Friday, 25 August 2017

The Tile Museum at Ironbridge

We had a day out at Ironbridge this week. It's a World Heritage Site with ten varied attractions. We have annual 'passports' that allow us to go as often as we like - on this occasion we chose to visit the Tile Museum.

I loved this display cabinet in the old trade showroom.

And the stores of tile molds were fascinating - every one numbered on its side to identify the design.

There are hundreds of examples of tiles displayed in cabinets as well as on the walls and floors of the buildings themselves. The floral designs were beautifully observed from nature.

And I particularly liked this nasturtium panel, one of about a dozen different plant designs on a Victorian washstand. Who knew what meaning it might convey?

I shall have to avoid scarlet geraniums now I know what they signify.

Back home, when I looked at my photographs I was inspired to draw a few flowers just for fun. I've got another of those little concertina sketchbooks just waiting to be used and the garden is full of nasturtiums!

They are at their peak and running riot at the moment so I could pluck a few without compunction! It's such a treat to sit in the garden and draw whilst enjoying the late summer sun.

It was very satisfying to have the real flowers to study but, referring back to the museum image I realised that why the tile design had been so compelling was the way it combined such a realistic depiction of the plant in combination with a highly stylised geometric pattern as a border. I loved the way the flower broke free of the frame too so I started to add a similar pattern to my pages. I may tone the border down with a wash of watercolour at some point.

Of course the tile had a dramatic black background too - I'm not sure if I'm going to give my drawing the same treatment yet. I might leave it for a day or two and then make a decision! Whatever I decide, it'll be another excuse to get out in the garden and enjoy the summer while it lasts. Small pleasures but none the worse for that!

Bye for now - Linda x

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Even more from Festival of Quilts 2017

I couldn't possibly share all the photos I took at Festival this year - here are just a few more of my favourites.

Our friends on the Husqvarna stand getting ready for the show to open on Day 1.

Annabel Rainbow was in the Through Our Hands Gallery painting to transform this vintage quilt each day. I photographed work in progress on Day 3.........

when Annabel was eliminating some background colour and adding realistic eyes to the mask-like faces with acrylic paint. Generous onlookers who enjoyed watching the process showed their appreciation by contributing to the Save The Children collection bucket. The daily contributions added to the funds raised from the Portrait Shuffle helped realise over £2,300 for the charity!

I don't have space to include all 22 of the artists featured in the TOH gallery but this detail of a stunning piece by Genevieve Attinger attracted much well deserved attention from the visitors.

The EQA - Diversity in Europe exhibit featured a quilt from each country. 'Popular Traditions' by Maria Antonia Narro was the Spanish contribution.

And 'Les Cocottes' by Nicole Dibusi was the French exhibit.

Cherilyn Martin exhibited several of her Memory Cloth pieces. This detail of 'Paradekissen' involved rusting, screen printing and machine stitching on an antique, German pillow case.

This lady in the Tongan Tapa Cloth - Bloodlines Gallery was happy to explain how Tapa cloth was made from the bark of a tree.

'Falevai Pigs' by Sulieti Fiume'a Burrows and Tui Emma Gillies.

The best thing about Festival of Quilts is the breadth of textile work that is presented, both in the open competition categories and in the invitational exhibition galleries. I hope my photographs have given just a small taste of that.

Roll on FOQ 2018!!

Bye for now - Linda x

Sunday, 13 August 2017

More from Festival of Quilts 2017

I thought you'd like to see a few of my favourite moments from this year's show at the NEC.

Laura's quilt, 'Falling in and Out of Love' looked very dramatic in the Fine Art Quilt Masters Gallery. We think she is the only person in the world to be using this technique. I know I'm her mother and obviously biased but she's always one to take risks and break new ground with her work!

The judging panel choose this quilt ' Birchington Breakwaters', by Margaret Ramsey as the winner of Fine Art Quilt Masters. Many congratulations to her!

What I love about the show is the diversity of quilts on show. There really is something for everyone to admire. The Quilters' Guild of Great Britain stand included this beautiful antique coverlet from their collection. As I've recently been happily piecing little diamonds in silk it really appealed to me! Funny to see that the maker didn't place the tumbling blocks consistently - gives a lively sense of movement across the quilt though doesn't it?

It's always good to know something of the history behind these precious survivors too.

At the opposite end of the spectrum I found this contemporary quilt by Constanze Botel very amusing. Constanze has called it, 'Thank You To All Quilt Angels' and yes, that smiling figure is actually part of the quilt and physically holding the corner back (with white gloves of course) so viewers can see the quilting on the reverse! Great to see quilts with a sense of humour!

The SAQA exhibit is always stimulating - I was particularly drawn to this piece, 'Pallbearer' by Margaret Abramshe.

And I loved 'Morning Mist' by Linda Anderson too.

