Monday, 24 December 2012

Hi Everyone,

I'm afraid my December quilt is going to be late.  I had been working on the idea and just not getting the cold resist to do what I want, so have changed my approach. Then finishing Christmas presents took over and finally I've given myself a RSI injury and have my right hand strapped up.

Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Ann's snow:

                                               Oh Come All Ye Faithful!!
The snow is white cotton torn into strips and stitched down in the centre of each piece, the evening sky is a section from a piece of silk that was indigo tied and dyed.  The carol singers is a section taken from an old Christmas card, I re-drew them and added them in pieces with Bondaweb before blanket stitching around them. Finally a semblance of snow was added with several rows of patterning off my Janome Horizon.
Lovely subject although I did stall at one stage as I too was going to do snow flakes but decided to rethink it!

Thank you Wil for your Christmas wishes, a very Happy Christmas to one and all, all the very best for the festive season
Ann B


I wish you all a very happy holidays - don't eat too much <vbg> - and a creative 2013. The month December is coming to an end so that also means that a new theme is lurking around the corner. I used a random number generator and the outcome is that the theme for January is: Favorite Film.

Monday, 17 December 2012


I heard today that the quilt I made for the theme Hot will be included in the permanent 12x12 exhibit website that will go online in 2013. This exhibit is organized by the Todd Art Gallery of the Department of Art Middle Tennesse State University USA.

Sunday, 16 December 2012


Well, I had a lot of inspiration for this one after receiving a foot of snow last week.  So I just HAD to snow dye the background (oh and the backing and sleeve fabric as well....) in honor of the snow and the theme.

The background is woven snow dyed fabric, raw edge applique using commercial B/W and stone fabrics.  I folded the front fabric to the back for a "binding" because I wanted to get as much of the tree as possible and not to detract from it.

So here it is...a gray day in the frozen tundra after a winter snow....

Kelly Hendrickson

Sunday, 9 December 2012


I have never used this technique, though I did a sample for C&G a long time ago.

I lightly coloured some old sheet with inktense crayons to introduce some colour into the snow. As I stitched the white layers moved slightly, so what was meant to be a square distorted. This meant I could not get an even border around it when cutting it back to be 12 x 12. I should have just made a piece that was all layered snow. I painted snow on the hand dyed green background and on the trees. This is probably one of my first landscape pieces!!! Does it qualify for the title of landscape? I was surprised that the cut edges did not fray or fluff more. 

I was very disappointed with this piece but actually I am liking it a bit more as the days go by. It has been lying on my floor waiting to be photographed so it is giving me time to think about it. 

I found this fabric in my cupboard which I thought was really appropriate as a backing.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

my 'snow' piece

I made this for the 'snow' theme. You can find more details on my blog.

Unable to write a comment??? Why

I do not seem to be able to post a comment.

Can anyone help me? I am signed in so why not. I do not understand all the categories that are offered so that I can post a comment in response to Wil's snow piece. I can not understand why when I have posted comments in the past I am unable to do so now.

Feeling very pathetic about it all


Friday, 7 December 2012

Snow flake

When I picked the theme snow I had no idea that we would get it so quickly. Don't blame this weather on me :-)).
For this theme I decided to focus on snow flake. After I made the sandwich - using a piece of snow dyed fabric - I stitched the outlines of a snow flake. The snowflake I painted with pearl white Lumiere textile paint. Added some snow flake buttons and the quilt was complete. It is very early in the month, but this quilt was a quick one.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Here is my piece for Text Me, I misread it just as Text so it's rather different from everyone else!
As it's November my theme is Remembrance and I have taken the text from John McCrae's moving poem from 1915, "In Flanders Fields the poppies blow...".  I have a thermofax screen with the wording and have screened this onto a hand-dyed background with  silver Textile Ink.  The fabric was dyed scarlet and then folded, clamped and re-dyed with black to give an interesting block effect.
I cut a Speedball poppy stencil and stamped the design on with scarlet Setacolour Opaque and used more of the Textile Ink for the silver ones. Trails of light green leaves wend their way through the poppies and as a final touch I added stamens of black thread with tiny beads to each flower head.
This has been a very satisfying piece despite me having strayed from the topic so thank you to whoever came up with the idea; now it's onward and upward to "Snow" although there's no inspiration at the moment!
Best wishes to all for Christmas and the New Year
Ann B


I will have a website completed soon and wonder if any of you would allow a link to any you have, on my site.

