2014 The Journey continues

Our experiences as a group over the last two years has help develop and inform our direction of travel - our first exhibition this year (Veldhoven October 2013) will be followed by two more in 2014; London in early April for the 2012 pieces and Beaujolais in Mid April for the 2013 series.

We move forward in 2014 maintaining the same size for our work (A3 30x42 cm or 12 x17 inches); after some discussion the group has determined that an open theme of 'The earth' will be the theme for this year. This will give us each the opportunity to interpret the theme in our own way to produce a series of six pieces, one every two months.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Just add butter and pepper- April 2014

Just add butter and pepper- April 2014

Surrounding our village there are several fields in which asparagus (asperges) is grown. It is ready to be cut during the months of March and April, using an asparagus knife. We prefer ours to be green, slender and tender, cooked lightly and eaten with butter and pepper.

The asparagus and triangles are fused to the background fabric, the blade of the knife is painted and the lettering machine embroidered. I love machine quilting, so there is lots of that.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

I have choses Trees of Africa for my theme for this year,

The first one is the Baobab.

The Baobab is also known as “the tree of Life” or “The Cream of Tartar Tree “or the Brood Boom.

Recent carbon dating done on some of the old large tree has shown that they have dated back about 3000 years.

 The folk stories about the Baobab tree are interesting. One story is that the Baobab tree was not very happy when all the other trees around him were beautiful trees ,so  he complained to God. This made god very angry , and he uprooted the Baobab and re planted him upside down!!

The fruit of the Baobab (cream of tartar) is rich in Vitiam C , antioxidants and probiotics

The Baobab is a good source of water for the indigenous people. They drill a hole in the bark and then plug it with mud, which they can remove later to  obtain more water .

The leaves (which are rich in Vitiam C and potassium tartrate) are boiled in water and left to soak. Once drained., this  water used in small doses,  can be used to help cure malaria, asthma, coughs and other chest ailments. Some people believe that it also helps prevent diabetes, arthritis, allergies, heart conditions and ageing. How much of this is true.. is unknown !!!

The young roots can be cooked and  eaten.

Elephants , Kudu, Nyala and Impala enjoy eating the leaves of the Baobab tree.

Fibre from the inner bark is used to make rope, baskets and nets.

Bees, bee hives, are often found in the hollowed out areas of the Baobab.


Friday, 11 April 2014

At last here is my first piece.  Within the theme of Earth I've chosen to create pieces reflecting the cloth that 'comes from the Earth' in Africa.  This piece is Barkcloth.  I have made a representation of a Mbuti barkcloth created by the Mbuti 'pygmies' of the Ituri forest. A place and people that I have lucky enough to see and meet.  The barkcloth is made by hammering and stretching the inner bark of a tree, it can be a from a number of different tree types, and then it is painted with a wonderful variety of symbols - all, of course, with meaning and significance.  These kind of cloths were often worn as ceremonial loincloths.  The barkcloth I used was sourced in Uganda.  I layered it onto a background quilt and stitched the designs by hand and machine.

Friday, 28 March 2014


My most recent aerial view is of the beach. For the sand I used a piece of rust dyed fabric, for the sea several blues. The breaking waves are made from thin strips of scrim stitched down with seed beads. Some time ago I had bought a set of buttons in the shape of shells and starfish. I cut off the shank and glued them down with E6000.

Monday, 24 March 2014

'Spirit of the Earth'
For this years theme of 'Earth' I have chosen to use ancient rock art. This was after seeing photographs taken in Kimberly, Australia by my nephew. This quilt was influenced by a Wandjina painting of a rain and cloud spirit who created or influenced the landscape and it's inhabitants. It is said to be 3,800 years old!

Monday, 17 March 2014

Old Amsterdam

Old Amsterdam is inspired by a 1593 map of Amsterdam. The title has two meanings as Old Amsterdam is also a cheese with a rich flavor. The cutting out of the many canals was a fiddly task, I used an interfacing as this would not fray. Ink was added to give it some color and lots of stitching to represent the buildings. The blue and green fabrics are my own hand dyed ones.

 Detail of the city centre:

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Earth Marks - Beaker people

This year I want to work on marks made by early man on the earth, from the incised simple marks on early pottery and caves to the marks made by early peoples and pilgrims as they carved out trails and routes over the planet.

My first piece is based on the pots made by the Beaker people who lived in and around Europe and North Africa around the time of the Bronze age. I used a reference pot from the Lincoln Museum as a starting point for the shape and copied the incised decoration from around the pot surface. I wanted the images of the decoration to appear to 'float' over the surface of the pots, rather than have a more figurative form of decoration on each pot.

As usual, I started with white calico that I dyed and then used Inktense blocks to shape and colour the pots. (I really enjoy working with these blocks, the colour pigment is so good and they fix well to cotton.)
I used transparent fabric paint to colour the incised blocks after stitching around each shape. There is not a huge amount of stitching on the pieces, only the outlines of the pots and the decorative incised shapes, but wanted to have a more 'painterly'effect on this piece.