The journey continues 2015

The Journey continues..............

Our experiences as a group over the last three years has helped develop and inform our direction of travel as a group. The Voyage Exhibitions this year in London in April for the 2012 pieces and in Beaujolais in April for the 2013 series were well received.

We go forward as a group into our fourth year with the challenges of working our pieces in series at A2 size. The working theme for this year is 'Nature Abstracted'; we will be producing one piece of work every three months, four in total over the year.

As an added challenge this year a number of the group are preparing additional work for a group exhibit at the Taiwan International Show in 2016.

Our work from 2013 was exhibited at the ICHF Show in March at the NEC Birmingham and our 2014 work is travelling to Minnesota in the USA as a special exhibit.

Saturday, 15 August 2015


The inspiration for my 4th quilt of this year was the cattail. Not the animal part, but the water plant:-). And as the theme is abstracted nature, I gave it a twist. Here is how my version looks like:

I used my own hand dyed and snow dyed fabrics, plus Ugandan barkcloth for the stems.

Originally I had posted a greyscale quilt as the first one for this year, but I made a replacement for that one. Here are the other 3 quilts I made for this theme:

Thursday, 13 August 2015


Festival of Quilts is over and now I am finishing quilts.
I have been working on a set of quilts using counterchange principles - light on a dark background and dark on a light background.
I now have a nature abstracted counterchange series

Now I have to decide which one of the above  I will display at Prague. If you look carefully you can see the positive and the negative, making 2 different quilts

I have just come back from teaching in South Africa. There are guinea fowl images everywhere. So I took a simple shape of a guinea fowl and made lots of drawings. I printed the guinea fowl shapes that I cut out as well as printing the backgrounds i.e. the negative shapes, then added some blue and red paint

For my final piece I was inspired by simple tree shapes and again used the positive and negatives but this time added some paint using a stencil.


Sunday, 26 July 2015

Momento Flori- Taiwan

Have a small bit of an obsession with skulls and Memento Mori (Latin translation: "remember (that you have) to die"). 
Memento Mori is the medieval Latin theory and practice of reflection on mortality, especially as a means of considering the vanity of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits. It is related to the ars moriendi ("The Art of Dying") and related literature. Memento Mori has been an important part of ascetic disciplines as a means of perfecting the character, by cultivating detachment and other virtues, and turning the attention towards the immortality of the soul and the afterlife.

I think previous generations had a healthier approach to death than we have! We hide from it and try to evade, when it's as necessary as breathing and something we all face. As a society we elevate the young and beautiful and marginalise the older and wiser. Our arrogance and greed is destroying the air we breath.
In art, memento mori are artistic or symbolic reminders of mortality.
Growing up in a strong Catholic country, I was surrounded by religious symbolism and paraphernalia which can have a very strong effect.
I'm also a country girl at heart and a highly sensitive introvert, I'm happiest when out in nature and away from crowds. The natural world nourishes the soul and I'm always mesmerised by the beauty and design of the natural world.
It makes me so sad to see what we are doing to the wonderful planet, I fear for what my children will have to face.
So my Taiwan piece is "Memento Flori" a reflection of the beauty of the natural world and the transient nature of all things.

I used a new photo transfer method that I'm playing with and used images of natural forms from Ernst Haeckel's "Art Forms in Nature" which I photoshopped.

Had great fu playing around and building up the design!

I also looked at the work of Giuseppe Arcimboldo, one of my favourites.

Finally got round to stitching!

Close up

Some colour added.
Final version ready to go!

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Gaia's Blessings - Taiwan

I neglected to post a photograph of my quilt for the Taiwan show.  Here is the photograph together with my artist's statement about the piece.

          My quilt, “Gaia’s Blessings”, was inspired by the Gaia Theory (or Gaia Hypothesis), which was formulated by the chemist James Lovelock and co-developed by the microbiologist Lynn Margulis in the 1970’s.  The Gaia Theory proposes that organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a self-regulating, complex system that contributes to maintaining the conditions for life on the planet.  The theory suggests that organisms co-evolve with their environment.  In some versions of Gaia philosophy, all life forms are considered part of one single living planetary being called Gaia.  In this view, the atmosphere, the seas, and the terrestrial crust would be results of interventions carried out by Gaia through the co-evolving diversity of living organisms. 

Lovelock believed that the increase in human population and the environmental impact of their activities, such as the multiplication of greenhouse gases may cause negative feedbacks in the environment and that this could bring an extremely accelerated global warming.  He and Andrew Watson developed the mathematical model “Daisyworld” in which temperature regulation arises from a simple ecosystem consisting of two species whose activity varies in response to the planet’s environment.  “Daisyworld” examines the energy budget of a planet populated by two different types of plants:  black daisies and white daisies.  The color of the daisies influences the reflection of light by the planet such that black daisies absorb light and warm the planet, while white daisies reflect light and cool the planet.  On “Daisyworld” competition between the daisies (based on the effects of temperature on growth rates) leads to a shifting balance of daisy populations that tends to favor a planetary temperature close to the optimum for daisy growth.

          Look around the next time you take a walk in nature.  Do you notice an abundance of white flowers?  


Saturday, 18 July 2015


To me, the cocoon represents "potential".  In this quilted cocoon, we can see the bold colors of the soon-to-emerge butterfly that is depicted in my first quilt of this series, "Mirage".  I was deeply impressed by an article I read recently about how the numbers of the Monarch Butterfly have decreased in their annual migration from the United States to Mexico.  Where the fields in Michoacan, Mexico were once covered with more than 60 million Monarch Butterflies during their annual winter migration, due to destruction of the Monarch's habitat, these fields now host vastly smaller numbers of butterflies, some say now only in the hundreds of thousands.  What a sad world this would be if we lost the Monarch Butterfly.  That article inspired my slight change of perspective for our theme for this year and my four quilts will depict, in abstraction, the life cycle of the butterfly.

The beautiful hand-dyed background fabric for this quilt was purchased from Carol R. Eaton at the SAQA Fiberlandia conference this spring.  The quilt was constructed using fusible web applique and was machine quilted.


Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Peas in a pod

Here is a picture of my 3rd quilt for this year:

I have called it 'Peas in a pod', although I admit I have never seen peas in this color :-), but is that not the fun of an abstracted nature theme. All fabrics used are my own hand dyed / hand printed ones.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Ildiko's Taiwan piece

A few weeks ago I found loads of pictures on Caryl Bryer Fallert's page about a trip that they made to the Galapagos Islands as an item on their bucket list. One album was full of photos of blue-footed boobies, about which I had never heard before. I did a bit of research about these funny looking birds, and produced this quilt.
The background fabrics are colours of the bird itself: lot of blues with a bit of white, grey and brown. The text is a bit of cliché I know but could not come up with anything more original. I made a stencil of this, stitched it first, and then painted with acrylics. The quilting in the background are all blue feet (was rather boring I must say). In the left upper corner I quilted the outline of a booby in a funny position (based on a real photo), and painted its feet turquoise.