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.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

On my way - Jean has made a start........

So where am I at?   
 I now have more time .....it is fair to say I am keen to work with more of what I call my 'raw' work - the experimental stuff I have played with - rather than  more predictable stuff. I am  working on some free pieces based on the village where I live - not that many houses, but five farms - one of the farms in the centre of the village is selling off the barns for redevelopment as they are rather dilapidated. I am  using these barns as my source for some textiles pieces. It was inevitable that these barns would be lost as farm buildings given the state they were in so I want to record something of them in my own particular way.

 I am using the peeling paintwork of an aged and swollen barn door as a starting point for my first piece.

I have played around a range of different techniques to create the effect of peeling paint including using painted  fusible web  which was then distressed and also  thickened dyes over a wax resist. 

I have tried  using chiffon and organza over the fusible web and used various waddings and directional  quilting to replicate the swollen grain of the aged wood.

As ever some samples were more successful than others but I have enough to go on now to develop my ideas further for probably a small series of two or three pieces based on this starting point.
 Hope to be able to get a piece finished over the next week .
Jean Marshall


Saturday, 21 January 2012

Exciting To See Everyone's Work

I just returned from a few days visiting my sister in southeastern Idaho--definitely not a cultural center, mostly a small farming town and much, much colder than central Arizona. I've been wrestling with ideas for my first piece for Voyage. I'm going to try to focus on achieving that loose, flowing style that I so admire. I'm busily working to get the above piece finished for our annual Arizona Quilters Guild show. I call it "Suwatte" which supposedly means "Please Sit" in Japanese. It is a series of six "small" quilts that I am joining to make one large quilt. The idea comes from an Elizabeth Barton workshop on working in a series. The design comes from the back of a wood chair. It's been fun to work on this piece, but I'll be glad when it is finished.

I'll post a photo of my first Voyage project as it comes together. I have a good idea. I can't wait to see how it will turn out!


Not much to show yet, but at least I have started :-). This drawing is an enlarged finger print. A couple of years ago I made a quilt black on white with only the finger print, but this time I want to play a bit more with it.

 For the first quilt with this group I decided to go for 'who am I'. As you all know, finger prints are unique. Each person has their own version. Although I am not complete certain about identical twins.

Next step

Sorry the photos from the last post seem to be in the wrong order!
I have added some paint to the quilt but now I just want to add a little more paint to the green to reduce the vibrancy as the green stands out too much and I want to get rid of some of the gold. The binding was a swine to do as the wool was so stretchy and i had so little fabric. Lessons learnt!
More work to be done on it before it is finished!

Gillian's Quilt

It was a beautiful day and I went out from our home and took some photos of around where I live
I did a load of drawings

Next the applique. Ripponden the village where I live used to have 19 mills in it, I live in one of the few remaining old mills in the village. They specialised in dying navy blue wool for Naval uniforms. I decided I would try to work in a woollen fabric, as I usually work in cottons or felt. So I dyed a range of different woollen fabrics that i had - the one that worked best was a piece of wool that I had bought from a charity shop - only a small piece so i dyed that blue, green and red. There was only a small piece.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

ta da....

So here it is : my first quilt for our group. It's called "Stepping Stones". To me it symbolises where I am at this point in my creative life : taking steps in a few new directions. Being part of a textile group being one of them. Thanks to all of you for this exciting opportunity!
The quilt was made with monoprinted, procion-dyed and shwe-shwe fabric pieced together. I stencilled the stones with fabric paint and did free machine stitching on top.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Friday 13th, lucky for some!

Hello Everyone, Elaine here trying out posting to our blog for the first time, so I hope it will work. Have just got my Google Account, so all set. Have started work on our first piece. It's going to be a sort of recap from the beginning of my quilting voyage in 1984 (!) to where I am now, though rather abbreviated as you can imagine. I am condensing all those many quilts into about five little samples to be attached to a background, yet to be sorted out! Should be fun. My pieces from then on will be where I am now. If this posting works ,the next thing to try will be adding photos. Hope everyone's ideas are flowing!
Elaine in Sunny and bright Combas. Just eaten lunch outside.


