Monday 5 February 2018

Two little quilts

I realised that although I posted on instagram, I never showed you the finished result of my experiment with upholstery fabric sample scraps.

When I last wrote about them, I was dithering about how to quilt the two pieces I'd made.  I ended up with two very different approaches - one quilted simply in the ditch and one a combination of machine quilting with some full on hand embroidery in perle cotton.

So here is Little Brown Quilt:

and in complete contrast, its more extrovert sister :

 I do love Little Brown which is very 'me' and reflects my interest in printing and a particular image I wanted to convey.    I like the other one too, but in having fun and playing with the scraps I seem to have ended up with something which shows its influences in the beautiful work of Lucie Summers.  It's very hard to be original - I guess we have to make what we want to make and acknowledge our inspiration when we can!

Thursday 1 February 2018

The Endeavourers - #1, Nature

Today is the first ever quarterly reveal for quilts made by The Endeavourers.  You can find all the quilts gathered together on our joint blog, together with WIP posts and thoughts about the theme, which, this quarter, is nature.

What a great theme to get started with!

"All the animals, plants, rocks, etc in the world and all the features, forces and processes that happen or exist independently of people, such as the weather, the sea, mountains, the production of young animals or plants and growth..."   Cambridge Dictionary

I liked the idea of the drama of forces of nature, and I thought of the phrase "Nature, red in tooth and claw" which would have lent itself to something interesting but possibly rather gory!   But nature to me a source of happiness and interest, so I abandoned those lines of thought and I'd been mulling over various ideas when I looked out of my dining room window and saw a beautiful male blackbird sitting in a very healthy Cotoneaster bush, covered with red berries, which is in the garden below.   I live in the city, and I love that even among all the buildings and industry nature is all around!

So that, right there, was my inspiration and here is my blackbird sitting in its cotoneaster on a winter day, representing the natural world.

I decided to make the most of the wintery sky which is made using curved piecing, heavily quilted, and the blackbird and branches are raw-edge applique, which was then free-motion embroidered to add detail and fix it in place.  Apart from the winter sun which is pieced with gold silk, I used shot cottons from Oakshott which are ideal for works like this because the different warp and weft give subtle variations in colour rather than being solid, and this quality is perfect for anything from the natural world.  The centre of the blackbird's eye is a small black bead sewn on with white wool thread to make the eye sparkle.

I wanted my image to be stylized rather than hyper-realistic so I have not filled in the fine detail in the image but have left it so that you can mentally join the dots.  In the past I have done a fair bit of printing and I'm drawn to more graphic images.

There are no 'new-to-me' techniques in this quilt so it wasn't very adventurous, but my quilts have more often than not been abstract so it's been good to make something pictorial!

Please do visit The Endeavourers - you should be able to find all our works together by the end of today, and from each post be able to visit each participant's own blog for more detail.  I'm really looking forward to seeing what inspired everyone, and how they interpreted the theme.


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