Archives for category: Quilt

I was tagged by Alex from underatopazsky, http://underatopazsky.wordpress.com a great source of encouragement and inspiration to me, I get a regular fix of looking at her work for real at Scunthorpe Embroiderers Guild. Its good to spend time with like-minded creative folk in reality and in blog land. Thank you all for hopping over from her site.

I also live in North Lincolnshire, in a village with woodland on the doorstep. Regular walks whatever the weather all the year round are a great source of inspiration for me. My blog name of debbidipity was chosen because of the way I dip into all sorts of art and craft techniques with varying degrees of success. I finished a B.A in Fine Art Practice at Hull School of Art and Design as a mature student last year.

1.What am I working on?

As usual several (many) different projects: quilts; embroidery; painting; canvas work; finishing off lots of small mainly Embroiderer’s Guild projects; decorating; sorting, filtering, re-arranging and tidying my work spaces; writing; preparation for a large mosaic; a few little books; plotting, planning and designing new work; several running sketchbooks.

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quilt inspired by woods

 

 

 

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old suitcase retrieved from Dad’s loft cleaned up

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vintage fabrics etc yet to be explored

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fabric washed ready to use for a quilt inspired by a stained glass lampshade

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designs with paper for above quilt design

 

2.How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I always have several projects on the go at a time, this keeps the ideas fresh and lets the work develop further, one thing leads to another and techniques from one media lend themselves to others. This transfer of skills across different media is what makes my work my own.

 

3.Why do I write / create what I do?

It’s just an integral part of me as far back as I can remember. I’m a doer, which isn’t to say I don’t think, but the thinking is best when my hands are busy too. When I see somebody else making something I want to have a go, not to copy what they are doing but to put my own slant on the process. It always has to be a challenge, part of the learning curve. I may make more than one of something (quilts for example), but everyone is different. Some of the things I make have a repetitive element to them, but this is good planning and problem solving time for other stages of the project or for another project entirely.

 

4.How does my writing / creating process work?

I don’t write a great deal other than “my pages” every morning, something I have done for many years now, since reading Julia Cameron’s The Artists Way. It sorts out my head, letting go of the dross, the trivia and trivial, processing things that are bugging or worrying me, which in turn helps make space for the creative things in my life. Some days the muse just flows and as I’m writing ways to solve the project in hand just end up on the page.

The creative process mainly works in a couple of ways. Occasionally I wake up with an image in my head of a finished piece. This may sound great but usually when this happens I have little or no idea how to execute them. Often my creative writing comes this way, but usually in the middle of the night with words chasing around my head, going round in circles until I jot them down, and once I have I go back to sleep, if I resist they just keep me awake.

A large felt sunflower piece came to me in this way. It was only the second piece of felting I had done, and by far the largest piece of work, other than a couple of quilts, I had taken on at this time. I had no idea how to make this piece but once I set up the pre-felted background 1 metre by 2 metres and had the fleece to hand it just flowed, and once it was hung in the pre-determined place it looked just as I had envisioned it.

 

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felted sunflowers

 

Far more frequently some “treasure” be it a leaf, a thread or a piece of quilting fabric will inspire me to create. Sometimes this is sketched, planned and designed before the process begins, at others I make a start not knowing whether it will end or how it will look. It evolves as I go along, analysing and assessing each stage as it progresses.

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ladybird fabric just had to go in my garden inspired quilt

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nearly finished garden inspired quilt

My nominated blogger is writer Lois Elsden, http://loiselden.com  She is as intrigued by words and their meanings as my language teacher husband. Lois has published several e-books and continues to write all day every day.

Also take a look at Jean Pierre  http://jpgraveur.com a french friend printer, he can’t take part in the blog hop, but well worth a look.

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While I was patiently (!) waiting for my canvas work to be thoroughly dry, I decided to pick up another UFO.

My first quilt. This was started in 1999. Yes, you read it correctly, and I really did start it 15 years ago. I’ve done the main part of it (I’ll post that another day). I’d abandoned it when it needed a lot of careful hand-stitching to applique the letters and numbers on it. Something more exciting must have distracted me, I’ve no idea what.

But as with many of my returned to projects I’ve learnt new skills in the interim that will improve the finished result. At Embroiderer’s Guild early in the year we had a talk and demonstration by Jean Proud of her Baltimore quilts. She showed us how to make an invisible stitch to applique with, I’m still trying to perfect it, but it’s an improvement on my earlier appliqued letters.

