Saturday, July 22, 2017

A week of averages

Overall I may have almost managed my ten hours but it's not been an even (or easy!) week at all.  I've mainly been working on my Klimt challenge for twelvebythedozen, but as we have an official reveal all I can show are the scraps! (And yes, I have avoided the bling element!)

I also found time to try some variations on the idea of concealed text as the 2018 CQ challenge theme 'In Print' fits well with my ideas for forthcoming work, possibly even leading to two connected pieces.

  • Day 31 – 0.5 hours, hand stitching after a stressful day
  • Day 32 – 3.5 hours
  • Day 33 – 1 hour
  • Day 34 – 4.5 hours
  • Day 35 – 0 hours 
Hoping for a better balance next week!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Where did that week go?

It's hard to believe that it's Friday already. This week I've mostly been piecing yellow-ish fabrics for the next 12bythedozen challenge, the focus this time being Klimt. And, as I promised myself I started to do some printing, only to find that the pack of Golden Fluid Acrylics doesn't include the black promised on the outside of the packet and that my acrylic retarder is well past it's sell by date! But I had enough of a go to realise that I'm not easily going to produce the amount of fabric that I'd like. These pieces are typical of what I was producing and are about 14" x 12":

The piece that I liked best was the print taken after I'd given the plate a quick wipe over with a babywipe.  I don't think I've moved so fast for ages as I did when I saw the beads of paint left on the plate:

So progress in the 100 (Work!)day challenge this week went like this:
  • Day 26 – 2 hours
  • Day 27 – 2 hours
  • Day 28 – 2 hours
  • Day 24 – 2 hours and more, being creative with nwcq, including making notelets* for sale on the CQ stand at FoQ
  • Day 25 – 2 hours, mainly printing 
* A6 notelet, this one used a freebie commercial print I've had since the scrapbooking craze hit, decades ago, for the cover. I knew there was a reason not to throw it away!

Friday, July 07, 2017

I'm losing count

... of how many weeks I've been aiming for two hours a day in my workroom and at points this week I've even lost track of the challenge altogether - it's been one of those weeks. All things considered I'm not too embarrassed by the end result, but I'm so pleased that I committed to recording progress here, otherwise I may have totally lost my way 😊

I've just checked and this has been week 5. So:

  • Day 21 – 2.5 hours
  • Day 22 – 2 hours
  • Day 23 – 30 mins, hand stitching
  • Day 24 – No stitching, hanging 10+ exhibition at Didsbury Parsonage
  • Day 25 – 1 hour
My work at Didsbury includes pieces that have been in progress for well over a year so it's good to see them finally hung together:


Friday, June 30, 2017

This week I have mostly been ...

buildings habits. Other than Monday when I wasn't  at home I've managed 2.5 - 3 hours each day in my workroom. I was a bit concerned that my output hasn't increased but then I realised that a lot of that time has been about reclaiming the space. I'm gradually sifting through and getting rid of remnants from old projects and different ways of working. Did I really need that jar of pre-mixed Brusho that's been on the shelf for as long as I can remember? No? It went out, though not before I'd coloured a couple of sketchbook pages with some of it. But all the time I have some fabrics on my table that are gradually shifting into something else, but it's early days.
  • Day 16 – 30 mins, hand stitching and breathing
  • Day 17 –  2.5 hours
  • Day 18 – 3 hours
  • Day 19 – 2.5 hours
  • Day 20 – 3 hours
I also managed to slot in a visit to the Lucienne Day exhibit at the Whitworth before it closes next month. I'd expected something larger but it was interesting to see the range of her work.  A couple of the galleries were closed but I did appreciate the Beyond Borders exhibit. I loved the colour and proportions in this textile:

And of course there was a quilt:

Thanks Leah for starting me on this - I'm enjoying myself. Accountability rules!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

And the next five days...

have not been so productive. This is the point when I've lost heart in the past, given up because I haven't met my target - but I'm a lot more tolerant these days and can forgive my self and carry on!
  • Day 11 – 2 hours
  • Day 12 –  2 hours
  • Day 13 – 2 hours
  • Day 14 – no stitching, some more sorting and clearing
  • Day 15 – no stitching
The sewing room is still not straight but the end is in sight and from here on (It's already Tuesday!) this week is my own.
This is what I'm currently working towards - 

Monday, June 19, 2017

The next five days...

