Journal Quilts, first 4 months of 2020

Every year the Contempory Quilt group of the Quilters Guild of the British Isles set a challenge to make one small quilt a month.  Its a great way to try out new techniques or to develop your creativity.   This year I have decided to make quilts which all follow the theme of the magical creatures from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and any of the other Harry Potter Books and Films.  My three daughters really love Harry Potter, Newt Scamander and all things from JK Rowlings imagination, I spent the christmas holidays and early part of january sketching various creatures from books and re-watching the Fantastic Beasts films.  

The Contempory Quilt group specify that all this years quilts must be 9x9 inches; should relate to a theme and must contain an element or material that has had 'a former life'. I have a vast stash of upcycled bits and pieces, all these quiilts are backed in fabric given to me from a quilt shop, she had inheritied the roll from a skip!  The wadding is an old blanket, I will detail the re-used materials in each quilt as I go through...

Washing Raw Fleece

So today I was asked if I could offer some advice on preparing some fleece ready for working with to make wet felt.  My customer had been collecting wool dropped from sheep during her dog walk and is keen to use in her textile art.

Charlotte Relf

I finally made it to this exhibition, better late than never they say!  It was a lovely sunny day which means the light was just perfect to see the textiles, mixed media and ceramics in their full glory.  

Threads of Change - Alice Kettle talk and Exhibition

Oh my we are almost at the end of January and a week has passed since my trip to The Said business school in Oxford to listen to a discussion / interview with Alice Kettle.  It took some organisation to get myself there in time but I managed to park and get the the Said Business school in time and had a great seat in the main lecture theatre. 

A Sense of Place and Time

Art 2 Stitch present a major exhibition of contempory textiles at Milton Keynes Museum until 26th April 2020

Today I did the usual Saturday morning guilty scroll though Facebook - but lucky for me I can accross a post about this exhibition, I had planned to get to Milton Keynes to do some shopping so rather than dash back I took the opportunty to allow myself some time to soak up some textile inspiration.  I am so pleased I did.  

Journal Quilts - May to August

The four quilts for the second third of the year.

So yet again I have just made it! Phew. Four more journal quilts done and submitted to the organiser within the contemporary quilts group at the Quilters Guild of the British Isles. It turns out I really need a deadline to work too.

My next deadlines is for the South Northamptonshire Art Trail which runs from 5th to 13th October 2019. I will be exhibiting my textile art at home, some of which is for sale. I will also be running workshops and joining me will be my friend and local potter Judith Shaw. Make a date in your diary and do pop over to say hello.

Tempest update - what we created last week

An update on what 'washed up' at Stitching Kitchen

This wasn't what I had in mind when Fiona said the material for the quilt blocks was to be dropped off during the week! Lots of plastics - they type of materials which might find there way to be washed up on the shoreline. Ah, I see where this might be going - an island, make do and mend, recycle, keep plastics out of the ocean.... get my drift??

Tempest Quilt Blocks

A collaborative community project with the Creation Theatre Company

A week or two back while I was enjoying a pizza with the girls my phone rang, it was the lovely Fiona from the Creation Theatre Company - she wondered if I and some stitching kitchen regulars would be interested in helping out with community quilt project, she said something along the lines of.....

"The Creation Theatre Company are based in Oxford and specialise in putting on site-specific adaptations of classic texts. This summer we are producing The Tempest around the Osney Mead Industrial Estate, and we are lucky enough to have received some Arts Council funding to help us to do this. As part of the funding we are hoping to engage some local community groups in the show, and I would love for your social stitchers to be part of this.

January 19 JQ

This year is my first doing the Journal Quilt challenge with the contemporary quilters of the Quilters Guild of the British Isles - the first instalment....

This quilt is inspired by an image I found of an American manor house for sale via Country Life magazine! The style of impressive house was just want I wanted to achieve in another project so I used my journal quilt to practice. This JQ is created using fabrics from my stash, the main technique is applique. The background is sheet painted with fabric paints, the trees and grass are snippets of cloth with organza overlaid and machine stitched into place. The Manor house is a textured upholstery fabric and I used reverse applique to create the windows. The bushes in front are created as Suffolk puffs with hand stitched details. The drive is some rust dyed fabric with one of my machines fancy stitches to create a block paved effect.

Morsbags - doing our bit for the planet

Keeping fabric out of landfill and plastic out of the environment

During my trip to London to the Spring Knit and Stitch show at Olympia I saw a group of people making and promoting Morsbags. These bags are made from fabric which would end up in landfill. The idea is that sewing communities come together to create the bags and give them out - a friendly act of giving which helps the environment.

There is no charge made for a Morsbag, they are just given to those who need one, and who doesn't need a bag?

You can find out a whole lot more about Morsbags at the website

Developing my creative practice

New creative plans for 2019

To begin a new year with new intention is always a good thing yes? I resolved to aim to enter the embroiderers guild members challenges and competitions and also to get more involved in the quilters guild. Both of these organisations are important to me as they fuel my creativity and give me the opportunity to exhibit both nationally and internationally.

Knit and Stitch at Olympia 28 Feb to 3 Mar 2019

Volunteering at Quilters Guild gallery resulted in some more stitch inspiration for me

I was scheduled in on the quilters guild gallery for the afternoon session so I started by wandering around the exhibition which filled two halls at Olympia, it did feel smaller than the October knit and stitch show but just as much inspiration and ideas have resulted.
I spotted Elspeth from unfortunately I didn't get a chance to speak to her, the stand was buzzing.

Creating Unique Fabrics with Indian Block Printing

Creating fabrics using techniques including: masking, over-printing and mitred corners (all explained later).

It is still early days for Stitching Kitchen and so far the Indian Block printing sessions have proved very popular.

I am a bit addicted to a great podcast by Susan Weeks - 'Stitchery Stories' and recently loved listening to her speak to Jamie Malden from Colouricious - I recommend you have a listen and find out more about the history and future of Indian Wooden Block carving and printing. Colouricious import hand carved wooden printing blocks from artisans in Jaipur, they also provide all the necessary sundries to print both on fabric and paper and even into clay! Take time to browse the website for more info and lots and lots of inspiration.

You can check out this wonderful podcast for creative people who love textiles, stitching & quilting - wonderful inspirational stories aimed at the fabric world.

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