Wednesday, 26 May 2010

A world of inspiration

Well I have just put my feet up with a cup of coffee and the most delicious quilt book that I have seen in ages!

Scrap Quilt Sensation by Katharine Guerrier is absolutely gorgeous.

It really appeals to the mood that currently grips me - that need for colour but without too rigid a form. I have blogged about my recent inspirations (Huntertwasser) and this book is very much in that sort of asthetic! It just makes me want to tear through the pile of scraps upstairs, jumble them all together and create something wonderous! Lets face it - there is always room for scrap busters!!!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

After Hundertwasser mini quilt

Well I have teased you with the pictures of Hundertwassers work that has acted as a source of inspiration.

I love his work, with the colours and organic flow of the shapes. This has led to the development of my mini quilt "After Hundertwasser!". Below are pics of the pages of my journal as I worked through ideas for this piece. Bungalows and Pavilions was a major inspiration which I hope you can see reflected in the final piece!

Here are some of the test swatches that I had a play with before putting the final piece together. I think that I may frame them and display them next to the mini quilt.

 Well this is the final piece.  You can't really see the black border which echos Hundertwassers common choice of a black frame (grass was possibly not the best choice of background!).

I am general very pleased with the way the design turned out. I love the colours of the silks which I had been gathering together for this specific purpose since last years National Quilting Exhibition at the NEC. I wanted to add some texture to the piece using a few choice buttons and beads, but without overwhelming the design.

Many of the patches were stitched  before I put them altogether and quilted them again. This approach restricted how the final piece was built and makes it quite firm.

This piece has already begun developing into something new though I would like my next piece to have a little more 'curve' to the elements. Of course I shall share!!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Peterborough Artists Open Studio

I noticed that the artists are shown on the Peterborough Artists Open Studios website, and the fact that I am showing this year (in house 16) is really beginning to sink in. A chance comment made back in a cold and depressing February in Art & Stitch has led me here, to a fully fledger (nearly) exhibited artist!

The shop will be open all 3 weekends, though I will only be there weeks 1 & 2 due to a family wedding on the 3rd weekend (I did ask them to move the wedding but no joy lol).
The dates when Peterborough comes alive with the work of local artists are:
26th-27th June  - Weekend 1 10-4pm,
3rd - 4th July - Weekend 2 10-4pm,
10th-11th July - Weekend 3 10-4pm

This is the first time that I have exhibited on my own and it is a daunting prospect. I have previously displayed work as part of the Embroiderers guild but it was 4 pieces in a room with about 50 other pieces. This time I get a room of my own! I paid it a visit on Saturday and it seems bigger when it is empty!

Being part of the Peterborough Artists Open Studio of course means that I am not exhibiting truely on my own. They print the brochures, they produce the advertising for the whole event, and they supply the maps showing the locations for each artist. I don't even have to worry about the location because I will be settled in the exhibition room next to Art & Stitch. So I am not really exhibiting on my own at all! But I will be sitting in that room, with my work, for the duration, perhaps talking to visitors (assuming they fancy a chat) and in that space I will be alone... and exposed!

This has got me thinking! I have shown people my work before, I blog about it and I showed at the guild, but this is the first time people I don't know will be inspecting my work within my earshot! That is quite scary. What if they don't like it? Will I be offended? Obviously I want everyone to love everything I do, but that is not what will happen. There will always be someone there who doesn't like it.  I think that I have to prepare myself for varying reactions, and develop a thicker skin! After all - you can't please all of the people all of the time!

Monday, 17 May 2010


I wanted to share the inspiration behind my latest creation - a small art quilt called "After Hundertwasser". I will blog about the quilt later - first I want to share my muse.

I first experienced the art of Hundertwasser on a visit to Vienna 3 years ago when I visited the bewitching Hundertwasserhaus designed by Hundertwasser. It is an impossible building that seems to grow organically out of the ground.
It features undulating floors, a roof covered with earth and grass, and large trees growing from inside the rooms, with limbs extending from windows.

It is such a strange sight amongst the rest of the very conservative buildings of District 3 of the city. The inside is just as bizarre as the outside with colours everywhere beating you into optical submission!

Everywhere you look inside the building, and outside it, there is something extraordinary waiting to been seen! Even the entrance to the toilet makes your draw drop in wonder!!

Within this amazing space is displayed many items of his work, which left a lasting impression on me. I came away from the gift shop with a ton of postcards to use as inspiration!!!

Hundertwasser's style was often compared to that of Gustav Klimt. He was fascinated with spirals, called straight lines "the devil's tools" and was definitely not afraid to mix his colour palette! As a result his work speaks to many who, like me, want to experience colour and form in a new and more organic way.

