Tuesday, 28 July 2015


For 'Seaside' Theme.

Yes, this really is the seaside!  Well, almost!  It is, in fact, a creek which goes into the sea but one can surely stretch a point.  (I cannot 'do' buckets & spades, seashells, beach huts etc).  The blue surround indicates the euphemistically called 'migrant activity'' as they try to come in by boat.  (As I write this there has been an unprecedented attempted invasion of the Tunnel & 'Operation Stack' is back in place).  We feel that we cannot go anywhere in North Kent at the moment.  There are references to barbed wire, arrowheads and surveillance whilst the crosses are self-explanatory.  Access denied!

The quilting emphasizes the problem by putting up barriers in each section whilst the random quilting on the sea represents a turbulent crossing.  I particularly like the effect created by the random quilting on the outside sea area.  When I look at the original before me the effect is very textural & interesting.

Whilst the work is inspired by the current migrant problem I am not taking sides and it does not represent my own view as to what should be done.  I do not know the answer.

Friday, 10 July 2015


Not exactly a giant whirlpool with eddies and strong currents off the coast of Norway - more a wimp of a ripple on the River Tyne on that rainy day I have portrayed before. The ripple's movement is restless, however, and this is the response to that theme.  I have tried to emphasise this by dividing the work and quilting in spirals.

It has been an enjoyable piece to do.

Sorry for the late arrival but it was designed some time ago but I have only just made it up due to unexpected happenings.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015


I did a posting a few days ago about my ideas for the Seaside theme. I discarded them as I got the urge to paint some fabric so that is how my piece evolved. For both the sea and the land areas I painted off-cuts of the gorgeous fabrics in the Empress Mills bundles. I then made four simple stencils from freezer paper but only used two of them, the yacht and the fish.
For the wadding I herringboned two strips of wadding; no idea when I bought it. It is horrible as it has left a texture that is probably suitable for both the sea and land areas but I do not like it. I sat on the finished piece while watching Wimbeldon and drinking copious mugs of tea. It has not flattened it very much but storage may well rectify that. I still have some of the wadding left so no doubt I will use it again as I can not bear to throw it out.

Friday, 26 June 2015

theme July

The coming month we have a rather difficult theme: Sign of the times. Good luck everybody, I have no clue what I am going to do with that theme.


Last year we had the theme Life at the Beach and this month it is Seaside. Two themes which can be similar, but I think that the piece I did this month looks differently :-). I decided to have a more abstract view of the seaside:

All fabrics used are my own hand dyed ones, with the exception of the sailing boat, that one is a commercial one.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Restless theme

Initially I was a bit flummoxed by this theme and could only think of the song, The westward wind is a resless wind.
Then the idea came to me when I was busy doing something else. I found  a piece of fabric that had been created for backgrounds for my year quilts. I had sort of paint dyed it unevenly, then splodged on some other paint, it had then gone to a workshop where we were doing printing and screen printing but the paints we were given more or less washed out as they were designed for paper printing. I was dubious about their stability though the tutor had said they were fast once ironed.... hence my washing of the fabric; washing fabric is not my usual practice.  I stenciled the rectangles with some old smelly fabric paint from 1995 (smell goes once it has cured). Made a stencil and then using a home made screen and binder with dye colours (Colourcraft) I screen printed the boy images. Lettering is stamped using childrens' foam letters. I then free machine quilted the piece. For wadding I used a piece of old old black supposedly 2 oz polyester, dreadful stuff but it does use it up. I hate throwing out stuff and look at everything with a view to recycling somehow.

Restless Circles

Once again I found this a challenging topic for the month but eventually realised that one of Kathleen Gurrier's scrap quilts had been an inspiration for me in the past.  I took lots of scraps of fabric and particularly satin viscose from previous dyeing experiments and cut and frayed them into irregular shapes that looked vaguely like circles, assembled them and stitched down onto a base fabric.  Joined together they formed an appealing 12" square in colours I often find difficult to use!