We move forward from two successful exhibitions in 2016 in Prague and in the USA to the challenge of an exhibition in the Netherlands in the Autumn. We continue to work on A2 sized pieces in portrait format and will be producing four pieces over the year with the theme of 'Freedom'. An essential part of our art is working in series to a common format which does give us all a framework for our creative endeavours.

Sunday 30 December 2018

Stretching Tradition 2018 Pieces "Canadian Voyage"

Leaving it to the last minute as usula!
Started these pieces months ago but only got around to getting them near a finished state today.

My inspiration was a trip to Canada earlier this year. I used a selection of some of my favourite photos from the trip, played about with them in Photoshop and used a photo transfer method to get the images onto fabric. I wanted to try and achieve a minimalist feel to the pieces, I had to restrain myself from adding more layers of images, paint, stencils, etc.!

Canadian Voyage 1

Canadian Voyage 2

Canadian Voyage 3

Canadian Voyage 4

Saturday 13 January 2018

 My inspiration for 2017 theme "Freedom" was President Franklin D. Roosevelt's speech also known as the four freedom speech. In the speech, during the WWII time, he made a break with the tradition of US non-intervention policy. He outlined the U.S. role in helping allies already engaged in warfare.
I took these four fundamental freedoms and incorporate it's motive into quilts by breaking technical rules and use torn fabrics (Erika Carter's style) to create the quilt itself. In addition, I choose fabrics that – in my opinion – reflect the spirit of the freedoms people ought to enjoy.
Freedom of speech


Freedom of worship

Freedom from want

Freedom from fear

Shoshi Rimer



Wednesday 10 January 2018

FREEDOM 1, 2, 3, 4

What does "Freedom" mean to me?  Are any of us actually "free"?  If we are not "free", how do we obtain our "freedom"?  And what is this "freedom" we are seeking?

I decided to focus on a bird.  Birds seem to be icons of freedom--"free as a bird".

My quilts--Freedom 1, Freedom 2, Freedom 3 and Freedom 4--focus on our friend the bird and his attempt to find his "freedom".  In Freedom 1, he has found a way to escape his cage, but the weather is stormy and the going is rough.  His journey doesn't get any easier.  Freedom 2 shows him flying over the noisy, dirty city with its confusing lights and hidden dangers.  He flies past an old power plant in Freedom 3, dodging belching steam and polluted air.  Finally, in Freedom 4, he arrives in "Paradise" with its clean air and water.  His friend is already there, waiting for him.  Now he can live his life to its full potential which to me represents total freedom.

Thanks to the Voyage Art Textiles group for allowing me a few extra days to complete and post photos of my quilts.

Freedom 1

Freedom 2
Freedom 3
Freedom 4

Tuesday 9 January 2018

Light on the Pool

I interpreted the Freedom theme to be freedom for me to develop an idea from source material that has been brooding  for a while.

I have always admired the photography of  Edward Steichen , a 19th Century Photographer whose work helped transform photography to an art form. I particularly liked his images of  pools  with light playing on the surfaces. We have a small stream in the garden which feeds into a lake next door and I have taken loads of photographs in all types of light through different seasons - so Freedom was an opportunity to take the colours and tones from some of these images I had taken over the years to produce abstract pieces based on the images.

The pieces are all done in silk - I love silk, despite its very unforgiving nature when you stitch it! It has such a luminosity which it retains when dyed and discharged. The pieces were dyed with procion then partly discharged and some pieces over dyed. The first two pieces were done whole cloth, the second two were strip pieced. I used the machine quilting to  try to create some movement on the water surface.

Detail of machine quilting

Autumn Light with copper beech leaves on pool surface

Strong spring light on the pool

Light in winter 1

 Light in winter II


Sunday 31 December 2017

"Saoirse" Freedom pieces

Kind of hard to believe that a whole year has passed and tomorrow 2018 begins. No doubt I'll be making lots of lists tomorrow in my shiny new 2108 diary, yearly goals, ongoing projects and deadlines but today I need to finish off 2017 commitments! So here I am with my Freedom pieces that just got finished yesterday.

My inspiration for this pieces is personal freedom, issues and obstacles that I have overcome over the years from living with conflict (in many forms), dealing with sexism and finding ways of dealing with gender bias, freedom from self imposed issues and freedom from financial worries.

I make a lot of quilts, all sizes, and there are only so many you can give away or store, so I thought I might try working on an old quilt and using that are the starting point for these pieces.

Four pieces together allowing original image to be seen
Please excuse the quality of the photo!

The original quilt is a combination of hand marbled fabrics and a paper lamination of an image I put together in Photoshop, a computer design program, with layers cut away in places to expose the underlying pattern.

"Saoirse 1"

"Saoirse 2"

"Saoirse 3"

"Saoirse 4"

I decided to use text and keep the additions simple to allow the main pieces to shine. "Saoirse" is Irish for "Freedom" and I used the word for freedom is many languages in white thread on white fabric.

Friday 29 December 2017

Temporary Posting away from home!

