Monday, 25 April 2016

Journal quilts - talk to the trees

The journal quilts this year are to be 8 x 10 inches, with the first four containing a piece of purple, no less than 1/2 inch square, the second four containing s piece of orange and the last four containing a piece of green.

A walk in the Isabella Plantation a few months ago was the inspiration for my first four. It is many years since I have visited, and besides the improvements to disabled access and the better paths, I was struck by how many of the trees, even rather ordinary looking ones, not just the ancient oaks, have numbered tags.  I hope this isn’t indicative of how worried the parks are about the state of these trees.

Using fabric i already have, ( tray-dyed, repurposed linen sheet; Procion P painted cotton, dyed pelmet Vilene) this series was the result.  Called “Counting the trees"

Journal quilts 2016

Journal quilts 2016

Journal quilts 2016

Journal quilts 2016

Sunday, 24 April 2016



Natural and man-made


found, abandoned, here

Rusting projects ahead, inspired by Alice Fox.


Saturday, 23 April 2016

Charity shop find

Charity shops now seem to be very focussed on clothes and crockery, so there is less chance of finding a stash of someone’s threads, fabric, yarn or craft tools.  I was therefore delighted today to find this cutting ruler.  It seems as if this is an older version of this tool, as searching on the web, it is now called a Shape Cuts, rather than a Short Cuts ruler, and the newer version has another marked line at a different angle.

The young girl in the shop was intrigued by my explanation as to how it is used, especially as I tried to demonstrate without a rotary cuter at hand.

Not that I’ll be doing much cutting, as quilting the Kaleidoscope is taking priority.  It is very difficult to photograph the back of this, due to mottled grey and black fabric on the back.

My work this week took me to the Welsh valleys where spring is in full bloom.


Thursday, 21 April 2016

Quilts and coverlets

Continuing in the theme of using up and finishing, I have returned to the Kaleidoscope quilt to start quilting.  I treated myself to having this long-arm basted by Compton Quilting who did a terrific job which has made the quilting a pleasure.  Still lots to do, but a start to the final process is always good.

Snow over at the other house meant a day to get cracking on finishing up the  “quilting by numbers” coverlet, backed with an old, sorry - vintage -  Witney blanket.  Pieced on the Singer, and quilted on the Bernina.






Then some mindless paper-piecing of triangles, using some re-discovered half-square triangle paper.  These are probably going to border the blue splash blocks made in Australia, nearly two years ago.



I really need to get back to more regular blogging as there is not even space to blog about the most recent exhibition visits to :

Artist and Empire at Tate Britain, now finished sadly, with a dramatic installation piece by Andrew Gilbert

Marian Clayden at Fashion and Textile Museum, also finished - sumptuous velvets and silks

Kurt Jackson, Bees at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, on until 29 September

Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford - what an extraordinary experience.  Two hours and I only viewed the external cabinets on the ground floor

Ikat Textiles at the Brunei Gallery, on until 25th June. Lovely curation, with vintage and contemporary ikat from several cultures.  I wish the curators had included subtitles on the films as this would have really enhanced my understanding of the process, particularly of that for double-ikat weaving.

And back to the drawing course this week, where the theme is metamorphosis.  Two objects to be chosen, ideally with several contrasts between them, and then drawings made to metamorphose one in to the other. My objects are these



and initial studies are here



onward and upward.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Visit, read, finish

An unexpected visit to Nature in Art, near Cheltenham, to see the work of StitchextileArtists.  Lovely textural pieces, with an oyster shell made of cloth being particularly notable.


The sculpture in the gardens added to my obsessions with fronds and seed heads.


For some reason, it was very difficult to portray the scale of these pods - they were at least 5 ft high.


Inside, some lovely work with found wood


and with carved limewood, made by Robert Cox.



Hoem to an unexpected find n the local library, “ How to Make Beautiful Buttons” by Beate Schmitz.  Having done the online course with Karen ruin on buttons, I didn’t think there would be a lot for me in this book, but I was gladly mistaken.  Some fun ideas, so the may be renewed up tot he maximum three times.

Buttons as drawer knobs?


Carton buttons?


My brain is pre-occupied by tomorrow’s talk, so a discovered kit from Deborah O’Hare of provided some pleasant distraction.  Very simple and effective, but I had my usual problem of the Heat’n’Bond seeming to melt into the top fabric, and then not sticking to the lower layer of fabric. I wonder if I am holding the iron on to it for too long?