December 2019

Autumn is meant to be the season of mellow fruitfulness, but for me, one word describes this season, which is morphing into winter, and that is soggy. In theory that means that I have sent more time in the workroom, in practice I am not so sure!

I finished the last of my series of the coastline for Fifteen by Fifteen, this time the subject was Music and the title ‘All in the Mind’. Ideas turned in my head for a long time but once I had found the song ‘Sitting on the dock of the bay’ I knew that I had what I wanted. It is by Otis Redding and Steve Cropper and I simply couldn’t get the tune out of my head although the song itself is about the Bay of San Fransisco it suited the ideas I had. I persuaded three friends to pose on a bench and then I constructed the image around them. With the music forming the waves and the ships cut in lino and printed on an underlying layer of organdie. A second piece of organdie was painted blue and overlaid before the quilting was applied. The foreground was assembled with appliqué and stitched by hand and machine.

The detail shows how the quilting was done is groups of five lines like bars of music and the notes were silvery ‘v’s rather like birds flying across the sea.

My journal quilts were also completed, I had split the year in to experiences /inspiration from three different countries this last group are inspired by my visit to Russia. The first one is using aquarelle and intense crayons and represents the coloured houses in the trees around Ples which is on the Volga river. I printed the houses with a wood block and then coloured them before adding the trees, some of which were also printed with a woodblock. Machine quilting was then added.

The result pleased me and may well be developed further at a different scale, this is only A4. For the final one I choose to work the background with paint sticks and then apply the image printed on Extravangaza, the disadvantage of extravaganza is the it is not A4 so I added a binding which I attempted to blend into the background. The image is of two chairs which I saw sitting in the garden of a farm we visited, I like the folkiness of the image. I won’t be returning to this one but doing journal quilts each month give me to try things I wouldn’t otherwise do, some are more pleasing than others.

Otherwise I have been quilting the big quilt, to date, there are only 100 of the over 2000 squares still to quilt and the binding to finish. I will add some embroidered details to personalise it and then it will be done. The idea was that it would be finished by the time that I stop teaching English at the end of the week, I am more or less on track. I have also almost finished another piece for an exhibition later in the year.

Next year looks busy kicking off with exhibiting at Cholet at the end of January and BIAT, Villefranche-sur-Soane in April followed a few days later with teaching a couple of classes at Pour l’Amour du Fil, Nantes. Plenty to keep me occupied and on my toes.

Wishing everybody a happy end to 2019 and a great start to 2020.

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