Away from home until January 2nd - I have finished my pieces but not able to post photos of finished pieces on the blog as they are on my home PC - but I have some poor photos on my phone that I took before the bindings were finished - so I am doing a temporary post of the four pieces to show willing as there is nothing else up for this year yet!  Will post finished piece photos with information about the Freedom pieces when I get back next week.


Tuesday 12 December 2017

Houston Trip

I caught up with Betty when I was over at the Houston Show, Betty had a number of pieces on show including the piece below which was a tribute to her mother, Anna Marie Petersen who is 100 years old and also an artist.

Betty was happy for me to share the piece with the group


Monday 16 October 2017

Work in progress

I have been a lot less active creatively this year as time has been needed on other activities - all very enjoyable but only now trying to catch up with work I have planned out but not executed. I am involved in a contemporary embroidery  exhibition next year at a local Art Gallery and that is taking time, both in the organisation and in the creation of some pieces of work.                                                                                                                                                      
 My Voyage pieces are at last on the starting blocks - I am working on developing some of my watercolour sketches  to use on  fabric using thickened Procion dyes - we will see how that works out! The sketches are from Norfolk on the East Coast of England where I go every year to sketch and paint with a watercolour artists group.

I am also using the East Coast as a basis for some felted and stitch pieces for the Art Gallery Exhibition. This piece is based on  a sketch I did of the tidal salt marshes at Blakeney Point in Norfolk and is worked on linen with dyed threads and silk strips felted in and is now ready for some more stitching.

Looking forward to seeing everyone's pieces this year - I had better get a move on with mine!



I was glad to see Paula's e-mail this morning about making an entry to the blog.  It's a good idea and a worthy goal for each of us to make entries and regular intervals.  We are separated by so many miles and time zones.  I think the blog brings us much closer together. 

Like Paula, I'm busy working on this year's Voyage Art Quilts.  I have two pretty much finished and the last two are designed and ready to put together.  My goal is to finish them before the first of December--because the first two weeks in December I'll be appearing in another play.  This time I'm playing the Mother Superior in "Agnes of God".  We started rehearsals two weeks ago and we are well into developing our characters.  I'm trying to relax about learning my lines (and I have alot of them).  As I have found with all of the other plays in which I have appeared, the lines just seem to be there because of the rehearsal process.  Sure, I have to make a conscious effort to memorize, but it's amazing how much of the play is just "in my head".  People always ask how we remember so many lines, but the play is about telling a story and that what the dialogue does--especially when you take the time to get to know your character.  Not being Catholic, I had a great deal of research to do about nuns and convent life.  I'm lucky because the girl who is playing Agnes, Megan Holcomb, is a devout Catholic.  Megan and her mother took me with them to the Easter vigil at a convent located about 30 miles west of Surprise.  The convent is for a contemplative order of nuns and they are in the process of building the convent and the church.  Because they are a contemplative order, they spend their time in prayer and meditation and remain quite isolated from the outside world.  The convent itself is sitting in a beautiful spot in the middle of the desert west of Phoenix and the end of a six-mile dirt road.  The Easter vigil was beautiful and fascinating and I was able to meet two of the nuns which was a real honor, since I've never met a nun.  I was so impressed by the solitude and peace that they have chosen for themselves.

The next day, Easter Sunday, I was slammed back into my own reality when our puppy, Ziggy, broke one of his front toes as he bounded out of his crate.  He spent a month in a cast that covered his whole right front leg and which he couldn't get wet.  We had to cover his cast with a plastic bag every time he got a drink of water (he's notoriously sloppy with his drinking) and every time he went outside to do his business.  We made it through, though, and Ziggy is a happy, healthy 18-month-old Airedale Terrier puppy.  Here is a picture of Ziggy with his cast.  I made the green cover out of windbreaker fabric and he has one of his "boots" on to protect the bottom of his cast. 

My stepson, Jeremy, is a tattoo artist living in Oregon.  He and his wife and their two sons just moved to Hood River, Oregon, which is a small town right on the Columbia River about 40 miles from Portland.  They moved just as the big wildfires were starting right across the river from Hood River.  We were very worried about them, but they didn't have to evacuate and after a couple of weeks the fires passed them by.  We will travel to Hood River in a few days
to go to our oldest grandson's fourth birthday party and then it's back to Surprise where I will dive into quilting and back into rehearsing for my play.

I'm really enjoying working on this year's Voyage quilts.  It took me some time to come up with a series of quilts about "Freedom", but I think my quilts will express that theme quite well.  I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's quilts!

Tuesday 14 February 2017

Reflections on Water

Thème 2016 "Treasures"

Sparkles on the Leman Lake are alive thanks to the light which changes according to the time of the day, the colours of the sky, the weather and the movements of water due to boats, wind, fishes or water birds.

The water can be different tones of grey, blue or green, mostly at dawn. It offers the viewer a new surprise every morning.

These 4 quilts are a part of my study on water movements and games of light.

Elisabeth Nacente de la Croix