Work in Progress…..

Last year I joined a group of creative ladies who meet once a month at Waltham Windmill.  As well as working on our own projects we have a number of set “challenges” requiring us to work to a certain theme. This week I began one those challenges which is to produces three A4 size pieces of work using just three colours. Each piece is to have one predominant colour, plus a small amount of the other two. The format can be landscape or portrait but all three will be displayed together. The design, techniques and materials are entirely up to the individual.

My first thought was that I wanted my 3 pieces to be joined together and initially I was thinking along the lines of a leaf motif, using the veins to span the gaps between the work. The first design was for a very simple “spear” shaped leaf.

The second idea was to simplify it even more and loose the outline of the leaf. The background would possibly be heavyweight interfacing or Lutradur and the veins would be free motion stitched, spanning the gaps by stitching onto dissolvable fabric.
In the meantime I happened to take my dog for a walk in the woods at Hubbard’s Hills in Louth when I had a lightbulb moment! There were some wonderful exposed tree roots at the top of the hill and I suddenly saw these as being the joining element of my 3 x A4’s. The design now was for a “forest floor”.
Sketchbook page showing a design for piece of textile art
I realised that I would need a sturdy backing so I’ve wet felted these using Bergschaf fibres and they will be individually mounted onto stiff card…..at least that’s the plan so far! There will be little background showing on pieces two and three but far more on piece one so I included some thick cords under that sheet of felt to indicate buried roots.
Wet felted Bergschaf fibres
The tree roots above ground have an aluminium wire as their core, wrapped with wadding and strips of medium weight Lutradur before being painted grey.
Tree roots made from aluminium wire and Lutradur fabric
I’ve started making the weeds using free motion stitch on dissolvable fabric but I will look at alternative materials, possibly Lutradur, to introduce different textures, create more bulk and not least to speed up the weed making process!
Making weeds using free motion embroidery
The fallen leaves at the base of the roots will be FM stitched on Lutradur. Once they’ve been cut out using a soldering iron and heat distressed to make them curl they will be painted in varying shades of gold.
Lutradur leaves
I’ve managed to get a couple of other group members to send me images of their work in progress…..
Jacky approached the challenge by choosing blue, green and gold as her colours and using the “stack and whack” method to cut them up. After selecting her fabrics they were cut up quite randomly and then machined together in strips. The three sets were then layed on top of each other and sliced through again. The yellow and green shapes in the resulting strips made her think of plant pots and this led to her theme of “neglected pots and plants”. In this piece Jacky has added an appliqué cactus and free motion stitched the neglected straggly plants on the left. This one isn’t far off being finished but Ive been told the other two are still piles of fabric on the workroom table!
Carole has chosen to use a combination of plain and patterned fabrics in her chosen colour scheme of red, blue and yellow. Each of her A4’s feature a different piecing technique i.e. strips, curves and crazy patchwork. Again this is a work in progress but already you can see how individual members are putting their own mark on their work and how different everyone’s finished work is going to be. I will post images of the completed challenges next time.

Towards the Wolds…..

This is my latest commissioned piece entitled Towards the Wolds. It’s based on one of my favourite views looking east down Shearmans Wath, towards West Ashby and the rolling hills of the Lincolnshire Wolds.

Shearman’s Wath is the site of a late Neolithic Henge. According to Historic England…..”the buried remains are situated 330m north of Thimbleby Mill on the glacial sands and gravels of the flood plain edge, some 150m east of the River Bain. The monument, which has been reduced by ploughing, can no longer be seen on the ground. It is, however, clearly visible from the air, and has been recorded on aerial photographs since 1970.”

The Wallhanging is approximately 42cm x 64 cm, created from 23 micron Merino fibres, Wet Felted, and embellished with hand and machine stitch. I’ve enjoyed working on this piece and very much looking forward to seeing it hanging in it’s new home!

Paint, Layer & Stitch…..

Today I was invited down to North Kilworth, Leicestershire to work with fourteen ladies from the textile group “Textend”. We spent the day painting fabric, layering with sheers and tulle and stitching to create our tree themed landscapes. Some ladies worked from imagination while others took inspiration from photos or cards. Although there is still work to be done, as you can see, the pieces are looking great. Many thanks to Ruth for inviting me and look forward to seeing some of you again next week.

