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.

Monday, 31 December 2012

Late Autumn flurry

Whilst out and about in London having a break from meetings - I went for a walk in Green Park on a brooding dark November day - the sky was a heavy steel blue and the wind got up in gusts sending the leaf debris in spirals then falling down to earth almost confetti like. The colours of the maple leaves as they swirled around  was spectacular against the sky. So having run out of time - used these remembered images  as a source for the final piece of 2012.

The back ground is hand dyed pima cotton which was machine quilted - the leaf debris is hand dyed silks of different weights which I have raw edge appliqued in place. A very quick piece to meet  the deadline but needs must!


Made it!

I aimed to finish quilt nr. 6 before midnight tonight and am very happy to present to you :
"Aniseed". I was on a creative roll the last few days, mostly triggered by the course I am doing at an art academy in Kalmthout. I had some catching up to do with the drawing assignments because I had missed a few lessons while traveling. As you all know, one thing leads to another, and having decided on "seeds and pods" as my theme for 2013, I got started on Aniseed as my final quilt for this year.

I do apologise for the quality of the photo's, but it is very dark and gloomy here. I painted the seeds on cotton with fabric paint. Then I selected some fabrics for the background : a monoprinted piece, the 2 light pieces which were done ages ago using flour resist and fabric paint and the orange piece was hand dyed and printed.

Sunday, 30 December 2012


Run Jump Fly

This is my wish for all our creative endeavours for 2013! In fact, I think we are all “up and running” already, so I hope we will be able to make that leap so that our art will really start to fly!
I have been taking an on-line class with Alisa Burke to help me become freer and less contained in my designing – on-line courses are becoming quite my thing, being a little isolated down here – and my last Voyage quilt for 2012 reflects this. I had a lot of fun placing pieces of some of my favourite fabrics and hand painted the words which were appliquéd with free zigzag stitching. For some of the background quilting I echoed the design on the fabric or drew and doodled happily with the machine, all in black thread.
Having really enjoyed our first Voyage year, I am looking forward to an exciting 2013 for us all.

Friday, 21 December 2012


"I am late , so very very late" said the March hare, but I will get there before 2013!
I have already mentioned this piece on my blog and in a sense it was a tryout as I am working on a book about France, but I wanted to try, my travellers' blanket type stitching on a piece of ivory silk to see whether it warranted making it bigger kind of inspired by provence bouti but not quite. I do like the result ( though I didn't until the last stitch went in) but I have decided that the piece is at present uncharacteristic of my style and what i do. Every now and then you do have to try something different.So it does represent a little of where I am in , and that is not in ivory dupioni!However I will try it on coloured dupioni silk and I think I may make a stamp of some kind to stamp onto some coloured Thai silk scraps someone once sent me- that feel smore like what I do. I do like the quiet presence of the ivory piece and that perhaps is also a reflection of where I find myself  at the moment.

 The first photos is without all the stitching and the photo below is of it all stitched and of course a detail photo!

It's entirely hand stitched with rayon threads which I get from the Spinners and Weavers Guild in the UK- i love those threads but was a bit gobsmacked when they increased the price by  more than 200 % this last year.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Voyage Number Six. Bits and Bobs.

For this piece I went back into my collection of fabrics and embellishments from Africa. Loving Rome but missing Africa. We are also making preparations for Graham's retirement, buying a house in Yorkshire! Traveling for 3 weeks to visit friends and our eldest daughter in Zimbabwe and Johannesbrg over the holidays. Making plans, arranging visits from friends for next year (we seem to almost run a bed and breakfast!) With so much going on I enjoyed working with my bits and bobs quietly, in my space for a while. Bark cloth, cotton fabrics and banana leaf covered wires. Mostly hand stitched.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Last piece for this year

To be honest my last piece for this year has been finished some time ago, but I forgot to upload it. For the background I used a very busy complex cloth which I created in a workshop with Jane Dunnewold. I sliced the fabric and stitched very thin strips of dark grey fabric in between. This I repeated till I was happy with the result. On top of it I appliqued my favorite flower the poppy.
Working with the theme given for this year was for me rather difficult. I prefer to have a more clear cut theme. For coming year my theme will be trees.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

A late Fall

Well, I have finally had enough sun to photograph my 5th piece. I am late, and appologize. I hope to have #6 done before the new year.

This piece is inspired by one of my school projects. We learnt how to so block printing, and I found I really enjoyed the process. I use a thin foam with an adhesive backing for my blocks. It is easy to cut and prints beautifully. After doing the printing, I did some hand embroidery for accents, and then using lurex threads in the sewing machine, I accented the leaves.

Living in Ghana, I hadn't seen a fall for many years, and this year, it was wonderful to watch the leaves turn all the wonderful fall colours. It also fit in perfectly with the colour theory we were learning. I learnt that if you mix red and green, you get a brown, and there is was before my eyes on many bushes. Now we are into rain and cold, but the fall colours still warm my work.

