Thursday, 27 September 2012

Review of Festival of Quilts 2012

Imagine my surprise when a friend emailed me to say that my quilt 'Drawn to Fields' had featured in a review of the Festival of Quilts in Patchwork and Quilting.

This is the page from the magazine, my quilt is in the middle on the right hand side. And it's in very good company - look at the lovely quilts around it. 
Those of you who have been following my blog will know that I was disappointed with my quilts when I saw them hanging at the FOQ. However, I have been very encouraged by the positive feedback I have received since the exhibition and also by having one of my quilts selected and printed in a magazine. So much so, I'm starting to think about next year's entry. Could you be tempted to enter something next year?

Friday, 21 September 2012

Diversity at the Barbican

Earlier this week I enjoyed this exhibition in the Barbican Library.
The exhibition closes this weekend but if you missed it you  could see some of the group's work here and on other parts of their web site. It's well worth a look.


Monday, 17 September 2012

Changing Times

I have a photograph that I would like to use as the basis for a new piece and thought that the technique of paper lamination would be a good way to start the piece off. I created a trial piece using a copy of The Times and some grey organza that I had kept from a bouquet I received some time ago.

I wanted to build the piece in two layers, the first one created from black and white photographs and the second layer built from some colourful fashion images.

I then printed grey lines on top of the piece and bonded it to a (previously rejected) piece of dyed cotton fabric. Always satisfying to find a use for those pieces that once caused disappointment. This is the piece before adding any stitching.

I couldn't predict how the piece would turn out but on the whole I am quite pleased with it. Maybe that's because I didn't have any particular image that I was trying to recreate and therefore I wasn't disappointed that it didn't match the image in my mind? I think it does help knowing that I created it from a newspaper, salvaged organza and some dodgy dyeing. Next step is to highlight elements with stitching. When It's complete I'll show you the result.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

No Blue Monday for me

It was a Monday and it was a work day but there was plenty to lift the spirit. Yesterday lunch time I was lucky enough to be able to see the Victory parade in the City. I knew I wouldn't be able to get there early to get a prime position and so I wasn't expecting to get a good view. 

But as you can see I got quite a good view, thanks to the athletes being on top of the bus. Not all my photographs were like this and there a number athletes who were obscured by waving flags or other people's cameras.

And if that wasn't enough, I saw the Red Arrows flying past the office window and you can see the coloured smoke from the planes above St Paul's Cathedral.

To cap off the day, I went to a talk by David Downton at the V&A in the evening. He was a very good and entertaining speaker who told us that he came to fashion illustration by 'accident' and relatively late in his career. We were shown some of the fashion illustrations that have inspired him as well as some of his own. I have collected a number of fashion illustrations over the years and really admire how the artists can say so much with so few lines. Not surprisingly, he advocates that we draw, draw and then draw some more. 

I'll be putting this book on my Christmas list. A very enjoyable and inspiring Monday - more of these please. 

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Gridy Cushions

I needed some new cushion covers for the sofa and decided that I would print some fabric and make them. It would make a change to make something practical, if nothing else. I wanted a gold colour fabric and used my large gridy screen to start to create it. By over printing I hoped that the fabric would have visual texture and interest.

The colour was very difficult to create, first of all it was too bright so I'd knock it back with a duller colour, then I thought it was a bit dull and I would try to brighten it with some over dyeing....until I got to a colour that I could live with.

Believe it or not these two photographs show the same cloth. The photograph at the top is closer to the 'real' colour but the one below shows the printing better. 

The brick red strip was printed with screen inks using the smaller gridy pattern. Is this what they mean by complex cloth? The colour is difficult to create, it's difficult to photograph and the colour looks different in different lights. At least making the cushions went smoothly.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Whispers II - Round 3

We had our Whispers meeting on Thursday and the next round officially began. I will be using Sue Hickman's lovely Venice inspired piece as my inspiration.

Our follow-on pieces are kept secret from the rest of the group so I can't tell you what I plan to do but the good news, from my perspective at least, is that I do have a plan. I'm going to experiment with a new technique and as I don't have to complete the piece until mid January, there should be time for a plan B if required.

Jan Simpson passed me her piece that had been inspired by my FOQ gridy piece. I thought mine would be a very difficult piece to follow as it didn't  have an obvious theme but Jan created a great piece which clearly linked to mine but yet was very different. I look forward to being in a position to show it to you.

Against the odds I completed my piece on time and it pretty much turned out, how I planned it. My piece was based on a photograph and the piece was pretty true to the photograph. I can't help questioning whether this is a good thing or not.  Should I have been more creative and moved it on from the photograph? I had taken a number of photographs until I had the composition I was looking for. Is that enough?