Archive for June, 2008

What a job finding somewhere to hang and photograph this quilt. Even with all the photography equipment we have it has been very difficult barring putting up a dark backdrop big enough. My walls are a (now) off white which didn’t help. Anyway I have done the best I can and hope it gives a reasonably good impression of the finished piece.

I really enjoy stitching these art quilts and I think I prefer – for me – painting and quilting as opposed to piecing fabrics. This has a few drawbacks as I have to test the paint colours all the time to see how they look on the fabric before putting it onto the actual piece fabric. I found that the white paint over the grey made it look yellowish rather than the white I was wanting. I used several different white paints but there was no difference – the grey had its effect under the white. When I created my thread paintings, the backgrounds were painted in such the same way, but much of that was machined over with little of the painted area left to see. With the quilting, a lot more of the painted area is still visible. I can see I will be learning more about paint and colours if I do more of these painted quilts although I think this particular subject in these colours wasn’t the easiest to interpret – but I like challenges.

I did expect and found that they use a lot of thread. I now have to replace three of my greys which have run out. I used a mixture of metallics, rayon and polyester threads to help give more depth and highlights. I kept the sheep very stylised and from a distance- which is the best way to view the quilt – they work well.

The most densely stitched area is the top third which is the woods and trees at the back. I used my favoured vermicelli stitch (some call it stipple stitch) to fill between the outlined features.

The foreground area was less densely stitched.

I have to admire those quilters who create large quilts. They are not easy to handle and stitch using a normal machine although I expect those who make quilts to sell use more specialised machines and beds. I won’t be doing that as I like to do so many different techniques and mediums – art quilts being only one of them. I have done lots of quilting within much of my other work but this is the first large art quilt.

Look forward to doing more of them.

Cheers everyone.


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The Egyptian project is behind me now – at least until the first talk booked for later in the year.

I have begun a new piece. Hurray. Nice to have a different subject to concentrate on.

It is, however, a bit unseasonal, although the weather over the last couple of days could challenge that. It has been dreadful. Cold, wet and windy. No snow though and this piece has snow in it.

I took a series of photos in the snow last winter and created a digitally constructed image by combining two of them and then putting an effect onto the image with a filter in Photoshop giving a stylised image.

This is the image I created. I had it in mind to use it in some way for a textile piece but didn’t know what technique I would use at the time. After completing the last quilted piece, I decided that an art quilt would be the best way to present this image as a textile piece.

I printed the image out by selecting smaller areas, printing them and then joining them together to give me an actual size print. It is just under 1m long and about 30cm wide. This was traced onto a piece of white poly cotton. Once traced, I mixed fairly thin acrylic paints and painted the cotton. The photo isn’t too good as I was standing precariously on a swivel chair to gain enough height to take the photo. I didn’t have anywhere with enough light to pin it up. The colours are coming through from the surfaces underneath but you can see how it was looking if you squint??? It is meant to be viewed from a distance.

I made a sandwich with 2oz wadding/batting and white voile. It was ready to stitch. I matched the threads and decided to be a bit brave by using metallic threads for the sheep. Starting from the central area, i free machined the sheep and the track marks in the snow.

It is in the very early stages so don’t judge it yet. There is a LOT of stitching to do. Will keep posting as I go.

Cheers for now.

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Finished piece

The Nefertiti art quilt is now finished.

The project is now complete and for the last couple of days the 69 pieces have been spread across my living room floor while I have been deciding how to mount and present many of the pieces. A couple of the panels have now been turned into books. I searched out some stored frames which have been in a cupboard for years. I did a bit of creative sponging and made them suitable – in fact very suitable – for a set of three Nefertiti profile pieces. I just have to stitch the spines of the two books and I can begin to store the project away.

I have two talks booked for this project so I will be making a visual record which I show on a monitor while I talk about the pieces, techniques and materials.

We went out and did some gardening today while the weather was fine. In the side garden we found this clump of fungi. never seen this fungi there before.

I did a bit of macro on it.

A lovely copper colour.

Must get on with the stitching of the book spines now. I want to finish everything tomorrow and then SOMETHING NEW!!!

So cheers everyone.

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Quilt so far

Have been working on the quilt and in this image it shows the completed first stage of the stitching.

I only decided how the rest would be stitched when I reached this point and that too is finished now making it look different again. I have just begun working on the border.

We had a lovely day at Rievaulx Abbey last week with one of the rare sunny windows. here’s a few of the photos I took.

I took so many it took ages to process them all and we need to go back for a morning visit to catch the sun from the opposite direction.- – when we get another ‘sunny window’??

So a short and sweet post today. Cheers.

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I am in the process of creating an art quilt for my Egyptian project and it will be piece number 64.

I began with this image which is the profile of one of Nefertiti’s stone busts.

I created a line drawing from it.