Monday, 3 December 2012

On My Hill
Here we are - before I get lost in other things - number 6! 
The fern fabric was printed while I was with Laura last year.  She gave me a screen printing lesson.  Where we live our hills are covered with beautiful ferns.  I love the colours, and especially as they change from summer to autumn.  So this is a good 'where am I' piece for me.  And feeling comfortable back working on my machine again! I'll keep plugging away at the handwork - but I just find using my sewing machine so much more comfortable. Now - onwards and upwards to next year...

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Just in time

This has been crazy! Many things have happened and it's a miracle that I got quilt nr.5 done before tomorrow's deadline, or should I say the absolute extended deadline! When I made my first quilt for Voyageart, I got my inspiration from my love of stones and rocks and their absence in my current surroundings. I had no idea then that before the end of the year we would have bought a plot of land in South Africa where rocks and mountains are the main features of the landscape!  

I went back to my first image and played around  with a piece of batik which I did a while back. I divivded the surface with the navy blue and lime green strips and machine embroidered the larger rocks. I then created a shadowy zebra-like image and overlayed with stenciled smaller stones, which I machine embroidered as well. And that's it : my 5th quilt.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

All my grand plans of having plenty of spare time while travelling in Ethiopia to work on my fifth piece went to pot.  There was so much to do and very little down time - and especially during daylight hours!  I did get this started while there - and almost finished - but not quite!  My first piece that is all hand quilted.  To be honest I'm not that pleased with it, I really did struggle to come up with ideas for the stitching.  I prepared the quilt before leaving - the windows are made from Ethiopian 'Gabi' cloth a lovely soft handspun and woven cotton.  The embellisments are odd bits of beads and, of course, Ethiopian crosses.  The top one is from Lalibella - where the rock-hewn churches are - incredible! The other's I'm not sure!  So - apologies for being so late.  I hope to do better with my last piece.  We have a show next week - and then nothing in the diary until next year.  So all being well - some time to catch up.

Saturday, 17 November 2012


I sat down and thought about all the fabulous places I have been in 2012 and realised that I hadn't produced a piece of work to remember my trip to Petra in July so here it is.
It is painted on canvas with added textured paint, applique and machine embroidery. I have included some newsprint that I brought back from my trip.
Looking at it, it brings back so many fabulous memories for me, I can just feel all that beautiful sunshine, music, dust and good company

Friday, 9 November 2012

Autumn in Tel-Aviv

Ten years ago, UNICEF announced Tel Aviv as "The White City" because of the world's largest concentration of Bauhaus style houses in this city. Today, in many parts of Tel Aviv rise skyscrapers made of steel and glass, but I love to walk around those streets where you can still see the old houses painted in white. One grim gray day of early autumn was my inspiration for making this voyage quilt.

Shoshi Rimer

Sunday, 4 November 2012

"Branching Out"

I've been working on this quilt on and off for some time.  It is one of my favorite quilting processes and I thought it would be a fitting "last piece" for my 2012 Voyage.  It is reversible, using applique on the front (green) and reverse applique on the back (purple).  A friend helped me with the outline of the tree, but everything else is my own.  At first I was skeptical of my color choices, but now that I see the finished piece, I think the colors work well on both sides.  As I was working to finally finish the piece, I felt as though I had closed a circle in my art quilting life and began to look forward to next year.  I just relaxed and enjoyed stitching and quilting; I added some organza to several of the leaves to give them some "shimmer" and help them stand out.  I have been so busy finishing quilts for two quilt shows and performing in a play, that it was nice to relax and meditate on this piece and let it take me to the stepping off point for our next year of Voyage.


Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Fireflies 2

Still working on the fireflies images - dyed and over dyed the base fabric (cobalt and marine violet) before screen printing with discharge paste then over printing with a mix of bronze powder and ormaline. Used a weak solution of discharge paste to lighten central 'glow' area then used some treasure wax on top to  give the 'glow' effect. Stitched again with the holographic thread on the discharged areas - I really am trying to tame this thread! Both makes of  the holographic thread I have tried (Wonderfil and Madeira) have produced a very stretchy filament which is very fussy about the thread tension!) the metallic thread by contrast on the gold areas seemed a dream to work with!   I was keen to do a design that reflected the 'ball' shape of groups of these insects as they swarm around - but this was not easy with our current 10x20 format!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

To bee or not to be

To bee or not to be......

Been experimenting with screen printing, using some screens bought at the Festival of Quilts this summer. The plants have been over printed three times starting with a light greyish paint and getting darker, to give an idea of depth and shadowing. The bees were printed with a mix of black, copper and gold paint. The background was pieced with hand dyed and commercial cotton. The bees are outline quilted to make them more puffy and the plants were loosely quilted over the top. Straight line quilting in viscose threads for their shine in three colours for flattening the background.
Off to Houston next week so hope to come back with new ideas and inspiration!

