Work in Progress


So - part two and we are moving along OK, but not quite as fast as hoped ... but a girl can only do her best. Here is the piece, now fully machine quilted (to death - can't help it) and with inktense pencils used to bring back the colour in the photos, which seriously faded under the machine (will not be using that brand again) and also to add detail and extend the images 

This piece will hang with Beach Boy 2 - so I wanted to add some sheer grasses around the edge, as I did on that piece. Here we are trying some out on the wall ...

and adding a few more ...

and stitching them down. I used transparent thread and it was hellish to thread as I couldn't see it (obviously, but still a surprise to me), but brilliant in it's effect ....

So here we are with all grasses stitched on, and ready for hand stitching ...

most of which will be done tomorrow - but here is a little start, using metallic thread to highlight the sea

Hopefully will be finished - or at least ready for blocking tomorrow - will post the final stage then - Hilary x


To be fair - I do always work quite fast - I find it helps me to get out of my own way when creating. But even by my standards, this next one is a quickie. Luckily, it is basically an enlargement of a journal quilt I made a couple of years ago, so I have a very good map to guide me. So here we are at the beginning - journal quilt on wall and nice blank felt for me to work on - I love being at this point - it is SO exciting! Put Abba on ipod

About 30 minutes later and I have got the bare bones down. I placed the photos much as they were in the JQ and then tried to let instinct guide me as I added some largish chunks of fabric to fill in around them - looking OK so far

At this point I do slow down a bit and start looking hard and working out what I like and what I don't. So here is the next stage and I've filled in some of the large plain areas and added some darkish strips to move the eye around the piece. I'm trying to pick up on the tones and shapes I am seeing in the photos

At this point I lightly ironed the piece to 'tack' everything down and get it up on to the design wall so I can really see what is what

and I feel it now needs some of those edges softening a bit and that big beige space at top left need attention ... out with the lace - brilliant at this stage 

Much better to my mind now, just a couple of quibbles: Still need to break those skies up some more - all the lines are too straight and I would like to get a tiny bit of darker fabric top left, just to keep the eye moving up there ... and here is that done, using some scrim and a couple of narrow strips of fabric

I like this now, although I will want to work into it with crayons and possibly paint later, to blend those photos some more. But the next job is to get it all secure - so on to the sewing machine. I'll report back on progress - Hilary x

