Saturday, 25 February 2017

Four years ago.....

I printed a piece of white cloth with random rectangles ( half way down this post). Last weekend I painted it with a wash of acrylic paint and auditioned threads from the thread jar

for potential quilting.

This weekend I quilted it with twin needle straight stitching and stippling. My sketchbook is now feeling much more like an object that I want to use.






Monday, 20 February 2017

Old friend..........

I needed some stitching time this weekend, so returned to the Ricky Tims Kaleidoscope quilt. One of my favourite threads, Superior threads, Rainbows

Freehand feathers

The corners of this quilt have been a conundrum for some time, but said butterfly wings to me this weekend. A lovely diversion in to images of wing patterns, led to

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Are you a potential Craftivist?

On Wednesday, I joined a group of volunteers to assist at a “ Patches of Hope” stitching event run by the Craftivist Collective.


I have been aware of the work of the collective for about 18 months, and have been impressed by their philosophy of "gentle protest”. I’ve been a regular attender of demonstrations during my life, but am increasingly worried about the lack of impact even the largest of public demonstrations is having on government policy.

This event was a prelude to a Tate Late on 24 Feb ( free, but registration needed, I think ), and is based on the Crystal Quilt by Suzanne Lacey, an installation addressing several topics but one of which was  how women, particularly older women, are perceived in society. ( Photos from @Craftivists and Aron Klein)

The intent was that each attendee chose a word that they wanted to see more of in the world, and while stitching, thought about what actions they would take in their own life to enable more of that word to come to the fore. In addition, each table had a facilitator who eased people in to discussion about why their chosen word was important to them, and encouraged cross-table debate about the word. The little bottles of Prosecco helped conversation flow, but were not as helpful to the flow of the stitching.

This was a lovely event, and an opportunity for cross-generational conversations about the state of the world and what we can each do in our own communities, however small or large they may be, to increase hope. Unfortunately, I can’t make it to the Tate Late, but the Craftivists will be there, as will be many of the attendees from Wednesday, all wearing their patches. As one of my words was “Share”, a much mis-used term in these days of social media, if you do go , and want to wear a patch, please contact me and I’ll send you one of mine!





Sunday, 12 February 2017

Half a hexagon.......

…. is better than none. Stitching this week has been piles of calico half-hexagons, therapeutic, but not exactly photogenic.

Sketching was focussed on the2017 journal challenge for the Contemporary Quilt Group. My theme is”microscopic” and my current thoughts are to focus on seeds, algae, bacteria and plankton, all tiny fragments of life that are critical to our survival.

Seeds, after looking at the photographs in “Seeds, Time Capsules of Life"

A very interesting class at Mary Ward this week, with a session on mono printing. We focussed more on making marks through an overlaid paper, rather than mark making on the ink itself.

Initial scribbles - plankton appearing!

More confidence in the line

More dramatic background effects. I’m very interested in this technique and am going to try this on cloth with Markal sticks.

overlaying with acrylic washes.

and on the way home, a protest against ironing


and for inspiration, the beautiful wood-carving of a modern Grinling Gibbons

Giles Newman






Friday, 3 February 2017

Sketchbook, keeping me steady

Not quite managing a sketch a day, but maintaining momentum. These from the sketchbook this week,  a full A4 page, pencil, charcoal and chalk.


A5 page, stuck into sketchbook


Small sketches, pencil



A1 size in the studio, charcoal, chalk and collage


Heading to some sort of overlay with the words "Save the data” which is what we must do to prevent climate-change data being deleted. Politics coming in to my creative endeavours at the moment, can’t avoid it.


Go and see Anselm Kiefer at the White Cube. Open until 12 February - astonishing installation and paintings you could walk into.