28 August 2009


CQ was represented at the Festival of Quilts by its stand, with coordinator Ali Mesley in almost constant attendance, here joined by newsletter editor Irene Macwilliam. The display is of the Celtic Connection quilts made by members for the Guild AGM in 2009.Near the cafeteria area, CQ had a display of a selection of the 2008 journal quilts - of the 12, you had to choose four for display -
These are by Jackie Ingram and Briony Askew -
mine and Jennie Wood's -
And these are by Julienne Hanson and Hilary Gooding
The 2009 journal quilts measure 6"x12".

FOQ favourites - Ferret

"Golden Phoenix" was completed just days ago, Ferret said -The long view doesn't show the marvellous stitching - here's a detail -
Also astonishing was the "White Feathers" quilt -
dense quilting giving rise to an effect like trapunto.

27 August 2009


Er, paid for - my loot from Festival of Quilts - perle from Winifred Cottage, linen thread from Empress Mills, rayons from Stef Francis, organza from Mulberry Silks, and one of Pauline Burbidge's cards -Amazing how much those little bags of threads end up costing!

I also brought back several books - Chunghie Lee's "Pojagi and Beyond", Yoshiko Jinzenji's "Quilt Creation", Quilt National 2009 - and had intended to go back to Pauline Burbidge's stand and get her cute little "two-in-one" book, but forgot!

FOQ favourites - Hanging Together

I've always admired Sandra Grusd's work (plus we're in one of the same quilt groups) so it was great to see it in the Hanging Together exhibition. This piece was the result of making a few journal quilts for Contemporary Quilt's 2009 challenge - Sandra said that she was unable to stop making them. And she used fabric from Bob Adams' discharge workshop that we both attended a couple of years ago -These long pieces are made by, from left to right - Jennie Lewis, Leslie Morgan, Inger Milburn, Julie Senington, Sandra Grusd, and Ingrid Press -
and here's a delectable piece by the other member of the group, C June Barnes - this is called Transitions, and it's two-sided - cool colours on one side
and hot colours on the other -
Somewhat gorgeous!

26 August 2009

FOQ favourites - Yoshiko Jinzenji

Yoshiko Jinzenji exhibited her bamboo-dyed fabrics at FOQ several years ago, and that was spectacular (dyeing fabrics white? what an idea!). This year she showed quilts by some of her students, using the range of fabrics she has designed.
The quilts have a traditional structure, but the fabrics (and close, parallel quilting) make them look very modern indeed.
I liked the edgy use of the selvedge -
This one, Hieroglyph, is by Yoshiko herself - it has a sheer layer with gold print (or foiling) over the fabric -
Her latest book, Quilt Creation, which shows these quilts, sold out quickly. It doesn't seem to be available online.

Workshop with Chunghie Lee

Chunghie Lee's specialty is pojagi, the techniques used in Korean wrapping cloths, and she brought plenty of examples -as well as some Korean silk that we could buy small quantities of -
This type of wrapping cloth is used mainly for wedding gifts - one of the ties slips through the "pocket" and the tab hangs decoratively. What a good way to wrap money!
The class in action. In the afternoon we had an hour of "silent stitching" - it was more than pleasant, it was wonderful to be able to focus, or drift, without anything happening that you needed to pay attention to.
Pojagi technique is about the seams - and about tiny stitches! Running stitch for the first row of stitching, then fold over and turn in the top layer, holding it down with whip stitch - a fell seam, in other words.
As well as practising several types of seams, we learned how to make the "bat knots" that are put at intersections of seams, for luck. Why luck? Because in the Chinese language (which influenced Korean to some extent) the word for bat, fu, is the same as the word for luck.
After all those glorious items, my humble result, made of somewhat unsuitable fabrics -
I show the closeup in response to a question asked in class, what side should the seams show on - answer: it doesn't matter. (They are going to be beautifully done on either side...)
Last but certainly not least, here is Chunghie wearing her hemp jacket with calligraphy, a translation of Proverbs 31:30 - "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised."
In her exhibition, the work centred on the theme of the "nameless woman" who made the beautiful work in the midst of a hard life in traditional society.

