Monday, 27 April 2015

Language, language.....

My husband is learning German.  By default, I am too




while continuing to  work on der gross Sammelfläche.



Saturday, 25 April 2015

Using the gifts from Norfolk

I am very behind with making my journal quilts for March and April.  Work has been a bit busy and, I have to confess, I've become a bit obsessed with following the general election on Twitter.  

As I am a Scot, but one who has  lived in London for longer than I lived in Scotland, I am fascinated by what is happening politically in Scotland, and how it is being portrayed in the, supposedly British, media.  Surprisingly to me, Twitter gives a more balanced picture of the reasons why there has been such a surge to the SNP, and the wit and humour of the supporters, in the face of political vitriol, really brighten the day.  It will be very intriguing to see how this carried through on 7th May.

Anyway to the journals.  April uses the rust-dyed cloth.  As this was small strips from a bag of shirt offcuts from Lorraine Pugh, I had to be judicious in deciding which pieces to use.  Too late in the process, I realised that some of the pieces were too imbued with the rust for my machine to be able to stitch through the cloth ( a lesson learned), so I had to re-make this.  The circles are bonded on, and then stitched with raw-edge appliquĂ©.  It does have straight sides, just photographed on a curved bench.  I threw this together at the last moment, as the deadline for submitting journals for the first 4 months of the year is on 30th April.  Inevitably, it is the one I like best of the first four of the year.


March was a response to finally seeing some colour in the garden.  Experimenting with home-made bias binding of different widths, woven at random.  Blooms are raw edge strips of bias binding, folded and stitched, all n a background of tray-dyed cloth.   As I have been travelling for work, I had to revert to some hand-quilting.  I tried again with the plastic thimble from Thimblelady, and although i can feel that this is easier on the hand, I am still not sure that hand-quilting is for me.


Thursday, 16 April 2015

Rust, but no diamonds…….

Showing my age with that song reference, but value has definitely come from the rust dyeing.  I think the warmth outdoors today helped with the depth of the reaction with the cloth.

In progress, after 4hours, and the rock containing iron oxide ( lower right in the tray)  has had no impact on the cloth


neutralised and washed ( strips are about 3 inches wide at the widest point)  and ready to be used in the April journal quilt.



Gifts from Norfolk

Big skies


Beach huts






and bits of rusty pipe



perfect for trying out a bit of rust dyeing


Friday, 3 April 2015

Still life, glitter and inspiration

Painting attempts

An attempt, over two weeks, to capture that blooming jug and a couple of small bowls.  


The jug is passable, the green bowl looks as if it has had too much to drink, and the terracotta bowl  with an inside glaze bears an unfortunate resemblance to a chocolate-iced doughnut.  Still, I've achieved a lot more than I thought I could in these 10 weeks.  I will be continuing with this course next term.  Other artistic indulgences this week, a viewing of the Gift Horse statue, which was rather thought-provoking.

Gift horse

A visit to the Cinderella exhibition - very glittery and Disney, but in contrast, also containing some restrained, rarely-seen drawings of the original Cinderella animation by the Disney artist Mary Blair.



Interesting reflections around Leiceser Square


and then a visit to the Mall Galleries to see the annual exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, on until 11th April.  

Some lovely work here, and probably showing my technical ignorance again, I was surprised at the depth of the colour in many of these paintings.  In the gallery, Chris Forsey was giving a demonstration of how he paints, always interesting to see someone who is an expert in their craft make it look so easy.  Artists / paintings  that caught my eye were: Deborah Walker's magnificent seascape; George Large's geometric depictions of people at for - helped that one was called The Quilt; Patricia Rozental's "Pretty Maids All in a Row"; Naomi Tydeman;Tim Gustard's extraordinary still-lives; Richard Slater; John Glover's "Colin's shed" a view he has painted in several media, and in this show was pen, ink and watercolour; Steven Alan Griffiths' momentous books; Marjoie Collins' dazzling colours; Elizabeth Nast' series on commuters, particularly " Commuter crush"; Lillias August, particularly "Nine scissors".

In the adjoining gallery, a series of work by the winner of the Threadneedle prize in 2014, Tina Jenkins.  A set of intriguing and disturbing works using a technique that might only be used by her,