Mine is

Text Speak - Kelly

I can hardly believe I made it in under the wire.  Couldn't connect to the internet for 3 days and it seemed that everything I needed to get done required SOMETHING off the internet!!  But my wonderful live-in computer guru dug and dug until he found the solution and now I'm up and running very well.

So here it is....the title is Text Speak.  One of the joys of being a grandmother is that your little ones keep you up to date on the latest music, games, electronics, etc.  I text with my grandson often and with others on a regular basis.  Along the way I have had to learn the "language" to keep up.  Now a lot of it is second nature but it seems there are still things I don't get.  But thankfully I can just ask my grandson!! OK so he rolls his eyes like he can't believe I don't know that but it is all in good fun.  Just so you don't miss it....There is a row of smiley faces down the upper left side and asterisks across the top (machine embroidered).  I had a blast making this one.

Kelly Hendrickson

Raw edge applique, all hand-dyed fabric background. All text and smiley faces were printed on a computer printer fabric sheet.  I "painted" half of fabric sheet with some leftover dye that just happened to match very well (I love serendipity!!) so some of the texts are green and some white...just like on my text messages. I chose to use a regular binding on this one because all my text messages are "framed" by the edges of my iPhone.

Translations:  THX - thanks,  IMHO - in my humble opinion,  BRB - be right back,   BTW - by the way,   CWOT - complete waste of time,   <<<VBEG>>> - very big evil grin,   C U L8TR - see you later,   *$ - (one of my favorites)....Starbucks!!,  AYTMTB - and you're telling me this because...  And of course ROFLOL - rolling on floor laughing out loud.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

In the Beginning

Hi this is my piece for the "Text" theme.  The background piece of cloth is a piece that I feel looks like the creation of the universe.  Next I printed two different layers of The Lord's Prayer in "text" speak.  On top of this I stenciled the beginning of John's Gospel and then I tied it all together through three layers with thick perle thread.

Preachers often say "The text for today's sermon" and that is where the rest rolled from.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

new theme

As it is getting into winter, our theme for December is related to the cold season. It is: Snow.


A couple of days ago I gave the teaser, but here is the completed quilt. Text - or in general communication - is so important that it can be very akward if you do not understand the other party. Speaking the same language is essential. This is the idea behind my quilt for this month. Kelly has a stamp with old Egyptian hieroglyphs which I used to stamp a piece of fabric.
All the fabrics used are my own hand dyed ones. To be honest I hade made the background top years ago, it was still waiting to be used and finally for this theme I could use it :-).

Thursday, 22 November 2012

I have attempted the 'TEXT ME'  which reflects my total inability to get to grips with texting on my old phone.  When I upgrade I will carefully read the manual and practise!!

Sorry about the 'barrelling' with the camera today.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Text me - teaser

My original idea for this theme was to use autocorrect and then focussing on one of those annoying corrections you get when texting. Especially when you text both in Dutch as well as in English it can become very confusing and annoying. However I was not really happy with the lay out of this idea so I decided to switch to another idea. Which one? The picture above might give you some idea. Now I only have to create it. I will show you the result in a couple of days.

Monday, 19 November 2012

my 'text' piece

This is the quilt I made for 'text'. As I have lots of samples I made for my coursework, I thought I might as well use one of them. It was a simple collage, made with different types of monoprinted fabrics. I applied white acrylic paint with a roller, just a thin layer, then I stencilled the alphabet on it with black paint. I then added another layer of white paint, then I stamped red circles, again a layer of white paint. As I wanted it to be greyish, like newspaper paper, I didn't let the black letters dry completely, before going over it with white paint again. Perhaps not a good idea? I appliqued the letters, they're cut from some handpainted fabric. As the sample was a little smaller than 12" I stitched it onto a white background.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

I have posted this for Hilary as Mandy is on holiday.
Her notes read:-The word Text comes from the Latin texere - to weave, textilis - woven and textus - texture.
I used these words as the basis for my square using woven selvedges.

