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!
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.
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.
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″).
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Having damaged my toe on Friday I’ve had the perfect excuse to shut myself away in my workroom and start on a new project. I wanted to create an art quilt based on trees and reflections so last week, while out walking my dog, I took a series of photographs along the riverbank. The aim is to make a 30 x 40 cm quilt as a prototype for a larger version as part of the David Hockney Challenge. The thought of doing one 30″ x 40″ straight off was a bit too daunting! The finished design isn’t intended to look like a Hockney but the influence is still there i.e. trees and reflections in water.
I particularly liked this image but decided to simplify the layout for my quilt and position the riverbank “straight on”.
Yesterday I painted a wash of colour on my background fabric, layered it with organza and netting and machine quilted it to create the sky. I’m not sure if I did the right thing by making it this colourful….I wanted a bit of drama behind the trees but might have gone a bit too strong with the blues! We’ll see when the trees get added.
For the riverbank I remembered I had an old scarf which was the ideal colour so this was cut up and distressed using a heat gun before being sewn in place.
I figured an easy way to create the trees would be to draw them onto iron-on Vilene and cut them out using a craft knife. With the branches criss crossing it enabled me to cut it as one piece rather than fiddling about with several individual trees. I like using Vilene as it gives a crisp edge, it accepts paint really well and using the iron-on type means there’s no need for Bondaweb or spray adhesive.
The trees are now in the process of being painted and I will post an update as and when they are ironed in place.
Last weekend saw the second meeting of the LINQS group at The Coach and Horses in Billinghay. It was a very good turn out with 25 ladies attending the meeting, most of whom arrived early to take advantage of the delicious lunch time menu.
Sheila chaired the meeting and it was great to hear that, as well as now having 39 members, we also have a number of venues showing an interest in exhibiting our DH quilts when they go on the road next year.
Several of the ladies brought along the quilts they have started, while others were keen to show which of the DH paintings they are intending to use for inspiration for their work.
Jean took her inspiration from Hockney’s paintings of “Woldgate Woods”. This beautiful, hand sewn quilt has been created using a jelly roll for the background and appliqué for the foreground.
The shapes and colours in Karin’s quilt have been influenced by Hockney’s landscape painting “Garrowby Hill” with its winding road and patchwork fields.
Rosie is also taking Garrowby Hill as her starting point. It’s all in her head at the moment but her fabrics have been selected and are ready for the cutting mat!
Sandra’s choice is a little known image entitled “Three Green Waves with Orange Sand” which features in the book “Hockney’s Pictures: The Definitive Retrospective”.
Molly designed her quilt after seeing the Hockney collection on a visit to Salts Mill Gallery.
Carole has created a background for her quilt using curved strips of fabric in various shades of red. The foreground will feature a wine glass with a reflection of Hockney’s face. Carole told me she is experimenting with a new technique for creating the wine glass. Once it’s finished we will show a photograph and get Carole to explain in her own words how she created it.
The next meeting was scheduled for March.
Yesterday saw the first meeting of LINQS, the Lincolnshire Quilters group which is responsible for the David Hockney Challenge. The challenge is open to anyone living in Lincolnshire.
15 ladies turned up for our first get together at The Coach and Horses in Billinghay and to quote Mary “there were no shrinking violets”! It was a lively session with lots of ideas, enthusiasm and encouragement.
Several of us took along quilts we have already started, while others were keen to talk through the ideas that they have in mind. Some of the members also brought their copies of various David Hockney books for the rest of us to browse.
Unfortunately the photograph below doesn’t do justice to the wonderful piece of work this lady is creating. The influence here is the colour and movement that Hockney displays in his work as the small, individual pieces of layered fabric gently ripple.
Fiona has been taking photographs of the local landscape while out walking her dog. She has pasted these into her sketch book with notes of how Hockney might interpret these scenes if he were to make a quilt. This is the sort of thing I always tell myself I should be doing…..I just need to start doing it!