Friday, 30 December 2011

I wasn't exactly out in the fresh air since this was taken from my bedroom but a gorgeous sunset on Boxing Day, couldn't resist, I've so many attempts at the perfect sunset, I'll get it one day!

Best wishes for the New Year to you all, look forward to seeing everybody,

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Blowing away the cobwebs

The sun was shining so I've been out blowing away the cobwebs and taking photos to add to my collection of reference images. I'm working on new designs to be digitally printed and I'm sure that some I've taken will come in for that. Here's a couple of my favourites:
 I love the trees and hedges at this time of year and have some new work planned that's going to revisit some of the thorny things I did way back.
And who can resist some peeling paint?!

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Cake for breakfast

Hello everyone!
Hope you all had a fun time on Christmas Day. Linda cooked up a storm and lunch was delicious, of course. My sister stepped in as Sous Chef and in spite of a slight mix up when reading recipes, the cheesecake and the cumberland sauce both went down very well with the family.

I love the lazy days after Christmas. I didn't make a wish list, but I got a Kindle which I really didn't know I wanted until now. I used to read all the time, but never seemed to find the time lately. All this has changed! Many of the classics are free on Amazon so I'm working my way through Great Expectations etc. first. I know, I know, it's on the TV tonight! The Christmas cakes I made were delicious and in true family tradition I had cake for breakfast - well it is my birthday after all!

Talk to you all again soon,

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Happy Christmas to you all!

Happy Christmas to everyone, whoever and wherever you may be. I hope however you celebrate, Christmas will be all you want it to be!

 I don't know about the rest of you but after a final shop at the market this morning I've been cooking all afternoon. The fridge door can hardly close and I may have to wait up half the night for the enormous cheesecake to bake! I did have help today though I'm not sure how helpful it was when number 2 daughter confused two of the recipes we were using! Hmm, a little creative thinking was required to make everything OK but I think we got away with it - we'll see what the tribe's verdict is at lunch tomorrow!

I hope everyone survives the next few days and will be raring to go again in the New Year! It's exciting to have so many exhibitions to work towards and I can't wait!


friendly and auspicious dragons

Just before we all get embroiled in turkeys and such I'd like to introduce my friendly dragon. Tatsu is the Japanese for dragon and unlike some other cultures they are a good omen.

Have a great Christmas and a happy New Year,


Friday, 23 December 2011

Happy Christmas

Well - I'm signing off this evening for the holidays (well, a day or so at least) - so would like to wish all the other group members and all regular or indeed irregular followers a Wonderful Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2012 .... see you all then - Hilary x

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Look what DD bought me back from Hong Kong!

Look at this delightful little teapot which my youngest daughter bought back from Hong Kong for me! Isn't it wonderfully inspiring for the Oriental theme?

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Love the SiX and Friends blog?

Hi All,

Thank you to everyone who's following this blog. It's great to know that you're interested in what the group's getting up to. If you've enjoyed the blog so far, why not help us spread the word by posting a link to us on your own blog or website? We've made a logo that you're welcome to use. Here it is:

Bye for now!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Mince pie crisis ends sewing.

Here we are on the 16th December, and I've only just realized that I better stop sewing and get a wobble on with the cooking and present buying.

I'm usually much better organized; Christmas just seems to have snuck up this year and is shouting "BOO" in my ear.

So before I stop for the year I thought I'd wish anyone and everyone reading this, a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Peaceful New Year!

Here's where I'm up to with the landscape - can't wait to paint it!

The mountains have been shaped to show incline, and to separate one from the other; the leaves veined; the sky gently moved; the grass grown; the water made to  flow; and the trees turned into small forests!!

Take care everyone, and see you at the beginning of January!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Let me introduce you

Hi All,
Sorry to have been awol for a few days. I can see that there's been lots of back and forth, mostly about bats. I think the license is just if you need to post one. Hopefully you won't. I do remember that should you need to pick one up then you must wear thick gloves in case they bite!

