Thursday, 25 February 2010

February JQ

After the Jan. quilt I was left with the negative shape from which I had cut one of the main pieces. This gave me the basis for the Feb quilt. Raw edge appliqued with close stipple stitchingv I then stitch the impression of a cog and lines to suggest the movement of the part.
This piece is technically better executed and moves a little from interpretation of a pictorial image.
The thought process has been very useful but I realise that I am a long way from producing work of the quality of most others in CQ.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

January JQ

Its always hardest to make a beginning, especially when you are new to something. Having decided the theme I spent a morning sketching out ideas in rough and then listed the techniques I thought I could use to interpret the initial designs.
Next I tried out some small samples. I do not generally use applique - so it would be a good idea to add this to my list - 1st sample was not what I was looking for - so then another sample and this time I felt better about the results.
Now fabrics - CQ challenge - dyeing my own - no time this month so back to the stash -metalic colours and a contract background.
Layered up once applique complete and quilted with machine to give a close texture.
Not my best work but this is a learning exercise so chalk this one up to experience and do better next time!

Monday, 22 February 2010

CQ Journal Quilt challenge

Having seen previous Journal Quilts at FoQ I felt that I could use this smaller format to develop my work. Participants need to register and work on a theme all year, producing a quilt a month. This year the size was 7" x 10" portrait format only. A theme is not set, but we can choose to work with one.
I have chosen to work with a theme - I hope it will teach me the discipline of working in different ways to explore one thing -not hopping about to the next shiny object I'm drawn to!
My theme is "Just another cog in the machine" Its election year but I feel quite alienated from the process - how do I make my wishes felt and how do I engage in the process which effectively disenfranchises most of us who do not live in marginal seats! Hence my choice -
I have started with images of cogs and wheels and will then look at ways in which I can use these images in my work.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Setting out.......Again

Following the success of the Easter Exhibition we were encouraged to plan for another exhibition opportunity the following year. This time to interpret a piece of poetry unconstrained by size.
It took quite some while before I felt I had found the poem I could really work with and to try new techniques, again trying to unconstrain myself.
My Poem: Cher Frère Blanc by Léopold Sedar Senghor
1906 - 2001

Quand je suis nee, j'étais noir
Quand j'ai grandi, j'étais noir
Quand je vais au soleil, je suis noir
Quand j'ai peur, je suis noir
Quand je suis malade, je suis noir
Quand je mourrai, je serrai noir

tandis que toi, homme blanc

Quand tu es nee, tu étais rose
Quand tu a grandi, tu es blanc
Quand tu va au soleil, tu es rouge
Quand tu as peur, tu es vert
Quand tu es malade, tu es jaune
Quand tu mourras, tu serras gris

Alors, de nous deux, qui est l’homme de couleur?

I loved the simplicity of the words and the clarity of the sentiment and I felt I could interpret this in fabric. The poem is a reflection of his views and I used reflections in plate glass windows to create the image and the incorporate the colours in the reflections.
I made each line of the poem into a separate quilt about A4 size and then tied them together to create the whole piece. Each quilt was made up of layers of febric topped with a sheer, machine stitched, fabrics cut away and then machine quilted.
Now I felt I was really on the road and could begin to explore.

Setting out.......

Through Brenda Boardman's excellent tuition I started to be a little more free with ideas and techniques. Her challenge, to design and produce a wall hanging of a specific size for the Easter Exhibition at The Bramblepatch, allowed me to try to work from a sketchbook and to experiment before coming to my final design. This process was hard as I generally conceive my designs as a whole.
My initial ideas went back to the use of text - messages within the quilt and I explored the use of naval flags to hide a message within the quilt. I got as far as prodcing the ground for the piece and I still like the idea but the size constraints of the challenge made it unworkable. I decided to enter this as an experimental piece and start again So.... back to the drawing board.
This time I went back to the colours I love and the fabrics I had brought back from a recent trip to Africa and looked for some traditional africal patterns on which to base my piece. Using block and screen prints and an abstract grid I finished in time.
With hindsite I can now see lots of errors in the design and the making but it was good to try and meet an external criteria for the first time.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

In the beginning....

All journeys have a beginning. Mine was in 1969 and started with the discovery of English Patchwork, in hexagons, over papers. It wasn't even a quilt, I didn't understand that it needed to have 3 layers - but I liked the symetry and the quietly repetative always growing activity. At this stage there was any design in it, it grew, like topsy, until it covered my bed!
Later I really understood what I wanted to do when I found "The Perfect Patchwork Primer" by Beth Gudgeon. Her tuition got me started with traditional designs and in the ditch quilting which I stuck with for a long time.
The next eye-opener was meeting Suzi Corke and spending 2 years being tutored by her in night classes. Her quilts were just mind boggling to a beginner but what a great teacher! She got me back to regular sewing, my job had taken over my life for a lot of years! Now I was designing and drawing ideas (badly)and I began to collect fabrics. Colour was the thing that drew me in and still is.

The next key development was my good fortune to enjoy a 2 day course with Lonni Rossi creating our own printed fabrics. What an eye opener! We learned to use Thermofax screens and I've been hooked since, just so easy to be able to prepare fabric just as you want it (on a good day). The fabric lay on a shelf for a while until I joined a day a month class with Brenda Boardman at The Bramblepatch - Explore your creative potential. A brilliant way to be "encouraged" out ones comfort zone, I learned so much and also gained the self confidence to try something different. Brenda helped me use my Lonni Rossi fabrics and I was thrilled with my 1st non traditional quilt, so much so that I had the temerity to enter it for Festival of Quilts. That too was a good learning experience - it made me quite dissatisfied with my efforts and it has spurred me on to do better.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Setting the scene

February 8th 2010
To begin my journey I have set myself 4 initial challenges:
* Joining Contemporary Quilt and undertaking their Journal Quilt challenge of one small quilt each month for a year. This will focus my thinking and ensure that I try a number of variations on a theme.
* Taking part in Region 7 CQ group quilt for FoQ 2010 - to use printing, stamping, sheers and other skills newer to me.
* Taking a Machine Embroidery, day a month course with Angie Hughes at The Bramblepatch - need to have greater confidence.
* Producing a quilt for the Margaret Every Challenge cup in June 2010 -0 just because I love the use of lettering in quilts and the challenge fabric is fulkl of lettering!

I want to use this blog to map my journey and record my discoveries.