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!
Between Christmas and New Year I began work on a new art quilt which I have called A Tribute to Three Worlds. This 44″ x 27″ quilt is my textile interpretation of a lithograph by one of my favourite artists, Maurits Cornelis Escher (1892-1972)
I have been an admirer of Escher’s work since my art school days. During a recent visit to Barter Books in Alnwick I bought “The Life and Works of Escher” by Miranda Fellows and felt inspired by this particular design to create my on take on it.
I wanted to recreate the three different perspectives i.e. the trees above the water seen as a reflection, the Autumn leaves floating on the water and the fish swimming below the water, all of which make up Escher’s “three worlds”. It took a lot longer to complete than I had imagined it would but I’m very happy with the result.
The latest quilt challenge for members of the Cranwell group is A Walk in the Forest and this is my interpretation.
With each challenge we are also given a particular technique to use somewhere within our work, for this particular piece we were asked to include painted Bondaweb. This could be used over a large area or just included as a tiny piece, it was entirely at our discretion. Those of you with a keen eye might be wondering where my Bondaweb is…….it’s so insignificant it’s not even worth me pointing it out!
When the subject was given out I immediately had this image in my mind of the trees and forest floor cut out of several pieces of Lutradur and stitched to create the illusion of depth. I also knew that I wanted a shimmering backdrop to represent the daylight glistening at the edge of the woods. After auditioning several fabrics, and not being happy with any of them, I decided to go with wallpaper for my background. I had a sample of paper that was just large enough and created exactly the effect I was seeing in my mind.
The Lutradur trees were coloured from dark to light to suggest that the viewer is walking from inside the forest towards the light at the edge of the woods. I figured the Bondaweb would be used fairly discretely to create shadow on the forest floor. Unfortunately, as I had coloured the Lutradur with wax crayons, there was no way that the Bondaweb was going to bond! Having said that, a tiny piece is clinging on, allowing me to say I have included Bondaweb in my work……..just not a lot of it!
This morning I visited “Faraway Places”, an exhibition celebrating the work of the Waltham Textile Group, led by Jacky Hopkin. The venue, adjacent to Waltham Windmill, makes it an ideal spot for families to visit with cafes, picnic area, miniature railway, etc.
There was a very varied and interesting selection of work on display featuring a whole range of techniques including hand stitching, free machine stitching, crazy patchwork, applique, burning, fabric painting and machine embellishing to name just a few! The work really was inspiring as you will see from the following selection of quilts…….
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
Dedicated to St Andrew, Cranwell church originates circa the 10th century and it made a wonderful venue for the more traditional quilts…….
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 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.
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.
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.