Saturday, 19 April 2014

A Colourful Journey

The Easter holidays have flown by in a flurry of days out, painting the boys bedroom and completing my City and Guilds module.

Before the Easter madness started, I sneaked off to Bath for a bit of time to myself. Whenever I am in Bath I have to visit Country Threads. It is my favourite local quilt shop and is a MUST if you visit Bath.

After a little shop I headed off to The American Museum to visit the Kaffe Fassett exhibition.


In the garden leading up to the exhibition space there is a huge tree that has hanging lanterns and pompoms in a riot of colour:



 It really made me smile and is a great way to start the exhibition!


Once inside, nothing can prepared you for the riot of colour! 


When I started patchwork many moons, Kaffe's book Patchwork was one of the first books I bought. It was a real treat to be within breathing distance of some his amazing designs and be able to see the detail of his fabrics up close.


The exhibition is organised into colour sections with pieces of ceramics, paintings, knit wear, tapestry and quilts in each section. 



My favourites were the quilts, which were so beautiful.




This room was so calm and relaxing, with gorgeous greens and pinks. The designs are simply amazing and the wall hanging at the end of the room took my breath away!







Inside the museum proper they have his original fabric design sheets framed and hung. It is fascinating to see how he went from a painting to a full fabric range. Also the bold colours are just gorgeous!


I took LOADS of photos, but these are the ones I love the most!

If you get a chance to go, you must! The exhibition runs until the 2nd November at The American Museum in Bath.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

A Special Quilt!

One of goals this year is to only buy fabric for my classes and to make quilts from the fabric in my stash and scraps buckets.

One of my lovely friend's had a big birthday this year and I wanted to try the Marcelle Medallion quilt by Alexia Abegg's book Liberty Love. When I bought the book and then watched the QAL on Instagram I was hooked.

I decided that I wanted to make this quilt for my friend, so set about making the centre last summer. I will admit it was a frustrating process that was not fun. The Y seams and the small pieces not connecting properly left me really annoyed! Since then I have found this paper piecing tutorial for the block which would make the process much easier!

I put it aside for a few months whilst I started my City and Guilds, but dug it out 5/6 weeks ago and started working on it for the friends birthday.

Work in Progress, and Lego in as usual in the background.
Because my centre block was the wrong size I had to adapt the pattern in a few places, but overall it worked well!

Once the patchwork was finished I set to work machine quilting it, but loads of safety pins where involved first!

Lots for lovely safety pins!
I decided that I would quilt each border with a different pattern:




Lots of tiny pebbles, swirls and star bursts!

As the borders grew I increased the size of the pattern to include a tree bark pattern and the some love heart paisley in the final border, along with the family names of my friends family.






On the back I used fat quarters from my stash. The quilt patterns show up really well on the backing. It is lovely!



I found some fabulous little houses for the binding, which made me smile and fitted in perfectly with the colours in the quilt top.



The finished quilt is so totally gorgeous, and it did cross my mind to keep it for myself!

Luckily I didn't and it is now living in my friends house and very much loved!


Sewing Info:

Pieced and quilted with Aurifil 2024.
Pieced and quilted on a Janome CXL301.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Oilcloth Bag Making

I am bringing my most popular workshop to Tetbury in June - Oilcloth Bag Making!

I have taught this workshop 3 times and each time there has been a waiting list of people who want to join the course.

At the weekend I taught he workshop at Prema Arts in Uley, Gloucestershire:


This is my favourite teaching space. Just look at all that space and huge windows with lots of natural light!

I but the oilcloth needed for the course. I try to pick a variety of spots, owls and camper vans.


It was a fun day!

The workshop involves:

Learn to sew oilcloth.
Sewing a zippered internal pocket.
Learn how to box the bag corners.

At the end of the day everyone leaves with a gorgeous new bag!




It is a wonderful way to learn how to use oilcloth!

The next 2 dates for this workshop are:

Saturday 14 June 2014 in Tetbury, Gloucestershire. Email me for more information.

Sunday 13 July 2014 at Prema Arts, Uley. Email Prema for more information.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Being Too Much of a Mathematician!

On Friday I had the privilege of visiting the studio of local textile artist Sue Green.

Sue has a studio called The Cowshed Studio in South Cerney. It is an amazing space! It is huge and crammed with so much yummy fabric, painting supplies and examples of her amazing work.



We agreed to do a skill swap: I helped Sue understand all of the icons on Facebook and connected her new tablet to her phone, she talked me through my portfolio and taught me a new technique using tea bag paper - who knew right?

It was an amazing experience and one I hope to repeat regularly...

I learnt a lot, in fact so much that it has kinda blown my creative mind a little bit!

You see my portfolios are really neat and follow my process in a methodical way, they are so tidy... my work is really methodical.... I need things to be neat...





The thing is everywhere I look on the Internet textile artists are layered! They have portfolios and sketchbooks filled with content that is wonderful to look at, but is crammed in and all over the place to my eye... this is just isn't me at the moment....

So I have been worrying and worrying that I will never make it as a textile artist because I like things to be neat and structured.... it is the mathematician in me... I knew that the Astrophysics degree side of my brain would take time to wither, but what if it never leaves me?

What if the only way I can work is in a neat, methodical way?

I am still going to be able to work as a textile artist?

Can I follow my own processes of creation and still be a valid artist?

Having a little bit of a crisis....

My lovely friend Liz pointed out that I have passed both of my modules so far with no need to change my work, so I must be doing something right.... but still...





Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Colour: Yellow

The last primary colour is yellow..... sunshine!

In the UK at the moment the sun has been missing in rain for a very long time... we had a glimpse of it on Sunday.... but now we are back in a world of rain clouds and water....

So to cheer everyone up lets look at yellow as a colour!


Yellow is the colour of butter, bananas, gold and sunshine!

It is a colour that always makes me smile.


Like red and blue, there are lots of shades of yellow:


As a colour it represents reason, optimism, pleasure and happiness - you only have to think how to feel on a sunny day.On a sunny day the whole world feels like a much better place!

But it also has negative connections too. It is associated with cowardice, envy, jealousy and betrayal. Yellow as the colour of cowardice since the 19th century, but the exact reason it is associated with cowardice is not known.



In China it has major significance as it is the colour of happiness, glory and wisdom. It is a masculine colour.