I should explain why I've been quiet for the last couple of days. We've just taken delivery of our new fabric printer. It is extremely exciting and it's a wonder I've left it alone long enough to type this post! To introduce you, here it is along with Jamie, my partner in crime for this venture and chief technician.
As you can see the printer is a bit of a monster! It can print up to about 1.50m wide on pretty much any fabric you can think of from chiffon, organza or voile to corduroy, canvas or velvet. In this photo we're just running some tests onto some cotton poplin. The colours are amazingly vibrant and true. So far I've  experimented with digital photos, but also scans of sketchbook pages and we've been printing them much enlarged.
It may well only have been 5degrees C today with a threat of snow, but that didn't stop us getting the first run washed and out on the line. I may be biased, but I think this butterfly fabric might just be the most gorgeous thing I've seen in ages! It's a photo of one of Linda's butterfly collections that she acquired from a college. It's printed onto silk chiffon that's as light as a feather. I only have a few fabrics to play with at the moment, but I'm sure that this chiffon will become a favourite for scarves or for shadow applique projects.

So to finish the introductions I will tell you the name of our enterprise and give you the first peak at the logo...

As time permits I'm working away on the website for Fingerprint and needless to say we'll be producing more samples to show how versatile the printing can be. I have a feeling I'm going to need to order more fabric!
Bye for now,

Friday, 9 December 2011


Now this isn't going to be a particularly impressive post, but I thought it was about time I joined in. I have juggled with a few ideas for some work and abandoned them and this is a possibility at least.

I like these little 'Wooden' books and bought this one entitled 'Li' some time ago. It's an ancient Chinese term applied to the universal and inherent pattern of things. I think this will serve as a theme as I have wanted to explore animal markings and the connectedness of patterns in nature for some time. So I may have to acquire a book or two as well, there's one called 'The Self-made Tapestry ' which may be relevant. It all sounds a bit worthy so far; I think I just want fun with pattern, with some Oriental twists worked in too. I'm also pondering on minimal pieces based on Japanese gardens, you know, some gravel, a tree and two rocks. You could spend ages moving those elements around looking for the perfect composition.

I will most likely use my precious few scraps of 100 year old Chinese newspaper I found in a Chinese screen I bought about 30 years ago. In the screen were disintegrating beautiful embroideries and two paintings, and the screen itself is beautifully carved. It's also in the loft which is sad, I feel guilty now so I may have to retrieve it. 

Here's the cover.

Some pages.

Some more pages.

These are the scraps of old newspaper I have left. I used some in a recycling project, unfortunately, although the newsprint does make the work look interesting.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

sketch book work

Hi Everyone,
Just had a few evenings when the studio was too cold and there was far too much football in the sitting room so I found refuge in my cosy upstairs office, intending to do some digital design work. However, spurred on by Linda's example I had treated myself to some Inktense pencils so started to mess about with them in my sketchbook. One thing led to another and I made a couple of digital collages from different pages, thought you might like to have a peep....


Wednesday, 7 December 2011

It's good to hoard...

Turns out that collecting is genetic. Be it the irrepressible urge to pick up the shards of old china that I spot in the fields as I walk home, or the growing pile of small tins that I'm amassing on my window sill. I can't really tell you why I want these things, but I'm sure that one day, they'll come in. I get this trait from my mother, evidence of which you have already seen and she in turn, from her mother. My Grandma's house by the way is simply an ever-changing display, mostly of china, but any beautiful object might find a home there.

There are certain special things that I'm sure we'll keep for the rest of our days, but for everything else there's the risk of the cull. Every so often space must be made for new additions and none of us are averse to a serious clear out. This is the long way round telling you about this little thing:
I can't imagine how this little scrap of folded paper has survived the many blitzes that we've given the workroom over the years. Why on earth it would have been kept I have no idea. Somehow it's survived and not been thrown out. Linda rediscovered it today in her search for various inspirational things. In the pursuit of all things origami it'll now be added to my sketchbook and saved!

The patchworkers among you will no doubt think it immediately looks like a block design. I'm not sure I have the inclination to piece it. I've got other plans. For now though, they're all theoretical so I better get on to some practise and see if any of my grand master plan is going to work!