I created a pattern fill and using the bucket fill, filled the profile.

This was to be the working design. I needed to make a pattern A3 size. I did this in Photoshop. I put a new layer over the design and using the pencil tool drew all the lines of the design – making adjustments where the bands were too close together. The background layer was deleted leaving the lined pattern. This was then sized to A3 and printed.

Once I had the pattern I taped it down and laid a piece of white sateen over it – taping that down too – and using a soft pencil, carefully traced the design onto the fabric. The fabric was then stretched onto a frame ready for painting.

I matched up the colours with acrylic paints and silk dyes as best I could with the colours I had and mixed some too. I had to use clear gutta along the outer edges to prevent bleeding. (Remember to do this on the front and back to get a good seal. Unfortunately I did get a tiny bit of bleeding – this fabric isn’t really good for silk painting but I wanted to use it. Hope I can mask it.). I painted the acrylic bands first as they acted as a resist for the silk paints. I made lots of serendipity paper and silk while painting this piece. Nothing wasted.

The painted fabric was removed from the frame and pinned over batting and backing fabric ready to be quilted.

I have matched up the threads with the paint colours and will begin the stitching later tonight. It actually looks better than the photo shows. Always difficult photographing metallics and in a hurry!!

How much stitching will be decided as I go.

Will post the finished piece when it is finished.

Cheers everyone.

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Spent most of today in the garden. Planted up the baskets and tubs. Tidied up the patio. GS chased the frogs back into the pond. All looking good ready for the nice weather to sit out there and enjoy it!!!!

Finished the mobile yesterday and it has turned out quite well.

I explained in an earlier post on my Blogger site how I created the composite of Nefertiti. I used this image to make this mobile. I began by printing a digital composite onto a sheet of overhead acetate film.

I sliced it up into 9 pieces (3 x 3), then edged each of these in three different ways – buttonhole, wrap and running stitch. Beads were added along two sides of each. Using a fine lilac metallic thread I created line patterns and criss cross lines of beads across the surfaces of each. Once the embellishment was complete they were attached together with a bead spacer, to form two columns and a single piece joining the two columns together at the bottom. The two columns were suspended from a fine metal rod and were free to spin independently.

It looks quite effective hanging in the window with the light shining through.

So, two out of three isn’t so bad. Still thinking about a rescue for the other one. I want to tackle another piece I have in mind first. So BFN everyone. Will post the progress of it as it goes.

PS:  Unbelievably my Blogger site is accessible again!!

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New work room

The new desk arrived on Monday and I/we have been busy changing everything around in the workroom. In order to get the new desk in we had to get the sofa bed out. I remember it being a bit of a nightmare getting it in many years ago so knew it wasn’t going to be an easy job getting it out again. It wasn’t. It was very heavy and we are not as young as we were when we struggled to get it in there. As we edged it to the door we realised that the door had to come off. Then we had to empty and dismantle shelves until finally we had it or should I say forced it through the door and into the hall.

The new desk was put together and installed in the room with the new comfy chair. Everything which had come out of the room to make way for the sofa coming out had to be then taken back in and many hours later the room was finished. Lots more work surfaces and I have been able to bring things stored in other parts of the house down into the workroom. We also found a new home for the sofa bed and with the help of a friend and his van delivered it that evening. Job done. Very pleased.

The room is ready to use BUT as the weather was so much nicer today, I worked in the conservatory instead on the acetate prints.

Which brings me to the two latest pieces. They are not going quite as I envisaged. When I printed them, I had a problem with the ink in the printer in spite of all the prep. To cut a long story short – I finished up printing over the top of the first print and the ink took ages to finally dry. The yellow had still faded so I painted over the top of the yellow Nefertiti with gold acrylic paint. At this stage it looked redeemable. I cut up the image into nine pieces and edged them all using embroidery thread and buttonhole stitch. I wanted to do machine faggoting so I put soluble underneath to bridge the gaps and machined the pieces back together. I had tested a piece of printed acetate to see if it was OK to rinse and it was – for a single print. I had made a double print and when I rinsed the soluble away the ink of the second print ran.

The gold acrylic paint didn’t of course. So now I am trying to decide whether to continue and try to make something of it or see if all the ink will wash away and re-use them. Trying not to waste all that thread and time hand stitching. I did manage to do the rest of the machine faggoting hand held so there was no need for the soluble after all. Wish I had tried that first. Lesson learned.

The second piece is a SINGLE print – larger than the first one. Once printed I cut it up into nine pieces as before. This is to be a mobile. I used the sewing machine to put evenly spaced holes along the edges then edged the pieces varying the stitching to give three different borders. I am now in the process of laying lines of pattern and beading over the surface using a fine metallic thread. This is just the pattern stage.

When all the pieces are complete they will be joined together probably in this arrangement.

Back to finishing the mobile. Bye for now.

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