Woodhall Show Time!

Last weekend I was invited by my friend Helen from Pippinroo to display some of my work at the annual Woodhall Spa Country Show. Helen specialises in creating beautifully detailed needle felted animals and suggested I add another dimension to her trade stall with my wet felted work. It was a great day and we met some lovely ladies in the craft tent. Read Helens post for more info on the day.

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What a gorgeous day!!! The sun came out and so did the crowds. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen it as busy as it was this year, and it seems everyone bought their dog out for a wander! One couple were even walking around with their parrakeets in a carrier for a day of social interaction!

The craft tent was packed and rather hot by lunch time. Little breeze and a strong sun had all the stall holders and visitors wilting. However our stall stood up to the temperatures and gained a lot of interest.

Having bitten off more than I can chew with extra hours in my day job, time was against me in getting stock ready, so I invited a couple of contributors to join me to offer as much as we could in collaboration.

The first was the lovely Karen Lane who was our expert in…

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Three Tall Trees…..

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

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

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 Procian and Inktense.....prior to burning!

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.

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

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Woodhall Spa Art Quilt…..

My latest art quilt has been made in response to a challenge set by the Cranwell Contemporary Stitch group. The challenge was set in January and the theme was “what Winter means to me”. Being a new member meant I didn’t have much time to lose as the deadline for handing in the finished work was going to be the second week in April.

Since signing up for the David Hockney Challenge last year I have become very interested in depicting trees in my work and all through the Winter I have been noticing trees like I have never done before. With this in mind I knew immediately that I wanted to create another tree themed quilt so took my camera on a walk through the woods in Woodhall Spa. This is a beautiful spot and I came home with dozens of images which will provide me with inspiration for a long time to come!

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The image I chose to work with is the one shown below.

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I began by painting a very pale grey sky and a grey/green backdrop for the woodland using Procion dyes. I bought a starter kit of Procion dyes when I visited Artvango and this was my first attempt at working with them.

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The next step was to machine sew the background trees in shades of green and cream thread. I then added torn strips of green sheer fabric and a little black netting to create shadows. Silver embroidery thread was hand stitched to make the tall thin silver trees in the mid-ground.

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At this stage I machined the thin branches of the trees, added grey sheer fabric in patches over the top and held it in place with a criss-cross of hand stitches branches.

The woodland floor is hand stitched silver thread over dyed muslin which has been roughly cut and layered with small snippets of gold organza.

The three main tree trunks were formed from iron-on Vilene which was coloured with Procion and bark detail was added using Inktense pencils.

The finished piece measures 15″ x 20″ and unlike my last “tree” quilt, which was done with free machine stitching, all of the machine work on this one was done with the feed dogs up using a walking foot.

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