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Saturday, August 31, 2013


I've always thought of my art work as a meditation; the amount of focus and stillness that is needed to make just the right mark at just the right time is very similar, I think, to that of a meditator focussed on a koan.  Yesterday, though, I decided to begin to make a series of small pieces called 'meditations'.  This first one is 'Meditation In Purple And Gold'.  The photograph is disappointing; this piece looks much better in real life, I think.  It is made from four fabrics, two large scale and one small scale prints and two tiny pieces of hand dye.  Interestingly, what looked teal in the piece reads as grey in the quilt, but has returned to teal again in the photograph.

So...I pieced at random, and because I liked the selvedge edge on one of the prints, a blue poppy, I kept it, meaning to make it the focal point, intending to have it turned round the other way, like this...

...and it's interesting this way, too.

Problem was, though, that the piece felt disjointed.  I machine quilted in the ditch to stabilise it, as well as into some of the large, dark blue curves.  That didn't help.  So I hand stitched in purple metallic thread over the entire quilt, with the exception of the cloth with the gold spirals.  That unified the piece, somehow, I think by making the purple theme uniform across the quilt.  And because I haven't stitched the purple and gold fabric, it makes it stand out just that bit more.  So I turned the quilt on its side to emphasise that connection between the three pieces of fabric, and I think it works.

Here's a close up of the stitch.  It's not perfect.  The stitches aren't uniform;; neither are the lines perfectly straight. Know what?  I chose to make it that way.  I think it's more interesting to look at.  I stitch the way I draw, varying the marks to give the eye something to look at.  I don't think it detracts from the piece; rather, it improves it.  And the day I can show something like this at a quilt show without having to explain all of that, will be the day when I know that the quarrels between traditionalists and art quilters have finally been put to bed... pun definitely intended!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


You can, of course, immediately spot the Not So Deliberate Mistake... sigh.  Monoprint on Evolon, in case you're wondering...

I wouldn't mind, but this was a sample for my monoprinting class... and it turned into an Edifying Lesson, instead.  Grf.  I had intended layering more Celtic imagery to join the horse, but decided that all things considered, it probably wasn't worth the effort.  Might cut it up, though, to make smaller pieces.

The smart move would have been to had the reversed text under the plastic, so that I didn't need to concentrate quite so hard... but that's too obvious, right?  Sigh.

Oh well, onwards and upwards...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ringing The Changes

Just because a print is a particular colour, doesn't mean they all have to be... I like this image of a fern, which I cut from lino;
linoprint on evolon

I printed it on Evolon, using fabric printing ink, and was pleased with the results.  Because I wanted to have a strong contrast in the background, I stitched it with purple rayon thread, and am quite happy with the result.  But it's good to ring the changes, and lutradur is ideal for doing just that.  Here is Dark Fern;
Evolon covered with lutradur and stitched.

It is completely different to the fern above, yet it is made from exactly the same linocut, and a similar mount.  I added a piece of lutradur 30 dyed with transfer paints in autumnal colours, changing the mood and the feel of the piece completely.  This is why I love working with lutradur in particular; this ability to create mini series, just by adding a single piece of cloth.  The stitch in this piece is different, also.  Because the colouring of the lutradur adds complexity to the overall piece, I wanted to emphasise the shape and the veins of the leaf by stitching it.  This time, I chose a dark metallic thread, and stitched heavilyalong most (not  all) of the print, so that some of it appears clearly, and some of it less so.  I think it's more interesting that way.

Both of these pieces are for sale in my Etsy shop... just in case you've fallen in love!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Decisions, Decisions...

Such as which colour of mount to put round 'Firespot', a failed quilt which I 'altered' with Lutradur, and then cut up, not once, but twice, to get to this size.  A white mount doesn't look right; this is a terracotta coloured and a sort of beige (which looks pink in the photo).  I think the first one looks better, though I'm not really convinced by either.  What do you think?

I'm finally back to normal after an extremely busy Festival of Quilts... thank you to everyone who came to see me, bought something and/or just waved in passing.  I didn't expect to be quite as tired afterwards, but I suppose seven workshops in four days will do that to one... sigh.  Didn't see much of the quilts either, but did manage to get a few words of Russian spoken, the only time I ever get to do that!

FOQ saw the launch of my kits for lutradur, of which more another day. I'm now in Advanced Tidy Up Mode, yet again, and putting some work in my Etsy shop, which has been sadly neglected.  This is a fern linocut with lots of stitch.  I like linocutting, don't really do enough of it, though I do have a pile of printed pieces to stitch into.  

Must Do Better...