Hope you're all having a good week. It's the countdown now to Christmas holidays - the first batch of mince pies have been and gone and the tin of Quality Street is in serious danger of not seeing Christmas! I've been feeding the cakes with brandy, they smell great I just hope they'll taste as good. The temptation to cut a slice and have a peak is almost too great. I'm not sure I could hide the evidence of such investigation though, even with a seriously thick layer of marzipan and icing! 

Let the search begin

Hi everybody.

I've been trying to get some ideas flowing for the exhibition. Now we all know that actually making something is the easy part - what takes the time and brain cells is knowing what that something will be! I've been gathering my thoughts and began by searching around the house armed with a camera. I found these lovely Japanese bits and pieces an old friend brought back from her travels as gifts for me. They've been hidden away for far too long and I'm wondering if I can finally make more use of them.

I've even got the original tag from one of the shops where the things were bought.

I've never used the pincushion because it seemed too precious to stick pins in!

Even the carrier bag it all came in could be an inspiration.

Yesterday we got our monthly fix at the local auction house. I was on a mission to seek out something oriental and spotted this ginger jar. No one else seemed interested in bidding for it and I got it for  £5. When I brought it home Laura commented that it looked like something you won at a fairground when they'd run out of goldfish!

It's no great treasure but I'm sure I can do something with these colours and shapes. And looking at all those little raised dots suggests there may have to be beads involved somewhere.

I've spent a lot of time looking at traditional Japanese and Chinese art and what I'm drawn to is the absence of perspective, the stylised simplicity of the subjects, the focus on ornamentation and especially the use of gold leaf.

Today I made paper and laminated chinese fortune cookie wrappers between very fine layers of pulp. I plan to wax some of the papers ready for stitching. They might become a book or a mixed media piece - really don't know yet. Right now there's lots of collecting and preparation of materials going on but no real direction discernible yet. Just got to crack on with it I suppose.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

mounted and complete!

Went down to B&Q yesterday and got a very nice man to cut a quite enormous piece of MDF up into manageable sies for me, including one for my Oriental Pot piece. I have two more boards of an identical size as well - so I feel a bit of a triptych coming on I think ... probably more pots, but I have also got plans for some cranes and a couple of moon gazing hares - as ever my problem is one of selection from all the excitement in my head. Anyway - I got the board covered and the quilt bound and mounted - it is now just ready to hang on the wall.

I find this stage of the work perhaps the most difficult as I always seem to have lost confidence in the piece by the time I have made it and am full of doubts. I did make some final adjustments to this one - I brightened up both the pot and the blossom with some additional paint as they had lost their lustre during quilting. But I know now that all I can do is leave it and trust my original plans and the process, and believe that in a few months I will like it again. Does this happen to anyone else? or like so many things, is it just me! - Hilary x

no idea where this will go..

Hello from Vancouver!
As the far flung and physically distant member of the group this blog is a terrific idea, its a great way to stay connected.

I agree with Linda, it`s much easier to talk about my work than it is about myself so I will keep this short! I am a Vancouverite born and raised though I have had the good fortune to spend time in the north- what we call north of 60. I love the landscape and people of the north and west coasts. The amazing legends and landscape of those areas have provided me with endless inspiration in my work. I really enjoy researching traditional legends and interpreting them in new ways. I spend at least one night a week life drawing, it provides me with no end of inspiration and really hones my drawing skills. I am a huge fan of the written word and will often use text in my work, quotations and stories offer no end of ideas!

I usually develop my ideas by painting , drawing and collage in my sketchbooks and I enjoy working in paper almost as much as fabric.

I have been really stumped with the Orientation theme , there seemed to be so many possible options I wasn't really sure where to go. This pile of miscellaneous bits have started a few ideas circling.

The lovely little embroidered cap was something I fell in love with at Festival of Quilts this past ear ( funny how these things work out isn't it!?) It is a Hmong child's cap dated and has the most wonderful embroidery. It is a bit fragile and some stitching is obscured in the folds but there are the best bugs and birds embroidered on it, and some wonderful flowers.

