Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Lutterworth Embroiderers' Exhibition

Lutterworth branch are a  very well supported group with many very talented members. their recent exhibition was an excellent showcase for their varied talents.
A lovely mix of two and three dimensional pieces, some of which were made as a result of one of their weekend workshops.
I was particularly taken with a set of four minimalist landscape embroideries made by Norma Tannahill-Kay. Very evocative of wide open spaces and reminded me of some of my favourite areas of Namibia.

Mary Hart exhibited a series of five landscape pieces worked on hand dyed fabric with hand dyed threads. "Golden yellow Oil Seed Rape in April" was the one that spoke most strongly to me.

Lutterworth Embroiderers' also manage to create a wide range of saleable items including lovely little packs of fabrics and threads just to get you setting off to stitch. I bought a couple of cards made by Sarah Adcock ( A Village Quilter) pieced paper and marks which I loved.

An impressive exhibition.
Don't miss the Market Harborough Embroiderers' Exhibition on 14th and 15th September in Marston Trussell village hall as a part of Market Harborough Artist's Trail.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Play Day

Monday was fabulous! Permission to get stuck in to large sheets of paper and lots of paint!
The Weedon Bec Creative Textiles Group, the East Midlands meeting of CQ and friends, met to explore summer flowering gardens as a source of design ideas for our quilting. Led by one of the members, we worked big, using acrylic paint and anything BUT a brush.
You have no idea how liberating that was for a non- artist.
I started off and realised that I was still trying to " paint" a garden - not what I had been asked to do and constraining because , of course, it wasn't a good depiction!
With an old credit card in hand I then worked on overblown roses, but not as you see them in the garden. See below.

A couple like this in shocking pink and yellow .

My brain eventually began to see another possibility. If I painted abstract sheets of colour, I could use the scanner to print them onto fabrics which I could then use in my work.
Two abstract samples below.

The following day I did print the image onto a pre  prepared  sheet of fabric. The only problem was that image was washed out . ( a problem with that particular type of fabric sheet )
If I saturate the colour in Photoshop, and try again, it should work better.

A really excellent way of making a non painter gain confidence with paint and get interesting textile images as well. Thanks Linda.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Frances Pickering Workshop pt 2

Day two was really busy especially for me as I had to leave early to be ready to drive off to France the next day!
The pages we had pained last night now had to be ironed completely dry and fitted back inside each other exactly as they had been folded.
We were shown how to make cords and with two low tech devices it was made so much simpler!  A weight with a hook and a swivel. Having the right tools really does make a difference. These were then positioned where we needed them  so that they would be trapped between the layers.
The spent A4 paper we had painted with transfer dyes was then painted with acrylic wax and dried before being bondawebbed to the reverse of the cover made yesterday.
We were shown how to prepare the pages and stitch then into the cover too.

The photo also shows the way that the dye takes to the edges of the paper even better than the flat surfaces giving a great effect.
Suitable buttons found to create a closing and a bookmark added - Job done!
My fellow students were then able to begin to decorate the pages, choosing a theme for them and drawing and colouring them to beautiful effect.

I was thrilled to get a set of the Derwent Coloursoft crayons for my birthday as they work so well on fabric, Lutrador and on vilene and cartridge paper, very versatile and wonderful deep colours.
I now need to think about how I use my little book and with enough materials to make a second see if I have learnt enough to make a good personal piece with time to work on it.
I'm looking forward to our September Embroiderers' meeting to seeing everyone elses finishes pieces.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Frances Pickering Workshop

I was lucky to have the opportunity to join a two day workshop with Frances Pickering recently. I had long admired her work and was interested to learn some techniques I could incorporate into my own work.
She was a very thorough tutor, with very clear demonstrations and instructions which was vital as there was a lot to do in two days.
I had used transfer dyes before with Angie Hughes but not to produce a complete piece. We painted and stamped paper with the transfer dyes and then ironed them onto heavy weight interfacing.