Ash Dieback (to the theme of Text)

I printed on white calico the background dots to represent the fungal spores of Chalara fraxinea that is causing dieback in our ash trees. I also printed the text one letter per 3 inch square. Free machined leaf and seeds. I now realise that the seeds would probably fall or spin with the seed or heavier end at bottom so my seeds are the wrong way up, however I think aesthetically I would prefer them as I have done them. This is the first time I have worked with browns or autumnal colours and to my surprise I quite enjoyed that. It is also a very pale piece, not my usual.

I have killed - 2 birds with the one stone- as they say, because our embroidery guild exhibition is to the theme "Blowing in the Wind" so this suits that theme. I have stitched my finished piece to a 12 inch canvas frame for our exhibition but it easily removed.
Irene MacWilliam

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Opposites are Complementary

Hi Everyone, this month I was thinking about how the opposites on the colour wheel are the complementary colours.  This led me to the dye pots to dye both cloth and thread.  It was interesting trying to find the "right" red and blue and yellow and then mix the secondaries.  I'm still not 100% happy with several of  the colours. (it's the red and green particularly - the most common colour blindness confusion interestingly!) The seeding is then worked in the complementary colour.  I learnt a lot about dyeing thread from this exercise and it has made me want to experiment more with the "Fabric Dyer's Dictionary".

Saturday, 27 October 2012

November theme

October is almost finished, so it is time to start thinking about the new theme. For November this will be: Text (me). You can either use 'text' in general or focus on ' text me' . The choice is yours.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Sorry Wil I think my photo for this month must be in the wrong format as it has taken over the page!!  Please can you correct it?? If not I will delete and start again.  Sorry, Ann

Clockwise/Anticlockwise Flying Geese

I was struggling with this title and was talking to granddaughter, 10 years going on 40, just type in Antonyms in Google she said, right again as usual!! Well, what a wealth of ideas and Clockwise was a great result for me.
Circular flying geese going one way and then in reverse were a challenge to draw out but the result was very satisfying and I have sewed them in a lovely little piece of batiked fabric that I printed with Edwina McKinnon.  I added part circles of embroidered geese emphasising the colours in the batik and finally quilted all over with dense vermicelli to raise the geese out of the black background.  I have recently bought a circular fitment for my Janome Horizon and this was an idea piece on which to practice to good effect.
Hi all,
I have managed to finish OPPOSITES before going to Cheshire to be a good Granny over half-term to a 4 year old!
Last year, in region 7 we had a designing day.  My piece has been pinned up ever since,  so I thought I would try using only black and white in it for this challenge.  I worked with various ideas on the computer and chose this version.  Fighting with the copier at Staples I got some interesting variations..........not 12" square.  They are now pinned up!
All cottons with some painting with Stewart Gill paint.  I have just got a new Janome and love to try out the patterns and the 'mirroring' facility.We were shown a new way to put facing on at a course and I tried that too.  Not quit perfected it yet.
Now I have to remember how to put up my photo.  Looks Ok ,  but I had to minimise it.  Hope it comes through.

Friday, 19 October 2012


People who know me, know that I love black and whites. And when the theme is Opposites, you know for which colors I am going :-). For this one, I used commercial fabrics. Besides the opposites in color, there are also opposites in shape: circles and lines. Don't look for any more, because these 2 are the only 2. This Composition is the first one of a series I am making. At the moment I am taking Lisa Call's online class Working in Series and I decided to challenge myself by working in abstracts. At first I thought it would be boring rather quickly, but I still have lots of ideas which I can use for this theme.
I have to say that I love all the different ideas you all came up with!

Thursday, 18 October 2012


This piece is by Hilary. She says, "The word "opposite" immediately reminded me of magnetic fields and the drawings we did at school of the patterns created by a magnet and iron fillings. There is also the contrast of hot and cold fabric colours."      

