Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Seasons Greetings

Seasons Greetings from Balfron!

I have been a bit slothful in my blog posts this month as yet again Christmas fever sets in.  I am looking forward to returning to work in the New Year and although Christmas has not even past yet, I am already sneaking into my studio to get some work done.

I have lots of exciting news to share with you, but all that can wait until the New Year.  For the moment, all I want to do is with you and your loved ones a happy Christmas (or whatever you want to celebrate at this time of year) and a wonderful 2015.

This picture is one that the little one and I printed when she wanted to make her own Christmas cards.  If you are one of the people who would expect to receive a home-made card from her and are feeling a bit hard done by, don’t be –she never quite got round to turning her prints into cards or sending them.  You may get one of them next year instead!

Friday, 5 December 2014

In my studio: admin and spot the errors

New York Beauty
This week I’ve been having a bit of a sort-out and catch-up week.  Photos of accounts, admin and business meetings are not very exciting, so instead, here are some images of ‘humility’ quilts I designed for an article in Popular Patchwork a number of years ago. 
54 or Fight!
Quilting is full of lovely myths and one of these is that Amish quilters believe that as only God is perfect, it would be a sin for their quilts to be faultless so they add an imperfection.  To my mind, this is the ultimate sin of pride, to believe you have to add an error because otherwise it would be flawless.  I can’t believe that this attitude would sit well with what I know of Amish communities and indeed it seems unlikely and most quilt historians have decided it isn’t true.  However, it is a nice idea and perhaps it came about as an excuse by quilters who had made an obvious error in a quilt, rather than admit their mistake, put it down to a humility block.

Irish Chain
So for a bit of fun, here are some ‘humility’ quilts I designed – each one has a mistake in the pattern – can you spot them all? I designed them in EQ7.  And looking at them now, I'm not sure I can spot all the errors.  Hope you can!
Mariner's Compass

Flower Basket

Bear's Paw

Monday, 1 December 2014

Out & About: Lakes and Dales

Derwent Water
Last week the children had three teacher training days off school (those teachers must need a lot of training!).  So we decided to make the most of them and headed off down to the Lake District/ Yorkshire Dales for a few days.  We stayed in a lovely cottage at the delightfully named Unthank.  There was a gallery right besides us – the UpFront Gallery.  Unfortunately we were never there whilst it was open, but the work looked good through the windows.

CastleRigg Stone Circle
We had a lovely time visiting lots of the tourist sites around Keswick, which of course included a visit to the Pencil Shop!  We had fun trying out our purchases in the evening and I managed to get the kids enthused too.
Trying out our new purchases
Over on the Yorkshire side, we were introduced to a fantastic cheese shop just outside Settle (thanks Louise!) and also had a great visit to Farfield Mill.  We were really enchanted by some of the work on display.  The Bound Together group who made books and other pieces of mixed media art are incredibly talented, creating beautiful, fragile looking objets d’art.  The kids loved Tania Sneesby’s fairytale interpretations in fabric.  In fact, we loved them too.  They were deceptively simple.  Of course, I didn’t do the sensible thing and take photos!
Derwent Water from the hills above Ashness Bridge
Part of the reason for the visit to Farfield Mill is really, really thrilling as I’m going to have a solo exhibition there next year from 21 March to 10 May.  It was exciting to see the space and to start thinking about where the work is going to go (and what other work I want to make). 
Sunset from the Pencil Museum car park!
As well as this exhibition, I have a number of other things that will be going on over the next few months (more info when things are firmed up enough to share), so I’m going to be very busy.  I think the kids are going to be eating a lot of baked beans unless someone can come up with some super fast meal suggestions!

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