Archives for posts with tag: quilts

I was tagged by Alex from underatopazsky, 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.


quilt inspired by woods





old suitcase retrieved from Dad’s loft cleaned up


vintage fabrics etc yet to be explored


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


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.



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.


ladybird fabric just had to go in my garden inspired quilt


nearly finished garden inspired quilt

My nominated blogger is writer Lois Elsden,  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 a french friend printer, he can’t take part in the blog hop, but well worth a look.


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”.


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.

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.

Busy, busy, busy summer. Have spent time with Czech friends, German friends and lastly a Spanish friend ( and English ones too). Lots of day trips while the Czech and Spanish friends were here,  Lincoln, Whitby, Flamborough, several of the National Trust properties;  The Vyne, Beningborough, Gunby Hall and Keddlestone, as well theYorkshire Sculpture  Park, more that I can’t recall just now. Also lots of eating and drinking (plenty of walks too, to try and counteract all the good food).

The eating and drinking also took place in France camping before we went to the German friends just outside Frankfurt (yet more good food and local cider (apfelwein), further camping was planned but in the end it was so wet we did day trips instead. Again the walking and cycling helped the waist line.

One of the reason for going to Germany was to take the quilt I had made for the latest edition to the family, Sanna Matilda; she finally arrived 10 days late two days before we were due to leave and we had the great privilege of seeing her in hospital the day after she was born.

Lime green,  yellow  and sunflower fabrics ready to start the cot quilt.


Section of finished quilt.


Day old Sanna with her quilt.

Have seen and done lots of new things which will have an influence on my work  over the summer, now the holidays are over its back to reality. I do enjoy my reality, I’m very fortunate in that I enjoy my work (holistic therapies) and I’m  looking forward to going back to uni for my third and final year of my Contemporary Fine Art Practice  degree course in just over a week. It’ll certainly be challenging and plenty to keep me busy.

Before that though I’m  again opening my studio for insight the North Lincolnshire  Artists’ Open Studios weekends on September 22 & 23, 29 & 30. I’ve been sorting out the space (I’m a terrible hoarder and think everything will come in useful sometime, so I’ve been trying to be realistic about some real junk – it’s so difficult to part with things!!!) and now I’m nearly ready to starting hanging paintings etc.

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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.

Since I last posted we have had no phone and no internet for 3 weeks, then French twinning visitors (great fun) for a nearly week,  then just over a week in the Czech Republic (fantastic), a day at the Quilt Show at the NEC (inspiring) and then intermittent internet for the last week.

One of the French guys is a printer ( His studio is fabulous and I’ve had the privelige of a tour around it twice now. He also helped me learn a bit more about how to blog on a rare internet connection, so hopefully this entry will look better than my first couple of posts.

The Czech Republic visit came about by inviting two Czech guys that were at university with our son for Christmas, as they weren’t going home. I couldn’t bear to think of them alone on campus and would hope that if our son was away from home someone would invite him for Christmas. They were both delightful guests, the only problem was they only came for a couple of days. Anyway we were all invited to visit the family of one of the lads for a few days after staying with him in Prague for a long weekend. His mum also quilts (she had admired one of my quilts on the back of the chair during a skype session). So I knew what to take as a pressie – quilting fabric.

The morning we were leaving for Prague I had an inspired idea: to take half of the fabrics I had ready to make the matching one she had admired. OK, OK. I’m always last minute, but the French had only left the previous morning and then I worked all day. Anyway, as usual I had far more fabric than I needed for one quilt, so to halve it all and to see how differently we each use it will be interesting and an incentive to get on with it. I have a few ideas but haven’t started it yet!

A selection of my half of the stash.