Festival of Quilts Part 1

I had a wonderful day at the Festival of Quilts. Simon and I thought we had got there early enough, but the queue was massive. Luckily we got in fairly quickly and headed down to see Hilary, to say hello before she started demoing!

I took photos of the wonderful Art Textiles: Made In Britain, as well as some of my favourite competition entries, which I will share in another post, as they are on a different camera.

What I do have photos of here is my shopping. There are lots of lovely traders at FoQ, and so I topped up my supplies:

I got a holder for safely Lino cutting, a bottle of setacolour, three spools of King Tut thread in red, and two greys, some 505 spray, a couple of new rotary cutter blades (I think I have only changed the blade once since I got it in 2003!), a holder for machine bobbins, three spools of bobbin fill thread, two new Rollagraph pattern wheels, and two pieces of gorgeous Alter Ego fabrics.

The red King Tut I got is the colour I have been using on the Moka Pots quilt: to give you an idea of how much I had used, here is an old and a new spool:

It really is excellent thread for free motion stitching – the colours are really rich, the variegation is lovely, and it is very resistant to breaking. I have not had one thread breakage in all he stitching I did on the Moka Pots.

The Alter Ego fabric is destined to be the background for a pair of quilts which are in the early planning stages for next year. They do amazing hand dyed fabrics in such a wonderful range of colours. I just wanted to get them all but I had to be restrained. Here is a picture of both pieces spread out on my blocking board, so that you can see the wonderful dyeing:

Their website is here, http://www.handdyedfabric.co.uk/home-page, but they only sell at shows, so if you want to get some you will have to go to the NEC this weekend!

All in all an excellent day out, and well worth a visit if are a fan of textile art.

Sanctuary at The Bramble Patch – Roundup

I’m home and have spent a couple of days just thinking about my time at the Bramble Patch with Hilary, processing all the things I learned. Here’s a summary of what I got up to.

The theme I had picked for my sanctuary is Bumble Hole nature reserve, in Netherton. My husband and I like to go walking there when things get a bit too much, and it will be nice to have a little bit of the area at home with me.

I cut stencils and stamps to fit my theme:

Made heaps and heaps of printed papers and fabrics:

And assembled lots of fabulous collages:

Hilary was excellent, as usual, sharing her knowledge about a wide range of topics.

It was a wonderful, and very busy three days, in the company of these lovely ladies:

I learned loads, including:

  • How not to be scared of photos in collage
  • Lots of useful tips about composition
  • How nice it can be to use a different colour palette
  • More about the effectiveness and ease of Lino cutting

I feel like I produced a really cohesive, focused set of work, and I’m very pleased. It was an excellent three days, looking forward to the next one.

Sanctuary at The Bramble Patch – Update 2

I made these 5 stamps, all double sided with both positive and negative images:

I spent my afternoon printing focal points on a wide range of fabrics and papers, with a lovely old gold colour paint, and then adding dye.

We then spent a nice evening in the pub, colouring in sketchbooks:

A tidy table to begin with…

Got less tidy, as we finished the wine:

Hilary, hard at work:

I took up a whole 3 seater sofa!

Even less tidy!

I mostly worked on an altered board book I had started earlier in the day:

All in all a great day! Now, sleep, because tomorrow I need to make backgrounds.

Sanctuary at The Bramble Patch – Update 1

I’ve arrived safely at the Bramble Patch, and having a great time.

This is my home for the next couple of days:

Hilary has brought the shop, it’s a bit too big for the tables, so some of it is underneath:

She’s brought her rabbit ears too!

The Bramble Patch has a cafe, which does excellent, exceedingly large slices of cake:

I’ve made three stencils so far, a grass stem, a section from the bridge, and Cobb’s Engine House.

Drawing at Bumble Hole

On Saturday morning, I went down to Bumble Hole nature reserve, my little local spot of sanctuary, took a few more photos and did some sketching.

We approached from a new side, and saw this beautiful metal sign, surrounded by wonderful wild flowers.  I had forgotten to put any crayons in my little art kit, so I couldn’t do a rubbing, something which needs to be rectified.


I love the beautiful curvy bridges:


So I drew them, mostly without taking the pen off the paper, after the Cas Holmes day school. It was surprisingly enjoyable!


There was a massive gaggle of goslings with their proud mum and dad paddling along:


This beautiful little path was new to us, like a wonderful green fairy path.


Leading us to a lovely wild meadow, with a dragonfly and some butterflies floating over.


And this lovely view of Cobb’s Engine House:


Which I had to sketch:


Another lovely view of the engine house:


And a beautiful view of the canal. For something which is stereotypically straight, there are lots of lovely curves!


I’ll post close up pictures of the sketches soon.

Sketchbooking on the train

Last weekend I went to the Isle of Wight, to celebrate my Dad’s birthday with my family. I took my sketchbook supplies to keep myself amused on the train.

I didn’t realise until I sat down that my favourite Khadi sketchbook isn’t really compatible with a narrow train seat!  

Luckily the people around me were very friendly, and I even made a new friend, as a fellow Embroiderers’ Guild member said hello, and we spent a good couple of hours chatting, sharing sketchbooks and talking about our EG branches.

I did all of this spread on the train – the flower punch was good in a limited space.   

I had a whole table to myself towards the end of the journey, so I could spread out.

I even brought a little film pot, so I could use water to smudge the gelatos.

I used the leftovers from the flowers to make this spread, a fun exploration of  colour:

I cut some shapes from a piece of paper, dictated by the print, and thought they looked like vases, so made this page:

On the return journey, I made this spread, taking the shapes of the pears and the onion skin stencils. I am not too sure whether I like it, but it has plenty of Neocolour 1 on it, including white on the printed pieces, which will resist dye well, so I will probably give it a coat of colour:

I also started this spread, cutting out the figures, and doing the outermost bits of both pages. I finished it on Friday evening in front of the telly.

On the way back I was sharing a table with 2 other people, with the wall to my right, so I ended up working on my lap, and cutting out was a bit awkward!



Altogether, an enjoyable way to pass the journey.

Day 184

A busy day. We picked up the keys for our new house – this is the view from my new craft room:

I also finally got time to sit down with the photos I took on the Lowsonford trip, which took quite a while as there were a lot.

I love this image of the statue, with the almost pixelated reflection:


The statue had lots of lovely colours, shapes and textures:


Which contrasted wonderfully with all the plants in the surroundings:

I’m pleased with this image especially:

There were a lot of lovely spiders webs:

And fabulous signs and numbers:

There were also great flowers around the pub, including this spiky specimen:

As we were walking back to the car to go home, we noticed this amazing sky:


This is just a small sample of the images I took, more of them are here.

Day 177

Today I went with some friends to Lowsonford, to see one of the statues in Anthony Gormley’s LAND exhibition.

I haven’t got my photos off the camera yet to share here, but it was a wonderful experience. The statue itself is of a normal height, very angular, and of a lovely rusted iron.

Image from Geograph.org, until I upload mine.
To me I loved the industrial, weathered nature of the metal, as a contrast to the gentle countryside and wild flowers of the surroundings. I also liked how he complemented the industrial past of the canal. We were lucky to see a boat go through the lock while we were there, and the way the statue is positioned, he looks down into the lock while boats travel through.

It was a lovely, peaceful but invigorating trip, rounded off nicely by pies and puds at the village pub.

I will upload and post my photographs soon.