I have some wonderful rice paper pages with Korean ( I think) writing on it, the pages are quite old and gorgeous when you really start to look closely. There are some wonderful shapes in the individual characters.

...and then there's the pile of antique kimono pieces I have had for ages... really years!
So, I have no idea where the ideas are going yet but I have started playing in my sketchbook... this is going to be fun!

Bye for now, Catherine

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Can you tell what it is yet?

After flailing around in the dark for a while over this Oriental theme I think I might have a seed of an idea that could have potential. Origami! In the name of research this of course justified the purchase of books...
Hmm...reading an origami book is a bit like reading through a knitting pattern - nothing makes much sense until you start. Here's my first attempt which wasn't quite as difficult as it looked, but not far off.
It is in theory a crane and it does look a bit birdlike, more so than other origami forms that I've seen so far, some of which really need a caption underneath to give any clue as to the subject. Where is all this leading I hear you wonder. Well I'm not sure yet, but I am confident that it won't include any fabric folding, that's just not my cup of tea at all.

This first crane is folded from a photocopy of a drawing I made of a bird in a cage. That might have potential I think - to decorate papers that have some meaning and then use them in the folding. There are also a couple of avenues I want to pursue that explore the stages of the folding. Time to make a start in the sketchbook!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Great work Annabel!

Annabel I'm all admiration for your productivity at the moment. I'm so pleased to see the fabrics suited the piece you're working on. I do feel now that I have at least contributed something to this exhibition! Can't wait to see how the quilting and extra painting transforms this one too. I reckon when it comes to the next Life quilt then you should just go for it. Wherever it's displayed the organisers can put a little sign on the door along the lines of "Images in the exhibition contain nudity which may offend". That should get the punters through the door like nothing else!

The woodcuts of Utagawa Hiroshige

I was going to make a start on a large Life piece next, but although I have the necessary poses from one of the ladies who does life modelling for me, I'm not happy about the quilts that will make up the background yet.  I still need to think it through properly; for example I'm not sure how controversial I dare be!

However, all this did free up some time at the weekend for some more work towards the Orientation exhibition.

 I've been looking at the woodcuts of Utagawa Hiroshige and felt inspired to attempt a landscape, based on one of his pictures at the Ashmolean Museum at the University of Oxford.  I was very aware that I didn't want to make a slavish copy of course, but liked the apparent simplicity of his style. Mount Fuji seems to appear in just about everything, so it's in mine. Blossom trees feature heavily too so I have included a couple which I hope are in a similar style but also quite different.

I wondered if you'd like to follow progress so far?

Here's the plain white (unironed!!) cloth on my easel. I've put pencil marks where I think the water, hills, and Mt Fuji etc ought to be.

I then stuck bondawebbed fabric shapes onto the white cloth. Now this fabric is very special, as it's some that Laura dyed. When you look at a gorgeous piece of cloth, it takes courage to cut into it and use it. Part of me just wants to sit and stroke it, but I was brave. 
 I wanted to paint the sky rather than use cloth so that I could calm things down a little.  I used turqoise, white and black paint to get this effect.

And then I've added some figures and some trees to give a little perspective. There will be hogweed in the front (what else from me?) and possibly some Japanese anenomies too. The picture will be heavily stitched and painted as usual.

Obviously there's much to do, but it's a start.

The haiku which goes with this one will be by Yoshi Mikami Issa (1762-1826)

In my old home
which I forsook, the cherries
are in bloom

(slightly puzzled as this haiku doesn't follow the normal format, but I'll check it out at some point)

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

More confirmed dates!

I can't remember if I mentioned these dates for Orientation at The Bramble Patch before but Anne tells me the Easter exhibition runs for two weeks either side of the bank holiday so in 2013 it will run from Saturday 23rd March until Saturday 6th April

Sorry to post twice!