Voyage 5. Hole Cloth Quilt

I love to do hand quilting and have made several traditional style whole cloth quilts over the years. So far I have made all my voyage pieces by machine and I have realised that, to be complete, a hand quilted piece should be included. I didn't want it to be traditional. I have used a photo of a model of the structure of pollen I took on a walk in Kew Gardens as inspiration for the pattern. Then, with encouragement from Magie and her friend Isobel, during a recent visit to Yorkshire, I added holes! I have particularly enjoyed making this one. Thanks to Graham for the photos!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Fussen to Ripponden

At the beginning of September Mark and I cycled from Fussen (in Germany - close to the Austrian border). It was about 1400kms. We cycled first along the Romantic Road cycle route and then joined the Rhein Radweg. It was generally flat so we could cycle at least 100kms a day. I wanted to make a long thin quilt so made 2 quilts 5" x 20" and have joined them together. I drew it all out carefully choosing buildings, significant things we saw along the way. I made each quilt in white with dark brown stitching and then added the colour afterwards. I coloured the sky to match the weather. 

Friday, 5 October 2012

The Sands of Time - Kelly

It is actually 11:59 pm as I start writing this post. So I'm only 4 days late!  Whew....that was close!

Time is a recurring theme in my art.  Has been for quite some time. My first art quilt was a mixed media piece "It's About Time" which was shown at the Houston IQF a few years ago. Still have a list and some sketches of other pieces for this time series begun back then.  Perhaps they will get done someday as well!

I think it is a recurring theme because time is a constant challenge for me.  The lack of it, the arrangement of it, other people taking it up, and even on occasion...too much of it with no energy to do something productive with it. I try to manage it, redeem it, save it, spend it well. Some days are more successful than others. But it is still such a big part of my daily vocabulary that the whole concept of time is a very integral part of Who I Am.  That plus I LOVE clocks in art work!!

The Sands of Time

The final piece for this year has been started and hopefully I'll find TIME to do it on TIME!  (see what I mean?????)

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Stopped at every turn!

I'm having a heck of a time with the next piece! I have the idea and I have most of the materials. The hold-up is:  I can't get just the right piece of fabric for a background. Not one that helps me accomplish what I see in my head.  Several tries....several failures. Haven't given up but it obviously won't be on time. 

Thankfully, I've already started on the final piece for 2012!

Sunday, 30 September 2012

5th quilt

I love the open spaces, green fields with a big blue sky above. But summer is over and the grasses are turning into their pale winter colors. Here is my tribute to that.
Background is made from different ice cube dyed fabrics. The shape of the grass is discharged. This turned out way too subtle so I painted it with a golden Lumiere.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Patchy Road. 
Well here we are - finished at last.  this piece really does have the most hand quilting I have ever done in a single piece.  Having taken the decision to cut back on teaching workshops I was going through some old workshop samples  - UFO's - call them what you will.  The main fabric (Wax print again!) I've had for a long time - and started working with it probably somewhere around 5 years ago.  It had got as far as being a square piece about twice this size.  I love the fabric - generally liked what I had done - but had never got any further.  What was really neat was being able to use our size ruling to give me permission to cut it up!  When I've shown it to a couple of people (Alison being one of them) the immedaite reaction to the patchwork strips was that this was the road/s I am travelling - don't think either of them meant it to be' patchy' - but in the end that 's what I 've decided it is - as my efforts at getting things done is indeed very patchy!  But as Alison said - the blue 'burst' is 'bursting with ideas!'  or words to that effect...

Saturday, 22 September 2012


For many years I have had the fabric and the botanical drawings to make a quilt based on the 'Juglans Regia' or the Walnut Tree but I was well and truely 'blocked'! A friend suggested I enlarge the drawings, which I did and I was inspired. Not wanting to use the materials I had saved I looked into my stash of black, white and red fabrics. I hand appliqued using freezer paper and quilted by hand and by machine. I embellished the piece with glass and metal beads. This is the result, Voyage No.5.

Rather early but my group QUARKE has an exhibition coming up in November and I need to make more quilts!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Just a Little Bit Behind Now!

One of the things I love about travelling in Europe in spring and summer is the poppies. They remind me of my  childhood in the Netherlands when I played in the wheat fields on the farm where we lived. The wheat was laced with bright red poppies and I remember picking them to take home and then being disappointed because the flower wilted the next day. I still love poppies though I have learnt not to pick them- and my photo files contain many wonderful images of poppies that i have taken on my travels. I will stop the car to photograph drifts of poppies. I was in heaven  when I lived in France for a year and poppies were part of my daily walk- I couldn't get enough of them.

It's where I long to be again and so at the moment I am suffused in pieces about poppies and poppy variations. However the size I had been making was too large for  the dimensions for voyageart so I made one the right size- I think it's my favourite yet- but then red and orange are the colours of my soul.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

My Jerusalem

In July our national guild celebrated its 20th Anniversary and that was a good reason to have our annual summer workshops in Jerusalem with teachers from abroad. This is how I had a chance to meet Gillian Travis and have a 2-days workshop called "Jerusalem Townscape". I made my Jerusalem at this workshop and was very happy to experienced new techniques. This is my 4th milestone in the Voyage journey.

Shoshi Rimer