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

'opposites' and composition

For this month's theme 'opposites' I decided to use colours which are opposite each other on the colour wheel. As I'm practicing compositions for the course I'm taking, I though I might as well combine this with my piece for The Sky is the Limit. So I made this composition. I'm not sure if I can give a name to it. The rule of thirds apply to the two circles off centre.
I layered four pieces of fabric: a base, a layer of yellow/green bourette, then a layer of yellow/orange scrim, a layer of purple bourette and finally a layer of green tulle. I stitched a grid by machine and then handstitched circles from the back. I then cut away different layers. As there are several layers of fabric it can be called a quilt, so I didn't use any batting.
Even though it's a random composition, I do like it!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Opposites in Stripes

Thinking of opposites I decided to continue with my explorations of working with black and white stripes.
The opposites I cover are, black and white, large and small, round and square and looking at the pink circle is it in front or behind the black and white striped background. I think the scale is too small to get many illusions , it is quite easy on the eyes unlike some of my larger pieces.
Raw edge applique and vertical quilting in red and black.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

new pages

I have added new pages for our themes and copied pictures of the quilts we made for those themes to their pages. Let me know if I missed something or made some other kind of mistake.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

When Inspiration Hits

OPPOSITES.  You might think that would be an easy one, right? Perhaps so. However, I struggled with it for weeks now and was just not coming up with something that excited me. 

Until today.  At my wit's end, I decided to google OPPOSITES just to see what might show up....maybe an idea to work from...or maybe even inspiration!  One of the first selections was a list of opposites.  Well....that sounded promising!! And sure enough, the light dawned, birds sang, euphoria filled the studio!!!

I decided to use a few of the opposites in one art piece!! Well....when I started looking and thinking, I came up with more than a few. 

So here it is...I had a black and white piece I did for a project a couple of years ago.  I started with that (the Picasso-esque man and woman in the woven textile background.  Then I cut and added the strips for the left side and top. 

FOURTEEN OPPOSITES read it correctly!!! There are actually 14 opposites in this one piece.  Can you find all of them?  I'll get you of them is Black/White.  The other 13 are up to you to find.  That's why I put it on this post as a large photo.  (If you need it still larger, check it out on my art blog - it is XL on that site.) Some of the opposites are perhaps not as easily seen as others. A couple of them are a bit subtle.  But they are all visible!!  One I ditched (natural/synthetic) because it would not be discernable in a photo.   

Good luck! I'll publish the list on November 1 so you can check your list!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Road Map

This is my life road map.  I have come to a cross roads where I have choices to make about what the future looks like.  In pulling together all my life experiences so far I can make guided choices .  Hand dyed fabric is pieced together and then bias strips mark out the roads.  Inspirations printed on fine tea dyed gauze are raw edge appliqued and beads work as "bullet" points.

Wine and Roses

This may well take me a while to do as it is the first time I've added to a blog!

Here is my version of the theme Wine and Roses.  I was given a bouquet of roses having helped alter a friend's daughter's wedding dress.  The background photo is of some of these roses printed onto cream silk I then appliqued the printed wine glasses and embellished it with hand stitching and beads. The quilt is a  reminder of a wonderful sunny wedding day in August.

Monday, 1 October 2012

City Centre - Belfast

September piece to theme Road Map

I screen printed the figures. They are in 3 shades to represent the workers of the past, present and future. I free machine stitched the map of Belfast city centre that I had traced onto the fabric. I painted the River Lagan blue and the Motorway red. I do not like the shape of the motorway.

The docks where the Titanic was built are in the top right hand corner.
Irene MacWilliam

Sunday, 30 September 2012

October theme

Tomorrow the new month starts and that also means a new theme for our group. This time it will be  Opposites. Think about opposites in color, in shape, in size. But there are also opposites in character, like for instance the timid tiny mouse and the huge loud elephant. No doubt you can come up with other ideas as well :-). Good luck to you all, I am interested to see what you can create with this theme.

