Sunday, 28 October 2012

Printed skirt

Just to prove it wasn't a one-off when I made the cushions, I have used my printed printed fabric to make something else useful and this time I made a skirt from this KWIK SEW Pattern.

Each summer I get skirt envy when I see people in pretty floral skirts but whenever I try them on they never seem to look quite right on me. So I thought I would make a skirt with a more geometric design to see if this would be more 'me'. It's a wrap around skirt and I used the same techniques as I used for my Gridlock  piece except I over printed with turquoise grids. To create the contrast edge around the skirt, I overprinted the edging fabric with solid turquoise. However, as you can see from the photograph the contrast between the fabrics is small. So much so that I'm wondering whether I should over dye the whole skirt with turquoise.

If you were thinking that it's a bit late to be making a summer skirt, you'd be wrong, rather I'm ahead of schedule for next year! Still not sure whether a patterned skirt is me but maybe I just need time to get used to it. 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Kaffe Fassett Quilts at the RHS Flower Show

Last week hubby went to the RHS London show where they also had an exhibition of Kaffe Fassett quilts and I thought you might like to see some of the photographs. Kaffe seems to be popping up quite a lot at the moment. Have I just started to notice him or is trying to raise his profile? There was an article on him in Good Housekeeping and I know he is doing a talk at the V&A in December.


Detail of the quilt above

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Pre-Raphaelite exhibition and embroidery

On Friday evening I went to see the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition at the Tate.

I was surprised but pleased to see that the exhibition also included some textiles. There was some wonderful tapestries and embroidery. In particular I enjoyed seeing William Morris' bed. The bed hangings, valance and cover were designed and beautifully embroidered by his wife and daughter. There have been times when I thought I would never get to the end of the embroidery stage (my Gridlock piece comes to mind) but seeing the quality and amount of embroidery in these pieces put my work firmly into perspective. What would I say if my Dad asked me to hand embroider a bed cover, a valance and some bed hangings?  

Another highlight was the three fold embroidered panels portraying pictures of heroines. Unfortunately I couldn't find a picture of them to show you. The design of the panels was so like the paintings in other parts of the exhibition, down to the style of wallpaper and long voluminous hair of the women. I don't remember seeing paintings and embroidery in such similar style before. 

Yesterday, I went to my monthly session at Committed to Cloth. I made some progress towards finishing a couple of things off and I hope to show you those soon.  By then the dye should have gone from my hands!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Knitting and Stitch Show 2012

Today I went on my annual trip to the Knitting & Stitch Show. Usually I see lots of lovely threads but don't have any particular piece to use them on. This year I went with not one but two pieces in my bag and still didn't buy any threads. The show seemed particularly busy this year and the thought of getting my work out on the stands wasn't very attractive. I did buy this piece of work by Wendy Rudd though and I know just where it's going.

There were other pieces that I would have liked to buy and one of them was by Jae Maries. I think Jae's work offers so much to look at and discover. There's subtle layers and textures and I am left admiring how she makes all the elements come together like she does. Unfortunately, you won't be able to see all the detail from my photograph.

I would also have liked to take one of Hilary Hollingworth's pieces home. Unfortunately, I don't have a photograph of the piece because it was tucked in a corner and difficult to photograph. 

There were lots of pieces that I liked and not all could be photographed. Here are some where the technique also intrigued me. This piece was by Sian Martin and although the piece was hanging in strips the image could still clearly be seen.

Another eye catcher was the cross stitch car door on the Mr X Stitch exhibition stand. If you follow the link you will see details from the exhibition and it's worth a look.

And the detail of the work:

Another intriguing piece in the Mr X Stitch exhibition was by Diem Chau. How does that very fine fabric stick so seamlessly (no pun intended) to the bowl?

I thought this Tea Bag bowl by Barbara Cotterell looked great. How do people think of these things?
Coming back to fabric and stitch, I found this piece by Val Holmes inspiring for my own work. II has a simple landscape structure and has lots of variety in the colours and marks in the foreground.  The green section on the horizon line is the only part of the piece that's stitched.  When I've finished my square pieces I have promised myself I will go back to landscapes.  
Before I finish this post, I'd like to bring up the topic of photography. Why is it that some people positively encourage you to take photographs and to share them with others (Mr X Stitch for example) and others have signs telling you that it would be disrespectful to the artist if you were to take a photograph? Can anyone explain?

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Art & fear

I have recently bought this book and read it on the commute to work. I think it will be a book that I will refer to from time to time and perhaps some parts will mean more to me later than they do at the moment. I have picked out a couple of thoughts from the book which I hope will encourage me (and perhaps you?) to do more work. From my own perspective, I am hoping these thoughts will encourage me to draw, something I know I should do more of. When I have a drawing or design that I am happy with, I need no encouragement to work with that idea in textiles and if I really like the design then there's no holding me back. Anyway here they are.....
  1. Art is often thought of as a magical gift bestowed by gods but over the long term natural talent is barely distinguishable from perseverance and hard work.
  2. Seeds of your next art work lie embedded in the imperfections of your current piece
  3. A ceramics teacher divided a class into two and told one half that they would be marked on the quality of their work, the other half were told they would be measured by the quantity of their work. At the end of the term, the best work was found in the group who were going to be marked by the quantity of their work. The quantity group learnt from their mistakes and improved with each piece, whilst the quality group spent all their time theorising about perfection.

And to show that I have been creative and not just reading about being creative, here is a detail of the stitching I have done on my  Changing Times paper lamination piece  which I previously blogged about. The colours are not quite true but I find capturing accurate colours quite challenging.