Sunday 28 October 2012

Book Wraps from Scraps

'Field Notebook'
The muse is in hiding at the moment - after  working on 4 pieces concurrently earlier in the year, now I've completed them , I'm still deciding what to do next. Not that I'm short of ideas - thinking about  my replenished  indigo stash  I've bought Anne Woringers book   but meanwhile like Linda, if in doubt , make a book wrap! After the success of the sale of 'Little Gems'  at the Festival of Quilts a few years ago, CQ is  heading up next years Tombola, this time of bookwraps. As this is something I've been thinking of for a while  for my own sketchbooks, it seems a good  time to try out some ideas. The prototype above needs some tweaking, particularly the tie closure and it's a bit of a tight fit for the Seawhite 'starter' sketchbooks I'm  fond of using but it's a good use  of  an acrylic painted piece that didn't really work 
 I save all the offcuts when I trim my quilts  but it's a while since I've used any ( for this  Journal Quilt from 2008 below) so I've accumulated several baskets worth!  I've been having productive  fun trimming them down and sewing them together with zigzag.

 This is my favourite piece so far - it will make a good matching sketchbook cover to go with my sketching bag and camera case ( also made by recycling a failed project - the acrylic paint gives extra water resistant coating.

Saturday 27 October 2012

Indigo Gloat Part 2 -Stitched

Up until now I haven't had a great deal of success with stitched shibori - I  can't seem to pull it tight enough and have been rather underwhelmed by the results.  So I was pleased with the double stitched leaves above (front and back) especially as they were quickly done.
But I was thrilled to finally crack mokume, at least  on  fine lawn (above) - the one below on silk poplin  didn't work quite as well but I enjoyed the time spent stitching in good  company  with a glass of wine.
Jury is still out on whether it's worth all the effort when can get effects like this just rolling fabric around a piece of string and scrunching it up! But I've got all winter to prepare for my proposed garden indigo vat next summer .

Wednesday 17 October 2012

Sketchbook Project 2012 in London

I had a wonderful time on Monday evening at Canda Water Library  looking through the European and Australian entries for the Sketchbook Project 2012. I  signed up for a library card and then selected 2 books at a time  using the computer. You could  choose a local or random selection or search by theme, material or artist. The first one I received  using the local search was from someone  I know from CQ(below)!! I started chatting with the ladies next to me and we started swapping books that looked interesting. I've looked at sketchbooks using the digital library but it doesn't compare to handling them . The lovely book above had a large fold out centre which just doesn't show up in the digital version and the cut out holes weren't so evident.  I enjoyed how the theme was carried over from page to page in both these books  

 Bhavinor Gor

Many books used the paper the sketchbook came with ( I replaced mine with khardi papers)  but a lot of people had stuck drawings or paintings in - even small canvases (above) and copies of ipad drawings (below)
 Helen Walsh
Some people had played around with the format. The mainly textile piece above was in a concertina with pages of fabric or paper stitched together, a bit difficult to handle without dropping it.  The one below (unfortunately not digitised )was just 4 pages (8 sides) Encrusted with layers of metallic stitching it was jewel-like. 
 Sandra Chapman
There was a bit of a hiatus while the computer crashed  but the queue was good-natured and  took it in turns to look through the returns pile. I took the opportunity to ask one of the librarians to track down my book which she did. It was good to see it again and several people around me were admiring it which was very gratifying! 

The sketchbook I most wanted to take home was a charming, funny,  beautifully crafted  illustrated story - the  voyage of HMS Poodle(above)  but I got to take home a souvenir handrawn sticker  thoughtfully included in the back.

Even in a relatively short perusal in a couple of hours, there was so much variety and I got so much pleasure from handling other peoples treasures.  I  preferred those that had a cohesive theme followed through, something I did for my 'Limited Edition' Sketchbook.  Seeing so many possibilities has sent me searching through the digital library again (although no substitute for the real thing) giving me several ideas for being more adventurous with Sketchbook Project 2013 .

Sunday 14 October 2012

Indigo Arashi Gloat

Came home from Knit and Stitch inspired to iron my washed indigo shibori . Just a selection - more to come.....