Back to the quilt – it’s a memory quilt of a holiday in Tucson, Arizona at Easter in 1999 with a very dear American friend, each patterned fabric telling part of the story. The patterned quilt fabrics were all bought in America. All that remains to be done is to finish off appliqueing the “Easter 1999” across the bottom. The letters were already made, a hundred plus 1 inch squares of paper with a 1 1/2 inch squares of soft green (the colour of the saguaro cacti) tacked round each square of paper, then invisibly joined together as the letters for “Tucson” and “Easter 1999”.

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The pile of letters ready to put across the bottom of the quilt.20140709-171729-62249711.jpg

The back of the letter “R”. This was the tricky one as I had to make two triangles to make it look like an “R”.20140709-171730-62250732.jpg

I recently bought a metre metal ruler and this proved invaluable when lining everything up, and centring it all. I used a water soluble pen to mark in my guide lines, working from my long age drawn out pattern.20140709-171730-62250193.jpg

Ready to start stitching. You can see a bit of the main part of the quilt, but I’ll show the rest when I’ve photographed it all.
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At the top you can just see part of the already stitched Tucson.20140709-171730-62250442.jpg

Although my first quilt is not finished yet, I must have made about 20 others all of which were finished relatively quickly.

I’ve made a doll’s quilt for my great niece’s 4th birthday in some of the fabrics I used to make one for her when she was born.

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It was very pink and pretty, including the flower fairy fabric above, completely out of my comfort range colour-wise. I don’t seem to have a photo of the cot quilt, which is unusual. I photograph most of my quilts as they tend to have been for others and it’s good to look  back at earlier work occasionally.

But back to the doll’s quilt. I first started sewing and knitting for my own doll’s when I was very little. A knitted scarf for my old teddy, long since gone, the scarf not the teddy. The lady next door and one of my mum’s friends both made wedding and bridesmaid’s dresses, and they gave me the scraps of fabric, bits of lace and ribbon left over. One doll’s dress in particular sticks in my mind – a beautiful deep red satin, trimmed with white lacy flowers.

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This ribbon is about the same colour, and these are some of the flowers left over from the mid sixties in my stash. If memory serves me right, they were cut out and stitched in a ring around the neck. The hem was cut with pinking shears and left as a zig-zag  edge. I had a children’s  little sewing machine which I struggled with and found most frustrating because the top and bottom threads often failed to twist together and the seams came undone,  and the tension was rarely right, but I had enough successes for it not to deter me for long.

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This doll’s quilt used some squares I’d cut for the original cot quilt that were left over, so it was quite quick to put the top together and then I put fleece on the back.

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It then just needs hand stitching around the edge to finish it off.

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The centre section of the first side of my reversible Rose Window quilt in progress.

I’ve had a  really busy few days, started off on Friday, going with a friend to The Great Northern Needlecraft Show  at Harrogate. It’s much more manageable in a day than the NEC  Quilt Show, nearer for a start, actually arrived before it opened!! The first thing we did was to book two workshops for early afternoon, both on machine applique but using different techniques. This worked well as we did some buying of a few bits and pieces, looked at some of the quilts – some stunning work, loads of photos, quick stop for lunch outside for some fresh air and sunshine, by then we were well ready for a sit down and a change of pace.

The first one was a how to  on ‘Creating Hand Look Needle-Turn Effect Applique’  with Eileen Blood  this was  a really neat way of creating flowers, leaves etc using a fusible nylon mesh, the sewing machine (or if you have one an embroidery machine) and an iron. It looked really simple (but doesn’t it always) and I’m looking forward to having a go. (We’ve spent all day moving things around again, trying to sort out and make more space and put things in sensible places. The main thing was to create more book shelves to move some of the piles off the floor and we’ve made very good progress on that. It’s also made (nearly) a new work area for my sewing machine, so I”ll soon be able to sew and leave the machine out, which really helps.) I have several ideas already to use this technique.

The second one was An Introduction to Invisible Machine Applique with Dawn Cameron Dick.  This was a technique I used several years ago for my king-size  reversible Rose Window quilt (above – i can’t move it to the end for some reason.). It has lots of uses and was really good timing because I’d forgotten how to do it (think I’ve got a note somewhere of my machine settings, but goodness nows where – it’ll save me looking specifically for them). She gave us lots of hints and tips and useful information about needles and threads – I have bought 4 packets of needles and vow to change them regularly (I only usually change one when it breaks). We were given a kit  of a tulip to try out the technique which we started in class and need to finish – again I need the sewing machine! Hopefully tomorrow.

This is the centre section of the second side of my reversible Rose Window quilt which was done as crazy patchwork and then the ‘stone’ (pale yellow fabric) appliqued on top. Eileen Blood’s method would have worked better, but you live and learn. Everything I do is a steep learning curve, but that’s part of the fun and challenge of it.