A great gift for a quilter?
Yes, I know. It is silly. But silly things make me laugh.
This is my 'quilt-tin'. It is so useful that I keep one in my handbag, so wherever I am, when I have time on my hands, I have something nice to keep me occupied.
As it is small and self contained it is also perfect for travel - so if you are on a train, plane in the car or on the bus, you can pull it out and get going on a little project!
I made it from bits and bobs I already have - or scraps I found in my recycling bin.
I am planning some big travel over the next few weeks and months - so my quilt-tins will be coming in very handy. I will blog some pictures of them on my travels soon!
I can recommend making up a portable little sewing kit if you don't already have one - keep it small and neat and I am sure you will be surprised at how often you can use it. They also make great gifts for quilting friends!
Thanks for reading.
To demonstrate one way that you can use photos to help develop ideas for a piece of work I have used a picture which I found on Wikimedia Commons, taken at Park Gϋell in Barcelona, a beautiful public park that was created by Antoní Gaudi from 1900 onwards. I have not yet been lucky enough to visit, but if you go the following website you may see why it is on my list! http://www.parkguell.cat/en/
In this example, the original roof shaped tracing has yielded a figure shape that I will now use as a motif to try out various ideas. By tracing the shape again you can experiment with decorating it in different ways, changing its size, colour, orientation and position. You could cut out the shape and use it as a template to draw around, create a stencil, photocopy it to gets lots of them to play around with or use a computer to replicate the shape and play about with it from there. I usually just get a pile of scrap paper and experiment.
Here are some of the results I got from playing about for an hour.
The nice thing about this method is that it is completely spontaneous. You don't really need to begin with any preconceived ideas - the picture starts the process and you take it from there.
I doubt that I will ever make any of these images into a quilt - but I will keep them in my sketchbook and when I flick through it in the future, whilst looking to develop my ideas for another project, some of these images may just spark off an idea in my mind.
However one of these could easily be made into a small project - a 12" x 12" type square for example - where you could try out some new or different techniques without having to invest too much time or money.
What is Wikimedia Commons?
Wikimedia Commons (or simply ‘Commons’) is an online repository of free-use images, sound, and other media files. In simple words – it is a great place to find images that you can download and freely use without fear of infringing anyone’s copyright. (Just be sure to read the terms listed by the owner of the files and comply with their wishes)
The aim of Wikimedia Commons is to provide a media file repository "that makes available public domain and freely-licensed educational media content to all, and that acts as a common repository for the various projects of the Wikimedia Foundation." The expression "educational" is to be understood according to its broad meaning of "providing knowledge; instructional or informative.
Here is a link to the site: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
When you have some spare time, visit the site and type something into the search box at the top right of the screen and you will quickly get an idea of how useful the site can be when you need an image or some inspiration.
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The problem is that they have often been written by people who do come from a background in art, fine art or design. No bad thing I think - learning from the experts. But when I read them I find they introduce so many concepts, ideas and new vocabulary that I can't fit it all together to get a coherent plan in my head. It is like having a huge pile of jigsaw puzzle pieces poured out of the box before me. I can see the individual pieces - but struggle with how to fit them all together to get the big picture.
So I decided to start from scratch and figure it out for myself: I studied colour theory and graphic design; I started drawing in a sketchbook every day; I read about composition and then tried out literally hundreds of ideas in art journals; I looked at the work of other quilt artists and visited galleries and museums; I bought myself a nice set of water colours and pencils and gave myself time to explore and experiment with them, and gradually I came up with some ideas for new quilts - my 'Destination' series. You can see the quilts here.
I kept detailed notes of all I learned and after I had made about 12 quilts a friend suggested I should formalise it all and write a book. At first I thought she was mad, but then I figured why not? So I decided to write it - a book about quilt design, but from the point of view of the non-expert. It took so much longer than I thought, and really did push the limits of my patience, but today it is finished. Here is a tiny preview!
So, the book is now out of my hands at last. I am launching it on May 1st at my upcoming exhibition - more on that soon.
If you would like to purchase a copy they are £18.95. Please contact me and I can organise getting one to you.
Thanks for reading!
I have blogged a lot about my favourite ways to make the fabric I use more interesting. I thought it might be useful to bring together all of the different posts I made in 2014 into one place. So, here are the best. Click on the picture to go to the original post.
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