Knit and Stitch and Sketchbook Project 2012

 Went to Knit and Stitch at Alexandra Palace today - mainly to see Color Improvisations which was as spectacular as I expected - seeing work in the flesh I'd only seen on websites/photos. Most were machine quilted but the variety of effects achieved was interesting , from loose variagated to very dense stiching which gave the effect of  kantha/ mokume, adding a new dimension. Makes me want to work BIG!! Among the other exhibits I  liked the work of the 62 Group, Sian Martin  and Hazel Bruce in particular.
Tomorrow I hope to get to the Sketchbook Project 2012 exhibit at Canada Water Library, to see my own  sketchbook again and other on the theme of the 'Grey Side of  Life'

Friday 12 October 2012

Colourful Friday:Pink Clouds to Rainbows

 We've not had great weather in Weymouth this week -  mainly grey with lots of  wind and rain but it's not lessened our enjoyment of revisiting sights, sounds and tastes. Yesterday we gave up on the idea of a walk on Portland and went to Dorchester instead - excellent museum where I discovered work of George Dannatt  and wonderful homecooked food and real ales at the Blue Raddle.
But look what we woke up to this morning - clear sky with pink edged clouds!
The good weather lasted until we were caught in a hail shower after leaving Weymouth Pavilion heading  for the Cove House Inn at the end of Chesil Beach. Didn't last long, the sun was soon out again but there were dramatic cloudscapes
 Couldn't have looked so different looking North (above) and South (below)!!

 We strolled back over the causeway to Ferrybridge, stopping off in the newly re-opened Visitor Centre ( with new bridge, saving erosion of the saltmarshes  ), watching a Little Egret stalking  and a kestrel hovering just above us.  Again the weather changed dramatically changing the Fleet to pewter

 I was just taking photos of these red boats and trying to capture the flight of the parasurfers that we've been watching from the cottage when the heavens opened.
 But as it was still sunny, there was a glorious full double rainbow that lasted all the way home.

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Indigo Shibori at CQ Winter School

 I had a very productive weekend at Contemporary Quilt's first Winter School at Missenden Abbey, producing lots of indigo shibori with Janice Gunner. Our improvised indigo drying using scaffolding and a washing line between 2 trees was much admired and  photographed.
It was the first time  that I'd been to Missenden - rather classier accommodation than I'm used to for such events, good food and excellent company. Lovely surroundings too, very atmospheric in the early morning mists.

 I'd come well prepared for restocking my arashi stocks, sewing around 20 tubes of fabric beforehand on the machine - I left my  stripey 'socks' out overnights then unpicked them in the morning!

 I was determined to crack 'mokume', my previous attempts not being tight enough and it was worth the effort.  My indigo stash is currently drying in the conservatory - there will be lots of photos when I return from Weymouth but I couldn't resist bringing this piece with me to stitch on - I'll be looking again at the 'magic feathers' tutorial. These wonderful marks were achieved by wrapping fabric around a bath outlet tube left when our bath was being repaired, inspired by the results of Edwina's 'breathing tube' at Summer school 2 years ago.

Monday 1 October 2012

October Calendar Girl

When I entered 2 small quilts for the Textile News : Freiheit -Liberte-Freedom  small format competition 2 years  ago, I hardly expected my work to be chosen , never mind having one selected for the prestigous Bernina Calendar! A detail of ' Sometimes Chains are Just Shadows' (above) features for October. The exhibition has toured  all over Europe and  Gudrun Heinz who has tirelessly organised all this has blogged about  the interesting places it has got to . She's also given me a wonderful write-up on her website and the Bernina Blog. Thank you so much Gudrun!! I'm thinking hard about the next  challenge  - Boredom (not something I've ever really suffered from) 

Thanks are also due to Lizzie Drake and Uta Lenk who have written so kindly about 'Weymouth Waves' selected for SAQA Wide Horizons in St Marie aux Mines. Not having been able to get to France myself, it was lovely to hear about the show.

Bathroom Finished!

I spoke too soon  in my last post about the bathroom being nearly finished !! A week last Saturday they came in for an epic session to finish the tiling - at one point I made a strategic retreat to a  calming canalside cafe  (Ian was at his parents) . But this Saturday the last tweaks were sorted out and we had  a thorough clean as  although only one room was being redone , it impacted on everywhere else what with the bath in the dining room. With early morning starts and effectively camping out nothing creative  happened for 3 weeks and  I gave up on the idea of entering for SAQA 'Earth Stories'. I'm just starting to gather my stuff together for indigo dyeing next weekend. But it was  so worth it !!