Thursday, 11 February 2016

It's been a bit silent on this blog recently because I've been a bit busy.  If you have been reading my blog for a while you know that I had the opportunity to rent a little studio last year.  Sadly, the big-style collapse of our car just before Christmas left us with a studio/car dilemma which was obviously resolved in favour of a car.  C'est la vie.  I feel so lucky to have been able to try the studio experiment - it was just lovely to have a space of my own where I never had to tidy up in order to get the dinner on!  I just couldn't justify the indulgence though.

All is not lost!  We are kind of shoe-horned into our house, but we have a walk-in cupboard off the dining room that once looked like this...

Spot the family height marks - if we ever move I will have to tear off the doorframe.

A lot of relocation of stuff, a bit of work,  a table made out of two old wardrobe shelves, and it now looks like this!

It's 97 centimetres wide but it's a palace to me!

Friday, 5 February 2016

Forgot to show you

My quilt backs are usually uninteresting because I generally rely on something economical like good old Ikea Nummer (heard a rumour that it was going out of print, but it's still available, phew) so I have rarely shown them but forgot to post this one which I actually really love.  It's the back of Wild Geese, which I made with fabric gifted by Michael Miller to people taking part in last year's 'Glitz' challenge, and as the back had to use Michael Miller fabric I put together all the bits left over from the front, together with three other fabrics from that range.

It's hard to capture the lovely sheen of these pearlised fabrics - the result is subtle and pretty rather than brash.  It would actually make an okay front without the ghost geese from the quilting on the front, but I like them anyway.

What with the various storms we have been having and the fact that we seem to live in a small localised wind vortex it was hard to keep this from blowing away while I took pictures, which is an embarrassing enough process when you are overlooked by all the neighbours' windows.   It was more successful than my attempt to take pictures of Building Blocks, when I rushed outside to catch a rare moment of favourable light despite being desperate for a pee (TMI?), locked myself out of the house resulting in having to pull my daughter out of maths, and then dropped the quilt in the mud.

Also forgot to post this little artist trading card, though you might have seen in on Very Berry Handmade. Its new owner seems to be happy with it.  

There is lots of ATC loveliness in the Very Berry ATC group on flickr.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Four in Art - "Colour: microscopic"

The theme chosen for this year's Four in Art quilts was Colour, and this quarter the sub-theme is 'Microscopic'.

'Colour' and 'Microscopic' are great themes - such a lot of food for thought!  I started by thinking about colour in connection with microscopy, microscopic specimens and so on, particularly the use of stains to highlight different parts of a specimen.

I considered making a quilt based on a coloured cross-section of a stem, which would have been nice as my dad is a botanist who spent his career looking at specimens down an electron microscope.  However, I really wanted to explore the implications and possibilities of the absence of colour - using black and white - in my first quilt in this series.

I had been thinking recently about the relationship between patchwork pieces and cells, the first making up a quilt, and the second being the building blocks of all living organisms.  It occurred to me that the seams between the patchwork pieces are like the cell walls which surround each cell - each piece or cell is then separate, yet connected to, other units around it to create a tissue.

Using traditional 'tumbling blocks',  I've tried to examine this idea in an abstract way, using the contrast of black and white to highlight the individual units.  The little black diamonds represent cell nuclei.

Building Blocks

I have probably said this before in connection with the quilts I've made with Four in Art, but I really admire art which is equally satisfying whether it can be 'read' or not.  Cells, or blocks?  - what I really wanted here is that if you had the opportunity to view (say) onion cells down a microscope during your school days you might look at this quilt in a particular way, but that if not, then the pattern would stand by itself.

Please do visit the other Four in Art members.  We have a group blog, and you can also view each member's work at the links below.   As usual each quilt is such a different response to the theme!

Betty  on flickr

Camilla at Faffling

Elizabeth at OP Quilt

Janine at Rainbow Hare

Nancy at Patchwork Breeze

Simone at Quiltalicious

Susan at Patchwork and Play

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Winter Comforts received

Look what I got in the post today!  It is my card in the Very Berry ATC swap.

Isn't it lovely?   It was made by Ann.  She said in her note that it was inspired by a drawing she did for her baby's nursery, which was part of a set of 4 representing the seasons.  This is the winter season and features a mummy owl hugging a baby owl on a snowy day.

I think it is magical.  It has such beautiful details - look at their little faces and the way the baby owl is snuggling up.

Thank you Ann.  The card is now sitting on my bookshelf making me happy.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

ATC: Winter Comforts "Being Cosy"

I've finished another ATC card.

The armchair, antimacassar and floral cushion and wallpaper suggest that a little old lady lives in this house, but she is a sparky old lady who likes cats and books.  Having been for a good stiff walk in the snow she's about to settle down with Pride and Prejudice and a nice cup of tea (it is just a little too early for a dry sherry).  She has just gone to fetch the biscuit tin.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

My word, is it it really 19 January?  Where does the time go?   I have managed a bit of creativity - I've been making Artist Trading Cards and you can read me wittering on about them over on Very Berry Handmade today. Thank you so much to Ali for having me!

There has been other activity which I'm showing you because who could resist a lamb having a bath?  (No stew jokes, please.)

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016

First of all HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone who puts up with my infrequent rambling.  Thank you especially for your friendship and encouragement and I hope that your coming year is full of fun and creativity!

These are my favourite makes of 2015.

Clockwise from top: Mrs Midas, Wild GeeseThe MoorsBirchHome Sweet Home: Waiting to be Let In

It was a quiet year creatively because the rest of life was mad:

1 graduation from primary school
1 total house reorganisation
2 bedrooms completely redecorated

1 funeral: odd how bittersweet these events can be - so very sad whilst simultaneously so nice in terms of meeting up with relatives one doesn't see very often
1 lovely week in Arran, during which there was
1 flood - through the ceiling of one of the newly redecorated bedrooms:-(
1 insurance claim
3 weeks in temporary accommodation and three months of living in chaos

Highlight of the year was renting a little studio and a lot of days were spent scraping old concrete off the original quarry tiles, and painting the breeze block partition wall.

Finally, I mustered some courage and entered two quilts to Quiltcon - Wild Geese and Walk, Don't Walk - neither of which were accepted.  I know I have to improve my technical skills so I just look forward to keeping on experimenting.

Please join me in 2016!


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