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, 24 June 2012

Ferns for Preniac Pilgrims

Ferns for Preniac Pilgrims

Another in my series of fern quilts from an idea by Melody Johnson. This one is yellow and purple, not the blue that it seems in the photo.
Why this title , you ask? At the end of May , I spent a week near to Cahors in southwest France on a course about dyeing and colour. It was at Studio Preniac, a gorgeous gite complex run by Liz and Bill. The teacher was Ruth Issett, a textile artist from the UK known for the fabulous use of colour in her work. After our initial dyeing sessions, I worked mainly with the complementary colours yellow and purple. Above Preniac by about 400 yards was a famous track along which strode pilgrims, both now and for centuries past, on their way to Saint Jacques de Compostelle in Spain. In this region of France the climate is much damper than where we live in the Gard and many ferns grow in the undergrowth by the side of the path.
Hence the name of my third Voyage quilt!! The ferns are fused onto the pieced yellow background and are outlined with free machine quilting. I added a little hand embroidery and the quilt was finished by the pillow case method, no binding being needed.

Hope you like it; I look forward to seeing all the other third voyage quilts and to catching up with many of you in Birmingham in August.

Monday, 18 June 2012


My third piece has been a working sample for a larger abstract work I am finishing at the moment. I have tried to express the route travelled through the creative journey,  discarding the fragments of old ideas and techniques and searching for the glimmers of inspiration  that gather together to become the next design. 

The fabric was coloured with procion dyes and some wax pigments then over laid with the 'fragments' of organza and painted and distressed fusible web. The 'glimmers' were scraps of gold leaf applied with ormaline.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Prevailing Winds

It seems that the wind blows 24 hours a day here in the Sonoran Desert.   This time of year, stepping out of your air conditioned home feels like stepping from the refrigerator directly into a blast furnace!  The wind in the desert carries everything from dust to bits of garbage.  When the monsoon season starts on June 15, the wind from the west will bring humidity and (hopefully) rain.  Since the beginning of this year, we have had just 1/3 of an inch of rain here in Phoenix.  When and if the rains come this summer, they will provide nearly all of our moisture for the year and bring fantastic thunder and lightning storms as well as the dreaded "haboobs" or dust storms.    This piece, "Prevailing Winds", is a commemoration of the ever constant wind blowing around me bringing inspiration and hope for the future. 

I created the quilt with commercial batiks and hand-dyed fabrics and fibers using a technique called "quilt-lique", developed and coined by a friend of mine, Betty Hahn.  Quilt-lique is an easy way to construct the quilt using freezer paper and temporary fabric glue.  It is a fun and creative process.  The quilt is machine quilted incorporating some hand stitching.

Frances Murphy

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Sorrow of the Dendari Warriors

When she was in Ghana in January, Magie introduced me to the man in the art market who does the repairs for all the antique textile buyers. He has bags of old bits of kente, indigo strips and other bits. It is like a treasure trove of pieces and was one of the treats I gave myself before leaving Ghana was to buy a bunch to tide me over in cold Canada.

So, having these glorious bits hanging around,  one Saturday morning I woke up early with an idea. I got all the blues out and started playing with them. I also wanted to incorporate some of the wooden masks I got from the Mali trader, and then the cowry shells and the porcupine quills just seemed to fit. By the end of the day, the piece was complete. I was starving but feeling VERY satisfied. 

 As to the name, the cowry shells made me think of tears, maybe because I was leaving, the Dendari are not an African tribe, though there is a Dendi tribe in Mali, and the warriors are the masks of course.

I have never had a piece go together so quickly. It was a joy to do, and probably my farewell to Africa piece. Now it is on to another journey.
India again!
I have enough inspirational photos from my holiday in India to make many quilts. In fact I had so many ideas I didnt really know which way to go next.
I really want to have a good display of work at the FOQ to go with my Flower kits (printed by Fiona's block printer and made up by the men in the workshop) and i really want to show a variety of different techniques

I wanted to experiment with new ways of working so started by selecting some of my photos and doing some drawings.
Several samples later I put together my 3rd Voyage

The shapes on the left are the fruit and vegetables on display, the next a vase in a museum in Bhuj, the next shows the circles of pigment for sale in the market, underneath the untensils in a house in the Kutch and the last one a door in Pushkar. 
I really love the size of the quilts. It was Magie who persuaded me to agree to go for the bigger size and I just love it. 
I am off to israel in July so I am hoping that the next couple of quilts may be based on things that I see when i am there.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Voyager No.3

"Taming Bridget Riley"

I am very pleased with this piece because it evolved very naturally. I was playing with my black and white fabrics and pieced the background. The checks and zig zags created such optical chaos, reminding me of Bridget Riley the 'Pop' artist of the 60's & 70's! Using a beautiful piece of purple and pink fabric I cut out the shapes and 'nailed' them down to try and tame the optical movement.

Quilt nr. 3

I am taking serious liberties with the theme of our first year. Who am I, where am I....well, quite frankly all over the place! For my third quilt I made a huge jump from Johannesburg (the previous quilt) to Australia (where Dijanne lives )via Veldhoven in Holland (where I bought this lino-print from Dijanne)

As you all know, Dijanne has been wokring on her Sentinelles for quite a while. In her book she says she wants them all over the world. Well, this green Sentinel has found a home in Belgium. I started by painting the image with fabric paints to try and make it more my own. I found it quite a challenge and quite difficult to work with someone else's image, especially because I know and admire Dijanne's work. I absolutely did not want to copy her in any way and deliberately did not look at her sentinelles while I was doing this piece.
In the end, I am happy with the result. My idea was to use this quilt as a symbol of women reaching out to one another.

Monday, 11 June 2012


Thoughts. Who am I ?

I am made of all the relationships and experiences of my life. So this little quilt is made from 200 squares of different fabrics. Thoughts, memories and ideas in circles, lines and beads, embellish the surface.Everything in the quilt is left over from another project. Framed within the 20inch by 10 inch guidelines of this journey. Then quilted with brand new thread, connecting me with new friends and ideas.

The binding fabric has white spots....... Moving beyond the boundaries? Actually not chosen for that reason I just noticed when I stepped back afterwards! There are two pictures. One of the quilt and one of the detail. Alison

Friday, 8 June 2012


I was inspired by the saying, "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." This is a concept that struck a very deep chord with me and I knew it wanted to be a quilt for Voyage. It took a while to come up with the technique for expressing such an ethereal concept but it finally came together.  I chose a rather non-descript woman (no facial features, etc) because I didn't want that part to be the focal point. I chose a slightly shiny bronze tulle to express the lightness of a spiritual being. I placed the "spiritual being" just inside the "human being" to give the feeling of the spiritual  living through the human.
The piece is raw edge applique using commercial batiks and bronze tulle.
Series 2 - Kelly Hendrickson