I have just got back from a fabulous week in North Yorkshire with Region 10 of the IFA. I rode up (yes “rode” up, with my motorcycle stacked high with supplies!) to take part in a residential Masterclass with Dagmar Binder and 9 other students at The Old Mill in Skeeby. I am a huge admirer of Dagmars work and was thrilled to be taking part in her workshop.
Day one, making a start on our samples
My sample piece
Over the three days we learnt such a lot about making a successful felt garment. On day one we started with pattern making and then after lunch we made a small set of samples to explore the use of pre felt and how the direction of the fibres affect the finished piece. Completing the sample would help us to get to get to grips with our “collars”. Although only small this piece took quite some time to make and the majority of us ended up back in the studio after dinner in order to get it finished.
Laying fibres for my waistcoat
Dagmar talks us through the fulling stage
Louise is the first to finish!
Lamona proudly shows off her work
Niki added some beautiful texture to her design
It was an intense workshop with the majority of us working late into the evening, every evening, but it was so worth it! I had intended to create several more collars on my waistcoat but soon realised that the work involved, for me, was too much to fit into the time scale we had. My finished waistcoat isn’t perfect but I am confident that I now have the skill to know where and how I can improve when I make my next one.
My finished waistcoat
A big thank you to Dagmar, Iris and everyone I met in Skeeby for making this such an enjoyable experience.
This morning I visited “Faraway Places”, an exhibition celebrating the work of the Waltham Textile Group, led by Jacky Hopkin. The venue, adjacent to Waltham Windmill, makes it an ideal spot for families to visit with cafes, picnic area, miniature railway, etc.
There was a very varied and interesting selection of work on display featuring a whole range of techniques including hand stitching, free machine stitching, crazy patchwork, applique, burning, fabric painting and machine embellishing to name just a few! The work really was inspiring as you will see from the following selection of quilts…….
Blue Mountain & Horizon by Ann Kitching
Holiday Dreams by Ann Kitching
Snowdrops by Margaret Beadham
Desert by Carole Parkinson
Gecko by Carole Parkinson
The Water Carriers of India by Jacky Hopkin
Heavenly Sky by Kath Greenfield
India by Venessa Drewery
Last year I made a little 20 x 30 cm riverside quilt as part of the Hockney Challenge.
Original Riverside Trees
Overall I was happy with it but, 18 months on and feeling more confident, I thought it would be a good exercise to revisit the design and make a larger version…….. Riverside Trees II. This quilt is 68 x 108 cm and I’ve aimed to give the scene more depth by placing forests in the background and a near side bank with dried grasses in the foreground.
The main tree line is applied with forests behind
The colour of the sky was too dominant first time round so I’ve made it subtle and gone for texture rather than colour this time. The trees are pretty much the same as previously but I felt the original version was too fussy so I’ve reduced their number from 7 to five and left off the smaller branches. I think this has created a stronger overall image.
Auditioning fabric for the fields and river bank
The lighter hand dyed fabric was chosen for the field and a chiffon scarf was distressed and used for the riverbank
The river is applied
Finished Riverside Trees II
With this one finished I’m going to concentrate on my sketch book over the next couple of weeks and work on some new designs. The latest quilt challenge to be drawn out of the hat at Cranwell is to produce a piece with the theme “a walk in the Black Forest” so that will be right up my street!
Wet felted brooch
I’ve just got back from attending two “play days” with the IFA Region 8 ladies at Arnesby Village Hall. There were mini workshops happening on both days and, having seen the lovely felted brooch that Sandra Jenkins was making, I decided to join in with that one.
Making a circular background from Merino and painting silk organza for the flowers
These pretty little brooches are a great way of using up your left over tiny scraps of fabric and felt from previous projects.
Combining the silk and felt to make the tiny flowers
My finished brooch
On day two I began laying out Bergschaf and Merino wool to make a fish. I didn’t make very good progress, mainly due to spending a lot of time chatting, looking at other people’s work and perusing copies of “Felt Matters” magazines. I’m continuing with it at home but it’s taken on a new life and will be a sort of fantasy sea creature……..watch this space!
Speaking of fantasy creatures, these felted Monster Bags were made by Sylvia Winn, aren’t they great?
I get the impression that Sylvia is a big fan of novelty bags……this is the “fishy” bag she was working on yesterday, complete with zip closure and fishing line shoulder strap!
I’ve just completed a commissioned quilt, entitled Horncastle – Gateway to the Wolds, for the local branch of the WAW (Walkers are Welcome). The two characters in my design are based on the twins from the old Start-Rite children’s shoe advert, but in this case they are carrying backpacks and are walking in the Lincolnshire Wolds.
The old Start-Rite children’s shoe advert
After taking several photographs of the local landscape I chose the view which was taken just outside of Horncastle, with my back to the A158, looking across towards the Wolds and towards the village of West Ashby.
View of the Lincolnshire Wolds looking towards West Ashby
The 30 x 30 cm quilt combines several techniques including the use of Inktense pencils to draw and colour the background scenery. The twins are applique with 3D backpacks. The trees have vilene trunks and needle felted foliage created using the embellisher machine. The hedgerows were made from a lightweight scarf which was distressed using a heat gun while the stitching is a combination of hand and machine embroidery.
My preliminary sketch for the WAW quilt
Work in progress
I’m not a fan of borders so, as the brief was to include a border, I’ve painted it to make it an extension of the main image.
The finished quilt
Two of my boxed sets of wet felted fairy shoes have recently gone to new homes so this weekend I set to and made some more. These shoes were demonstrated by Robyn Smith at one of the first felting workshops I attended back in 2014. Trimmed with beads and mounted in a box frame they make a lovely gift for a little girls bedroom…….or maybe even for big girl’s like me who still believe in fairies!
Red Merino Fairy Shoes
Blue Merino Fairy Shoes
Green Merino Fairy Shoes
Back in May, inspired by the work of Lisa Klakulak, I designed and made a Merino necklace and cuff.
My first Merino necklace and cuff
Last week I was spotted wearing them and commissioned by a lovely lady called Katie to make a similar set as a birthday gift. Katie called by to collect the jewellery today and I’m pleased to say that she was absolutely thrilled with it! I hope the recipient will be equally happy and will enjoy wearing it as much as I enjoyed making it.
Commissioned Merino Necklace and Cuff
This weekend the two Cranwell groups, Crafty Ladies & Cranwell Contemporary Textiles, held their first ever quilt show. I’ve been a member for just over a year and during that time have seen many wonderful pieces of work produced by the members but to actually see all of this work, and more, displayed together was amazing!
The show was split between two venues with the contemporary work by the CCTG in Cranwell village hall and the traditional quilts by Crafty Ladies on quilt stands and draped over the pews in the beautiful village church. The following photos show a selection of the quilts on display in the hall.
The next four photos are quilts made in response to our themed quarterly “challenges”.
Challenge Quilts….what Winter means to me
Challenge Quilts…..Flora & Fauna
Challenge Quilts….shape & colour
Challenge Quilts…..(left) Summer garden, (right) Poetry
Dedicated to St Andrew, Cranwell church originates circa the 10th century and it made a wonderful venue for the more traditional quilts…….