12″ Canvases

A few weeks ago, I received an invite to submit an image of a piece that was maximum 14 by 14 inches. I don’t normally work that small but had just put together a small piece from a lovely bit of cloth with discharged leaves. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Here it is:

Washington Leaves - POC 9
Washington Leaves – POC 9

It has been accepted for the book – great. Then I received an email saying they would like a body of work, did I have any more images? Of course, I didn’t. I don’t usually work that small!

I have now. I so enjoyed putting the original canvas together that I decided to make some more. This meant printing more leaf designs on fabric – I had the leaf motifs already, and making up more mini quilts. I now have 7 and here they are in a stack.

Stack of POCs
Stack of POCs

I will post them individually when I have cropped the photos that have just been taken.

In the meantime, I hope you have the lovely weather we have here.


Another year vanishes

How did 2013 disappear so fast?? It has been a busy and productive year. I now have 7 Pieces of Crow made – the last two just need binding.

Project 2013 is leaking into 2104. Here are the relative piles. I am winning but there is still a way to go.


And here are a few of my favourites:


I have also joined SAQA this year which is an American/International quilt art group. I have joined their Visioning Program which enables planning and reporting on progress. I also joined their Art Critique group. Currently, I am uncertain about it as most of the group make representational quilts and the critique is sometimes very directive as if they were experts – “do this, move this” without any reasons rather than suggestive! I may reassess my membership of this sub group if it isn’t more constructive for me.

Next year brings lots of calls for entry which is going to be a challenge but an interesting one.

Wishing you all the best for the new year.

Yellow Pieces of Crow

I have made a start on my next Pieces of Crow quilt. This time I am working in a mustard yellow with the black and white. It is only 4ft by 3 ft as I cut some of the pieces too thin and the top began to waffle too badly to quilt out. The technique is improvisional so I improvised and slashed each side and inserted a horizontal piece of black fabric. Here is the detail of one of the inserts:

It was a good learning curve – I found I could put inserts in without making the original problem worse, it helped move my designs on to a new place and I won’t be so economical with cutting the pieces of fabric.

Disaster rescued!!

About time too!!

A few weeks ago, I was gently chided for not keeping my blog up to date so I think I had better add “update blog” to my list of New Year resolutions.

What have I been doing? I spent most of October in the States. My eldest son lives in Washington DC so we went to visit him and a close friend who lives in Seattle. Obama closed down DC whilst we were there so we did not see the National Museums and Art Galleries – but found lots of other things to do. Then we went north to Seattle and Vancouver. It was a great holiday but I have really only just managed to catch up all my paperwork and other stuff as well as spend some time sewing as I needed a “fix”!!

I did need to finish a piece for my small quilt group which I belong to. Here it is, using my improvisional cutting:

Ode to autumn

I have also finished the quilting on the red Pieces of Crow piece.  I still need to trim it and bind it.

Pieces of Crow 6 -  Red detail

Must try harder!


Latest Pieces of Crow

I bleached some Ikea black fabric earlier this week expecting to get an orange colour – instead I got the most beautiful reds! I started with the cut into paint brush. After I had dribbled some blobs and squiggles by mistake, I add more squiggles. The red was so instant, it was almost frightening. Love it.

So next step was to start a new Pieces of Crow quilt. Here is a section of the now completed top. The photo doesn’t do justice to the red – it is a bit bleached out!

Pieces of Crow 4 - Red
Pieces of Crow 4 – Red

Now it just needs backing and quilting.

Festival of Quilts 2013

It has been a very busy few months, either on our canal boat or getting ready for Festival of Quilts. How was Festival of Quilts – I had a great time this year. I was extremely lucky to have my quilt, Pieces of Crow XL, selected for the Fine Art Quilts Masters.  Only 17 were selected so I feel very privileged. Before Festival, the selected quilts were hung at the British Design Centre in London. We went to see them and it was difficult to wipe the grin off my face!

Pieces of Crow XL
Pieces of Crow XL

It is quite a large piece and I was lucky enough at Festival to have it hanging on an end wall as you walked into Hall 9. Here is a detail photo.

Pieces of Crow XL detail
Pieces of Crow XL detail

The little sharp point in black was not there by design – it just happened and works well.

At the Festival, with Lynne Pretty and both husbands, I set up an exhibition for the Contemporary Quilts Group which is internet based. The challenge was called Horizons and was open to all members – no selection. We received 51 quilts, 50cm wide by 150cm – I have wall to wall packaging in numbered bags in my studio. We were given a very nice shaped stand and it worked a treat for the quilts.  Here is a photo showing the stand:

CQ Horizons Stand
CQ Horizons Stand

If you would like to see more photos, they are on the CQ Horizons website. Feedback on the exhibition has been overwhelming – lovely comments from many people. The quilts hung extremely well together and now are going on to be displayed in a gallery in Richmond, London, in February and then onto Prague for their April show.

Back to the grindstone now for me, catching up on jobs I have been ignoring!

Pieces of Crow 2

I finished Pieces of Crow 2 before I went to Istanbul but completely forgot I had planned to blog all pieces. It isn’t as good as Piece 1, both in design and stitch.

The design isn’t good because I ignored the Rule of Thirds – the lower part of the design is nearer half of the quilt than one third. Interesting, as it really stands out as unbalanced when you stand away from the quilt.

The stitch – I went back to stitching the individual pieces after a friend asked why I had done more integrated stitching on Piece 1. It does NOT work and fortunately she agrees!!!

So I have learnt. Here is a photo of it:


And some of the detail:


I am currently working on a bigger version of Piece 1 for FOQ. I have unstitched it once – I really struggled to get my 1/8inch stitching looking even so have resorted to 1/4inch and it is looking better.

The Project 2013 patches are suffering badly – so much for good resolutions – I am not sure how people keep them.

Pieces of Crow 1 Reviewed

Pieces of Crow 1

This is a better picture of the piece. No idea where the thin blue on the left came from.

The stitch quality is not good enough. Did it on the Juki and it is still snatching. I used the walking foot so the quilting isn’t as tight as I like. I don’t seem to be able to get the spacing as tight as I can with the patchwork foot on the Juki.

The lowest white piece doesn’t look so out of place. It might have been better if I had stitched the lower vertical lines in a curve defined by the left black piece.

I am reasonably happy with the design of the top. The size is much better too, 33 by 22 inches. The next piece I will stitch as I have in the past, following each piece, rather than using stitch lines over a number of pieces.

On to the next piece.

Pieces of Crow 1 quilted

Pieces of Crow 1 is a better size.

Here is a picture of work in progress, it looks very waffled and messy:


The design has ended up somewhat different to my usual shard piecing as I have deliberately made the pieces bigger. Is it the direction I want to go in – I am not sure yet. I need to do a heavy critic on the design elements of this piece – is the balance right, does your eye move round the piece and so on. I am not happy about the heavy white piece across the bottom. It probably should have been narrower. However, it does add variety.

Here it is complete, in a very yellow light:


I will be glad to start adding a third colour as it is quite difficult working with only two colours. So the next decision is – one more black and white or start adding colour. I had planned four black and white pieces!

Food for thought.