I had some pieces of umbellifer printed Evelon remaining from the textile book based on these flowers, as well as sun printed fabric, so decided to make a quilt. The central background area is sun printed, the top and bottom are procaine dyed. I painted the binding with the same red paint I had used in the sun printing. I used free machine embroidery, some hand stitching and french knots on the appliquéd Evelon pieces before quilting the whole piece.
December journal quilt
I got up early one morning when the moon was full and the fields covered in frost, full of reflected light and shadow.
The hand dyed foreground has been stitched, rolled over with white acrylic paint and then slashed between the stitching, cut away in places to reveal the layers below. The sky is a piece of batik cloth and the moon is cut from painted Bondaweb, the trees made from a foam stamp with added stitching. I used a piece of shiny fabric for the river. I feel the piece conveys the slightly unreal feeling of that morning.
I recently found some photos I had taken last summer of some hydrangeas whose colours particularly appealed to me. I felt I needed to make something colourful to cheer me up in this drab weather.
The centre piece is five layers of different fabrics, varying in colour from blue through purples to pinks. I’ve used tiny pieces of yellow fabric and yellow beads in the centre of some of the flowers to represent the stamens. I stencilled the flowers in the borders, using Markel paint sticks and appliquéd further flowers, using more beads here and there. All the fabrics are hand dyed.
Layers of decay
There are a lot of leaves still hanging on the trees, there is colour there too, but those on the ground are disintegrating into muddy piles with all the rain we have had.
The background is a piece of leaf printed fabric, overprinted with leaf shapes cut from compressed foam, using acrylic paint – a mixture of gold, green gold and cadmium red. I then made leaves from silk paper, stitching the shapes onto this using a hoop. These are attached to the piece only at the tops, with a piece of velour yarn snaking between them.
An abundance of perry pears
There is a steady thud as the pears hit the ground. Unfortunately the local farmer is not making perry this year and when I tried to juice some with my cheap juice maker it was not successful. The background fabric is lightly dyed cotton/linen sheeting that I had rollered over with acrylic paint with threads wrapped around the roller. It was evocative of the gnarled trunk of the tree. I cut open a pear and printed the cut side on to the fabric, the central seed star clearly visible. The three appliqued pears are cut from a crinkly velour. I coloured in the branches and leaves with intense pencil and water, adding colour to the trunk as well. I then used then added machine quilting which has given a slightly embossed feeling to the piece, though this is not conveyed very well in the photo. Finally, I enhanced some areas with white Markal painstick to give some light and shade.
We came back from a hot south of France holiday to find the Autumn colours beginning to take hold in the garden – predominantly pinks, purples and reds of Michaelmas daisies and dahlias. But the splashes of yellow rudbeckias seemed to be the strongest colours, reinforced by the warm sunshine of an unusually dry September, with temperatures in the 20s.
I painted a piece of calico with yellow fabric paint which I dried and heat set. Having pressed the flowers for a couple of days to flatten them, I painted the fabric with Setacolour cobalt blue, positioned the flowers and left the piece in the sun to dry. I also added a few bits of salt around the edges. Once the colour was set, I outlined the flowers, used compressed sponge and acrylic paint to add colour to the flower centres and then sewed beads in these. Finally I quilted all around the flowers and stems.
The last allium standing
I left the alliums in the garden because the seed heads are so architectural I am loth to remove them. But finally they had to go. But that’s not quite the end of them as they come indoors into vases or into the studio to be propped up in odd places.
The background fabric is felt which I sun-dyed, together with a piece of silk and a piece of cotton, in an old jar of pickled beetroot that still had some vinegar and bits of beetroot in it. I topped it up with more vinegar water and left the capped jar in the sunshine for a month. The allium was stitched on to a piece of silk organza over the felt and the organza was then cut away and slashed in places.
July journal quilt – Summer butterflies
There are so many butterflies in the garden, I felt I wanted to turn my piece of compost dyed fabric with its unexpected butterfly images into a quilt for this month. The collaged butterfly at the bottom comes from a scarf I bought in Portabello market a while ago. I made three stencils and used these with Markell paint sticks and then added stitching around the images. It took me ages to decide how to quilt the background until I ‘invented’ a profusion of distant butterfly wing shapes.
This next quilt started out as a sun print, using Pebeo seta colour transparent paints. I painted a landscape and laid on various dried plant material. But it didn’t look right, so I added more paint to the images, some collage and then machine and hand stitch.
It had to be poppies this month. They are popping up all over the garden and of course poppies feature heavily this year with the commemorations of D-Day and WW1.
I cut the poppies and border from a paper napkin, using bondaweb to fix this to the fabric background. I used poppy leaves to print the background, together with a stencil of the bud and stem, using Markel paintstick to apply the colour. I then stitched.
I didn’t buy any new tulips last Autumn, but many of the previous year’s “Venetian” collection from Sarah Raven came up again as well as some other bright magenta pink ones that come up year after year and are a fluted shape rather than the traditional cup shape.
I knew I had to something with them for this month’s quilt and decided to do an abstract piece, concentrating on conveying the richness of the colours. I used all silk pieces of fabric. The centre piece is made by sewing strips of fabric together, applying this to paper-backed bondaweb. A grid of squares is drawn on to the paper and then diagonals on to the squares, in both directions, forming new squares. You then cut along these diagonals, arrange your pieces on to a background fabric and iron on (paper removed of course).
The wonder of tulips
I also made a cover for my current A5 sketchbook:
I used my embellisher to add various fabrics (a lot of silk scraps) to a background piece of dark blue felt. I then stitched on various multi-coloured silk yarns.
Coming home down the lane a few days ago, the fields were full of oil seed rape in full flower. Such a vivid colour.
April fields of gold
I dyed a piece of thin calico using a strong lemon yellow solution which is the exact colour of the rape. The fields have lines where the tractor has been, they are not one block of colour and there are trees and shrubs bordering them. I wanted a totally abstract approach which conveyed the impression I get when looking at the fields.