Dates for your diary

Hi everyone,

Just a quick post to let you have confirmed dates for Orientation at Minerva in 2013. There will be a preview on Sunday 7th July and the exhibition will open on Monday 8th and run through to September 7th. I know it's ages away but you know how these events creep up on you when you're least expecting them! Anybody even own a diary for 2013?

Monday, 28 November 2011

Something about myself....

I realise that I've not introduced myself at all really so I'll try and write something.

After working as a draughtswoman before having my family, pattern cutting and dressmaking became my big thing, then I spent time learning as much as I could about embroidery, then came patchwork, I found my passion and have spent many happy years indulging in making quilts.

Another passion is my computer, I love digital design and I'm sure this will appear in my work for Orientation, so too will my new love, making needle sculptured figures. I have been making them for about four years but still consider myself a novice with lots to learn.

Above is a photo of my latest figure.....

Let me introduce myself

Hello - I'm Linda. This is me in my studio surrounded by sketchbooks and stuff waiting to go into sketchbooks!

I'm sorry I've been a bit slow to post and I know it's about time I contributed to this blog! We all talk at length about our work but we're less than happy to talk about ourselves. I used to have a CV with lists of awards, qualifications and achievements on my website but reading it one day I thought who on earth does this woman think she is and promptly deleted it. It's enough to say I've been making quilts for a long time and have done OK with a few of them. I went to Art College back in 1969 and after a Foundation year I found myself taking a degree in Graphics for some unknown reason. I must have chosen it because I thought it sounded cool - I certainly had no idea what it was and when I did I realised it was a big mistake. I persevered for 18 months then quit. The next few years were without much direction - actually that's wrong, there was lots of direction just not all going the same way. I spent a year teaching English to young boys in Greece, hitchhiked fearlessly around Europe with my sister, travelled overland to Istanbul, (a scarily foreign place for a young girl in the early seventies!) and went to Australia for a few months tracking down an old school friend and various relatives I'd heard about but never met. Eventually I came home and got my first 'proper' job in a University library, got married, had two children and found the Quilters' Guild.  I've drawn and painted all my life and happily combine those things with quiltmaking. I'm not happy unless I'm making something so there's aways some project on the go. Working with Laura to produce videos for our subscription based TV, exhibiting my own work and online teaching keeps me pretty busy these days but I wouldn't have it any other way. I shall try to get into gear with some Orientation work for you to see as soon as the muse strikes!
Bye for now,

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Kimono programme

Hi Laura,
that is an amazing coincidence, I'm so glad you heard it, very informative. The subject is complex and mysterious, a lot to get my poor head around. £10,000 for a child's kimono is also rather for surprising, an adult's at £70,000 must be prohibitive, no wonder the art of wearing a kimono is disappearing.



Hi everyone! Wow Annabel, what a great first piece for the exhibition. I just love the quilting! I caught a programme on Radio 4 last week about Kimono. It's about how the Japanese are now favouring western dress and the risk that as the Kimono masters are so old, the tradition may be lost in the next 10 years or so. It's still available on the BBC iPlayer and there are some photos on the website too. Here's the link:
Bye for now, Laura x

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Thoughts and processes - piece 1 (Annabel)

Sometimes I mutter.  I mutter a lot about many things, but one of them is the distorted body images we see in advertising. We're bombarded with images that are unrealistic and demoralizing. Many celebs find it necessary to play around with their image distorting their features with surgery until they become hardly recognizable. I understand why. It's up to everyone to do as they wish of course but it gives a false impression of life and the ageing processes. Advertising companies play around with photos enlarging, smoothing, enhancing and altering, and I wish they wouldn't but all I can do in response is mutter.

This is a long way round to tell you about the first piece which I've nearly finished for the Orientation exhibition. Yes, I know it's early and I wasn't trying to be the school "swot", but I've a lot on this coming year, and have to cram it all in where I can!!


So, I've been playing around with distortion in my sketchbooks, making people all sorts of funny shapes.

The photo above shows a drawing made by making the head and shoulders normal sized and then increasing the body length by double from there onwards.  I haven't altered the width, so I've ended up with long thin people.