There's no point setting yourself a target if you're not going to record progress on it, and I'm only late because I set off for the CQ Summer School on Friday afternoon.

Following on from identifying my need for clearer goals my week changed part way through and although I can claim my two hours on Thursday and Friday I spent far longer than this rationalising my workroom so that I can have things to hand when I'm ready to stitch into them. I have several projects on the go and I realise that each needs to be in front of my eyes and easy to pick up from the last session, not tucked under a successive project out of sight! So:
  • Day 6 – 2 hours
  • Day 7 –  2 hours
  • Day 8 – 2 hours
  • Day 9 – 1 hour stitching, several more sorting and clearing
  • Day 10 – 2 hours (At Summer School!)
Mid sort!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Two hours a day

... is the target my friend Leah has set herself to keep up her productivity and motivation and the goal of creating a new piece of work each week. (She does have an exhibition or two to work towards!)
At first I thought this wasn't for me but then I decided to take up the two hour challenge, I'm not stitching as much as I'd like and I've no deadlines to work towards at the moment so this might provide the motivation I need.
Leah has a full on, full time day job and me - I'm retired, have all day to do as please so it should be easy... Except that those of you who are retired know that this isn't the case, first of all you lose your routine and the hours that are available to you suddenly aren't so precious. You volunteer to do to stuff to make friends/remain active/fill up your days and then there are the demands of your  changing family, some of which are welcome - like watching your children's families grow, others, like dealing with aging parents, less so.
So what happened this week (It's a five day working week, by the way)?
  • Day 1 – 30 minutes, stitching on the train
  • Day 2 – Away from home
  • Day 3 – 40 minutes, unpicking on the train (Not te stitching from Day 1 thank goodness!)
  • Day 4 – 2 hours
  • Day 5 – 1.5 hours( After a sleepless night and too many mistakes, I threw in the towel.)
One thing that I've learned from this week is that unlike when I have a clear goal in site e.g. an exhibition deadline or commission I'm not planning/preparing for the next day so Week 2 has the added goal of finishing the two hours by preparing for the day, materials and goals clearly identified!

To quote Daddy Pig - "What could possibly go wrong?"

Thursday, April 27, 2017

All that stitching ..

.. and your work ends up on the floor! Except in this instance I don't mind because the floor in question belongs to Salford Museum and Art Gallery!

 Our exhibition Ten Plus @ Salford begins with a 'Meet the Artist' on Saturday afternoon 29 April and runs through to Tuesday 5 September 2017.

Admission to the Museum is free and opening times can be found on their website -

Monday, March 27, 2017

Mounting quilts on frames

is said to make it easier for a potential purchaser understand what to do with your quilt when they get it home. I've tried it one or twice but have never been happy with the finish, particularly on the corners which carry more bulk than elsewhere.

Having decided to create multiple small (6" x 6")pieces, abstracted from tiles on display in Salford Art Gallery I had to find a way around the problem and it seemed that attaching small finished 'quilts' to a painted canvas would have to be the way forward, but even this has it's drawbacks. If your quilt is anything less than square the engineered accuracy of the canvas shouts at the viewer. So I was delighted to have one of those 2am in the morning ideas and even more pleased that I could remember what it was when I woke up the next day!

This method involves ladder stitching the border fabric along the edge of the canvas but, having learned ladder stitching in the days of machine knitting, it's something that I enjoy.  One down, only nine to go ....

