Sunday 22 February 2015

Sketch -- Kathy

I had a hard time with "sketch" because I never make sketches.  But I doodled around with this idea, a design I have toyed with in the past with my daily collages.  I used the second and third sketches on the top row for my piece.

For a long time I have been intrigued with the idea of stitching directly onto canvas, because the stitching line would become so important.  This was an opportunity to do something very different from what I had ever done in the past, yet it reflected some elements of my previous work.

The solid black was composed of selvages, which I have used a lot in the past.  And the very dense stitching reminds me of my sew-off squares, which I have used in many previous projects.
I like the fact that the canvas bulges and ripples in the unstitched areas, and that the stitched areas aren't totally flat (you can't really see that from the photos).  The detail shot below shows the scribble pattern of stitching, and if you were to look at the back of the quilt, this is exactly what the solid black shape looks like on the back.

I have been using the International Threads quilts as experiments, ways to try out in small scale what I might have already been thinking of.  This one was so exciting that I suspect I will be doing it again soon on a larger quilt.

Saturday 21 February 2015

6 Done, 1 left to complete

 'Red'  and 'Repetition and Pattern'

 ' Black to Grey with dash of colour' and 'change of Scale'

 ' Proof of sketching' and 'Blue'
I'm currently packing up  stitching and painting projects for my retreat next week at Rydal Hall in the Lake District and have hanging sleeves and labels to attach to 6 out of 7 of my quilts and hand stitching to complete on the 7th.

Filling in the details of the insurance form was an interesting exercise as several of my pieces have changed what challenge they're for  e.g. the 'Lines' quilt was originally going to be for 'repetition'; the 'blue' was originally going to be 'lines' ) and as Uta pointed out , my 'Change of Scale' could equally have worked for 'Black to Grey'.  They're fixed now however and all have titles.

I've really enjoyed working to this size and  have tried to work towards the edge of my comfort zone, in some cases anyway.  I've also found unexpected links between pieces e.g. 2 doors and   using photo of my fingerprint and using finger painting. I think I would sum up my collection as 'ripples and marks'  

From what I've seen of others work I think this will be a really interesting exhibition.

Friday 20 February 2015

Missing image

Here is the image that wouldn't post the other day.


And here are 6 of my finished quilts. The "Red" is missing.
They all look very different. 


Thursday 19 February 2015

"Lines" is finished -- or maybe it's "blue"

We have snow and very cold weather this week and all my meetings and social obligations were cancelled, so I have gotten in lots of sewing time.  Here's my latest quilt:


The background is one of Uta's hand-dyed fabrics that she gave me a couple of years ago and I have been saving for the perfect opportunity.

My objective was to practice making very skinny pieced curvy lines.  I have made many quilts with very skinny straight lines, but only one with curves, and I wasn't thrilled with that one.  I liked this one better.  I will probably give the fish machine-quilted eyes.

One of the things I've learned about the curved lines is that it's very difficult to predict how wide a finished pieces is going to be.  I gave myself extra width at the start to make sure I would end up with the right dimensions, but ended up with too much.  If I hadn't been working to size the fish would have had better tails.

I first thought this would be the "lines" quilt.  But I realize that this could very well be the "blue" quilt.  I reserve the right to re-categorize it!

Today I'm about halfway through my "sketch" quilt, and then I will do either "lines" or "blue" to finish out the series.


Update: this one turned out to be "lines."

No. 7 - LINE

.Another example of my work straight on the batting.  With this one I finished my line of duties.
It was a very good experience for me

Tuesday 17 February 2015


This is my Sketch quilt and the last one - making up the set for Prague. It is a poor photo and I will retake it using by camera rather than my iPad mini when I get all my technology back working properly.

Challenges are all about pushing you out of your comfort zone. Over the lat couple of years I have making quilts based on Indian men and women often avoiding the faces so i decided I would try painting a face.

We were lucky enough to go to an Indian wedding when we were in India in Jaunary. I set about sketching her using my photos on to paper, and then thought - just work directly on to fabric.
When I set the challenge I said you should include or post the drawing, so I don't have a drawing.

I have used lots of metallic thread here. I never use metallic thread and bling but here it seemed appropriate.

Overall, yes I am happy with it but I am not sure she looks exactly like the bride and her face looks a little wrinkled due to the quilting. Lessons learnt.

