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!
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
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…….
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
Laying out the new design
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
Tomorrow Molly and I are going down to the Springfield Quilt Show at Spalding for the day to see the LINQS (Lincolnshire Quilters) display of Hockney inspired quilts. It seems like forever since we signed up to do the LINQS challenge, neither of us having made a quilt previously, so it will be great to see them hanging on show. I was flattered to see that My Three Tall Trees was chosen to feature on the flyer advertising this weekends event.
We also got a mention in this months edition of Lincolnshire Life magazine after their reporter visited our Hockney Handover event.
Everyone breathes a sigh of relief now the challenge is finally over!
We had a show and tell session in Horncastle and everyone agreed the standard of work was terrific! The following photos show just a tiny number of the LINQS quilts which will be embarking on a national tour with Grosvenor Shows starting tomorrow.
Molly proudly shows off her quilt at the Hockney Handover session.
“Out and Onto the Canvas” is the title of the quilt made through a process of collaboration by the seven members of Textile Lincs.
The Three Trees by Wendy Skinner
Hockney’s 18th VN by Jacky Hopkin
Three Green Waves by Sandra Goldsbrough.
It’s not all Black & White by Pat Sperr
After 1954, my quilt based on Hockney’s mixed media self-portrait.
Wet felting and textural
Our latest challenge at the Cranwell contemporary textile group has been to produce a piece of work based on a poem. We could use any poem, any style and any techniques, but the finished piece had to be 20″ x 15″, quilted, and it had to include lettering in some form or other.
With such a “loose” brief the first thing I decided on was that, whatever poem I chose, I would use wet felting and my finished piece would be very textural. I sat down with my sketch book and thought through some of the odd lines I knew from well known poems. Nothing lept out to inspire me until the words “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive” came into my head. I didn’t know who the poet was or which poem it came from but a quick search on Google told me it was from an epic written in 1808 by Sir Walter Scott entitled Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field.
I know very little about poetry but this surely has to be one of the longest poems ever written! It took me longer to read the poem than it did to make the quilt! You can read a potted version of the plot on Wiki, but basically it’s a story in which good triumphs over evil. One of the characters is a “fallen” nun called Constance who is condemned to death for her misdeeds and walled up alive on Lindisfarne. It was the fate of Constance which inspired my design.
Using Merino wool, the background colours were laid out and wet felted to prefelt stage, then cut into smaller pieces, relaid and felted thoroughly. This technique is one I particularly like and the one I used in memories of a Greek holiday.
Carded Merino is wet felted for the background.
Constance’s head and torso were made from air dry clay and later painted with Inktense. The lettering was cut from Lutradur using a soldering iron and coloured with a permanent marker pen. The first attempt at making a web was done with free machine embroidery on a soluable fabric and resulted in something that looked more like a fishermans net! The second attempt was more successful using free machine stitching on Lutradur and burning it away with my heat gun.
The finished quilt
The background has been free machine stitched and hand embroidered with Colonial Knots.
Detail from The Fate of Constance
This is my finished “Summer Garden” piece which, you can see here, was started back in September. The challenge was to create a 20″ x 15″ quilt using pieces of fabric no larger than 3″ in any direction. To be true to the challenge I made a background consisting of forty eight small squares machined together and layered this with small scraps of fabric and stitch as demonstrated in the Wendy Dolan book Layer, Paint and Stitch.
At the beginning of the Summer members of the Cranwell Group were all asked to submit ideas for future quilt challenges. Although not exactly in sync with the current season, the theme to be drawn out the hat for our latest challenge was “Summer Garden” and for this quilt we were asked to create a quilt with fabric scraps no larger than 3″.
I recently discovered Wendy Dolan’s book Layer, Paint and Stitch and particularly liked the heavily textured project that features on the front cover. I decided to use a similar method to create my Summer Garden quilt.
Layer Paint and Stitch by Wendy Dolan
I sketched out a rough design for the foreground on tracing paper before making a start on the base layer.
The base layer consists of forty eight 3″ squares of cotton fabric which I pinned to a thin vilene ground and roughly machined in place.
Next I added small pieces of different natural fabrics and some flower heads cut from lace and free machined these in place.
The scraps of fabric that make up the background of the quilt.
More texture was built up by adding flower stems, using a thick thread such as crochet cotton in the bobbin and sewing from the reverse side of the fabric. I found this a particularly useful tip as in the past if I have needed thick stitching I’ve either hand sewn or couched……this method is so much quicker and easier!
I began colouring the fabric with blue acrylic paint but wasn’t happy with the result so changed to procion dye for the grass and gave the sky a once over with the green to dull it down. When it had dried I began building up the foreground using sheers for the flower heads and wool for the stems.
I’ve done a lot more work to it since this last photo so will post an update within a couple of days once it’s completely finished.
Three Tall Trees 30″ x 40″
My Three Tall Trees quilt is finally finished……I think. I haven’t put as much detail into this 30″ x 40″ quilt as I did the smaller 30cm x 40cm version, however there is the possibility that at some point before this is handed in for the David Hockney Challenge I just might add to it.
30cm x 40cm version
At long last, after making 3 small quilts for the David Hockney Challenge and promising Mary from LINQS I would make a large one, I have finally made a start on it! It’s going to be a scaled up version of the quilt I made at the Cranwell Group earlier this year with the theme “what Winter means to me” (20″x 15″).
What Winter Means To Me
Last Winter had been all about trees as far as I was concerned. Researching Hockney’s work led to me developing a fascination of my own for trees and woodlands and I began photographing them wherever I went. This quilt is based on a photograph I took while out walking in the woods at Woodhall Spa.
The woods at Woodhall Spa
I began by soda soaking my fabric prior to dyeing with Procion from Artvango. Unfortunately I think I must have used too much soda. Although I covered it before ironing I still managed to burn the entire area of fabric above the tree tops! The dyed area was fine, just the white space above was burnt. I decided, rather than start again, to cut out the trees, back them with Vilene and make a huge piece of appliqué. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it was so much easier to handle under the machine than the whole cloth would have been!
Coloured with Procion and Inktense…..prior to burning!
I’ve layered organza and netting and machine stitched the background trees in various coloured threads, the same way as I did for the smaller version, but this time using more variety of colours.
Layered organza and netting.
The next step was to add the woodland floor before layering my appliqué woodland, sky fabric and wadding. The foreground trees have now been tacked in position and can be machined once the finer branches have been hand sewn.
Foreground trees tacked in position
I’m not particularly looking forward to quilting the three tall trees in place as the quilt sandwich is already very bulky. With hindsight I should have sewn the three trees on to the “sky” layer before I started quilting……..another lesson learnt!