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Change of scale ...

and an increase in enjoyment! I'm making these small pieces, to be mounted on 6" square box canvases for the next 10+ exhibition at Salford Art Gallery next month - They are based on one of the tiles on display made by Pilkingtons and designed by Lewis Day.
I began with quite a literal interpretation of the design but as ever my untidy way of working led on to these abstractions of the original. ( My original sketch slowly got covered by fabric and other pieces of paper until just a section remained in view, leading to that wonderful 'What if' moment!)
Because the pieces are small and some of the curves quite tight I decided to do some of the piecing using needle turn appliqué and have thoroughly enjoyed the time this stitching has given me to consider the next steps.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Hunterwasser my way ...

for the 12bythedozen challenge.

I assumed that my piece would be inspired by Hunterwasser's use of colour, but when I looked at my books the thing that caught my eye was the busyness of his work, the small details, the concentric lines. I was also taken by the number of times he used head outlines and when I came to a painting that, to me, resembled a brain, the link was made. Probably because this was at a time when I had more things to do than time in which to do them!

For my piece I actually used a small detail from another painting that references the concentric circles, but I also liked the lines running through the middle which to me represented those sudden shock of remembering things yet to be done.
I've worked on top of a piece that I made for the CQ Horizon challenge as the piecing, in the central area, of small irregular shaped scraps of fabric represents both how I like to work and how my brain can feel at times with lots of ideas jostling together!!!!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Creativity of a different kind...

I've just spent the weekend with my daughter on a 'Modern Patisserie' course led by baker Ross Baxter. Even though I do very little baking these days the instructions were good enough for me to be pleased (Amazed might be nearer the mark!) by the results!

Small confession - the white chocolate ring and swirl were made by our tutor as part of his demonstration. The room was rather warm for amateur chocolate handling!!!!

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Achieving abstraction ....

There are quilts that I think about but never make because they are too literal. Not exactly photo-realistic, but lacking in subtlety. That's one of the reason's I enjoyed my recent workshop with Shelley Rhodes who showed me ways to move images and ideas along this continuum.
Now along comes another excellent post from Elizabeth Barton entitled Adding Mystery with more ideas about making things not seem quite so obvious to the viewer. I get the feeling that I'm being nudged in a new direction ....

Monday, October 17, 2016

CQ Winter School

I was fortunate enough to spend the weekend in the company of fellow CQ'ers under the tuition of Shelley Rhodes. Shelley is a great tutor - no pressure, just a steady measured flow of information (Until something exciting happens!) that moves you slowly towards creating work that is your own whilst based on the intent of the weekend.

Like all workshops I reached a point where I didn't know where I was going, if anywhere, but with quiet support I got through that point.   Now I'm excited to think that I can add some line and stitch to these pieces, then move the process into a different area altogether. Watch this space - I've even got my sketchbook out again!


Monday, August 01, 2016

What goes around, again ...

Whilst drafting out a cartoon for my next TwelvebytheDozen challenge based on the work of South African artist Pierneef I started to make connections with previous pieces that I've made, one of which was my first ever 12 challenge. The connection may not be too obvious in this collage as I'm only showing a small section of the new challenge piece, the reveal isn't until the end of the month, but my brain is making all sort of links and wondering about next steps! It seems that I don't have as many original ideas as I thought!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Are you a starter of a finisher?

They say most people fall into one or other category - these days I can do a bit of both but what I'm definitely not is a maintainer! I love starting things and can even finish them when a deadline is near, even self imposed deadlines. But ask me to do routine stuff and my brain just goes into resistance mode, and so it has been with my website. Even though I have set a reminder to update my website on a regular basis, it has been gathering dust to the extent that I was shocked by how dated some of the work on it was. But no more! I'm now up to date with some work in the wings ready for the next time. The update took such a relatively short time to do I don't think I'll be putting it off for quite so long again!

Monday, July 04, 2016

Reminder to self

This quote from from should be enough - but I'm not good at routine or a builder of habits ......

“Forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain whether you’re inspired or not”

Octavia E. Butler