Thursday 12 February 2015

I'm sorry - I don't know how to turn the photos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No. 6 - Blue

No. 5 - Sketch

I used my hand dyed fabric which I dyed with ice cubes.

No.3 - Repetition

I was inspired by Uta's photos. I chose to work on the "Sidewalk".
I used fabrics that I made in a workshop called "Printing Nature


Tuesday 10 February 2015

Progress Report

I've been sort of quiet in the last few weeks - because I was busy quilting. And I am happy to say: I'm DONE!

I was not happy with my piece I made for repetition. And I was not happy with the idea of creating a series of quilts that did not relate to each other. The first two pieces I made for the "Big and Small" challenge and for the "Black and White with a Touch of Color" both include cobblestone - one of them has an insect, the other has cog wheels on it. So I decided to create my own series of cobblestone, insects and cogwhees PLUS the theme I'm working on.

First was SCETCHES:
I like to scetch figures - which does not mean I am good at it. I need practice and I enjoy practicing.


The next one was REPETITION:

I learned that repetition is a challenge for me because I obviously can't remember my pattern. I messed up time and again, undid seams, redid them, noticed it was right the first time after all, opened seams, redid them...
The good news is, I like the final result...

Ok, next one up: LINES
Not sure, what was required and having a hard time sticking to rules to start with, I decided not to focus on quilting or sewing a line - instead I made dragon flies falling in line.

The colors don't come out that well, but yes, this one is pretty tone-in-tone.

Then, Uta suggested making BLUE. 
I like blue. This one practically made itself. 

 I had recently seen quilts by Susan Brubaker Knapp. She shades her pieces to create a 3D effect an I decided to play with that for a while.

And since I was at it and I had green silk left over, I made an extra piece. Green, distorted cog wheels with a mirror pyramid incorporated, which is the only place where you can see a correct cog wheel - which is kind of contradictory, because this mirror image is a whole big distortion in itself... Again, a lot of shading with color pencils going on here.

I'm ready for Prague!!

Thursday 5 February 2015

"Blue" - Uta

I'm not really abiding by any order, but I hope that is not a problem. I'm still working on the 'lines' assignment by Margaret (stitching!), but "Blue" is finished:

Shapes 26

Here is a detail shot of the threads etc.:

And who has been following my work lately knows that I have started incorporating reflector fabric. It appears in this one as well, as you can see in this flashed picture:

I can also report on some progress in terms of Gillian's assignment - at least I have done some sketching!

Rapetition - Ita Ziv

Back and Forth
This work was made from one piece of fabric specially colored for this work.
Hand cutting, fussing, free motion machine quilting with metal threads.

The process of return on each unit is like the things we do every day and return them back and forth.

Sunday 1 February 2015

A dilemma --

Don't you hate it when you get on a roll and keep sewing long past the point where you should have quit?  I haven't worked on one of our quilts in several months but when I finally cleared the deck to finish the pattern and repetition quilt, I hauled out my work board (a piece of foam core that can stand next to my sewing machine so I don't have to get up and walk to the design wall) and found that it had a shape marked on it with yarn.  Sure enough, it was 40 cm wide, so I figured it was left from the last time I worked on one of our series.

Then I started sewing, and figured I had to make enough to fill the space on the board.  Got everything sewed together and decided I really liked the composition!  Great!  I can start quilting Monday morning!

At which point I went to the design wall, which also had a marked off space the right size for our project, but it had been hidden by a larger quilt pinned up.   When I took down the big quilt to reveal the space, and went to pin the new top up, I realized that oops, I had made the quilt way too long.  Notice the quilt pinned up at the left, which was our large/small challenge.  Notice the space on the wall marked off with selvages.

So what to do now?

I could leave the quilt 20 cm too long and it wouldn't match anybody else's quilts in the display.

I could crop off the top of the quilt and it would be approximately 5 cm too long.

I could crop off at the bottom of the quilt and it would be approximately 4 cm too long.

I really like the bottom of the quilt, the way the small squarish pieces at the top elongated into much bigger rectangles, making it a lot airier.  I hate to lose this part because that was my experiment -- the rest was the same design I have been making for several years.

So I guess my question is, how much variation in size can we get away with?  How close have the rest of you been keeping to the 40 x 80 size?

What should I do?