Sunday, 18 August 2013

Blue John Block #2

Colour choices and dyeing

Going back to my source picture I cut out small squares of different colours which I then tried to reproduce using water colours. This was the preparation for dyeing fabrics for the Blue John quilt.

Using tray dyeing and procion dyes from Art Van Go on polycotton  I created some wonderfully textured fabrics.

This is the grey, blue and purple palette, and the warmer yellow, orange and browns

I had in mind  terrazzo floor tiles and marble for this quilt so didn't want uniform colours

More design ideas using the 6 piece block. Not quite what I am looking for yet.



Friday, 16 August 2013

Blue John Blocks #1.

Whilst I was away on holiday a friend started an International Block Swap group. I have been lucky to be involved with this project and so I gave myself the week off the computer last week, to concentrate on a block I  developed during my City & Guilds. When studying for something like a City & Guilds you end up with masses of design work which never seems to be developed. I decided to go back and revisit some of my work which I will now share with you, over the next few posts.

My starting point was a favourite cave photo.

I love the colours and textures as well as the strong lines in this picture. To create the block I traced then picture and then isolated some areas with interesting lines. The three squares on the tracing.

I then simplified the shapes and looked at tonal values for each area.

Already I can see blocks appearing.

These are some blocks made with the 6 piece block pattern 

Hope you enjoy the start of this project


Thursday, 15 August 2013

Can't see the Wood for the Trees

My blog posts this summer have been slightly erratic as I have been busy trying to catch up with everything. Perhaps it just feels like that. Housework, decorating, clearing out masses of accumulated junk, mainly paperwork from the year dot. We have been clearing out our son's room in preparation for remodelling and redecorating. it is amazing to find exercise books going back to his primary school days, he is now in his 20's!! The recycle bin has been working overtime. Perhaps this post should have been called  'Can't see the floor for the paperwork'

Anyway to get back on track I decided to give my little Messy Studio a bit of a clear out. It was great because I re-discovered lots of old sketchbooks. These are a few pages I thought I would share with you today.

Looking at them Makes me want to get out my water colours again. I am not very good at using watercolour but do enjoy dabbling. 

I was a bit heavy handed with these.

I was pleased with this effort of Silver Birch trees in Winter

I really need to make time for more sketching and painting in my day. Will someone invent a 25 hour day please.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

A Good Mornings Work

I don't know whether I was getting ahead of myself ( by making a quilt for a Christmas present) or procrastinating ( I should have been making samples using soluble fabrics ).

I had seen Valerie Nesbitt's video of a quilt in 40 minutes and thought I had time to spare.

Well, two lovely chatty phone calls, I was trying to still sew with the phone tucked between shoulder and ear, and two hours later I managed to finish it.

I used a jelly roll I purchased from Bee Crafty at the opening of their new shop on Tuesday. Wonderful Moda fabrics called Wintergreen collection. It is certainly Christmassy.
 And now I will have to add to my shopping list for the Festival of quilts fabric for a border and the back. This list is getting longer by the day.

I don't think that I am the fastest machinist around so won't be entering any jelly roll races in the near future, but it is certainly a quick piecing method and will make a lovely present.

Have you made a jelly roll quilt?


Wednesday, 7 August 2013

A Homely Pursuit?

Having had a break from blogging to remodel a bedroom I thought I would pose a question or two.

Does the 'Art World' accept Textile Art as an art form? Is is just a homely pursuit?

Each year I visit the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and hope that there will be some art textiles included. Perhaps most of it should be classified as textile art as the canvas most artists work on is a textile.

 I wasn't expecting to see any textiles and so was delighted to see a whole gallery devoted to Grayson Perry's wonderfully quixotic tapestries. It is fantastic that such a high profile artist should choose textiles as one of the mediums for his craft. His exhibition last year at the British museum proved what a versatile artist he is.

The cover of the exhibition catalogue is taken from 'The Annunciation of the Virgin Deal' 2012 Grayson Perry

The six large tapestries show snapshots of life which are thought provoking and full of Grayson Perry's trademark wit and humour. I wish that I had had more time to really get up close and personal with them as there was so much detail in each. Having spent just a short time with them left many of the other works on display feeling flat for me. There was much that did inspire discussion with my son and pieces that he liked that I didn't and vice versa. That is what is so great about the Summer exhibition it is a mixed bag but there is something for everyone.

And now there is the Festival of Quilts where I can get my textile fix for the Summer and look forward to the Knitting and Stitching shows in the Autumn.

I'm now off to finish my shopping list