Lutradur Forest Workshop…..

Day two of the Lutradur Forest Workshop saw the ladies layering and stitching their Forest designs to their base fabric.

As often happens in a workshop, although all of the ladies worked constantly over the two day’s and the quilts are looking terrific, everyone has some finishing off to do at home.

Clare is adding clumps of bluebells to her Forest floor, hand embroidering them with Colonial knots

Janet’s design featured trees in leaf as well as these wonderful old gnarly tree stumps

Sue created lots of depth with her shading

Clair based her design on a photo she took while visiting a Canadian lake in the Fall

Janice is making lots of individual leaves which will be added to the foreground on the right of her design

Patricia has created a very strong contrast with her dark foreground tree and the lighter grey trunks in the background

Lyn will add stitched detail the her ferns to create interest in the foreground

Thanks to Nicola at the Simply Stitch Studio for being a wonderful host and to all the ladies for their enthusiasm and hard work.  I will look forward to receiving photos of your finished quilts.

Lutradur Forest Workshop….

A Walk in the Forest art quilt by Karen Lane

Walk in the Forest

Today was day one of a two-day Lutradur Forest Workshop at the Simply Stitch Studio, Wetherby.  Using my “Walk in the Forest” design as a starting point, eight ladies have begun the day designing their own “Forest” art quilt which will consist of several layers of Lutradur fabric.  Today the Lutradur has been cut out and painted and tomorrow we will begin layering and stitching the fabric in place.  As you can see from the photos not only is each design unique but also each student is displaying a distinct style of their own.

The ladies start by drawing out their design ideas on paper

The Lutradur is cut out and painted

Cutting out foliage using a soldering iron

This is where we are at the end of day one…..

Tomorrow we will bring all the main elements together and stitch them in place before adding any foreground detail and hand stitching.  I’m really looking forward to seeing how these pieces develop!

 

Escape…..

My latest art quilt has been made in response to the Cranwell Contemporary Group challenge titled Escape.  When the theme was announced my first thought was of “escaping” to the Scottish Highlands……this area has to be my absolute favourite away from it all destination in the UK.

Art Quilt with the theme “Escape”

Escape

I worked from memory, rather than looking back at photographs, as I wanted this piece to suggest a mood and a feeling of being in this area and not a specific, identifiable place.   The colours are very neutral and muted, built up using Inktense paint, layered fabrics, Mulberry bark and silk cocoon strippings to create a textural surface.  The finished quilt is 28” wide x 40” high.

Ardmair Bay…..

Ardmair Bay

This is the latest in a series of work inspired by my visit to Ullapool and the surrounding area last June.   This particular piece is based on a photograph I took at Ardmair Bay looking out to sea.  The base is vilene, painted with Inktense and layered with sheers, netting, muslin and a little Nuno Felting.  The pebble beach is made from cocoon strippings and unknown fibres.  Size 22cm x 34cm.

Tall Trees – The Finished Work…..

It’s been a terrific two days at Simply Stitch and I’ve been blown away by the standard of work that the ladies have produced!

We were joined on day two by a new lady, Jen – the pressure was on for her to catch up with what she missed on Wednesday and she did a great job of it!

Here are a few more “work in progress” photos featuring Ruth, Janet, Jen and Carole…..

and the fabulous finished (or almost!) pieces…..

Once again, thank you to Nicola for inviting me back to Simply Stitch and being such a great host!  Also a huge thank you to all the ladies who took part in the workshop for their enthusiasm and hard work over the two days.  It will be great to see you all again at our next class in the New Year.

Tall Trees Workshop….

We’ve just come to the end of day one of my “Tall Trees” art quilt workshop at Simply Stitch near Wetherby.  There are thirteen ladies taking part, over two days, working with paint and stitch, layering sheer fabrics and netting to create beautiful backgrounds for their painted Vilene trees.   We have some fabulous quilts taking shape, this is how they are doing so far…….

Even our host, Nicola, is making time to join in with this workshop!