Sunday, 6 November 2011


I am keeping in my mind the section in the course that you can't go wrong with your drawings.  I haven't drawn in years and have never had any formal training, although my mother and grandfather were excellent artists.  Grandpa used to paint the most beautiful murals on sides of buildings and in churches where they lived in Ohio .  Interestingly, he was also colour blind.  I remember him buying me a paint by number kit when I was 8 years old.

My mother did china painting and tole painting.  She then moved on to spinning and weaving.  I learned to sew when I was 6 and starting making my own clothes and sewing bits of fabrics together to make covers for my dolls, not realising that I was doing patchwork.

Below is a sample from my sketchbook.  It was a very rough quick sketch working with oil pastels which I have not worked with before.  I love sunflowers and have always wanted to make an art quilt with sunflowers and beaded centres.  I have collected some beads which I think would work for the centres.  

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Photography ideas

After reading the section on photography and ideas about what to photograph I decided to start bringing my camera to work.  This course is already opening my mind.  I walk to work from Moorgate in the mornings mainly because I hate taking the tube in the morning from Kings Cross.  Before it was just head down trying to get down the pavement without having anybody run into me.  I am now starting to be more observant and have realised how interesting the City can be.  I see sculptures on the buildings that I never really noticed before.  The reflections in the Heron Tower on a sunny day are beautiful and I didn't realise how close I was to the Tower of London.  I went out several days at lunch time and took photographs.  Always before I would be sat at my desk having lunch or down in our cafe.  This will give me a reason to get out in the fresh air if you can call London air fresh, but at least to stretch my legs.  

I am going to look for one of those books on turning photos into fabric art when we go to the quilt show at Chilford Winery in November.  I am looking forward to that and to seeing a few owners of the quilt shops I buy from as I count them as my friends.  

Below are a few of the pictures I have taken already in London.

A few pictures of the Tower of London and Tower Bridge.  I like the textures of the stone on the walls.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Knitting and Stitching Show 2011

My husband and I went on the 8th October to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace.  I had planned on subscribing to Quilters Guild of the British Isles again and found their booth.  The art quilts displayed were particularly impressive.  I especially enjoyed Mere Kats which I understand won awards at the Festival of Quilts 2011 which unfortunately I was unable to attend.  The expressions on the faces and the detail with stitch was most impressive.

I had been thinking about signing up for City and Guilds Patchwork and Quilting for a long time as I wanted to attain at least a diploma.  To my great delight I instead found the booth for the OCA and after meeting the delightful Jacqueline Jeynes I signed up for the BA (Hons) in Creative Textiles.  I have not done any disciplined studying for well over 25 years, aside from reading books about making quilts so initially this was a bit intimidating when I saw the course work.

I have for a few years now been interested in expanding from traditional quilts to art quilts.  Two of the books I had been studying before I signed up for the course are The Painted Quilt by Linda & Laura Kemshall (2007) and Contemporary Quilts Design, Surface and Stitch by Sandra Meech (2005).  I particularly like Sandra Meech's approach to design from inspiration in photography.  She travelled to the Canadian Arctic to visit the Inuit communities.  I lived in Anchorage, Alaska for 7 years before moving to England and always wanted to use my photographs from living there in some form of quilt art.  Although I find her "how to" instructions useful, I am not particularly drawn to abstract art.

Laura & Linda Kemshall's book is particularly useful being more figurative and will help me as I work through developing my sketchbooks.  I bought some markal paintsticks a few years ago and was unsure how to use them, but their section on applying colour after quilting is inspiring.  I would also like to find places to take rubbings so will do a bit of research to see if there are any places close to where I work in London that I can do that.