Days of wine, roses and castles

This small quilt recalls some very happy memories of when my daughters were young. We had a boat and travelled the canals during the summer holidays. As a family we had huge fun with "Cats Paw", which we kept for  several years. We sold the boat when we moved house twenty years ago.
The photos featured here date from 1990 and our summer holiday that year. The small figure on the back of the boat with me is my younger daughter, then aged 6.
I should explain, that the "roses and castles" of the title refer to the style of decoration on narrowboats on the canals in England and Wales. The decoration on "Cats Paw" is not really quite in the same tradition - I preferred to paint cheerful daisies. I must also apologise for the dreadful photograph. I shall try taking another photo once the weather improves here - the daylight is so dull at the moment.

Friday, 28 September 2012

The road to .......

This is my contribution for Road Maps and I called it 'The road to .....'. Maybe a sign post or a road map would help deciding where this road is :-). My inspiration source for this quiltlet was a detail of a painting by David Hockney. I used some hand dyed fabric in combination with commercial fabric.
Using this same color palet with some additional fabric I also created a giraf quilt. Well actually it is only a top right now, it still needs to be quilted.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

This month my husband and I did a whirl-wind trip to Texas.  Driving straight through there (1,100 miles one way) and straight through back (another 1,100 miles). The reason - my dad's memorial service.  All this in 5 days.  So Road Map was an appropriate theme for me this month.  And due to this long road trip to my home state, to my parents land where my dad's ashes are now buried, I've chosen to title this piece:

The Long Road Home

So, I went quite literal this time. White cotton background (just like a real map) The roads, county lines, road numbers,  railroads, rivers, etc are stitched. I then painted in the colors of the different roads and the river with Pigma Brush Pens.

As you might remember...I started this month's challenge with a whole different direction.  But it grew too big (20 X 20). Here is a link to my art blog if you want to see the final outcome of the big piece:

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Red, Red, Wine

A new month and a new challenge, this time to use new techniques! 1983 saw UB40 in the charts with Red, Red, Wine, a song written and originally performed by Neil Diamond, one of my all time favorites so how to interpret it onto fabric was the question!.
Yet more hand dyed fabric ( I love it!) but this time with the addition of heat transfer photos, one of the wine and bottle and the second of the mirror frame.  I then made a poly chiffon rose and burnt around the edges to create a curl but having overdone it, I was forced to add some silver paint to cover up the black marks!!!!
Finally I used my machine programmes to add wording ( Sweet love) and a rose pattern to finish off. Most of our machines have these wonderful patterns these days and I am training myself to incorporate them into various pieces of work.
Oh, I forgot to say the central grey piece of fabric is a bamboo/silk mix and is a real find from Whaleys, dyes beautifully and as the reverse takes the dyed differently you get two fabrics for the price of one, always a bonus.
Welcome to our new members, it's good to see a group expanding.
Ann B

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

New Plan I'm working on this Road Map quilt with the maps covered with sheer silk. I'm having so much fun with it that it has WAY outgrown a 12 X 12!! And I like it too much to cut it down....

So....I guess I'm going to have to come up with something else for the Road Map Challenge. (putting my thinking cap back on...)

I'll post a photo of the finished bigger art quilt when it is done just so you can see what my vision WAS.....

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Inspiration Locations

OK after chuckling at Irene's comment about mulling over ideas while poking around in her compost, I got to thinking about where I am when I get a lot or most of my inspiration...or when art pieces being mulled over fall into place. Soooooo I was thinking it might be fun to ask all of you where/when you seem to have most of your Eureka! moments. Just click on comment below and let us know about that part of your creative process!!

As for me (guess I should start it since I asked the question....)

I love to take hot morning baths and soak until I actually become an awake and functioning human being. During that time of the morning, somewhere between half-asleep and half-awake, it is like my mind is on auto-pilot. That is when synapses not joined before connect and an idea or concept is either born or clarified.  AND I get all prune-like....lost in the creative process......  OK...TMI??

Now, you CAN'T feel intimidated to share after all can you?


Thank you Wil for your sorting our site,  not having to cope with the pesky numbers thing is fantastic. Although not colour blind I find it much easier to read all the information on the RHS of the page.

I would also like to comment Wil on how quickly you respond to suggestions and requests.

Irene in a wet, as usual  for this summer, morning!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Not getting it done!

