Monday, 22 September 2014

Mindless piecing completed - I love blue and orange

I had an unexpected stretch of time on Saturday, before a full day of family support commitments yesterday, so managed to finish the quilting and binding on the mindless piecing quilt.  The feathers did improve as I completed each one.


I washed it to increase the texture, and that has certainly happened.


Feather detail


Piped binding , made using this tutorial, by Trisha Chubbs.


Saturday, 20 September 2014

Day of contrasts

Referendum result in, considered, discussed with family and out to one side, I headed to London.  All access roads to the station were closed due to this.

Kneller all 2

The Kneller Hall Freedom March.  Very odd to see this in a suburban setting.

Then off to the Mall Galleries to see the Derwent Prize exhibition, the Sunday Times Watercolour exhibition and New Light, an exhibition of the work of northern artists.  I love this gallery, although the turnaround of exhibitions is so quick, it is easy to miss a potential favourite.

The first thing that struck me about the Derwent Prize was the variety of media that were used, I  had not expected this.  Many of the drawings were technically superb, and the artists I was drawn ( !)  to were:  Jessie Brennan, whose series of 4 drawings, " A Fall of Ordinariness and Light" was phenomenal; Robert Ewing, whose colour palette was intriguing; and lastly Sonja Hillen, who combined very gentle coloured pencil with stitch on canvas.  The inclusion of these pieces really surprised me in the context of this exhibition.


The watercolour exhibition was superb, and again I was surprised at the number of different media in the works: gouache, pastel, ink, pencil and watercolour.  I loved the work of David Firmstone in particular, huge pieces for watercolour.

The New Lights exhibition was smaller, a mix of well-established artists and lesser-known individuals.  This was very varied, and the artist whose work I kept going back to was Diana Armstrong, who combines painting and gilding in canvases that change constantly in he light.  Some of her subject mater was not to my taste, but March Hares definitely was.

Out to the Mall, in the sunshine, where there were some wedding memories being captured.


Then home to the unexpected pleasure of eating and drinking outdoors until very late in the evening.



Thursday, 18 September 2014

… but I would stitch 500 miles….

.. had to be a Scottish song today to mark the momentous day in the history of the united Kingdom and Scotland.  I need to practise my machine quilting as I've had a long break, so the mindless piecing has been used for that.  I feel as if this feather was 500 miles of effort, for a result that is OK but not great.  Luckily enough there are 3 other sides to practise on and I am going on a workshop taught by Philippa Naylor in a few weeks which should improve results even more.



Tuesday, 16 September 2014


….in the spirit of our quilting group's round robin / quilt consequence challenge, I will be showing only glimpses of my contributions to these.



However, that orange caught my colour sensors, as did the corn husks removed from corn cobs and led to this still life.  (Morley starts today, so I'll need to get back to drawing.)


Then more orange, and inspired by the posts on this blog, about studio clearing, organising and unfinished projects, these little cats jumped out of storage, with some bits of yellow, orange and blue and led to some mindless piecing.


Therapeutic for the mind and the hands.

Sunday, 7 September 2014


………….is the art and practice of designing flags.  As a Scot who has lived outside Scotland for longer than I lived in it, I have no vote in the decision about Scottish independence. However, I have been pondering what might happen to the UK flag if the vote means that Scotland will leave the United Kingdom.  These thoughts have led to some questions and research about flags: who designs them; what size are they; what proportions do they have; how many colours make a distinctive flag?

Coinciding with the start of our quilt groups's round robin challenge, I had my subject.

I have started this quilt with a new flag for the remainder of the UK, without Scotland: running red, light blue waves, the dark blue of the Scottish saltire disappearing off in to the distance, and the black hole of “ what happens now?”.


This block is 9 x 15 inches and will hopefully return to me, in 5 months, accompanied by another 5 interpretations of a possible new flag.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Family heirlooms……..

I am not getting to any stitching, as our family support of my husband's  aunt is continuing.  A visit this week involved sorting out various items that she would no longer use, or that were too much of a reminder of her very active hobbies before her stroke.  As they say, it is an ill wind, as part of the clearing out revealed,

which you may have identified as a centenary edition Singer Featherweight 221K1, made  in 1951, in Clydebank, about 1.5 miles from where I was born.
It is in pristine condition, with all attachments, but has some sort of electrical fault that I will now get fixed.  It was bought by my husband's grandmother, so both I and my aunt are very excited at the thought of it being in use again.