Thursday, 26 March 2009

This Glamorous Life

Sometimes when I write for Popular Patchwork, I get the impression that people are rather envious of the fact I have a studio. I know I am very lucky. However, I have never been a neat and tidy worker. Even as a teenager, books were strewn everywhere and now my studio is filled to the brim with fabric and knitting and sewing machines and the ironing board. So the computer is in the playroom and my desk is messy with very old paper work still sitting on it begging to be sorted (sorry paper work not today, got better things to do). I've finally started getting the Shelter pieces made for the Loch Lomond Show and they are taking over the entire house!

The garage is too full of junk and potentially mice to paint fabric there, so this is being done in our dining area of the kitchen, stretching the fabric from the table to the old futon, doing about 1.5m by 1m at at time - let's hope it is sunny over the next few days or it could be a very slow process! The two frames which are being covered in wadding are in the living room as I can't get the big one up the stairs without punching holes in the thin plasterboard walls. What is it going to be like when I have all six of them at this stage? And even more so, where I am going to keep them after the show? Please someone, would you like to exhibit them somewhere as I don't really want a permanent show in my living room!

Monday, 23 March 2009

Funding Success

Had two lots of good news recently. My local authority scheme, Forth Valley Visual Artist Awards Scheme is giving me a grant to experiment and create some new work about the passing of time. Only a few days prior to this, another small grant giving group, Stirling Arts Forum had told me I had been successful and am getting a small grant to help towards making the work to go outside at Aberfoyle.

The oldest monster is beginning to understand money and was pleased. He thinks it is money for our holiday.... As if I would give up precious childcare money for that!

We were up at Aberfoyle again at the weekend in the sunshine and I was measuring the width of the trees to see how it would compare to my work. Luckily it is about the same. The trees look amazing. So I am starting to think about what I could make to hang amongst them. I think it will definitely be something felted, as it is something natural. I want it be stand out from the woods but not to be too blatant. But of course, I may change my mind before I finish the work.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

All at sea

After a bit of a write off last week with a coldy bug and a migraine, it's back to normal this week. I finished the first block on the mystery quilt, which of course I can't show you as it is meant to be a mystery! I'm also trying to persuade myself to get on with making the final pieces for the Loch Lomond Show. I've got eight weeks, but I seem to keep putting it off as I want them to be perfect and I'm not 110% convinced yet that the inner fabric is just quite right. So that's this afternoon's task. I have to really start going for it. I did start covering the first frame in wadding this weekend and Dad asked yesterday who was making monsters, thinking it was the kids rather than my work...

It was the Quilters' Guild Regional Weekend and it was fun hearing Evelyn Ramsay and Delia Salter taking about their work. I also went to a workshop run by Delia about Making a Seascape. This was my effort. It's ages since I've been to a workshop so it was just fun playing with fabric and making something on a totally different theme to normal. I'm quite pleased with it, although it still needs some more work. It was a really weird piece as it looked totally different close up to from a distance. Some of the stitching which I thought had made not effect at all close up was almost too dominant when I looked at it from a distance. From the photo you get more of the distance view.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Journal Quilt 4

This is the latest journal quilt. It was meant to be trying out machine embroidery/quilting. I really enjoyed hammering away at the jellyfish with the sewing machine to create the layers of stitch - I could of gone on for ages longer, but it had to be ready in time for publication to coincide with the new edition of Popular Patchwork. DH thinks it is his favourite so far. I'm not so sure - but I will be doing more of the old machine embroidery in future. I had forgotten how much fun it could be.

Monday, 2 March 2009

exhibitions, exhibitions

Got some good news last week: my work is being included in an outdoor exhibition at the David Marshall Lodge, Aberfoyle on a Forestry Commission trail to a little waterfall. It's one of the family's favourite walks. The forest is beautiful, there are stunning views for miles, there is a waterfall to see and river to play in and the cafe is not too bad either. So, I'm really pleased to have my work included for the Interventions Show, which starts on 1 August. Not sure exactly what this work will be, but I'm sure it will involve fabric in some shape or form as I am fascinated by the the way it can disintegrate when left outside (or not!).
I also got an email confirming that my work was being included in a group show at the the Pittenweem Arts Festival (, which also starts on 1 August, as part of an invited group of craft practitioners at the 'cutting edge'. Given the space requirements, I'm also going to be making new work for this and was practicing on the embellisher this afternoon., hence the photos. I was very pleased when Janet Shelley approached me to be included in this show. All very exciting and I'm still getting started on making the fabric coverings for the frames for the Loch Lomond Show. I calculated the amount of fabric I needed today and I think I have just enough. This is a huge relief as I bought it four years ago from a shop over 400 miles away and I can't find it anywhere else and it may have been a one off.
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