One of the textile groups I belong to is LINQS (Lincolnshire Quilters) and each year we respond to a challenge to make an art quilt based on the life or works of a particular person. Our latest challenge was inspired by Sir Isaac Newton and the work will be on display over the coming bank holiday weekend at Waltham Windmill. The exhibition is free and we will be having a sales table and demonstration area. There will be lots of other things going on at the working Mill with shops, cafes, picnic area, miniature train rides and a model engineers marquee, etc so a great venue for a family day out!
The exhibition is open from 10am – 4 pm on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Here are just a few examples of what we have on show…..
Gravitree by Jean Proud
Inspired by the life and work of Sir Isaac Newton by Karen Lane
The Mind of a Genius by Mary Jackson
Woolsthorpe Manor by Pat Cave
LINQS (Lincolnshire Quilters) will be exhibiting their latest body of work, 22 art quilts inspired by Sir Isaac Newton, at the end of this month. Our first venue will be the beautiful Alford Manor House. Built in 1611 it is thought to be the largest thatched manor house in the country.
I’ve finally finished my Newton quilt. It’s 30″ x 40″ and the design is based on the fact that Newton spent a lot of his time studying and practising alchemy. It consists of appliqué commercial fabric, Tyvek and painted vilene applied to a background of tea stained cotton fabric. Other materials used include oil pastels, Inktense, permanent marker pen and metallic foil.
Inspired by the life and works of Sir Isaac Newton
These are just a few of the other fantastic quilts that will be on show……
Gravitree by Jean Proud (30″ x 40″)
The Mind of a Genius by Mary Jackson (30″ x 40″)
Snapshots of Isaac by Joan Plummer (30cm x 40cm)
This next quilt Is called “Wordsearch” and there are thirty words to find, all relating to life of Isaac Newton. An ingenious way of stopping visitors in their tracks and making them really scrutinise your work!
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!
My Sir Isaac Newton inspired art quilt is still work in progress
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.
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!
Yesterday afternoon saw the 3rd meeting of LINQS, the Lincolnshire Quilters group, which was formed last year with the aim of creating “inspired” quilts to form the basis of a travelling exhibition. Our first “inspirational” theme is the work of David Hockney. The brief is to take influence from his work however you want to do it, whether that be colour, shape, subject matter, etc. it’s up to the individual. Gill set herself the task of reproducing, as accurately as possible, a specific Hockney painting using textiles, threads, beads and found materials. The finished quilt is shown below with a photo of Hockney’s 18th VN painting. Isn’t it beautiful?
Click here for more photos and info about LINQS.
My Riverside Trees art quilt is now finished and just needs to be edged. This 30cm x 40cm quilt was done as trial ahead of making a larger version at 30″ x 40″ for the David Hockney Challenge. It’s just as well I had the dummy run as there are a few things I have learnt while doing this project.
Firstly, I must start using a sketchbook…..I tend to launch straight into something and make it up as I go along. The sky would have been different, and I would have been happier with it, if I had planned it before I started.
Secondly, I naively thought that using iron-on Vilene would mean I didn’t have to sew the trees in place…….yeah, right! The more I handled the quilt the looser the trees became so they all had to stitched down. This leads me on to the third thing I learnt which is “remember to breath” while free machine stitching!
The fourth thing I found was that organza and net, although looking very effective when layered, can also be problematic as loose fibres sometimes migrate between the layers and are very fiddly to remove. My fabrics were simply laid in place, pinned and stitched, I’m guessing that if I had ironed them onto Bondaweb before stitching I could have avoided this happening.
The finished quilt
Thanks to Maggy for pointing out that I hadn’t posted a picture on here of my finished quilted version on Hockney’s self-portrait. I have just added it to “Hockney gets a scarf” under the “Art Quilts” category.
If anyone reading this is interested to learn more about the Lincolnshire Quilters “David Hockney Challenge”‘, which is gaining momentum nicely, we have a blog at http://www.linqsblog.wordpress.com
The trees are now painted and ironed in place on the riverside. As I thought, there was too much of the darker blue in the sky so some of it has been removed. There are lots of smaller branches/twigs to embroider and I still have to figure out how to create the water and reflections but that can all wait till next week.