Hi everyone, just to say I am getting there with the Days of Wine and Roses but have been interrupted by the need to garden, we have a chain of allotment and the weeds  wait for no man!  My piece is all laid out on the table ready to start stitching but I am off to Carrefour de Patchwork in Alsace tomorrow morning until Sunday so will try really hard to get it finished early next week - I promise!!!
Is the road one to be finished by the end of September as well?  I appear to have lost the thread just a little.
Love the work you are all doing and keep it coming please.
Ann B

Road Map - Just the beginning - Kelly

Just completed the beginning of my Road Map quilt.  Thought I would post a photo of this first step so you can see how it started.  This is just the photo of the completed step 1...the process is described on my art blog:

We are leaving Thursday for a trip to attend my dad's memorial service. Will return on the 17th. I doubt I will have it totally completed before we leave but should have no problem getting it done by the end of September!

Pesky numbers and letters

I do not understand why sometimes I have to go through trying to decipher numbers and letters when I wish to post a comment. Much to my surprise I was able to add comments to pieces this morning without the pesky scribbles. I assume it is to do with whether I am logged in but I am always unsure as to whether I am or not as I have to log into various email address because I sort emails for a number of organisations that I am involved in. I always know when I am signed into any of them.

The previous time I tried to post a comment here I think I had about 7 trials of reading the scribbles before I was successful. The more frustrated I got the more I felt I would persevere until I read them correctly. You can imagine my surprise when they went up straight away.

I am looking forward to seeing all the new pieces yet to be posted.
Irene MacWilliam enjoying a sunny day in Northern Ireland with buzzards mewing outside the house.

my piece for the 'road map' theme

This month's theme made me think of traffic on the road, so I came up with this piece. I often work like this, a simple design, using raw edge applique. But I think simple can be effective, too!

Friday, 7 September 2012

Days of wine and roses

This photo is Hilary's piece which she was unable to add to the site. Her last post gives details of the images and items on this quilt. It is a delightful mix which includes printed photographs, and badges.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Days of wine and roses

This is my quilt using inspiration  from the preceding words- they are not long........
        I have tried to show the passing of the years,using photos of my Mother as a girl,a young woman ,on her wedding day and as a mum with me and my sister.
        The piece is machine quilted with added brooches and badges that had belonged to Mum.
              Regards Hilary.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

I pondered for a long time on this theme. I could not get any angle on it that appealed to me so I eventually decided to have two rose plants growing in the shape of a wine glass, with out-turned thorns suggesting that it would not be nice to handle. They are silhouetted against a grey evening sky. Life is not all wine and roses it has its prickly side! There is one wine red rose in the wine glass, a loose scribble that is thread painted, I was thinking of Mackintosh’s roses.

I did not intend to have a wonky wine glass. Just shows I do not do enough planning. I just launch into a piece. I wish I could be more careful.
Free machine work.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

monthly theme

As announced in the header we are changing from a quarterly theme to a monthly theme. Don't worry if you are still working on the Wine and Roses theme, but for everybody who wants to start with a new theme the one for the coming month is............  Road Map

Monday, 27 August 2012

my first piece

This is what I came up with for the theme 'the days of wine and roses'. I overdyed a piece of fabric to achieve a sort of 'wine red' and a colour for red roses. The little piece of bubble fabric is a piece I'd made using wax resist. I thought this piece could represent white wine. I handstitched golden thread around the bubbles.
I wasn't going to do anything figurative, just use the colours to represent the theme, but it still needed something, so I added a glass with machine stitching.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

trying to blog

Hi to the group,
This is my first attempt at putting words on a blog.  Today I have been working on my blue JQs which are based on the development of my agapanthus flowers in the garden.  I love the colour blue and these plants are beautiful this year.   I have given some thought to the current least 12 x 12 is not too demanding! It will be great to try out a new technique

Sunday, 19 August 2012

HI Wil, what an exhausting time we have all had at Festival of Quilts but well worth the effort. Lots of shopping and plenty of time to view the work as I stayed at the Hilton with a friend for two nights!
As Irene says, it would be useful to know the date when we have to finish the present challenge please.  I am certain our new members will be champing at the bit and will been keen to start as soon as possible. I have an idea bubbling but am about to go away to visit my daughter for almost a week so a date would be good!!
Best regards

Saturday, 18 August 2012

That is just brilliant, having a few more members and upping our interaction to once a month will give more opportunities for interaction.

