Wednesday, 24 April 2013

In my studio: today

PomPoms waiting to be cut open
I reached the end of today with a panicked feeling that I hadn’t achieved very many of the things I needed to do.  So I started thinking about what I had done and thought I would share it with you to give you an insight into my days. 

Because I work from home and as a real double whammy, I’m an artist, many of my friends seem to think I spend my days sitting drinking tea and watching TV.  After all how else could you account for the lack of housework that goes on here?!  I do drink tea (got a cup right here with me whilst I write), but I also do other things too...!

My days start about 9.20 when I get back from dropping the kids off at school.  The walk back down the road is useful to help clear my brain and switch from kid mode to work mode.  Today was a day when I concentrated on the PomPom Blossom Festival.  Tomorrow it is making my own work and I’m looking forward to that too.

Alice, who owns Wonderland, a lovely gift shop in our village, had offered to sell some PomPom kits for us.  I made up ten new kits, cutting out the templates, having updated the instructions over the weekend to include pictures.

The post van arrived with a box addressed to PomPom Organiser, which was exciting and the contents were great.  Catherine Weir had made PomPoms from wool, fabric, plastic bags and even wadding.  They look fabulous.  Thank you Catherine.

I had an appointment to see the headmaster of the local primary school to see if the kids would like to get involved in PomPom making.  All the pompoms I have made have been relatively large and I wanted to try out a little one to see how long it would take and to see if I had got the proportions of the template right.  This was the result. 

The meeting went well and all the Primary 4-7 children are going to make PomPoms.  This is great news.  All I need to do is cut 150 sets of templates and teach the teachers how to make PomPoms... but not for another few weeks, so no panic yet!

The Travelling Gallery was visiting the school, so I was allowed to go and have a look.  It was lovely to see the children so engaged with contemporary art as it was explained to them in an interesting way.

On my way home, I picked up another carrier bag full of PomPoms made by the Womens Guild of Balfron Church of Scotland (Thank you ladies!) and delivered the kits along with some leaflets to Alice.

As I arrived home a delivery van drew up and handed me a flat package, so no PomPoms in it.  Instead, it contained five magazines from Stampington in lieu of payment for an article I wrote for Art Quilting Studio about my own work.  I admit I did have a quick flick through, but I am looking forward to reading them more in detail.


As the children had friends round to play after school, I was able to creep back into the studio to continue working a bit longer.  I answered some queries from Jane, the editor of Homemade with Love.  I shamelessly begged for some wool and editorial coverage of the PomPoms in a local magazine and got positive responses to both.  Yeah!  I also had some email chats about getting some PomPoms passed on from Glasgow Craft Bomb and about what we could do with them afterwards.

By this time, dinner had changed from tuna with roasted potatoes to tuna with noodles as I had left it too late to do the potatoes!  It then had to change again to tuna with some frozen ready rice as I had forgotten a mouse had nibbled my last packet of noodles.  Gallingly, the kids preferred this processed rice to my normal home cooked version.  And so ended my work day!  No PomPom photography or blogging.  But there is always tomorrow...



Sunday, 21 April 2013

Out & About... with Solway Quilters

Thursday evening I was in Dumfries giving a talk to Solway Quilters about my ’37 steps’ project.  It was fun to revisit it again and it also made me realise that there is still some mileage in it.  I began to get excited about some of the concepts and starting imagery and think about how I could interpret them now as obviously my ideas and skills have moved on since then.  The group was lovely and seemed very appreciative.  It was a very pleasurable evening, especially after a three day migraine!

I was also thrilled as whilst I was doing a shameless plug for the PomPom Blossom Festival (I’m getting quite good as the shameless part!); the ladies presented me with seven fabric pompoms to add to the collection.  I was really touched.  Thank you!

I stayed in Dumfries on Thursday night (thank you Elma – your hospitality was fantastic) and on Friday was joined by eleven slightly nervous quilters and embroiderers for my workshop called ‘Unexpected Inspiration’.  They were all agreed they liked the supply list as it was all things they had already and no lugging a heavy sewing machine to another hall or worrying about whether they had the right fabric.  The flip side was they weren’t quite sure what to expect from a workshop for quilters without fabric!  They needn’t have worried as we all had a fabulous, fun day playing at finding inspiration by painting to music,

cutting up magazines,
drawing in strange ways and rolling dice.   I was really impressed by lots of the exciting ideas that were appearing. 
Everyone seemed to go home with at least one idea for a new quilt and promised to send photos of the finished items. 
I can’t wait to see them!

Do you have any fun ways of finding inspiration?

Friday, 5 April 2013

European Art Quilts in Popular Patchwork

I love the exhibitions curated by European Art QuiltsFoundation.  The current one, EAQ VII, premiered at last summer’s Festival of Quilts.  Each time the choice of ‘quilts’ moves further and further towards textile art, or fine art textiles and that of course means I like it even more.

The variety of quilts in it is amazing as is the array of techniques used.  It was one part of the Festival of Quilts that visitors really lingered in; some examining the quilts trying to work out how they had been produced; others just enjoying the artistry. 

I had the privilege of writing about it for the April edition of Popular Patchwork and I am really pleased at how good it looks on the page as well as ‘in the flesh’ so to speak.

This first page shows quilts by Sarah Welsby (top) and Amelia Leigh.

Talking of the Festival of Quilts, I booked my flight to go to this year’s show last week.  Are you going this year?
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