Monday, 30 December 2013

Winter Blues - Irene MacWilliam

Using setacolor paints I created the background, then I stencilled the tree followed by low numbers to indicate winter temperatures and lastly the screen printed child. I used some pearl setacolor to the background and then numbers to add a feeling of snow. I had never used this sort of shiny or sparkly paint before. It is not a very adventurous or stretching piece but I am happy with the feeling it conveys. It is paler colouring than I tend to work with.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

theme January 2014

I hope you all had pleasant holidays and are eager to start a new creative year :-). There are still a number of themes on the list we have yet to use, but if you want to add new ones, just send me an email and I will add them. For January our theme is: On the busses.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013


I have actually completed a piece within the timescale!
I have been interested in snowflake designs for years especially as I have one or two inspiring books on the subject.  I have nevr managed to  do justice to these inspiring creations until now (perhaps?).
The centre is a snowflake which extends beyond the square whilst small snowflakes surround the centre.  The background is derived from the previous 'Cosmos' work.  It is computer transfer printed with free machine embroidery.  I am fascinated by the idea that many snowflakes appear ro resemble the vaulting in cathedrals and old houses.  I believe this to be the case with this work as that is what the centre reminds me of.
This piece tends to be more regular than most of my work although I have tried to make it 'regular irregular'.
I have added holographic medium since I took the picture which I had forgotten at the time.  It adds some wintry sparkle.


I must crave your indulgence as this is obviously out of time.  I had started it so it seemed a shame not to complete it.
I have been interested in using traditional blocks and layouts in a contemporary way for some time.  I have experimented with log cabin, a four square block and the strippy to date and these provide parameters from the outset so there is a challenge.
This work is based on my 'Tyne Reflections' pictures and design work again, manipulated into a strippy.  I have tried to be more adventurous with the colours I have used for my quilting by introducing more colour contrasts than I usually do.
I feel that the format is appropriate as the strippy was a popular form of quilt construction in the north-east.

Friday, 20 December 2013


As you can see I took the theme of winter'blues' rather literally :-). Background is made from torn strips of blue fabric placed overlapping each other. For the text I used my Cameo Silhouette to cut the shapes out of freezer paper. This machine has great potential, but it is a learning curve to get real good with it. The text was ironed to the background and paint was applied. Next step was to applique the trees and quilt around everything. All the fabric I used are my own hand dyed ones. The fabric for the trees is pounded

Monday, 9 December 2013

once more life at the beach

A couple of months ago we had the theme Life at the Beach for which I made a quilt. When it was finished I knew I wanted to do something more with it but time was not cooperating with me so it took a bit longer than planned. Finally I was able to finish it the way I wanted to and this is how it looks now:

I painted a canvas and hand stitched the quilt onto it. To finish it off I glued some small shells to it.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013


The original inspiration for this work came from old engravings which portrayed the cosmos as a series of concentric circles.  I started with the idea of using my favourite 'Tyne Reflections' for the centre.  These were manipulated to give the idea of the swirling universe.  I thought that the yellow-orange outside circle would form an arresting frame. 
There has been a great deal of coverage lately about 'the Surveillance Society' so I used a pattern based on a camera for the black and white outside.  A fractured circcumference to the yellow circle appeared accidentally so I kept this as it looked like the flares from the sun's corona.  The planes are drones watching our every move and the text refers to the fact that conflicts between groups are as old as man.

Free machine embroidery was used to emphasise the design and I added an holographic medium (now, unfortunately, unobtainable) to add sparkle for a starry univerrse.