My journey with this group of textile artists has kicked off. Because most of us don't know each other, I'll start with a short introduction about who I am : I was born and raised in South Africa and after marrying a Dutch guy, move to the Netherlands in 1986. I lived in Holland until 2007, when we decided to cross the border and settle down in Belgium.
From 2005 until 2010 I imported fabric paints from South Africa and had a company called Trapsuutjies Textielverf. The company was sold at the end of 2010 and I have since had more time to explore my own creativity.
Whatever I do creatively, I always seem to reach back to my African roots and I always use hand- painted and -dyed fabric. I am addicted to fabric painting, printing, dyeing, etcetera.
This photo shows a detail of what has turned out to be my first quilt for the group. I started off with something not even remotely resembling this in my head, and when I started working the idea out, this just happened. I do tend to work very intuitively and cannot stick to any sort of plan. The quilt symbolises one of the things I really miss - stones! In this part of the world there aren't any rocks or stones and I really really miss that.
I used monoprinted and hand-dyed fabric in combination with a piece of shwe-shwe (from South Africa) which I got from my friend Magie Relph from the African Fabric Shop. Actually, I started using shwe-shwe last year because this fabric holds very strong and cherished memories for me.
(I shall post some pictures of the other pieces on my own blog which is linked in the sidebar). I then stenciled the stones on top.
As soon as I've finished the binding, I'll post a picture of the complete quilt.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Where I am

Beginning of January and I thought as I am going to be away in February i thought I had better get on with doing my first piece.
I started by cutting out a template 10" x 20" just to see how big it really is. Panic.... it is big! It is bigger than the usual Journal Quilts I do, Worried about the time I have and all the committments I have I thought I would do some techniques I am familiar with.
I sketched out some ideas. I thought i would divide the piece into 5 each one showing a big part of my life eg my sewing machine, the hills that we are surrounded by, the village I live in , my bike, my walking boots and I section of some ethnic textiles (that I love). Left it on the table in the studio, had a coffee etc. Came back to it and thought why am I doing this I need to try something new or extend my thoughts etc. So i am now back to square one and have an idea... I am going to develop some work i did last year - our village was once home to 19 mills where they used to dye the cloth for naval uniforms - no mills left now but i think I will do a navy blue piece with gold and red. watch this space!

Monday, 2 January 2012

I Guess It's Time to Start, So Here Goes

My name is Frances Murphy. I think it's a good idea to start with a little bit about myself and how I got started in art quilting.

I was born and raised in the Western USA in southeastern Idaho in a very small town not far from Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Yellowstone Park. I now live in Sun City Grand in Surprise, Arizona about 25 miles northwest of Phoenix, Arizona. My husband, Steve, and I moved here in 2007 from Seattle, Washington where we lived for 22 years. In Seattle I was a paralegal specializing in commercial lending, but that seems like it was a lifetime ago. When I left my job in Seattle, I promised myself that I would focus on fiber art and try to make a go of it. My interest in fiber art began when I was in college at the University of Arizona in Tucson. I was majoring in photography and happened to take a course in weaving for one of my fine arts requirements. Upon graduation from the University of Arizona, I moved to Seattle and continued to study weaving. I am a member the Seattle Weavers Guild.

Shortly after I moved to Sun City Grand, I attended a craft show and met a wonderful artist named Betty Hahn. Betty had some of her art quilts and other fiber art objects at the craft show and I was amazed at the beautiful work that she was doing. I was impressed with her use of bright colors and design. I started taking fiber art and art quilting classes from Betty hoping that studying with her would help me get out of a rut with my weaving. I haven't really touched my loom since then! I was hooked on art quilting and fiber art from the first day! We now have an informal group of five or six art quilters that we call "NGG" or "Non-Group Group" or as Betty's husband calls us, "No Good Girls". We meet twice a month at Betty's studio and just "play" with art processes or work on projects. We inspire and support each other in our artistic endeavors. I am a member of SAQA, the Arizona Quilters Guild, and our local art quilt guild called "Mavericks".

I am also a member of the Sun City Grand Drama and Comedy Club and have acted in several stage plays since we arrived here in 2007. I guess the drama club is my "hobby". I also enjoy photography, spending time with my husband, and caring for my two Airedale Terriers, Teddy (age 12) and Daisy (age 5). Teddy and Daisy are very helpful with my art quilting. Teddy loves to "clean" my studio and keeps the floor clear of bits of thread, pieces of batting and material, and various other fibers. Daisy just likes to watch.

I recently had the opportunity to learn silk dyeing from Betty Busby. I anticipate that I'll use quite a bit of my dyed silk in my projects this year.

I am excited to be a part of the Voyage Group. I am looking forward to getting to know all of you wonderful art quilters from around the world. It's an honor for me to be a part of this group.