Where exactly do we stand re the present challenge of roses and wine, when are you hoping we post our pieces?

Well done and Thank you Will for putting in the required work to grow the group.

Just back from 2 days at Festival of Quilts and feeling quite exhausted. I have unpacked the things I bought but I will have to wait until Monday to get some paints and new lino cutting blades from a friend. They will  travel in her booked in case. Such a pain not even being able to bring the paints home in my carry on bag.

Irene MacWilliam

Monday, 6 August 2012

Challenge group to look at

How about doing a small quilt every week. Have a look at this blog....CHALLENGE: Make a quilt measuring 20"x12" each week for the year 2012 see them on

Their titles are very varied and it is so interesting the interpretations.

I wonder how we would fair if we made our challenges more frequent? Although I am thinking about the theme as soon as it is announced  I do not apply myself until near the time when we have to post them on the blog.

It would be lovely to have more discussion about our pieces rather than just presenting them as finished pieces?

Irene MacWilliam

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Work collated in categories

Well done Will. I think it is a great addition having each of the challenge entries shown in separate folders.

I thought the last challenge Dreams was difficult but our current one is even more challenging.

Irene MacWilliam

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

My take on Those were the days

As Kelly mentioned in her post, we are on a quilting roll :-). This is my version of the challenge. I have to admit I did not know the movie, but Google is a great help. My interpretation of this theme was more literal.
The red background represents wine. The roses are painted on the fabric using a template and for the text I used foamies and paintsticks. Because of the color of the background no matter which red I picked they all did not show up enough, so I had to convert to white wine. A piece of rust dyed fabric had just the perfect pattern. Organza was used for the falling glass.
It was a difficult theme, but I loved the challenge of it.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Shattered Lives

I remember "The Days of Wine and Roses" movie.  (Yes...I'm THAT old!). A very sad movie. I was stumped at first and didn't think I could even get my head around this one. But that is the advantage of having another artist in residence with you.  REALLY in residence...Wil is visiting me for several weeks. We were brainstorming and first one thing and then another and we came up with ideas for both our quilts. She was gracious enough to let me post first since so far I've always been the LAST one!! ;-)  And it is so much easier to get stuff done when someone else is working along side you sometimes. We do tend to spur each other on. 

Having seen the devastation of the subject of the movie in real people. I chose a "shattered" dark background with a spilled glass of wine on it. All the fabric (except the organza for the wine glass) are from my hand-dyed stash. I was thrilled to find the piece for the wine. A little fussy cutting and overlapping and I love the way it seems to splash onto the quilt.

So, the challenge is met.....and I'm not last!!!!!!!

Shattered Lives
12" X 12"

Thursday, 12 July 2012


Finally completed this for DREAMS. Had a bit of a think because the things I dream of are mostly very difficult to express in a tangible form. However, one morning over coffee with my husband, he mentioned the topic which immediately struck a chord with me and I KNEW I had my DREAM art quilt. 

One of my great joys was riding my motorcycle with my husband and often groups of friends who ride.  Off we would go on the open road hunting down beautiful back roads to explore.  A few years ago, due to circumstance beyond my control, I had to sell my "baby". It is something that is difficult for me especially every spring when up here in the frozen tundra we finally have nice weather and the bikes are out in droves!......but I'm not with them. I miss riding more that words can say but any rider would understand. My dream is one day to have a bike and take off on the open road once again. Hence the title of this piece: OPEN ROAD.  This is my view from my bike on the open road with hills and lakes and beautiful sky....


