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Lovely days of sewing, friends and challenges

No photos today!  Just a quick acknowledgement that throughout this year I have had a lot of fun with my lovely friends who come to quilt with me once a month on a Saturday.  They started out mostly as beginners although I somehow acquired a dear friend who is very experienced, as part of the class and then subsequently another friend joined who already had some experience.  So all in all, we are somewhat of a motley crew!

What is not in doubt is that we are all enjoying learning together. Once the studio was built, it provided me with the perfect space to invite friends to join me to sew.  We all fit around the tables and I put up a couple of machines in the kitchen and they, together with the one in the studio give us enough machines for everyone to sew when they want to.  

As time has gone on, we have all progressed at different rates.  That doesn't mean that some learn quicker than others, but rather, that some have more time available and can make more opportunities for sewing.

So here we are at the end of the year, still working on our sampler quilt but nearing the end of the block-making! (We have just started block number 11 - we are making 12!) and next year we shall get into the challenging aspects of inserting sashing, cornerstones, borders and then layering the quilt ready for quilting. I really enjoy having them with me, it is such a pleasure.

I also have two other friends who join me during the week, once a month and that too is just such a special time. They can't make it at the weekend but that is good too as we would be too many for the studio!

So thank you all for your company and friendship.  I am hoping that next time we meet, I can take photos of their work to share with you.

We had our end of year party and show-and-tell evening at Wessex Quiltmakers.  It was a lovely evening and the standard of the work shown was amazing.  Some very inspiring stuff was on display and what I found most interesting was the range of work shown.

Finally a couple of months ago I started to work on my piece for the Region 3 challenge "Sea Blue", I spent about 4 hours on it today and I have to say it has been a total pleasure.  It is challenging and I am definitely working on the edge of my comfort zone but I am loving the work and feeling very positive about it.  No pictures - for obvious reasons! Well...........perhaps just the one!

A few notes about fabric from my sketchbook!




Claire and Leslie - Committed to Cloth

Leslie and Claire have produced many books about printing and dyeing techniques and nestling within their pages are lots of examples of their work.  Claire's has become very simple but beautifully designed, using simple stitch techniques to create a purpose and feel relevant to the piece. Leslie uses colour much more and still uses a more quilterly approach.

Here is Leslie's piece which was hanging at the exhibition:


I love the luminosity of this. The moons are created by the use of discharge through clampled media.  I love the fabrics which are in this piece. Some are printed by Leslie and some are commercially printed. What makes the piece work so well on one level is that some of the fabrics, which have been printed by Leslie, are also over-dyed so the cohesion of colour is beautiful.  If you look carefully at the little houses, some of them have couched threads on them and the placements are lovely.  I love the way that some of them seem to hover in some of the spaces around the houses rather than meeting the edges.

I now feel very embarrassed because I did not take a photograph of the piece from Claire that I absolutely love.  It is a piece which she created while she was in India.  It is a whole-cloth piece which is linen stitched with hemp and there is a rhythm and calmness about it which is very restful.

Here are  details from another piece which is on display, called Snowdrift

And another detail

Both of these pictures are small because I am sorry to admit that I "borrowed" them from ViewSeven's website.

Aren't I lucky to have another year with Leslie and I am hoping to see Claire occasionally.


ViewSeven - Menier Gallery

Those who follow this blog (despite its sporadic entries!) will know that I have loved the work I have done this year with Claire Benn and Leslie Morgan at Committed to Cloth.  I have felt inspired and challenged, every step of the way but their work is so stunning and - yes - inspirational that I have felt that if I were able to emulate even a small amount of their outcomes, I would have achieved something.

This week, they, together with their fellow textile artists from the group, View Seven, are exhibiting at the Menier Gallery in London, near London Bridge.  I really recommend it.  The work is beautiful and the artists are all present so you can talk to them and find out how, what, why etc.

I met up with two of my fellow students from the Wet and Wild course at Committed to Cloth.  It was lovely to go around together, sharing thoughts and opinions together.  Sadly neither Janine or Carol will be continuing next year - pressure of outside commitments prevents them - but I shall be having a year of independent study.

So here are a few photos from the exhibition:

This stunning quilt is by Daline Kiff-Stott.  It is called Tic Tac Toe.  All the fabric is hand dyed and printed.  Daline uses found-objects in her work and the lovely circles are monoprinted with a painted jar lid.  It is a deceptive piece.  It seems very geometric and regular until you look carefully and you will see that all the quilting is very organic, following shapes created by the dyeing and printing.  The large circles of stitch are done by hand using seed stitch and seem to hover over the surface of the design.  The depth of colour on the fabric is wonderful - many layered and the more you gaze at it, the more you see.  It is simply one of my favourite pieces of all time.

Claudia Helmer created this lovely piece using paper lamination. This is a technique which I used to create a stencil with for the piece I showed recently, called Hot Air.  Instead of using her paper lamination to print through, as I did, she has used the actual paper lamination sheer as the top of the wall hanging.  It has two free-hanging layers which are beaded and hand-stitched.

And doesn't this piece seem to be the exact counter-point to the previous one?  Yet, the quality of the workmanship is identical and the use of colour is fabulous. It is by Karen Farmer and is a stunning piece of art.  I was lucky enough to buy two small pieces by her which are totally different and yet perfect for the room which I intend them to go into.  They are small so will be framed.


As you can see the work was wonderful. I have not uploaded work from all the artists.  Claire Benn and Leslie Morgan's work deserves a little space of their own, given that they have influenced and taught me all year!