Friday, 10 August 2018

Studio Sale!!

Huge discounts on the Life Quilts in my Studio Sale

I have now finished the Life Story series of quilts, and am moving onto new work which I've just started and includes botanical and portraiture quilts.

The Life quilts take up room as they are quite large, and although they've never been exhibited together which was the original idea, I've decided to sell them off at what I feel is quite a reasonable price considering their size and the amount of work involved in them.

If you'd like to know more or want to talk about purchasing one, please just email on or use social media to send a message (links in sidebar)

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Courthouse steps - beginning to stitch

This is the 3rd posting for this quilt.  (Piecing the background, and adding colour are the 2 previous posts and can be found by scrolling down or here)

I've finished most of the painting, but it will need touching up as stitching pulls seams a bit, or where an extra dash of colour is needed, and have moved on to stitching. This is also a fun part and I can doodle endlessly with the needle - set to free machining of course!

Here's some process photos. The next posting, will I hope, show the finished piece. Do come back to see it!!

Just a bit more paint to add....

Beginning to stitch.

Using stitch to link differently coloured areas together.

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Courthouse steps - starting to colour

The last posting left this as a pieced white quilt which I'd just begun to think about colouring.

I've begun to block in some colours and shapes and am enjoying it all enormously. Here's where I'm up to as of this morning.

The painting you see here is rough in places, but that's because it's not finished. For example the stems are intentionally wobbly and have no edges or definition - this comes with stitch and finishing and builds slowly; I don't do a bit of quilt and finish it straight away!

The flowers I went for in the end were altroemerias because their shape was doable I think with raw edge applique. The next quilt will be Japanese anenomies, but will have to wait whilst I finish off the next life story quilt - unless I can't contain myself!!

Here's some images of the progress.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Courthouse steps 1 - the initial stages

Here's a step by step of yesterday's work - the beginnings of a new piece exploring colour and shape and using a pieced quilt as a canvas.

Making the white quilt top piecing together 1.5 inch squares and strips.

 The finished quilt top

 Layering up the top with wadding and backing fabric.

 Choosing the colours - acrylic paints.

Choosing a flower from some old sketchbooks. In the end I decided against all of these and took my camera out into the garden to photograph the flowers. I'm after shape and form not colour and the outline has to be doable using fused fabric.

Using masking tape to decide on blocks to fill with colour and pattern. They are easy to lift and move about until you have something that pleases you.

Beginning to add colour. For this I'm using a gelli plate (if you want to know how, just look at the pages in the sidebar and click on the printing one. You'll find several posts about how I use a gelli plate), and have masked off the area I want to print with printer paper and more tape.

 I've used a small gelli plate to print directly onto the cloth.

In this picture I have decided that my colour palette needs a bit more zing and am trying to decide whether that should be orange or magenta.

I have many, many, orange cloth circles cut by the Xcut machine for another piece so it was easy to audition the colours and shapes to help me decide, and I'm leaning towards a bright orange.

Here I've used a cutter to make circles out of freezer paper. Again auditioning whilst I try and decide to iron them in place as a mask, and then print over with the gelli plate. I think that I might go with flowers and insects for the background rather than geometric shapes.

Still not decided! Today will bring something to mind I'm sure.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Beginning another quilt today

I've just started working on another pieced quilt. These are different from the Life Story series and are an exploration of colour and shape combined with my love of flowers and natural motifs such as leaves - though not animals strangely!

This one will be based on the courthouse steps pattern and is being pieced from plain white cloth. This is where I do my obsessional sewing/piecing bit trying to get it as accurate as possible, only to paint and stitch all over it so it doesn't matter and the pattern doesn't show!

You might think that's a lot of work to go to for no reason, and I confess it's difficult to explain, but to me, I'm using the white pieced quilt as a canvas for further exploration - for example, I think all that mono printing with the gelli plate may come in useful for some of the texture and colour. I may use part of the pattern in that or I may ignore it all, but underneath it all, I know that I have a traditional quilt with passable sewing skills!

This is the first one in the series which I completed earlier this year and is based on log cabin. There will be more I think working on Life quilts inbetween.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Using a round gelli plate to stamp

I've just bought 3 small gelli plates in different shapes - round, triangle and square. They come in a pack and looked like fun! In the first photo you can see where I've pressed the round gelli onto a perspex stamp base. You can buy these on line, and they're useful as they have grid lines for registering and wavy edges to make them easier to hold.

Rollering some paint onto the plate. You just squeeze a bit onto the plate and use a brayer to roller until you have the texture you want.

Pressing the stamp onto the paper. It's quite good to make sure those edges are all overlapped fairly early on so you don't get lots of white paper left at the end.

Place a stencil over a shape and stamp with the gelli plate using a different colour. It's easy to line up as you will be able to see the printed circle through the gelli plate.

Just continue to stamp and overprint with stencils until you have something that pleases you. If like me, you are doing this in a sketchbook, it's a great time to experiment with colour and texture. Just go for it!

Friday, 20 July 2018

Birmingham - refuelling on paintings and fabrics

I love to go to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and could spend all day there if I'm honest. I went to see Dippy on Tour. After admiring his size and especially those vertebra, we moved on to some paintings - a revisit of old favourites!

Nothing is as good as seeing these paintings in the flesh and getting up really close to admire the detail and brush work.  Details from a watercolour by Edward Burne-Jones, The Star of Bethlehem.

My apologies for the reflections on all these photos - impossible not to get them. 2 of 6 studies for the Briar Rose series by Burne-Jones.

 The Reflective Lady, oils on canvas. Arthur Joseph Gaskin. Just lovely.

And of course, no visit to Birmingham would be complete without a visit to the markets. The rag market usually has some bargains, and I was able to buy this lot to do some dressmaking. I'm not good at it really but have a pattern for a children's kimono which I'm itching to try.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Gelli prints

The concertina sketchbook of gelli prints is full on one side, so I'm taking a break before turning it over and doing the other side.

Here's some more images of it so far.