Now my mind is working on our next theme!!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


My 'sweet dreams' shows my happy holiday destinations

Dreaming of Summer

We seem to have had so much rain over the summer months here in the UK that my dream is of a warm summery evening, just lazing around. The background fabric is one I screen printed, with sheer fabrics bondawebbed in place, leaves made from hand dyed and commercial fabrics free machined into place.
I must apologise to everyone for being so late in posting this.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

My dream ......

is to live in a red barn like this. In the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nature. In reality I live in a town in a crowded small country. Unfortunately I cannot yet retire, so for the coming years this will remain my dream. Unless of course I win the lottery :-))
Background and garden is made from commercial batiks, the barn and the sky from handdyed fabrics and the windows are made from mulberry bark.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

new theme

Well done to Irene and Ann for their Dreams.They are very inventive.I have finished mine and just need to photograph it and post a pic. Thank you for inviting me to choose a topic.Our new theme is "the days of wine and roses" Regards Hilary

Friday, 6 July 2012

Tree of dreams shedding its leaves

This has been my most difficult challenge to date, I have eventually come up with a piece but mainly thanks to a friend in another group who fed me an idea that I expanded upon!
The piece is a batik background with the attached tree having been cut from a lovely piece of screen printing that I did a while ago, I have concentrated on the free machine quilting which I find challenging when I attempt to use a different style.  This one is the falling leaves from the tree!

Monday, 2 July 2012

As I said yesterday I found this theme very difficult. My first thought was what am I going to do as I do not remember any dreams. I sleep and wake up ready to go with no memory of dreaming. In desperation I decided to just use the word  - Dreams. I played with it in photoshop and then printed out the variations so I could trace them onto bondaweb. I tried various backgrounds and liked this one best. However I took a photo of the words on another background and then decided I would do a companion piece. The piece is quilted with quarter inch vertical lines in red, with a few red spots on top of the words.

Here is the second one to the theme on a printed black and white striped background. It has horizontal black line quilting following the stripes. I think I will call them- Shattered Dreams or Fractured Dreams if I ever show them. I can not decide which I prefer.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

I found this the most difficult of the challenges so far but eventually managed to do something. Will photograph it and put it up.
Irene MacWilliam

Friday, 29 June 2012


How is everybody doing with their dreams? I know what I want to create and I plan to work on this quilt the coming week when I will be at Kelly's place. As the due date for this theme is close I hae started thinking about our new challenge and I want to invite Hilary to come up with an idea for this.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Well done Wil, it's a beautiful piece of work, so very Vincent!  I am so pleased that everyone got something out of the Inspired by....  call, Now it's literally onwards and upwards to Dreams - thanks Mandy this will require some thought!!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Inspired by .... Vincent

It took some time, but finally my quilt for this challenge is finished. On the first picture it was difficult to see by whom I was inspired. After I removed the tape, finished the quilting and added the binding the quilt looked like this:
Still a riddle? The picture of the completed quilt should solve the puzzle:
My inspiration was Vincent van Gogh and especially his painting of irises. I printed a copy on transparency sheets, removed parts of it and painted these in between parts with textile paint.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Inspired By....finally

At least I'm getting LESS behind!! I've wanted to do this one for a few years. In fact...had already started it and got distracted by other things for a bit. But this theme afforded me the opportunity to complete it and enjoy it all over again.  I was inspired by Victor Vaserely.  This was a significant moment in my artistic journey because it was the first time I FULLY realized just how much I appreciate other kinds of art!! I saw a presentation of his work (online) in an old church. The juxtaposition of pop art on ancient stone walls was so intriguing. Then I found I loved his work on its own. Found his two zebras next.  Now I do love black and white so these were especially delightful to me.  Then I found Markab which he did about 1956 or '57.  It isn't as much of an optical illusion as some of his other work but it grabbed my attention big time. So I decided to render it in fabric (at least as much of it as I could in 12"X12").  Markab in Arabic means "something to ride". And since finding Vaserely opened up a whole new vista for me, I titled this piece "Enjoying the Ride".  As for the process, let's just say I'm extremely glad someone invented those really sharp and tiny scissors!! The white fabric was stitched onto black Kona and then trimmed according to how much black was to show through.  Required a bit of patience but I'm happy with the results.  It still needs a binding (which will be in black Kona) but at least it is done enough to post.

Inspired by Victor Vaserely
"Enjoying the Ride"

Victor Vaserely's Markab - 1956 (or '57)
Oil on Canvas

Now to start DREAMING!!!!