Thursday 20 December 2007

Psi and Theta Votive Figures

When I was sorting through photos taken during the year to include in our annual Xmas letter, I came across these images of figurines taken in the museum at Mycenae. Being surrounded by Henry Moore's monumental work these last few months I looked at these with fresh eyes, appreciating their form, character and individuality ( on a diminutive scale) . The meaning and function of these votive figures (named Psi and Theta forms after the Greek letters they resemble) can only be guessed at.
This will the last post of 2007 - off to Iran later in the day for 2 weeks holiday. No doubt I'll have some interesting photos to share in the New Year.

Tuesday 18 December 2007


I don't know where the time has gone in the last couple of weeks since I last posted. Evenings and weekends have been devoted to writing the Xmas letter and cards and sorting out the packing for Iran ( according to the BBC weather website, temperatures may vary from -3C in Tehran to 18 C in Shiraz - as I'll be covered in a 'manteau' , it'll be a a bit trickier than normal to adjust the layers).
Its also been exceptionally busy at work with VIP visitors, interviewing for 2008/9 Sandwich Student and meeting to discuss progress on the Hardy Orchid Book. This is the follow-up to 'Growing Orchids From Seed' which has been selling well and is about to be translated into Spanish and Chinese!
The opportunities for finishing my December Journal Quilt are fast diminishing - I may well have to substitute one of the 'Moore' pieces I was less happy with. After doing so well over the year despite moving etc, I'd hate to drop out at the last minute.

Tuesday 4 December 2007

The Challenge of Colour Matching Indigo

Detail of seed stitching

November Journal Quilt 'Indigo Two forms'

A few posts ago I asked for suggestions on how to stitch the photo of Henry Moore's '2 forms' that I'd printed on Indigo fabric. I decided 'Less is More' ( sorry couldn't resist the pun) and used seed stitching in the background , leaving the sculpture itself unstitched. I was pleased with the very subtle results but ran into problems taking an accurate photo for posting this as my November Journal Quilt.
At the moment my computer is not recognising my scanner ( the result I think of deleting a demo version of music scanning software I tried for choir practice). I photographed it instead and then used Photoshop to adjust the lighting levels, contrast etc.
It was actually very difficult to obtain a realistic image - both getting a match for the hue of indigo and also the intensity. In the end the photo is lighter than the quilt is in reality otherwise you'd never see the stitching at the bottom. When I tried to print it ( on coated paper which usually gives good results) , the blue was a very crude match - some more work to do here I think.

Monday 3 December 2007

Medieval Tile Quilt

Searching for a photo of my Medieval Tile quilt , I realised I only had a scanned slide - I really need to take some decent digital images, particularly of the detail.

It started off with a visit to the British Museum in early 1980's where the display of Medieval Tiles caught my eye. How often do you see something in a museum and they don't have even a postcard of the items you're interested in. This time I was lucky, they even had a book! I also got a Dover book of tile patterns as a Christmas present.

The central panels I did as batik at a workshop with Ann Dyer at Westhope College
using glass pasteur pippettes from work for applying the wax. I assembled a huge collection of brown and cream fabrics , a lot of them from my mothers stash ( mainly collected by me from jumble sales - long before I was interested in quilting I had an eye for cottons) and pieced the top on my old hand operated Singer.
The following year (1988) I made the 'sandwich' stabbing the quilt top with long pins to my bedroom carpet. Quilting (by hand) took another 5 years helped out by a present from my Dad of a quilting frame. I made over 40 different quilting stencils and my stitching was tiny
Funnily enough, I've never done another double sized quilt until recently (and that I'm having 'longarm' quilted) and I haven't used browns that much since either.
I'm still very proud of it and can't quite believe that I had the patience to work on it for 7 years.