Thursday, 26 February 2015

The magic that is "Texturemagic"

In the spirit of "use it or get rid of it" I tried out a piece of Texturemagic that I have had in my supplies for a while.  The results were so intriguing, I incorporated them into my journal challenge for February.  

Straight line stitching on hand-dyed velvet

CQGB February 2015 unpadded texture magic

Stipple stitch on hand-dyed velvet

CQGB February 2015 unpadded texture magic

Stipple stitch, with a layer of wadding on hand-dyed velvet - this one looks really like brain coral

CQGB February 2015 - padded texturemagic

and all three samples incorporated in to the final journal ( 6 x 12 inches), with a piece of quilted, but non-textured velvet at the bottom for reference.

Avril Horn CQGB February 2015

This was very easy to use and gave really interesting results.  The edges of each sample were a bit of a challenge to keep straight at this size, but a larger piece would be much easier to handle.  I think this one will need a big " Please do not touch" sign at our exhibition in October.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Round robin, quilted cards and painting

Lots of small bits of creativity going on around the big project.  First of all, the round robin top.


I am so delighted with how much thought and effort the participants put into these blocks.  Each has a little narrative describing how they reached their designs, and i'll get those typed up at a later date.  Our quilt show is in October this year, so I'll need to get cracking with this one very soon.

Also for our Quilt Show, I'm on a card-making marathon to raise funds for the group.


Sorry for the angle on the next one.


I'm also getting more confident with the painting course, this week, painting in tones on a coloured ground.  In the studio,

Tonal painting on coloured ground

from this object

Jug for tonal drawing

and then at home,

tonal drawingo n a colooured ground, at home

wonky, and the bottle is very foreshortened, but recognisable, from this arrangement

Still life

Monday, 16 February 2015

Happy Pancake Day


Gorgeous colour, despite making me think that the packer was demonstrating some obsessive / compulsive traits.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Landscape, light, paint, roofs, journal, London

Today started with the Landscape Photographer of the Year exhibition at Waterloo Station, extended until 28th February.  One of the advantages to the non-shoping fraternity of the addition of the Waterloo balcony are the occasions when it becomes a temporary exhibition space.  These photographs are fantastic,and many of them are taken with relatively straightforward cameras, without photo editing but with a lot of preparation, observation of the light and huge amounts of patience.   The winners are here and I could not choose a favourite.

Inspired by all of that, and waiting on the steps of the National Gallery, I attempted some  silhouettes of Nelson's column.  All photos are from my phone as I forgot my camera, hence the elongated format.

Nelson's column, winter sky

and an opportunity to photograph the first of this year's journal quilts "en plein air".

Contemporary Quilt January 2015 challenge

 En route to the fantastic, huge paintings of "Walls of Water" by Maggi Hambling.  On until 15 February, only one room of  paintings but completely free and well worth a trip.


These paintings have ben subject to a scathing review, but I loved seeing the way the paint was handled, and three of the painting in particular made me feel as if I was in front of a giant wall of water.  Down in the espresso bar, my friend and I also liked ( after a very good courgette and pumpkin seed muffin - better than it sounds) the selection of  monotypes, also on the theme of water, printed with Frank Connelly of Morley College, with whom my friend is currently studying.

Then off to Bloomsbury, stopping by St George's Church, designed by Hawksmoor and recently restored, to marvel at the acoustics and the intricate reflections on the brass chandelier.


A quick lunch on the deserted and unexpected roof garden of the Mary Ward Centre

London roof garden

with some shapes worthy of drawing practise sharply outlined in the sunshine.

London roofline


London roofline

Then down to the class to work on using tones on a coloured ground.  Couldn't get that foreshortened top of the triangular object at all.


Finishing off with a meeting of the quilt group to see the Contemporary Quilt Group Suitcase challenge on the theme of " All in a Day's Work" .  As ever, these 43 little quilts were enormously imaginative, although the number that featured lists in some form or another was a bit worrisome.  

There was also the return of the finished blocks for the round robin challenge.  I am very pleased with how every interpreted my challenge, and amazed at the amount of work that went into the blocks.  Everyone kindly wrote about their inspiration in the notebook that I sent round with the quit, so I now need to think how best to incorporate those comments so they don't get separated from the previous work.  No photograph yet, as I need good light to show the detail on those blocks.

And eventually to bed, head buzzing.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Improvised printing

I have been trying to find a good surface on which to do more fabric printing.  The best combination so far for home-based, restricted space, seems to be the broad ironing board, with 4 layers of blanket, and a layer of calico.  Yesterday's experiments were more roses on the blue dyed cloth with Liquitex fabric paint ( applied to the stamp with a brayer) in two blues and a mixed purple.  Good transparency with these and the hand of the fabric hasn't changed much. Good wash-resistance as well, tested this morning.


I then got very improvisational and rolled the remaining paint, diluted with water,  from the brayer onto unpinned cloth on the printing surface.  I like how industrial this looks.


I'm going to use this bit in a journal quilt.


Today's sunshine is a welcome contrast to the sky earlier this week.


Thursday, 5 February 2015

Stamped and stitched

As a dental phobic, I did not enjoy 3h in the surgery today having two very old, mercury amalgam fillings replaced in two molars - Scottish teeth, a disaster on so many fronts.  It felt like I had done a 3h gym workout by the time I was finished. Perhaps the dentist felt like that as well, after keeping me relatively calm. 

Textiles came to the rescue in the afternoon, with experiments involving stamping the motif from last week's trapunto roses.

Definitely worth exploring further, with different sizes perhaps?

Monday, 2 February 2015


These are glimpses of a larger project that I can't really blog about until it is finished, but it is taking a lot of my time, so I need to post to remind myself that I am still sewing.  I'm not really one for gadgets for cutting, but this tool, Tri-Recs, has made accurate triangles very easy to align.


Applique and trapunto roses.  The curved tips really make a difference to cutting away the wadding ( These were a present if you are gasping at the price, one reason why they don't leave the house.)  The scissor fob was made at a jolly evening's sewing with Plum.



To alternate with the triangles, a developing top, from the samples and scraps.  The triangles with the curves won't be appearing in the finished piece, the arithmetic was just too tricky.