Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Stitching tour of Europe continues

So I am once again on my travels, this time to Basel.  A company meeting coincides with the crazinesss that is the Basel Herbstmesse.  Usually quiet and sedate squares are transformed into blazes of light and throbbing music  - one of them right outside my hotel.  I-phone photos only, hence the quality.

Once again, the hotel decor is simple, quirky and intriguing - painted figures on a backdrop as a headboard.

Travelling stitching

Beautiful sunset, which was rather distracting at the end of a long day of meetings

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Conference stitching - quilting is complete

Remember this post from 3 weeks ago?  I am currently trying to work on a surprise project , and the recipient was unexpectedly at home all day today, when I expected him to be out.  So, I had to devote my stitching energies to something else.  Practising with BottomLine thread as both top and bobbin thread, a size 70 needle,  and trying out  a Supreme Slider, this was all stitched freeform, with the spine of the feathers marked before starting.  i am pleased with this, ( approximately 20 x 25 cm)





Saturday, 26 October 2013

Salts Mill, what a thrill, part 1

As part of a trip up north, I went to Salts Mill to see the Cloth and Memory 2 exhibition, curated by Lesley Millar.  This was magical from start to finish, and if you can get there I would thoroughly recommend it.  The building itself is remarkable, and the spinning shed, where the exhibition, is an astonishing space, 180 m long.  The textile pieces are all very thought-provoking, and the technical skills exhibited were astonishing.  The way the light changed during the day really added to the enjoyment of the whole experience.  

I've focussed here on photos of the setting rather than of the work, as I need to reflect more on what I saw.  The main reflection is why is this "textile art" rather than mixed media?  Is it because there was information available about the artists' inspirations?  Was it because there was an explanation of techniques?  Was it because there were handling samples available to enhance the experience?








Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The writing is on the wall.....

… and on the carpet.

IMG 0108

I'm just back from another conference, in Germany this time.  Great touches in the hotel, like the writing on the wall

IMG 0109

and that little post-it, that said

IMG 0110

I do hope it was written by an actual person, and is not available to purchase as a piece of corporate branding.  Some stitching was done on a piece started 4 years ago, and found while looking for something else.

IMG 0104

I did miss my course at Morley, but the conference was full of inspirational women, so there were compensations.  Another was this translation that really made me laugh - maybe it was done with auto-translate?

IMG 0103

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Deconstructing or breaking down...

…….not me, but re-visiting this technique, done a slightly different way.  This time, resist objects  were placed under the screen on top of a piece of paper, and then Procion P dye paste was applied through the screen, and then allowed to dry.  Much less dye is trapped on the screen, so the screen was dry enough to print from during the same day.  There is a good description of the technique here and a good video here.

Objects used as resists, after being removed from the screen.


Manutex carrier paste is applied with a squeegee - needs some effort - to rehydrate the dye paste, resulting in a different print with each pull, as the dye pastes rehydrate at different rates.  This is trying to get to a mix of pastes close to my favourite turquoise blue, using turquoise, black and scarlet red.

Prints on the table on cotton lawn


First set of prints


Print on paper, not an even pull, so less dye in the bottom right corner.

Paper print from deconstrcuted screen

Detail of the section resulting from using bubble-wrap.


After attending a talk by Sheena Norquay last night, about her seasonal inspirations, my head is once again bursting with too many ideas.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

24h of inspiration

A great London 24h again, starting off with a performance of Dracula in dance at Wilton's Music Hall, a very atmospheric venue for this production.  The focus on this photo was affected by the clouds of dry ice vapour.

bIMG 0093

The dancing was really inventive, and the experience was enhanced by sitting next to 2 young men who attended the performance dressed up as Dracula.

Next day, a tortuous journey up to Alexandra Palace, to the Knitting and Stitching Show.  

P1020309  Version 2

Blue moon in the sky?


Well worth the trip,especially to see: the quilted coracle; several of the  winners from Festival of Quilts; quietly embroideries from Tilleke Schwarz; the paintings, embroideries and quilt from the collaborative work of Nicola Jarvis and May Morris.  The 3D embroidered pieces of anatomy by Sally Hewett were intriguing and uncomfortable at the same time.


With my thread supplies replenished, finished off with an hour in the National Portrait Gallery to see the exhibition of portraits by Laura Knight, and wonderful contemporary portraits by Jonathan Yeo and Dean Marsh.




Saturday, 12 October 2013

It's a surprise…..

so glimpses only, but very proud of that mitred corner.


Monday, 7 October 2013

Conference stitching

I am in Dublin, so needed a portable project to while away the travelling hours - just as well after this morning's delays at Heathrow.  My current large quilt is too big to lug about while travelling, so a rummage through the bits and pieces bag brought the panel below to the top of the bag.  A hand-stencilled panel, layered on to wadding, on which I can practise my embroidery stitches.

The great cushion is on the bed in the hotel, woven, although it looks appliqued.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Design course at Morley continues

I was super inspired at this week's Morley session.

I was not even meant to be there, as I was booked to attend a conference in London.  Luckily enough, I had my suspicions that the organisation looked a bit on the unprofessional side, and I was proved right.    Supposedly for a start at 0900h, with over 50 delegates, at 0930h there were 10 rather bemused individuals wandering around looking lost, and no sign of the organisers.  I had packed my inspirational material for Morley in my bag, just in case, so I went straight over to Morley, even although I was dressed in full corporate garb rather than in my scruffy studio clothes.

My design inspiration is coming down to two areas I think: Paul Nash paintings and broken trees; sails and the America's cup.  Sails I have explored before, so I've returned to some of those shapes.  The broken tree shapes are also in my local parks as many horse chestnuts succumb to infection, and are pruned in an attempt to save them. 

Sails, cut from one piece of A4 paper, my favourite medium, with all smaller shapes cut from within the larger shape ( vaguely based on the principles of Notan)

IMG 0077

IMG 0076

IMG 0078

IMG 0075

Change of scale of some elements

IMG 0074


IMG 0073

Torn paper tree

IMG 0080

Colour inversion and repetition

IMG 0081

Looking a bit like this well known quilt theme by Helen Howes


The printing part of the course starts next week,  but I will be in Dublin - at another conference.