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.
I slept like a baby last night having got home after three very busy, and very enjoyable, days at the Quilters Guild AGM. The event was held on the Jubilee Campus at Nottingham University and attended by approximately 450 enthusiastic quilters. Over the three days participants had the choice to be entertained, and educated, by hour long lectures, half hour mini workshops and demonstrations, half day workshops and full day workshops. There were several traders, a wonderful selection of second hand books at massively discounted prices, a raffle, tombola and exhibitions.
On the Friday morning I gave an illustrated talk entitled “My F-Plan Diet……Fabric, Fibre & Felting” all about how I was introduced to Textile Art and Feltmaking back in 2014 and how my work has progressed, up to present day. I featured a number of pieces to look at in detail, explaining the background to the design process and the materials used.
In the afternoon The Guild held what they call the “Carousel”. This involved four tutors, each in a separate part of the room, demonstrating a particular technique. I called my sessions The Half Hour Flower and at the end of each half hour period and bell was rung and the participants swapped to a different tutor…..it was like speed dating for crafters!
With this being a “quilters” event, and with all the other guest tutors being textile artists, I felt privileged that the organisers had invited me specifically to teach and promote Feltmaking. On Saturday I had a class of 14 students making wet felted “Landscape” themed pictures, several were trying out wet felting for the very first time. The ladies each brought an image they wanted to create and we began by looking at how they could interpret the various shapes and textures in their design using fibre. Some students incorporated prefelts and everyone had time to do a little needle felting if they chose to, to begin to add the finer detail. The variety and quality of work produced in such a short time was amazing! Being quilters I think everyone was intending to add free motion stitch or hand stitching to their work once they got it home so I’m really hoping I get sent some images of the finished work.
Fantastic work all round from Saturday’s class!
On Sunday I had a class of six ladies making Wet Felted Bowls. We began by discussing the different fibre layouts that can be used to affect the shape and structure of 3D objects as well as how we can create interesting shapes using prefelts and differential shrinkage. The ladies each chose a style they wanted to create from my examples shown below and, as you will see, the results were terrific!
It was a great weekend and I got to meet, chat and work with some lovely ladies. I would just like to thank all my students for being so enthusiastic and working so hard! Thanks also to the Region 10 Committee for inviting me to be a part of it and hope to work with you again in the future.
Yesterday I travelled over to Manchester’s EventCity with fellow Jeudis member Christine Plummer for a day of stewarding at the Creative Craft Show.
We were there as members of the mixed media textile group Jeudis, to promote our group and our most recent body of work on the theme of Abstraction. The work is very varied and include 2D and 3D pieces, wet felting, quilting, collage, hand stitching, machine stitching, etc, etc. My main piece was inspired by rockpools and made with wet felted Bergschaf fibres, found shells and pebbles, hand and machine embellished.
I took this theme further, making several items of felted jewellery for the sales table, and was delighted with the response these brought. The rock pool bracelets were particularly popular and the grey necklet found a new home with a lady who looked absolutely stunning in it!
The following photos show more of the groups work…..
Our next Exhibition will be at Birmingham NEC and I will confirm dates nearer the time.
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.
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.
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.
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!
This is Abstraction, the finished Mixed Media piece I’ve been working on for the past week. The theme was set by the textile group Jeudis and my interpretation is purely non-representational.
The shapes, formed by laying out and felting the Merino fibres, fabrics and silks, have been traced with free motion stitching which in turn has produced ridges and valleys, adding to the overall textural effect.
For now it’s got pride of place hanging in the lounge in a simple, flat profile black frame…..
I developed a ganglion on my right hand as a result of making the bird mask last week. It’s giving me some gip so I’m resting the hand for a while and doing a few pieces that don’t require a strong grip. Yesterday it was a Tyvek Seed Pod incorporating sari silks and acrylic paint…..
Today I made a start on a mixed Media piece with the theme “Abstraction” which was set by the textile group Jeudis which I became a member of a couple of months ago. I’m combining free motion stitch with painted Lutradur and wet Felted Merino, for now it’s work in progress…..
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.
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.
I had intended to make some Tyvek bark today but decided to do painted Mulberry bark instead. The Tyvek will have wait until later. The first piece is lined with paper and left to dry so that it’s “rounded”.
This is what will be used as the base for my Winter sample when I get around to pulling it all together.
Finally a layered piece with Tyvek lichen…..
These will all be given Forest Floor backgrounds and have stitching added before being mounted onto board or canvas so will post updates as and when they’re finished.
Lutradur is a wonderful fabric to work with as it doesn’t fray or tear but can be easily stitched, coloured (Inktense, Acrylics, watercolours, fabric paints, felt pens etc, etc) cut with scissors or a soldering iron and distressed using a heat tool. It’s possible to create beautiful, lacy effects when making leaf skeletons.
I had intended to paint this leaf but it has a ‘frosted’ look about it which I like. It’s given me the idea of creating a monochrome Winter sample with frosted bark and grasses.
This Autumnal leaf (above) is my favourite so far….and this is the back of it…..