Then added additional detail by painting these onto paper too and ironing them on.
Next we used soft crayons to add detail and enhance areas before panting acrylic wax onto the surface and letting it dry.

 We then experimented with a textile soldering iron to make marks on the edges and to burn small holes through the fabric to enhance the design, followed by embroidery stitches to embellish the design. I could have spent hours on the embroidery, but hours were not available. I had to think of this as a taster or sample rather than a completed piece,

The pages of the notebook are made from heavy grade lining paper and we cut over sized double pages out and scored the folds before tearing one double page to size. Each subsequent double page was fitted inside the first and torn against these edges to create all the pages which now nestle well inside each other.
We used Koh-i-Nor fabric dyes for the page colouring, first soaking the pages in cold water and painting the double pages both sides before placing a new page over the top and repeating the painting, the idea being that the dye will bleed from page to page giving a marbled effect. When all were painted they were wrapped in baking parchment to dry naturally over night.
Hindsight is a great thing - I realise now that my choice of printing image was not the most sympathetic to the technique. All part of the learning process.
Day two to follow!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Festival .... again

I had set out this year to spend my time with quilts looking at styles of composition to help develop my ability to produce more designs that work. The time for such study was missing in the end so I concentrated on looking at little details within  quilts.
Dorothy Caldwell's huge piece "How do we know when it's light" included some lovely little examples of detailed stitch and pattern.
Lost, unless you stood really close to see the detail. I loved the rough stitches. So, if the detail is lost when looking at the whole piece, what is the function of the detail?

I have long admired Ineke Berlyn's stunning work and was very drwn to her piece "People"

The use of repeated shapes in different sizes and the clever use of limited colour. How, I ask myself did she decide where to put the orange and what difference would it have made if it had been placed somewhere else? These are some of the questions I need to find ways of trying to understand!

When you look at Sarah Welsby's piece "Memories of Dungerness"  you stand back and try to take in the whole. To do this this you miss the detail that makes up the overall effect. Again, what influences where the little block of colour are put?

Pauline Burbidge's Causeway III was interesting for the marks made on each square and the simplicity of the stitch. It raised all sorts of questions in my mind about process and about simplicity and detail. The sense of breeze blowing was very strong.

Christine Seager's piece "Pieces of Crow XL" were dynamic and eye catching but the subtle changes in quilting direction lost unless one "stepped- in " to the Quilt. In fact stepping back the moire fringes gave the piece movement, dancing before our eyes.

So... I have more questions than answers.... but working on these answers will be an important aspect of what I'll try and work on this year.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Festival of Quilts

 It's always exciting to see ones own work hanging at an exhibition. The festival is no exception. I had two quilts on show, one in the Guild Challenge and one in Contemporary Quilts.
"Ammonites Revealed" began last year with with the purchase of a length of beautiful cotton, dyed and printed by Esther in Ghana and toning silks which took shape gradually before being shown at the Bramble Patch at their Easter exhibition. Its destined to be hung in my sister's new house.

The trouble with festival is that unless you create a piece wide enough or long enough yours gets hung with others at very close quaters, detracting from them all.
The second piece was based on images of Sri Lankan roadside stalls and the sari, silks and printing blocks that came home with me. It was entered into the Guild Challenge - "Transported".

I really enjoyed making it, something different for me. No idea what I'll do with it and no excuse to make Bookwraps from it this time!
I have come home with another length of fabric from Esther in Ghana and some silk and we shall see over the next few months what I come with this time!

Bookwrap Gems!

Wow! What an amazing 4 days. Thanks to the wonderful generosity of quilters we had over 2000 Bookwraps in the Tombola and raised around £7000. (Final figures to come)
CQers are an outgoing lot and there was alot of cheering and noise along with the bell to greet every winner. My thanks to all who contributed with wraps or volunteers on the stall for making it a very successful Festival Tombola.
In full swing
An exhausting time, little opportunity to see much of the show, but found some lovely pieces and galleries in the odd moments available.
Now, after I've cleared away all traces of this I can begin to think about being creative again.