The handover date for the latest LINQS challenge, to produce an art quilt inspired by any aspect of the life or works of Sir Isaac Newton, is fast approaching and I’ve still got a lot to do! When I began my research I was surprised to learn that Newton had been an Alchemist (obvious really given the age he lived in) and spent a lot of his time and effort in pursuit of the Philosophers Stone. I used this fact as my starting point and designed my quilt along the lines of an Alchemy illustration using a limited colour palette. Materials used so far include oil pastels and transfer foils on cotton fabrics and pelmet vilene. As I said, still a lot to do so back to the sewing machine!
This gorgeous Tyvek Leaf was made by Josie, one of the Louth Textile Group, at my Tyvek Leaf Workshop last Friday. The addition of stitching and beading has transformed it……absolutely beautiful! Please keep the photos coming in as and when you finish your leaves.
Last night I was invited to deliver my Tyvek Leaf Workshop to 24 creative ladies from the Louth Textile Group who meet once a month at the Conoco Rooms above Louth Library. Time was going to be a little tight with 24 participants and less than two hours to make our leaves but all of the ladies rose to the challenge knowing that they would have to complete their project at home.
We began by colouring our Tyvek using our chosen medium, either felt markers, fabric paint, acrylics or watercolours. While this was drying the ladies made their wire leaf framework.
Every leaf was a different shape and there were some interesting colour schemes taking place………
It was a fun night which went all too quickly…..I wish I had made the time to take more (and better) photos! With no time at the end for a “show and tell” I’m hoping to receive images of the finished work, complete with stitching and beading, when the group meet again next month.
Many thanks to all the ladies for making feel so welcome.
My little group, Felt Inspired, have just played host to a wonderful wet felting weekend workshop with felt maker Mandy Nash. The four “Inspired” regulars myself, Rosie, Dreda and Pat were joined by Jane, Enid, Joan, Helen, Sandra and Robyn (Feltybits). As well as being an inspiring tutor, Mandy, who travelled up from Llantrisant, is Vice Chair, exhibitions officer and a regional co-ordinator of the International Feltmakers Association.
The morning began with Mandy showing the ten of us examples of her wonderful wet felted objects, including hats, bags, funky fish and vessels, mainly created using Bergschaf wool.
Some of the ladies were keen to experiment with the “book” resist technique with five of them making vessels while Robyn decided she would like to make a fish.
The rest of us chose to make a hat using a flat resist and added embellishment. In addition Mandy talked us through the various surface design techniques she uses and demonstrated how we could achieve these effects using Bergschaf wool batts.
Helen and I were both smitten with Mandy’s “fern” hat so chose to make that……
Many thanks to Mandy for an inspiring two days and thanks to all the ladies who participated. If anyone would like to join our group we meet on the second Wednesday of the month at Belchford Village Hall. For more information please use the contact form.
Yesterday I spent a very enjoyable day in the company of a lovely group of ladies, the Spalding Embroiderers, who meet at Pode Hole Village Hall in the Lincolnshire Fens. The group had booked me to do a workshop for them, giving me free reign to decide what we would be doing.
I wanted to offer them something completely different and something I was pretty sure they wouldn’t have done before. I settled on putting together a workshop to make my Tyvek Leaves. Tyvek is a wonderful product to work with as it has so many possibilities when it comes to colouring, shaping and distressing.
It felt a bit of a risk as it would involve so many different stages and I wasn’t sure how the group would take to shaping wire frames using pliers. I needn’t have worried, their enthusiasm and positivity was terrific and the hall was filled with conversation and laughter all through the day! In fact, putting together this workshop has reminded me of how much fun I had designing my first leaves and it’s been great to get back to making more of them.
The leaves worked out beautifully. As you can see, everyone got their leaf to the stage of it having been distressed with the heat gun but unfortunately we ran out of time to get the holes embroidered so they will continue with that at home. I hope to receive photos of some of the finished leaves as and when they get done.
A big thank you to all the Spalding Embroidery ladies for making me feel so welcome and for being such wonderful, enthusiastic students! I shall look forward to seeing you all at our next workshop.
I’ve just finished my latest art quilt “Lincolnshire Wolds“. This one has an entirely painted background, using Inktense on vilene. I don’t normally use Bondaweb in my art quilts, I usually lay the fabric down and sew it straight onto the background but this time I made an exception. After giving it some thought it seemed the easiest way to create the foliage on the foreground tree and a good way to make the shadow from that same tree on the field.
The stitching is a combination of straight stitch and free machine embroidery with a little hand stitching along the base of the hedgerow.
The one drawback to using pelmet vilene for textile art is that it is easily creased so it really needs mounting on a canvas or a board when I get around to it.
Between Christmas and New Year I began work on a new art quilt which I have called A Tribute to Three Worlds. This 44″ x 27″ quilt is my textile interpretation of a lithograph by one of my favourite artists, Maurits Cornelis Escher (1892-1972)
I have been an admirer of Escher’s work since my art school days. During a recent visit to Barter Books in Alnwick I bought “The Life and Works of Escher” by Miranda Fellows and felt inspired by this particular design to create my on take on it.
I wanted to recreate the three different perspectives i.e. the trees above the water seen as a reflection, the Autumn leaves floating on the water and the fish swimming below the water, all of which make up Escher’s “three worlds”. It took a lot longer to complete than I had imagined it would but I’m very happy with the result.
This is a quick catch up post, just to record a couple of felting projects that were recently finished. The first is a pair of Bergschaf slipper boots, an early present to myself! I made them using a scaled up version (and then some!) of the fairy boots I made in the summer. The two boots are made as one, using a flat resist, and then cut apart before fulling and shaping. They are the warmest and most comfortable slippers I have ever had. I can see these lasting for years so I’m intending to embellish them with hand embroidery at some point over Christmas.
The second project was a wet felted cushion for my elderly aunt who is nearly 90 yrs young and loves warm colours, particularly orange. She lives in a small flat, there is nothing she actually needs but she does love anything felted so I thought this Merino cushion would be something she could get some enjoyment from looking at.
Back in the Summer I read a post on the Felting & Fibre Studio about a concertina hat workshop being run by Teri Berry. It sounded really interesting but at that time I couldn’t commit due to holidays and other workshops. Fortunately Teri’s first workshop was such a huge success that it is being run again this month. As a result I’ve just finished my first wet felted Merino concertina hat and I’m really happy with how it turned out. I’m now looking forward to trying out the next design which is Teri’s wacky but wonderful “Snail Hat”…….watch this space!