I stitched my cloth with a flurry of moths.
I recently undertook an interesting workshop at Ruskin Mill Nailsworth with the eco - dyer India Flint. We collected found flowers and foliage, wrapped them in between layers of wool or silk and simmered in a natural dye bath of leaves ,bark foliage and tea bags. The resulting cloth was stitched together to make a record of our collecting - a Wayfarer's cloth. The resulting shades of brown, purple, soft maroons and interesting patterns reminded me of the subtle colours of moth wings.
I stitched my cloth with a flurry of moths.
This is the Journal Quilt for May using the theme "In other words". The quotation "A Good Book" is by Milton and is from the Everyman series of books that I used for recent Ledbury piece. I found a rather lovely scrap of printed fabric in the style of William Morris which was perfect for this piece. The illuminated letter A has a stenciled background and reverse appliqued on top of red silk. The reverse A has the letters appliqued over the top. The edges are free machined with a buttonhole type stitch.
These shapes are taken from Japanese calligraphy. My friend and Japanese embroiderer Jackie Hall, was given an old early 19th century screen with exquisite embroidery on it. The back was even more interesting for me as it was lined with pages of Japanese calligraphy. The script may be called grass script and the writing might have been lists of gifts given.
Here is the completed piece "A Good Book". The text is cut out and appliqued onto a stitched background. I used stencils and reverse applique to construct the "illuminated" letters using silk and metallic thread to enhance it.
Mr Bedford's signature is printed in the bottom left hand corner.
This piece will be exhibited in the Weaver's Gallery, "The Beauty of Books", Ledbury, during the poetry festival from July 2nd to July 14th.
And --- I've updated my website at last!
This is the second Journal Quilt of 2013, for February, continuing the theme "In other words". It is a quotation from Romeo and Juliet. "What's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." The rose is a digital print which I enhanced with inktense pencils and then machine stitched.
This is the March Journal Quilt, called " Sand Stories".
Last March,when I was in Mevagissey, I photographed lug worm casts on the beach and it occurred to me that they looked like a kind of alphabet again. I'm not sure what the story is yet - as long as it isn't a load of ----!
This is my take on the second "whisper", called "Foxglove". I took a photo of a stone wall and a foxglove, used filters and also changed the colour palette then printed on to recycled cotton sheet again. The background is machine stitched and the fern shapes are appliquéd on top. Areas of the wall have been embroidered with French knots in a chunky thread.
I am enjoying this idea of just looking for a brief time at an image and then taking an idea from it for a new piece of work. The original piece was quite abstract but the colour palette was similar. I spotted a wall and a fern growing at it's base. My first print turned out rather light. This was the second attempt. I shall probably resurrect the other print by adding some inktense colour to it.
This is the sixth of my tiny lichen embroideries. I start off by highlighting the shapes with a small backstitch. The areas are then filled with knots of different weight threads. Beads and jump rings are added for texture. I estimated that there are over 10,000 stitches in this piece. They take a long time to make but are rather therapeutic to sew. You get in the zone, especially with a (small) glass of red wine to hand.
I do like this soft colour palette of pinks, lilacs and greys. They are all colours I have seen on the lichens I have looked at.
This is the base for my Virginia Creeper panel. It is layered with scrim, hessian, wool tops and home spun wool then embellished to create a textured background inspired by a stone wall. This is a response to a picture I was shown, not my choice, as part of a "chinese whisper". The idea is that the members of the group respond to an image which is revealed for three minutes only. The resulting piece is then shown to another person who makes their response which is shown to another person and so on. We are interested in seeing what transpires as the original idea becomes more abstract.
On this panel, linen was applied on the surface then cut back to reveal the textured background beneath. The leaves were made from a felted (by mistake) wool cardigan and embellished on the surface.
The linen cut outs were applied to another panel to make the third stone surface.
All three pieces have been freely machine stitched.
I've decided to display them horizontally.
The three pieces were finished with a cord edge and mounted on a natural linen canvas.
In other words: ear worm, January Journal Quilt
The first of the Journal Quilt challenges for 2013, this time the format is horizontal, 8" x 12". We could choose our own theme. I thought I would continue my exploration of text, letter forms and writing so have called my theme "In other words". I thought this would give me plenty of scope throughout the year. The problem was, once I'd decided on the title I developed an "ear worm". That annoying tune that won't leave you. Mine was "Fly me to the moon" - in other words --- hold my hand etc etc. I couldn't do anything so decided to knock it on the head by machine stitching the whole song freely on to white cotton. Then I quickly brushed grey acrylic paint over the surface to make a textured background and appliquéd notes and a bass clef as it looked like an ear. The words were appliquéd on the surface and I added a little heart button that I found on the floor as the song was about love and it was Valentine's day. I've backed it on pelmet vilene and may make a book with them at the end of the year. One down,eleven to go!
This is the last Journal Quilt of 2012 - actually finished today in my new shed. It is a mixed media piece. The background is emulsion paint, scrim and tissue - painted and machine stitched.
The inset panel is a digital print with text and hand stitched.
The quotation is the reason I made the piece.
It is a quotation by Edith Sitwell that I was sent recently and particularly like.
"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand
and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home."
This is a view of the interior of my new studio/shed. We braved IKEA for a table yesterday and I have moved in my sewing machine. There is still lots to do - the plumbing needs finishing, electrics tweaking and the shelves and storage cupboard to kit out. It has been lovely working in there today.
This is the November Journal quilt, still on the theme "blue".
Last March I spent a week at a farm in Mevagissey, Bodrugan Barton, taking a workshop. This design is taken from a photograph of reflections in a swimming pool there. They reminded me of those swimming pool paintings that David Hockney painted. The technique is machine reverse appliqué. I used some of my hand dyed cotton fabric and used the microwave and a jar to over dye a small quantity of grey sheeting to get the dark blue.
I have a mind to make a large piece like this, but with turned edges to get a smoother line.
The original photograph with the swimming pool windows reflected in the water.
This is a print of the original collagraph on paper. I used polyfilla and pva glue drawn into and an imprint of some lace.
The original has a cut out and is 8cm x 12 cm.
To get more blue in the design design I added a border and more blue to the design then printed onto recycled cotton.
This is the finished Journal Quilt.
I machine stitched and hand stitched the background and stitched a sentence in the background.
I had recently been to a lecture, given by Nancy Crow at the V and A. She was a very inspiring speaker. One thing she said really resonated with me. It is why I love fabric too, and why I particularly love stitching cloth.
"The feel of cotton sliding between my fingers calms me down."
The next four journal quilts for the rest of the year have blue as their theme. I recently did a weekend collograph course with Sue Brown and the centre panel of this design is a scan of my small original card and tape print. I thought the shapes looked a bit like the ears of corn. The borders were added by using the pattern maker facility on Photoshop and then the whole printed onto recycled cotton and machine stitched.
For Blogs pre March 2012 click the link below: