Whilst at Festival of Quilts this summer myself and a few other quilting friends met two lovely French ladies who were looking to make new friendships as well as new quilts. After a long chat we made a loose agreement to join together to form a group making art quilts just for pleasure - no competitions, no serious agendas - just fun.
We are: Ana, Denise, Fran, Lydie, Stephanie and Claire and our group is called Six Dames. We thought it would make a nice change to be able to set up a bilingual blog to share our work which you can find by clicking here or at the following address: sixdames.blogspot.com/
We have yet to capture a photograph of all six of us together, but until we do, here are 4 of us - looking (unintentionally) very well co-ordinated.
Our aim is simple; to each make one small quilt every 3 months and share our progress and thoughts along the way via our blog. To inspire us we decided that we would each take a turn to find an interesting photograph to use as a prompt for our work.
And this is the first.........................
The first photo was chosen by me, and finding just the right photo wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. Like most people these days I have hundreds, if not thousands of photos in my camera, on my phone or on my social media accounts. But choosing one that I thought would appeal to the other members was a difficult task. In the end I chose this one which I took earlier this year. I'm not going to tell you where - see if you can work it out!
Initially I discounted it because of those boots at the top of the image - but the more I looked at it, the more they became part of the reason I finally selected it. They are pretty swanky boots by the way - zoom in and you will see what I mean. I wish I had paid more attention to what the rest of the owner looked like.
For my starting point I decided to focus on the pavement. HEXAGONS! I must be nuts. Under normal circumstances I would run a mile from anything with a regular side and corner, let alone 6 of them. But I have decided to face my nemesis and see what I can do with the damn things.
To ease my way in I went for something familiar and made a lino cut tile that is similar to those little pavement cobbles. In fact, I made a few and chose my favourite.
But what to do with them that is different from the usual?
I played about with paper structures and particularly liked making these little folded pouches - known as TATOS to Japanese origami folders. After I made a couple and got the hang of it I tried making them from different fabrics. The best by far were made with some scraps of organdie fabric. It has just the right amount of crispness to hold a fold.
Then I printed on them using the lino cut block. The design is similar to that on the original paving cobbles.
I also used the print block to make some clay tiles. That was really fun!
And I love them! I added some mica powder to the surface of the tiles to highlight the relief. I think I'm going to hang some of them on my Christmas tree, but I am also interested in whether I can incorporate a few into my quilt. Not sure how just yet, but I'm working on it!
So this is the stage I am at, I'm not sure how I am going proceed as I am still trying to come up with something different.
Thanks for reading!
I have had a variety of projects on the go for quite a while, all waiting their turn to be completed. I also have a 2 new smaller projects waiting in the wings too, but I am determined to finish these old ones first - I can't just keep adding to the piles!
The biggest of my 'things to finish' was a quilt for the SAQA call for entry entitled 'Forced to Flee'. The deadline for that was October 31st, so that really has been a priority. The quilt I made for this has been evolving for several months and from the start I knew how I wanted to structure the imagery. I have added a few close up photos of the quilt below.
After a lot of thought I have decided to call it 'The Lucky Ones?' My aim is to relate the story of those who have been forced to flee from the war ravaged country of Syria and ask the viewer to ponder who the lucky ones are in this terrible story. It is quite a large quilt for me, measuring almost 70" x 30" and has a similar style to a quilt I made several years ago, called Forced Removal. (Click here to find out more about that quilt). I will hear by mid December whether I have been successful, so it is wait and see time now. More information about the quilt can be seen on my website by clicking here.
Another of the things I have been working on is developing my lino printing knowledge on a short course at Plymouth College of Art. They run a whole range of excellent courses for members of the public allowing people to take advantage of the studios, equipment and tutors available. One of my favourite prints is below.
I also have been having some fun with my mum, learning how to needle felt - in particular some very cute little felted animals. We both did a workshop at the lovely shop, Thimblestitch @ Zoe's in Honiton. We both had a great time with Carla Taylor, from The Mousehole Woolery. If you like felting I can highly recommend her workshops.
Here are our two cuties squashed into a dome. The fox is my mum's and the hare is mine.
Lastly, I have been working like mad to get the 12" x 12" quilts finished for the annual Midsomer Quilting exhibition. I posted them off to De at the shop last week and I am really excited to see this year's exhibition. The theme is 'Think of a Number' and luckily I have already had a few sneaky peeks at some of the entries. It is going to be, as Chris would say, 'The best one yet!'.
The exhibition of the quilts (all made by people with some connection to the shop) runs every day, 10 am ‘til 4pm from Friday November 30 until Saturday December 22. Many will be up for secret auction with the proceeds being kindly donated, as usual, to Dorothy House Hospice.
I chose to make 12 quilts - one for each of the 'days' from the song 'The 12 Days of Christmas' and De and I have decided to offer this as a 'Block of the Month' programme next year. Each month De will be mailing out the pattern, fabric and embellishments to make one of the blocks to anyone who wishes to join the fun. There will also be a secret Facebook group with videos, support, chat, tips, tricks and photos for anyone who joins in. And for each person that joins the fun a donation of £5 will also be made to Dorothy House. If you want to dye your own fabric to use to make the quilts I will be coming to Midsomer Quilting on 12th January (how appropriate!) to run a workshop where you will do just that.
Obviously I don't want to spoil the surprise, so there is no picture of the finished quilts, but just to whet your appetite, here is a little peep! Try and guess which is which.
For more information please contact De at the shop,
or on Tel: 01761 239333
or by email at: De@midsomerq.com
I'll see you there!
Thanks for reading.