I guess this must be how they do fashion drawing? No wonder they need 6 foot tall, very thin people, to do the catwalk thing.

The inspiration for the people themselves and the kimonos (which seem very complex!) came from a theatre programme for the Doyle Carte. I think it must be 1930's, so my ladies have come out looking slightly art deco. 

I also decided to stretch some trees.

Apologies for the sideways photo!  I've painted the background fabric using a mixture of fabric paints including some interference powder to give a slight shimmer.  I wanted to keep the image fairly simple and uncluttered; my main focus being the ladies.

I then had enormous fun raiding the stash boxes for fabric scraps, and bonding them into place.  The whole piece was then very closely free machined. I love the feel of heavily machined quilted cloth. I also put lots of pattern onto the kimonos and into the background.

By extensively free machining the background with pattern, and then painting it afterwards, I could be as decorative as I liked, yet still keep the overall effect as simple. Does that make sense??!

I've decided to try and imbue the pieces with some kind of meaning, by working either from a haiku or making one up to go with the pieces. I can't say I quite understand the haiku thing, but it's an interesting exercise!

It's not quite finished as I have all the framing etc to do, which will be in dark brown cloth. I find that if I put things aside and come back to them at a much later date, it's easier for me to see if there's anything else that needs doing.

A Small Dragonfly
This Way, That Way, This Way, That,
And It Passes By

And that's the first piece done then!! I shall be doing some more of course, but will take it a bit easier from now on.   I'm going to be making another very large life piece next for another exhibition in the summer so may be quiet for a while, but I will try and blog as I go through the thought processes and making of the oriental pieces in future, rather than land you with a lump of stuff!!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Kites and Patchwork Blocks

This may or may not be related to our exhibition but it set me thinking....My local group had a speaker this week who is a scientist and loves maths and builds kites.
He became very interested in block patterns used by quilters for his kite designs, now he has extended this into block distortion using number sequences. The results are fabulous and I have a feeling I might be asking him for more information, maybe a new quilt will come out of this, who knows. I certainly wouldn't be attempting to stitch but painting would be an option. No pictures of his kites but here is a very old painted distorted quilt so this isn't new to me at all. What goes round comes is a couple of pics from the past.

Thursday, 24 November 2011


It is very exciting being part of such an energetic group but also quite worrying as I'm a bit of a last minute person so it seems quite unusual to see so much work already underway for an exhibition that is not happening for ten months! I know, I can hear you all saying - those ten months will pass by very quickly - and I know I will be the one working through the night to complete in time.
So my intentions are good and I have already started exploring some possibilities. My work is very much fabric led and I will usually start a new set of work by dyeing and printing fabrics. These then tend to inspire my designs. Last week I made an indigo vat and dyed some cotton organdie and linen.
I am exploring a method that is used to make Korean wrapping cloths known as pojagi. Pieces of fabric are joined together by hand using a run and fell seam and when a sheer fabric such as the cotton organdie is used the seams become a major part of the design as you can see in this small sample.
I think this has lots of possibilities so I will keep you posted!


Brief and to the point.

Love the entries so far, many thanks for setting it up Laura. Steph


OoooEck! I'm not good at introductions either but here goes.

Well, I'm 56 and trying not to be. I am married to Graham and have two beautiful wonderful daughters, that sadly don't live very near me. I was born in Somerset but I moved so many times as a child that I'm left with a permanent feeling of not having a place where I can park my heart. Warwickshire does for now.

I've been quilting for about 12 years and painting for about 4 years, and just recently the two have sort of melded together. I'm on some sort of happy journey but don't quite know where my destination is. It might be that I will continue to change and not have a "style"...ever!  I have no artistic background whatsoever and have come a little late to such things, so feel I need to cram lots in before I get too old to hold the scissors.

 Whilst I'm painting, I think I'll never sew again, and whilst I'm sewing, I think I'll never paint again. I need to do both in some form.  I have a room which is the back half of a double length garage, which has been converted for me to use as a studio. It has huge glass doors which open and let the summer in - when we have any of course, and am free to produce whatever the mood fancies. I also like to work on a large scale - I like the impact large quilts make in a gallery space.

It's important for me that what I produce is meaningful in some way, and I'd love for it to be called art. That would make me happy.  I have a sense of humour which sneaks into pieces as well, without being asked! I don't know how it does that; it's magic.

For the Orientation exhibition, I've found it hard as I don't own any artefacts and have been relying on images from books, National Trust houses, postcards etc.  I've found everything to be quite graphic or at least with clearly defined lines. This is both limiting and stretching. To get the oriental feel, I've needed to copy this style, but that also means working outside my comfort zone. I'm needing to think quite hard but have made a start and will do another posting in a couple of days so you can see where I'm up to!

Time to see if I can post an image here is an update of that blue pot - it's now got some blossom added to the branches. I have made this quite a pale, salmony pink and wonder if it should have been a brighter pink? .... not sure, so will leave for several weeks and see how it looks then. I want to bind this quilt with blue and white to match the pot, but have nothing quite right in my stash. So I have spent a happy few hours over painting another cloth, to get just what I want. Time consuming - yes - but hopefully worth it. It will then be mounted on to a board to make for easy hanging, and which will also give me a chance to balance out that green at the top - which looks a bit top heavy for me I think. I already have another pot on the boil too!

Following Laura's lead - and who better to follow - I will also give a quick introduction to myself, as I am probably the one person you have not already heard of! I studied for my C+G with Linda and Laura - completing it last October (2010). My tutor was Marie Roper and I had a wonderful time. I know Edwina and Ineke from the Contemporary Quilt Midland Group and I have known Steph for quite a while too, being an avid admirer of her work. Annabel and Catherine are new friends, who I am very much looking forward to getting to know better. I am very inspired by the natural world, colour and strong lines/form. Linda and I tend to like the same sort of things, but have made a pact not to worry about it. I love to piant and dye my own fabrics, but also really enjoy collaging with a variety of commercial fabrics. I like to mix up patterns and colour, and see what I can get away with. I am still very much developing as an artist and am delighted to be part of this group and this exhibition. I also talk a lot! - Hilary x

Signing in and catching up - having a busy time in Holland, teaching and trying to get some Oriental inspiration. Holland is east of the UK......
Will post some pictures soon

By way of introduction...

I thought that as this blog is my idea that I better kick start it into action! I thought it makes sense to start with the introductions so here's mine. I hate those formal 'tell us about yourself' sections that are often required for exhibition catalogues, I can never think of anything sensible to write, but I'll make this my best attempt.

Lots of you know that I work on a daily basis with my mother Linda who's also in the group. We enjoy planning and working on projects like our online courses and DMTV together, but usually that just means that we spend hours sat side by side in front of our respective computer screens! When it comes to our own creative time, it's usually a much more solitary affair. Linda heads out to her workroom and I slope off home to mine. We once joked that we ought to have an exhibition and call it 'Between Sunset and Dawn' as that's when most of our work happens!

I thought I'd show you a quilt that I suppose represents my recent work. It's called Sisters and as you can see it's a double portrait of me and my sister. At the time I was making this piece I was really interested in the idea of combining figurative elements with pattern. That's something that I still find fascinating and I'm sure that the Oriental theme of this new exhibition will mean that I can pursue this a little further.
I'm also interested in making work that reflects the local landscape. Here's one that's inspired by the view from my back garden.

I think that because I usually work from inspiration that's very close to home, I'm finding it quite a struggle to find a 'hook' for the theme Orientation. It's quite strange for me to be thinking about sources of inspiration that I don't know very well or have first hand experience of. I've been thinking less about objects and more about ideas that are associated with Far East cultures. It's got a long way to go, but the first stage will be to start a new sketchbook to explore some of these thoughts. I've got a shelf full of lovely empty books so no excuse not to crack on. It's exciting to sit here without the first clue of what the work I'll make for this exhibition is going to look like. It's going to be a journey full of discovery and adventure!