Sunday, 26 February 2012

A Really Good Day - with Wonky Bits!

Saturday was the latest meeting of Contemporary Quilt Region 14, a workshop with tutor Janet Bottomley on Liberated Piecing.  One of the best workshops I've ever been to - loads of fun, excellent teaching, and plenty of ideas for future projects (just need the time to make them now).  You can find out more about Janet from her blogs:  A Quilters Journal  (her personal blog), her City and Guilds/Contemporary Quilt blog, and her teaching blog.  For anyone involved in running a quilting group she would be an excellent choice for a workshop that could appeal to both traditional and contemporary quilters.

For those who, like me, were unclear about the difference between liberated and improvisational quilting, liberated quilting involves putting together traditional blocks in a non-traditional way, with a minimum of measuring, as in much African American quilting.  Improvisational or freeform quilting doesn't use blocks.

Below are some of the samples Janet brought, and you can see a corner of one of her quilts above (I wish I'd taken more photographs, but you can see more of Janet's work on her blogs.  I especially love her use of bright colours and fresh-looking fabrics, in particular her use of stripes - the blue quilt just peeping out in the picture above is particularly good.

 Anyway we were quickly on with the first blocks - stars and square in a square (occasionally pausing to flick through the books Janet brought)

and by lunchtime we'd completed our first blocks.  Being an adventurous group we soon discovered how to make things wonky, adapt and experiment with the techniques, and have lots of fun playing.

And - probably Janet's influence - there was a lot of orange about.  And some really nice fabrics, as in Lesley's beautifully wonky star.  

In the afternoon we experimented with asterix blocks, hash signs, and wonky houses and trees, but I got so caught up in the process I forgot to take photographs.

And we all went home grinning from ear to ear, with a new challenge - to use the techniques in our own pieces to be revealed at the next meeting.  Watch this space!

Thursday, 23 February 2012


I'm not sure how I got here, but at present I am unable to use any of the links from my blog. I keep getting an error message that says:
ERROR: Possible problems with your *.gwt.xml.module file. The complete time user.agent value (ie9) does not match the runtime user.agent value (ie8). Expect more errors.

I managed to post this - if it does post - through Blog this! on a Google search - I am unable to link to dashboard or new post from my blog itself.

I have posted a query on a link from the help-page but have not had any reply: is there any way of contacting Blogger direct rather than a user-list? Does anyone out there know what I can do?

Monday, 20 February 2012

Collages Part Two

More collages from last autumn - this time from an A5 sketchbook: the first two use ink drawings of beetles from the Leeds City Museums collection. Top - cut-out beetle on paper rubbed with soft pastel, plus paper coated with oil pastel, then indian ink, scratched and rubbed back; bottom one uses paper printed with iridescent paint, bought textured paper and paper monoprinted with lacy pattern from an almost exhausted marbling tray.

Above - wet-on-wet watercolour paper, wet-on-dry paper, plus monoprinted paper.

Two more using marbled papers.  Above - three different cut marbled papers, plus coloured pencil lines.  Below: oil-marbled paper with added pale water-colour and wet watercolour pencil lines plus translucent blue tracing-paper overlay.

Two using photoshopped photograph prints plus cut watercoloured paper and (in the bottom one) torn sugar-paper.

Top: monoprinted and marbled papers.  Bottom: scrunch-dyed tissue paper, bits of linoprint sampler, and watercolour "bullseye".

Many thanks for the comments on the earlier ones, and - yes - they are feeding into my quilting.  Plus being fun, and a good way of exploring composition.  All done very quickly as a sort of creative "starter" for the day.

Thursday, 16 February 2012


 During the autumn last year I played with simple one-a-day collages, allowing approximately ten minutes for each.  They used papers and prints I already had made at various times, and much of the focus was an exploration of composition:

 monoprinted and blockprinted white and coloured papers;

 wet-on-wet watercolour on hand-made paper; wet-on-dry on cartridge paper

oil-marbled and freely cut watercoloured cartridge paper (above and below)

inked pages from an old falling-apart guide, marbled paper, watercoloured paper, blue tracing-paper;

cut monoprint;

and cuts from the same monoprint with layered coloured tissue-paper.

I also filled two other sketchbooks, in different shapes (of which more later)  Lots of fun - and I learnt a lot too!