Sunday, 30 December 2012

more birds

I too have been busy since Christmas been and gone, have two more quilts pieced and one is almost ready to bind. We had no electricity at all yesterday and there was just enough light in the studio to do some handquilting. I found some hessian and dyed this in dark red and charcoal, it gives a gorgeous intense colour and a texture that teams up perfectly with the vintage linen.

This one is hanging on the wall, ready for wadding, backing and quilting. I've used the fabrics created for the first few pieces and have overpainted some in stripes, using masking tape as resist.  Also discharge printed some black and beige fabrics with the chinese signs. I think a difference in scale is called for with the printing, so back to the chinese calligraphy!
Wishing everyone a very happy and creative 2013 xx.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Life 6 begins - Still Life

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, if applicable, and are ready to start 2013 at a running pace!

Life 5 is coming on well and will be finished very soon.

I've added some bits this morning which has helped me resolve an area around the focal point.  It's a book on Tea History (yep, I have one or two!) and a pair of booties. It all looks a little flat at the moment because it's not stitched and painted.

I'm really hoping that my machine will make it through all the layers of cloth and all those coats of acrylic paint. Fingers crossed!

I've been doing a little preliminary sketching for Life 6 - Still Life.  It is going to be a still life of chinese pots on a table with a patchwork cloth, and of course a life model.  I'm trying to get the drawings of her etc to look serene and content.  I've spent a couple of hours on the shape of the body, and have been trying to work out hands.  I'm not quite there yet as you can see, but it's a start.

The shadows are interesting, as the light has two sources; from above and from the right. I will have to decide if this is confusing and whether or not I should change it.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Happy Christmas!

It's been a long time since I have written on here. It seems ages since that lovely sunny day at Redditch when the Orientaion exhibition opened. Time seems to have flown and we have all been busy ... and of course there have been the babies and the puppy - all exciting and wonderful things. Next year I must start work on new pieces for our exhibition at Minerva - but for now, I am stopping for a day or two and going to enjoy the festive season. So I would like to wish all of Six and Friends and all of our followers a very , very happy Christmas and a peaceful, healthy and joyous 2013 - Hilary B xx

Thursday, 20 December 2012

More Sushi underway

It's been a while since I last posted but I have made progress with more Sushi pieces for our next Orientation exhibition at The Bramble Patch in the spring. Earlier in the year I dyed and printed a collection of fabrics with this theme in mind and I am enjoying developing these in different ways.
This discharged fabric, which I painted and printed with formusol discharge paste, has since been cut up and one section over dyed with a black dye. I know this sounds a rather unusual think to do, especially as it started out as a black fabric, but of course black dye does tend to give a blue/grey look to the fabric. I love the effect on the discharged areas.
Once dyed I randomly sliced the fabric into strips and pieced the start of my 'sushi roll' with some other plain dyed fabric. This is now several metres long and waiting for extra machine and hand quilting to embellish it.
I have also experimented with some more of my painted sushi fabrics and here you can see a detail of 'Sushi Logs'.
 I am very happy with the added strips of wasabi green and hot pepper dyed fabrics as they provide a good contrast to the sushi blocks. I am considering quilting this with lots of circles, so watch this space!
It's time now for wrapping presents and decorating the Christmas cake so I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2013.
Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

A week until Christmas!

I've finished working on Life 5 for the moment so that I can prepare for Christmas next week.  I've left it all a bit late this year and it's suddenly struck me that I need to get a wobble on.

Although not a festive photo, it's a nearly finished box I'm making to house a special Christmas present (1st granddaughter!)  I've got a couple of more things to add yet - a butterfly or two and some stars on prongs......probably!!

I'd like to wish everyone in sixandfriends, and everyone out there in blog land a wonderful Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Peaceful New Year! xx

Monday, 10 December 2012

Update on Life 5

 I thought it was probably time for a bit of an update on Life 5 - Shall I Be Mother?

The hair is almost done, just a bit more defining and twiddly bits. I really love how the paint bounces over the stitches and gives little hints of reflected light.

The cushion below has some shadow now, and I'll continue to build around this.

 The teapot is probably finished - maybe a spot more light on the tip of the spout and edges on the left hand side.

I think I'm going to put a pair of booties on the table in the space under her arm.
And a close up of the teapot. It's quite blurry when zoomed in on!

I took the quilt into Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum on Friday to talk about it's progress, so it's already had an outing.

Although I've been moaning about my lack of progress on it,  it is that time of year. Marzipaning the cake,  making pretty gift tags, putting together a photo album of 2012 for my mum (we've had an eventful year!) and having the odd lunch out with the family seem to have taken over just at the moment, but I must press on.

Can't wait to start Life 6 which also, strangely enough,  has an Oriental theme.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Slow but steady

Progress on the quilt is not moving along as quickly as I would like. It's a big piece to hand stitch so if it comes to the crunch I'll have to reduce it in size but I'm not resorting to that just yet! I've begun by stitching in fairly close parallel rows using sashiko thread in blue or red. I've also got white and so that might make an appearance in other areas. I'm not doing the stitching in a traditional way. I tried, but the larger stitches didn't suit my natural rhythm. I also can't get on with a big needle so I've switched back to something smaller and quilting with a stitch size that I do without thinking. Plan is to add some more decorative areas of quilted pattern in later, but for now I need to get this functional stitching in place to hold it all together. I keep carting it around with me in the vain hope that I'll have an opportunity to put a few rows it. My tacking is less that adequate and already some bits are hanging off!

In the comments section Leslie asked a few questions so to answer briefly: there's no wadding with this type of quilt. Unlike traditional Welsh quilts for instance, the area where these quilts came from didn't have sheep so wool wasn't readily available. In fact cotton was reserved only for the more wealthy families. Boro quilts were often made from fabrics woven from other fibres such as wisteria! To create warmth there were just several layers of fabric instead of the quilt sandwich with wadding/batting that we're used to.

My fabrics are all laid down raw edged. I believe that this is how a real boro would be made. The use of squares and rectangles is also traditional as it's more economical than using curved cuts.

Once I've got a bit more work down on this one it'll probably feature in a video for DMTV. Enough chat for now, Amelie's snoozing so I ought to be stitching!
Talk to you all again soon,