idea of the personal cost a person's labour I've gone back to the spinning industry of the nineteenth century for my inspiration. I have the source and some contemporary accounts - my problem will be fitting all that into an A3 piece!
Friday, October 04, 2013
Saturday, September 28, 2013
More significantly I happened to take a rare peek at my visitor numbers, they were never high - I can't do self publicity, but it seems that they have halved with the loss of Google Reader. Typically for this time of year my posts are less frequent which may be part of the reason but there also seems to have been an increase in blog-style posts on Facebook.
I'm on Facebook, but like many people my age use it as much for keeping up with my family as anything else. I can't imagine using Facebook to keep track of the projects that I'm working on, but interesting images appear from time to time: