Sunday, 29 June 2014

Barge in the mist: Short Listed for Fine Art Quilt Masters Prize

Last month, I was thrilled to receive an email to inform me that  'Barge in the Mist' had been short listed for the Fine Art Quilt Masters prize. The selection is made from two photographs, one of the whole piece and one detail shot. Although the piece is green, it is quite subtle in many ways and I thought it might not suit selection by photograph but taking lots of photographs until I had a decent representation obviously paid off.

There were 20 quilts short listed and they were exhibited at New Designers last week. I do try to go to New designers (ND) every year and already had my ticket for this year when I heard I had been short listed but I had an additional  reason to go this year. So yesterday, as planned, I went to ND.  First stop the quilt exhibition on the top floor - what a relief to see my quilt hanging there - they hadn't changed their mind!  I always think of my work being generally quite large but next to the other pieces it looked quite small. 

You can find images and details of all the short listed quilts here: Fine Art Quilt Master 2014. Do have a look, as there's are some lovely work. I can't imagine how you pick a winner but perhaps I should try and find out!

I enjoyed seeing all the students work too. There was lots of fabric printing and came away with a desire to print a blind or curtains. Not sure when I'm going to get to do that though but I think that printing a smaller piece and getting digitally printed is the way to go - probably quicker and certainly safer. You wouldn't want to get to the end of a 4 metre print run and drop a blob of dye where you didn't want want one, would you?

I also noticed a number of students had pleated their fabric. Maybe there are always students who pleat fabric but I just noticed them more because of my fabric origami Sahsa Hocking had some lovely pleated knitted fabric and she generously recommended a book on pleating to me which I'm going to get. 

I always have my radar tuned in looking for stitching and there's never as much as I'd like to see, so I was pleased to see the work by Maria Boyle . I obviously wasn't alone as Maria had been selected to be the Textile Study Group graduate of the year. Congratulations Maria.

Now need to concentrate on my pieces for the next exhibition but looking forward to Festival of Quilts in August.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Geometric Landscape 1

Geometric landscape I is finished at last, finished except the backing and the hanging device and I'm going to keep my options open on that until I've finished the other pieces in the series. The piece is 59cm square and I know this is true because I measured it a number of times (!) but it doesn't look square to me it looks more of a portrait format.

The real colours are closer to those on the right hand side of the picture

There is very little decorative stitching on the piece, only on the horizontal ochre strip but that doesn't mean it hasn't taken a long time to complete. I've lost count of the amount of time I have spent cutting, stitching, moving the pieces around and thinking about this piece. If I put it away for a while and come back to it, I'll probably appreciate it more. 

I have now started stitching the background for the Geometric Landscape II piece and there is going to be a lot of stitching on this piece and I'm enjoying it - hope I'll still be enjoying it at the end!

I've now started printing a background fabric for my 3rd geometric landscape, which I hope will support some of my fabric origami, more of that another time.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Collograph Print on Paper and Fabric

I previously posted about some collograph printing that I did with Kim Major George and this print suggested stitching more than the others to me. 

Collograph print on paper approx 13 x 15 cm
I was going to stick to my normal approach of printing a background fabric and then adding stitch but I knew that I would need to try a number of different printing approaches to get the look I was seeking.  I do plan to trial some printing techniques but I thought that this would be perfect for a trial of a different type - digital printing. And here it is the design digitally printed on cloth by Fingerprint Fabricand I am very pleased with the results and will definitely use them again.

Digital print on fabric approx 38 X 45cm
What I really like about the service they provide is that you can print small amounts of fabric at an affordable price. I have effectively printed a fat quarter...that was requirement to print yardage and the fabric came very promptly which was just as well as I couldn't wait to see it.

The problem with printing my design larger was that the white bits also became larger, which I know shouldn't have be a surprise to me but they were definitely too prominent. So I decided to paint over the piece with so-called ecru dye, which looked scarily like dusky pink when the fabric was wet but has dried much lighter and may not be the colour I had in mind but I do think the piece looks better for toning down the white. The problem was probably that I used too much dye.

The (my?) photographs don't always show the subtle variations in colour but hopefully with the white envelope next the fabric you can see how I have changed the background. 

So the fabric has been soaked in soda, over dyed and washed and the colours are still looking as good as when I first received the fabric. So I'm very pleased. I know I said it was a trial piece but I have every intention of stitching on the fabric and it's probably an ideal piece to take on holiday. Watch this space!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Background for the Geometric Landscape

Finally, I have a background for my geometric landscapes! I have printed, dyed in a bucket, discharged some of the colour, over dyed and over printed. Nobody could say the fabric has no history and has been through so many processes that I probably couldn't replicate it.

It was the final overprinting that pulled it together and somehow gave it a purpose. I took the shapes from this landscape and shuffled them around a bit to remove the rectangular shape and screen printed the shapes onto the fabric. To give the background a further feeling of landscape, I printed the pattern at the top of the cloth smaller and lighter than the pattern at the bottom.

I plan to hand stitch around some of the shapes, which will take time but a process I think I will enjoy. I am hoping to get this piece into an exhibition in the autumn and details of the finished size needs to be submitted soon, so it's a relief to get to this point, a point where you've got everything you need, most of the big decisions have been made and it's just a matter of stitching. 

In the picture above, the fabric is still just roughly folded and not all the individual landscape pieces are finished but hopefully you get the idea of where this piece is going. Then there's still the decision on which order to place the pieces. Lots still to do but really pleased to get to this point. It's surprising what you can achieve when a deadline is looming.