25 August 2009

Little Gems tombola - the final chapter

It's taking me a while to recover from the excitement of the Festival of Quilts, and especially from the amazing outcome of the Little Gems tombola. Yes, it was lots of work -- but well worth it, and so much fun too.

First of all, here's the stalwart team: Judy Fairless, me, Linda Bilsborrow, Hilary Gooding -- ready for action - but without our tiaras, yet. Before "start of business" on Thursday, 1600 or so Little Gems were on hand - and during FOQ, many more were brought in - quilters are generous people!Linda and I attended Chunghie Lee's workshop on Thursday (more of which later), and nipped out at lunchtime to see how things were going at the stand. We were thrilled to see the long queue for tickets -
and to see the delighted winners -
Of course not everyone won four LGs at once, and some people kept coming back again and again, determined to get lucky. In case you're wondering how a tombola works, numbered tickets go into a drum - £1 buys a ticket, and those ending in 0 or 5 are winners - so usually £5 will produce a lucky ticket. But not always.... We had three boxes in which the quilts were in random order - winners got to choose which box their prize came from.

At the end of the day, or rather at 2pm on Sunday, when we ran out of quilts in the boxes and people could choose from those on the wall, the takings amounted to over £9,500, to benefit the Quilt Museum in York. Thanks to everyone who contributed either by making quilts or by buying tickets - quilters ARE generous people!

If you've won a quilt, check via the Makers list on the website and leave a comment, please. Four people have contacted me, and I'm thrilled to know where my Little Gems have found homes.

24 August 2009

My final Little Gems

"Yellow Quest" started out as stitchery on dyed paper, years ago -"Indian Gems" is a recycled indian-style top, and has motifs rescued and reapplied, as well as paisley motifs made of beads or french knots. Kantha-stitching through the thin silk was a delight -
"28. Tulipa" was finished on Sunday morning, and I happened to be on the Little Gems stand when a young lad won it -
The clusters of three backstitches are used on pojagi borders; the central panel is black print on calico, quilt-stitched here and there around the edges of the motifs.

And now - onto something a bit bigger - 60x60cm, perhaps ...

23 August 2009

From here and there

More imagined interiors, of sorts - found in a scrapbook made for a course I took years ago, with the title "Sacred places" - well that's open to a lot of interpretations!

First, a beehive in the middle of a field beside the road at the top of a hill in Hungary - as soon as it appeared on the horizon, we knew we'd be stopping to take photographs -Walls somewhere tropical - the Caribbean? -
This building was bombed during the war in former Yugoslavia - people carrying on with their lives regardless -
Somewhere tropical again -
The caption says this is the golden shrine of Tutankamun on runners - I find it rather frightening -

18 August 2009

Festival of Quilts 2008

While sorting out photos on the computer I found the ones from last year's Festival of Quilts. Dorothy Caldwell's class has really stayed with me and has influenced what I've done in the art foundation course since then. So while I'm 6000 miles away from "all that", it's a good time to encounter her work in photos. And after the Little Gems tombola, I'm free to think about new work, perhaps a new direction, in my quilts and art in general.Here's a closeup of another piece by Dorothy Caldwell , showing the stitched marks -
Unfortunately I don't have the name of the maker of this piece of "marksmanship" --
It too leapt out to meet me where I seem to be now.

24 hours in pictures

The "24 hours in pictures" feature in The Guardian's daily email version has about a dozen terrific images from around the world. (Receive it free by registering here.)

This one particularly caught my eye - the lacy structure, subtle colours, and mysterious happenings.Donetsk, Ukraine: Smoke goes up from a burning warehouse containing fireworks
Photograph: Alexander Khudoteply/AFP/Getty Images

17 August 2009


Jan handed over her applique picture of Glencoe for me to turn into two Little Gems. After binding the first, I realised we needed a "before" picture, so here's a reconstruction -The first one was straightforward: cut and bind -
But the part on the left needed "something more" - how about some fantastic flowers? Vivian suggested using the salvaged beads, and adding some red binding to pick up the colour.
And please overlook the carefully placed loose thread - I was in too much of a hurry to photograph this!

Early one morning