Faraway Places…..

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

Blue Mountain & Horizon by Ann Kitching

Holiday Dreams by Ann Kitching

Holiday Dreams by Ann Kitching

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Snowdrops by Margaret Beadham

Snowdrops by Margaret Beadham

Desert by Carole Parkinson

Desert by Carole Parkinson

Gecko by Carole Parkinson

Gecko by Carole Parkinson

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The Water Carriers of India by Jacky Hopkins

The Water Carriers of India by Jacky Hopkin

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Heavenly Sky by Kath Greenfield

Heavenly Sky by Kath Greenfield

India by Venessa Drewery

India by Venessa Drewery

Riverside Trees II…..

Last year I made a little 20 x 30 cm riverside quilt as part of the Hockney Challenge.

Original Riverside Trees

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 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

Auditioning fabric for the fields and river bank

The lighter hand died fabric was chosen for the field and a chiffon scarf for the riverbank

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

The river is applied

Finished Riverside Trees II

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!

Announcing New Online Class and a Giveaway!

An exiting on-line workshop from Ruth Lane, starting in September for four weeks. Printing onto your felt can add a whole new dimension!

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My new online class Print, Stencil and Play with Thickened Dye on Felt is finally ready! It is the third module of Embellishing Felt with Surface Design Techniques – A Mixed Media Approach. The cost for the 4 week course is $45.00 (US). The first offering of the course is September 16, 2016. To register for the course, please fill out the contact us form here.

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Do you love to experiment and play? This class is going to be a lot of fun as you learn how to make thickened dyes and a variety of ways to apply thickened dye to felt or silk. You’ll learn how to make stamps, stencils and various mark making techniques.

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For more information about the course, check out the class page here. 

Finished Stenciled Fish on Felt

Now for exciting news! I am giving away one free class slot for this class. To enter to win, share this post on social media…

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Felted brooch…..

Floral brooch made with Merino wool and silk organza

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.

Preparing the individual components

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

Combining the silk and felt to make the tiny flowers

Wet felted brooch with tiny felt and organza 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?

Monster Bags

Monster Bags

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!

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Horncastle – Gateway to the Wolds…..

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

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.

Photograph taken from the A158 on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds

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.

Working on my design for the Walkers are Welcome art quilt

My preliminary sketch for the WAW quilt

Working on 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.

Horncastle - Gateway to the Wolds

The finished quilt

 

Wet Felted Fairy Shoes…..

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!

Fairy boots made from red Merino wool tops, embellished with beads

Red Merino Fairy Shoes

Fairy Boots made with blue Merino wool tops embellished with tiny beads

Blue Merino Fairy Shoes

Fairy Boots made from green Merino wool tops and embellished with tiny enamelled flowers

Green Merino Fairy Shoes

 

Merino Necklace and Cuff…..

Back in May, inspired by the work of Lisa Klakulak, I designed and made a Merino necklace and cuff.

Necklace and cuff set made from grey Merino

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.

Necklace and Cuff set made from grey Merino

Commissioned Merino Necklace and Cuff

Cranwell Quilt Show 2016….

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.

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The next four photos are quilts made in response to our themed quarterly “challenges”.

Challenge Quilts....what Winter means to me

Challenge Quilts….what Winter means to me

Challenge Quilts.....Flora & Fauna

Challenge Quilts…..Flora & Fauna

Challenge Quilts....shape & colour

Challenge Quilts….shape & colour

Challenge Quilts.....(left) Summer garden, (right) Poetry

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…….

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Online Felted Concertina Hat Class with Teri Berry in August

Check out this fabulous on-line hat making workshop from Teri Berry.

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We are excited to announce that we have a new online class available by Teri Berry.  Here’s what Teri has to say about her class. This four-week, hat making course will initially guide you through the different options for hat blocks (from DIY to the extravagant!) and choosing one to fit. Although this module is technically week 1, I will send it out on receipt of payment so you have as much time as possible to make or buy a hat block if you don’t already have one.

Week 2 will focus on making a stylish or quirky concertina hat and will include guidance on how to create a resist for your head size, how to add a felted “pig tail”, creating a brim and forming sharp folds that remain in place. I will also describe how I blend colours and make the “silk stripes” used on some of my hats.

In week 3 we will…

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New Version of Yellow Poppies…..

A couple of weeks ago, at a workshop with Mandy Nash, I was introduced to Bergschaf wool.  Since taking up felting I’ve been used to working with Merino and wasn’t too sure if I would take to the coarser, hairier Bergschaf but I love it!  Not only does it felt very quickly but, being supplied as carded batts, it makes laying out a lot quicker too.  Having previously made a vessel with it, this weekend I thought I would try using Bergschaf to make a felted wall hanging.  I’ve revamped a design I did a couple of years ago, making it larger and adding grasses.  The new version of Yellow Poppies is approximately 20″ x 15″.

My original Yellow Poppies felted picture

My original Yellow Poppies felted picture

Laying out the design

Laying out the new design

Wet felted Bergschaf and Merino wool picture entitled Yellow Poppies.

New version of Yellow Poppies.

The poppies and smaller flowers were made with Merino, the stalks are knitting wool and the detail was added with free machine stitching.  The black backing fabric is garden membrane which is great to use as it doesn’t tear or fray.

Reverse side of Yellow Poppies

Reverse side of Yellow Poppies