Here are some of my postcards:

Blobs Grow in Beloved Gardens - 1975

Grass for those who cry

 And one of my personal favourites - Pavilions and Bungalows

So there you have it - the inspiration behind a new piece of work that I shall blog about in a couple of days. I decided not to add it to this post because I want the creations of Hundertwasser to work its magic on you before I add my own ideas to the mix.

So watch this space for photos of the finished article and shots of my workbook pages as I developed my ideas. Having finished one item, Hundertwasser is already working away in my brain to direct me towards a couple more. So who knows what will come next!!!

Friday, 14 May 2010

Common dilemma

So you have got to the end of a project, and you realise it needs a little something. That little bit of extra embellishment to lift it into the extraordinary. A button!! That's what it needs. So you begin to search for one that matches just 'so', but you can't find the perfect one.

The answer is to make one!!!! This is where I can help :)

I am vdelighted to be teaching my Beaded Button course again at Art and Stitch in Peterborough on the 12th June (supplies are available in the shop).

This course teaches basic techniques to enable you to decorate button blanks to add a special touch to any piece.

This is a great way of using up beads in your bead soup and create unique items to embellish your own creations. These buttons can be added to clothes, bags or simply worn as a brooch with the addition of a clasp.

The course will show you how to create your own unique designs using a variety of simple bead embroidery techniques which can then be applied to any beading project that you chooose. The techniques can be used to fully, or partly, bead an button to create whatever suits your mood.

I hope to see some of you there!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Lovebirds giveaway

Now this is one giveaway worth winning!!! Kirsty Elson is celebrating her first blogiversity and is giving away these fabulous lovebirds. Feel free to pay a visit and enter her giveaway!

They are beautiful and would look fabulous on the windowsill in my studio! I am certainly having a go!!!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Erosion bundle

Better late than never - I started late so I finished late. I removed and opened my bundle last weekend but have only just got around to posting the blog about it.

As you may recall, the Erosion project involves creating a bundle of 'bits' and then leaving it out in the elements for a couple of months. Then we open it, and make something fabulous out of what we find!

The first thing about my bundle is that it is pink!

Very pink!
Some of this is from the elastic band that I used to wrap up my parcel. It bleached into the fabric and paper very early on.The circular wooden bead has become discoloured too which is interesting.
I had also included some purple paper in the bundle, and that has left it's mark too.The brown areas are rust from a couple of bits of copper that I had added to the bundle.

I wonder if I would have got a more interesting effect if I had buried it rather than leaving on the top of my lawn!

So far I have only looked at the contents - I have not started my 'making'; I am waiting for some inspiration!  I have until Aug 1st for the big reveal so I will get my exhibition work for Peterborough Artists Open Studio finished first and then set to it. Though if I get the other pieces finished first I would like to include it - perhaps with a board describing the project. Now that could be interesting!!!

Ideas so far are to perhaps create some jewellery. I like the idea of wearing something that has spent months outdoors going 'off', and then wearing it with a nice new outfit! I shall have to think about it some more, and keep looking at it until inspiration dawns!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Since you've been gone...

Well since "I've" been gone really... April was a mental month in the real world with so much going on that it made my head spin! With 2 pieces of coursework to be handed in for my MSc (in e-learning) and virtually living in Cumbria for my day job, my studio stood empty for of the month. However I did manage to get 2 things completed and here they

One is a birthday gift for my Mum - she never reads my blog so this won't spoil the surprise! It was from a pattern given to me by my friend Julie and was so easy to make - it took me an evening to get it together.

The fabrics were a bundle called "American Retro" that I fell in love with during a recent (work)trip to London that took me past (kind of) Liberty's! What a place!!! Anyway, it was not cheap, but the colours were a joy so I had to have it! At least there is still half of it left so I can make something that I don't have to give away!!!

That is me in the picture - because the lovely Paul refused to be captured in an apron, even when I promised to crop off his head (in the picture - not literally!!). He suggested that you might see more of the apron if I wore it (hence he is now residing in the shed in disgrace). He claims he meant that it was more suited to my 'womanly curves' but I dont buy it. Good job he is lovely or he might end up in the shed indefinitely!!!

The other project was some more beaded buttons. I am teaching the class again at Art & Stitch on the 12th of June and I wanted some more samples so I decided to do a single colourway set.

I chose my colour of the moment - blue!

I wanted to use the same beads on all three but to produce distinctly different looks. This one is a simply circle pattern around a little flower bead.
This one is my favourite. The opalescence reminds me of one of those Faberge eggs handed out by the Russian aristocracy!
The final one was a freeform button - simply to play around and move away from the more rigid patterns of the other two. I think I may frame these three together and display them as a picture rather than have them hanging around in a draw!

Anyway, I hope to spend some more time in my studio over the next few weeks and get some more stuff done. I am doing the Peterborough Artists Open Studios this year and so need to get some more stuff done. I have my erosion bundle to get cracking with, and a wall hanging that is nearly done! I will be blogging about these soon enough!