Back in the Through Our Hands gallery Laura made a start on her double portrait on the first day and despite spending lots of time chatting with onlookers.........

was managing to make good progress by the second day.

Here's a detail of Amelie's portrait at the end of Day 3.

We'll have to wait and see how the finished painting looks by Day 4. That's this afternoon so there's still time to go and see everything for yourself if you're quick!

Thanks for dropping by today. I have lots more photos and will post again soon.
Linda x

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Festival of Quilts 2017

I'm just home, weary but happy after a day at the National Exhibition Centre where the Through Our Hands exhibit is looking fantastic.

The show takes over three large halls at the NEC and you really need more than one day to see everything. Luckily I'll be there again tomorrow so I'll take more photos to share then.

Here's Annabel Rainbow in full flood chatting with visitors to the TOH exhibit. You can just see her beyond those incredibly delicate pieces by Eszter Bornemisza.

And here's Laura painting a double portrait of her and Amelie 'live' on the stand. That takes some doing when you have an audience - I don't think I envy her although I was tempted to pick up the paintbrush and have a little go myself when no one was looking!

The 'Dementia Darnings' by Jenni Dutton are stunning and drew the crowds all day.

And I was happy to see my quilt 'Every Thought a Question' finally finished and hanging in the space.

If you're visiting tomorrow come and say hello but if you can't get there I promise to post more images very soon!
Bye for now - Linda x

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Portrait Painting

It's the school holidays and that means we get to spend a bit more time with our granddaughter.

Today's activity involved lying on a large sheet of cardboard while I drew around her with a black marker pen. Then the good bit - lots of paint!

The finished portrait is standing in a corner of my office until Amelie visits again to paint the back. It's very startling when you walk into the room having forgotten it's there!

The face isn't very angelic is it? Looks to me rather like Dennis the Menace!

Out in the garden these monsters are ripening nicely.

They'll never win a beauty contest but I bet they'll taste great. We're having the first one tonight with a nice mustard dressing and lots of torn basil. Yum!

I've got one blank page left in my concertina sketchbook, I might make a drawing of it before I slice it up!

Bye for now - Linda x

Thursday, 27 July 2017

A reminder about Max & Rosie in Cheltenham

Just thought I'd remind anyone near to Cheltenham this weekend that my daughter Frances is having a stall at the Suffolks Sunday Market, on Suffolk Parade in the lovely town of Cheltenham. Frances and her partner Matt will be there with her beautiful hand made wares between 11am and 4 pm on Sunday - please go and tell her I said to say hello. Of course it would also be wonderful if you bought something!!

If you can't get to Cheltenham on Sunday you can always visit Frances' website to buy her gorgeous accessories online. Frances uses original, digital prints produced by my other daughter Laura, in the Fingerprint studio she runs with her partner Jamie. As you can see it's a great family collaboration! I'm really lucky to have two such talented girls!

Here at home I've been working on our Summer Stitch-Along book wrap. You can find all the latest details in the 'News' section at DMTV. We'll be posting this week's instalment later today. (That's Thursday 27th July). I hope you're enjoying working along with us and will post photos of your book wraps in the gallery once you're done! Mine is going to transform an old photograph album and I'm liking how it's coming along even before I do any stitching.

I've also set myself something of a challenge with my latest project. These tiny hexagons do take time to put together but I love the results I'm getting - despite all the raw edges I think even the back of the work is lovely! DMTV members saw how the colour palette was selected last week and very soon I'll reveal how the quilt is coming along. I was thinking this would be a small throw for the back of a sofa but I'm enjoying the piecing so much it's given me some very much more ambitious ideas - we'll have to wait and see how those pan out!

Thanks for reading today. I hope whatever creative thing you're doing it's giving you satisfaction and pleasure.

Love Linda x

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Another Year Older........

I had another birthday this week and celebrated it just how I like to, with family and friends and lots of good food. The champagne went down quite well too. You certainly need some kind of anaesthetic when you reach 66!

Although I always say please don't make a fuss, of course they do. And I'm so fortunate that they know exactly what I'll love.

How about this wonderful antique evening bag my mother found for me? My daughter Frances has her beady eyes on it so I'll have to make sure I get to use it at least once before she sneaks it away. With its gorgeous purple velvet lining it's just her style! By the way, Frances will be having a stall at the Suffolks Sunday Market in Cheltenham on July 30th. She'll have a selection of her gorgeous hand made items for sale and if you are in the area between 11am and 4pm I know she'd love to see you!

After the fun of the party we're back at work. This little garden posy is providing lots of inspiration for our latest project - are you joining in? Make sure to read the newsletter or click on the image in the sidebar of my blog to find out more about our Summer Stitch Along

Don't forget to let us see your work in the gallery - we love to see what you create!
Talk to you soon - Linda x