Tuesday, 20 January 2009

something fishy

The big tidy up in my studio continues. It's probably going to take months as I get distracted by other things along the way. It's lovely rediscovering things that have been buried for ages in my studio mess, but it makes the tidy up very time consuming. I'm also not very good at throwing things out as I may need them one day... Occasionally I have used something I have kept for five years plus and this confirms to me that I should hang on to every single scrap of fabric and magazine forever.

I have been playing with my images of fish again. I have a huge collection of photos I've taken of fish at various aquariums around Europe. I really want to use them somehow in my work, but I've never quite got there, beyond using them for the journal quilts. I spent this afternoon making a drawing and pattern for a small sample piece. I decided to use the free freezer paper I rescued from a Christmas parcel to help shape the fabric. It took me over an hour to cut out all the shapes and then I got the fabric out to start making. However, either that wasn't freezer paper or I can't use it properly as it didn't stick to the fabric! Arrgh. So I have managed to throw all of this paper out and will start again next time I get in studio. Anything to put off more tidying.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Tidy up

I haven't got much work done this week as I have been trying to tidy up my studio. It had reached the point where I was struggling to open the door. I am still struggling to open the door, but at least I can walk across some of the floor and can see one of my tables. It's going to take weeks and as soon as I start a new project, it will descend into chaos again as when I am working it never seems important to tidy up as I go along...
On the plus side though, I did manage to complete the End of Project Monitoring Forms for the Scottish Arts Council, so hopefully I will receive the final payment soon and those nice people at Husqvarna Viking are letting me keep the embellisher machine for a bit longer. I've really enjoyed using it and pounding the fabric with the electric needles.
I've also finally got my website online - hurrah! www.gilliancooper.co.uk

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Frivolous Fun

I'm trying to balance paper work and time in the studio and so far this year so good. I've spent my working mornings editing and writing and the afternoons making. Having not been able to make anything for a while, I just want to have a bit of fun and play. So here are the latest creations. I've had the bunting half made for ages, so I am pleased to finish it off. All three of the monsters love it and they all want their own versions. The oldest one wants to make one for his teacher. Nice idea, but I'm sure he would get bored after making the flags for Mrs, let alone her surname!

The other thing is something else I've been planning for ages but had not got round to actually making. It is a roll to hold all my knitting needles. I wanted some nice way of keeping them all in one place and this seems to work well. At least I won't be able to miss it in the cupboard.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Journal Quilt

It's back to work after the Christmas break. December seems to have whizzed by due to Christmas, kids and the flu. Yesterday I was really virtuous and finally finished my tax return, so today as a treat I spent several hours in the studio.

As part of my Popular Patchwork work, I have committed to making a journal quilt each month of the year, following the technique we give the magazine. Due to publication dates, January's was made in late November as I was leading the technique: using bondaweb and lots of bits of fabric. My deadline for finishing February's is Friday so I got the embellisher out of the box (thank you Pfaff) and made my February version. The technique was meant to be about using Lutradur and painting on fabric, but I took the layering and cutting back ideas from it and used a shape from a jellyfish image to repeat.

I like the technique, but I think this piece is missing something to pull it together. I will probably spend the rest of today pondering what the missing bit is. Still I am pleased to have managed two months - only ten to go. I struggle to keep new year's resolutions, but as I committed myself in print, I am hoping that this year I will succeed.
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