Sunday, 12 April 2015

Getting Things in Perspective

It has been a very difficult period for my family recently but we are beginning to appreciate that the light at the end of the tunnel might not be an express train.

Getting things into perspective has been the order of the day over Easter and so that is the inspiration for my April quiltlet for the Contemporary Group Challenge.  The quotation is from Marcus Aurelius and I am continuing to adhere to all my rules.  This piece is based on groynes on the beach.
I stitched a prayer flag for my DD Sara over the Easter holiday.  She likes it but thinks it is a shame that the idea is that it disintegrates in the wind and weather.  I told her the prayers are already sent (and answered in some cases) and so I think she might hang the flag somewhere sheltered.
What else? Well how about these gorgeous Kantha stitched creatures on fabric dyed with woad?  Angela Daymond (Fenland Textile Studios) will be selling kits to create these yourself at Festival of Quilts this Summer.  She asked several people to trial the kit contents and instructions.  I've never measured the amount of thread I'm using before, quite interesting!  All the thread is beautiful Aurifil in various weights, including lana wool, all lovely to stitch with.  The Kantha stitching has been very therapeutic to work, just what the doctor ordered.
I love the movement and sense of freedom exhibited by Angela's hare.
The heron is so elegant and haughty.
This last hare is on plain fabric, not woad dyed and is only 4" round so it will be the perfect introduction to Kantha stitching.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Shaving Foam Printing

Some fabric friends share magazines or ideas, some point you in an interesting direction and then there are fabric friends like Ros.
On Sunday she showed me an article about shaving foam printing in an issue of Fabrications magazine.  On Monday morning she sent me a text saying she had gathered EVERYTHING we needed to have a go! Now is that impressive or what?
We filled a tray with shaving foam.  
Good tip:  lining the tray with cling film makes an easy way to gather up and dispose of foam and ink later.
We dropped, sprayed and dribbled various kinds of textile paints on the foam.
Using a skewer and a chopstick we swirled the inks together.
We took prints from the surface of the foam.

We left the ink to dry for a few minutes, scraped the remaining foam from the surface of the fabric and then ironed it (under a cloth) to fix the dye.
Ta dah!!  Thanks Ros, just what the doctor ordered!!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Just Keep Swimming, Swimming

I have finished my March quiltlet for the Contemporary Quilt Group Challenge.

The quilt follows the rules I set for myself using fabric from my stash which I have hand pieced.  I applied a variety of gold fabrics and hand stitched the quilt with a selection of goldwork threads and cotton perlé.  
The quotation from Dory is written with permanent ink.
The design was inspired by the idea of looking up from below the sea to the sunshine.  The rays of the sun offer an escape route from the cold, dark depths but the sun is distant, frightening and hard to reach.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

March 1 - Just Keep Swimming

The inspiration for my journal quiltlet for March comes from several places.  
The text is the most obvious, that great advice from Dory in from "Finding Nemo" is appropriate this month.
But as well as swimming, there is the opportunity to look upwards from the dark and murky waters and see the sun shining down on that water, extending its rays like lifelines.
I have pinned a curved seam, using fabric from February's quiltlet (as per my rules) and some hand dyed cotton.  I am now auditioning fabric for the sunshine and then I will get stitching with gold threads.  
More soon.

In addition I have been making some goodies with batiks for the latest Global Piecers' swap.  We've been a bit quiet recently, it goes like that, but it's good to be swapping again.  These will be for Easter and need to be flying soon!  I can't show more than these pinned pieces, ready for the machine....

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Postcard Delivered

This is my journal quiltlet for February finished.  Thank you for your comments, I decided to write in Maltese, the proverb translates as,
"After bad weather comes fine weather".
I used lace and thread dyed with woad on the quilt as well as commercially produced cotton perlé and a little of that Chinese silk thread used for tassels.  As the Chinese New Lunar Year was celebrated when we were in Malta it seemed appropriate.
Now we are home I shall return to my New Zealand project before thinking about the next journal quilt in March.  We also have two great workshops coming up in Country Roads Quilters, one to make a lantern-style fabric bowl and one with Jennie Rayment so I'm going to be busy!
The weather is awful here, grey, grey, grey and wet, just right for sitting by the fire to stitch.  Enjoy your Sunday.

Monday, 16 February 2015

A Postcard from Malta

Today I think I have finished the stitching on my February journal quilt for the Contemporary Quilt group challenge.
I am on holiday in Malta and so my quiltlet is inspired by the island, the colours, the sea, the honey-coloured limestone rock, the ancient history:
I have decided on a Maltese proverb to write onto my quilt but can't decide whether to write it in English or Maltese (which I can't pronounce properly).  I shall sleep on it!

Monday, 9 February 2015

Contemporary Journal Quilt - February

This is the start of my quiltlet for February.
I am on holiday in Malta so this month my work will have a very different feel from January.
You will see that I have included one fabric from January, one of my self-imposed "rules" for this project.  Another "rule" was that I include some text and I am currently collecting ideas and pondering this for February.  It won't be written in Maltese though, I couldn't pronounce it!
Today is the Festival of Broken Needles in Japan so it is a good day to be stitching and be thankful for the most simple and essential if our tools.  Firstly though I have a pedicure booked in the spa ��

Monday, 2 February 2015

Two Sewn, Four To Do

The weekend's work!  So many of you have, like me, spent a lot of this weekend sewing.  In the UK it has been cold, with a lot of places experiencing heavy snowfall and to sit by a fire and stitch was the perfect plan.
The first two, actually the bottom left two, journal quilts from my NZ trip are now joined and quilted.  I've used a large sashiko stitch and cotton perlé for the quilting in the borders and a variety of threads for quilting the blocks.  Again I was caught out by hand stitching through batiks, also known as sewing concrete, and my fingers are suffering a little, but I live batiks!! How we suffer for our art!!

Friday, 30 January 2015

Not Waving But Drowning

I have finished my first quiltlet for the Contemporary Quilt Group Challenge, eleven to go!  I enjoyed making the piece, finding the mediative process not dissimilar to working on prayer flags.

Here it is, photographed outside in the glorious sunshine (although the temperature is below freezing):
I also took a couple of photos of some of the detail:

Here is part of my statement which accompanies the quilt:

Not waving … but drowning

The first in a series of journal quilts inspired by the mood of each month reflected as a seascape, “Not waving … but drowning” is my response to January 2015 which was...a predominantly grey time.
The 12” x 6” quilt is made of commercially produced fabrics from my stash ...  The fabrics were machine pieced and then quilted with hand embroidery in cotton sashiko thread and variegated cotton perlé. The text is handwritten with permanent ink.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Contemporary Quilt Challenge

I have decided to take part in the QGBI Contemporary Quilt Group Journal Quilt Challenge for this year.  The main criteria are that quilts must be 12"x6" and that participants have to choose to work in either landscape or portrait orientation and stick to it for the quilt we make each month, no chopping and changing.

I have opted to work in landscape layout and have also agreed some rules/guidelines with myself for the challenge.

1.  I will only use fabric from my stash (although I may buy threads).
2.  Some fabric from January's quilt is incorporated in February's quilt etc, to provide a link and some flow.
3.  The quilts are based on mood and seascapes.
4.  Each journal quilt will include some lettering, words or haiku.

January's quilt in progress is shown above.  The sea is dark and murky, storms have taken place and there is fear and sadness.  Roll on Spring!