Now this is  definitely going to be quite a big piece! It is for the Guild challenge at Festival of Quilts, which has the theme 'What Britain means to me' I am aiming for a stylised 1950's look and it will consist of four panels, which you can see the first trys of on the wall here. These are all appiqued on to felt, which will also act as wadding. I have quite a lot more detail to add to the applique yet, to get the look I want and I shall then use free motion stitching to hold it all together. I then want to add a lot of handstitching, but time is moving along, so I shall have to see how I get on. I wish I had double the hours!
This quilt is called Asters 2 and here you can see it up on the wall ready to start stitching down the applique. The background is done with a mixture of free motion quilting and embroidery and features shadow flowers using net - you need to look hard to see them on here, but they are much more obvious in the flesh! I will try and get some better shot as I progress so you can see the layers. This one is for Festival too.
A new triptych on the wall. Hopefully obviously based on oriental poppy seed heads, I actually first laid this out quite a while a go, and it has been waiting for me to get
back to it. So the other day I got it down and machine quilted it - I will take some photos from the reverse and add those, so you can see the quilting. It is now ready for some decorative handstitching, which will be a very pleasant way to spend a few hours in the cold weather. All the fabrics here are painted and printed by myself. This piece will be about 30" x 38" and will be for my Grosvenor show gallery.
And completely different - here is the beginning of another photo collage - featuring some wonderful penguins I saw at Harewood House, when my friend Gilli and I visited as a birthday treat for me last year. The birds are so lighthearted, I want this collage to be too. I shall machine quilt it next and then add decorative handstitching too. This will be another sample for the Region 10 Regional day, that I shall be teaching on May 6th
Original jug of tulips
drawing of same
starting on a collage background - I have decided I will go for a high contrast between background and tulips, so quite a muted piece so far
progressing quite nicely, but decided jug needed a bit more impact ... found just the right piece of paper
adding some tulips - decided will go with dark red/black flowers ...'queen of the night' if you know your tulips
decided to add some more green 'bits' down right hand side - seems a better balance
final lay down of collage - happy! - now needs bonding and stitching
stitching from reverse
and from the front, with binding added, and on mount board
sitting in my studio in it's frame - final images in Gallery 1 and Gallery 4
 Here is the the beginning of a new piece, using photo transfers of echinaceas. I'm planning to do a few new photo collage pieces, in preparation for a workshop I shall be running at Region 10's regional day in May 2012. I have placed two photos on to felt and started to add some background fabrics, ready backed in bondaweb. The fabrics I am using are a mix of commercials and ones I have printed/painted/dyed myself 
A bit further on - more fabrics, lace and some extra images added. I have also used neocolour 2 crayons to help blend the photos with the fabrics
closer up - you can see that the top right flower is crayoned in, to take the image over the edges of the transfer. Colours and stems are also extended and blurred. Not quite happy with this yet - but I think I shall stitch it next and the consider options
 Got some blossom on those branches now! - I'm wondering if it is too pale? - but I shall wait a few weeks before deciding. I'm now painting some fabric for the binding and will then mount it on a board
 Here is my big blue oriental pot, with the branches for the blossom cut and bonded on. The next job is quilting, which I shall do before I attach all the blossom pieces - it will definitely be easier that way
Got the stitching on the herons finished today - I have done this one all by machine, to see how that worked. It looks fine - but I think the handstitching is probably more effective in adding another element to the piece
Here is the back - just to prove how much stitching it actually took ... it would actually have been quicker by hand I think! You can see I haven't tidied up the back - as I am going to cover it ... I still think that is the most approapriate way for these pieces. It would take me a few hours to trim the threads off this, and I'd rather be makng another quilt!
And here is my drawing for the cherry blossom to go in that oriental pot (see earlier entry). I put tracing paper over the quilt and then drew cherry blossom branches to fit the pot and shape of the piece. Now I need to get these cut out of fabric and tried out ... that will be the next post.
Here is the first lay down of a new collage - this one will be cherry blossom in this blue and white oriental pot. I have used a mix of fabrics for the background and painted fabric for the pot. I shall cut, but not fix the blossom next, and then quilt, before I attach the branches ... this should make life easier! This will be my first piece for the group exhibition at Forge Mill Needle Museum (see blog for details)
This is a first lay down of a new silhouette piece, featuring some beautiful herons. We have a large heronry near us and often see the birds. This is based loosely on a photograph taken by the water - the sign will read 'no fishing'. These boys are taking no notice. A few adjustments and this will be ready to stitch
Here are my drawings for the two hounds I intend to use for my Christmas collage - aahhhhh - cute
cut out of paper together with some mistletoe ... I have got some really lovely Christmassy fabrics to go with these and will post images soon
This should have been put in quite a while a go - but here we are now - 'Alliums' - all finished - just need to get them on the wall to photograph and they will be put in to Gallery 1
Detail of Beach Boy 2
another detail
and another
one more
The back - detail
and the whole messy job - this was covered befor the piece was mounted - but it's so useful for seeing the stitching -
the finished piece is now in gallery 1
Beach boy 2 - trying out some strips to 'frame' the images and make sure they don't get lost
Strips added and hand stitching started
alot more hand stitch and some shells added - I'm not sure about these? I've also added lumiere paint and markal oil stick to Dixter to bring him out - he is the star after all
Left overnight and decide shells looked like sharks teeth!, so took them back off. Handstitch is now complete - a lot of it is very fine metallics and is not really showing here - I will take some close ups and a picture of the back so you can see better tomorrow
His backing cloth, on which I have used rubbings and acrylic paint to get a look of bleached and painted drift wood - this will be used to cover his board tomorrow
The drop cloth - which is also rather beautiful, and as I have more beach pieces planned - this will now come off the table and into the stash I think 
Progress on Beach Boy 2 - I've used neocolour 2 crayons to extend the lines from the photos onto the surrounding materials ... this should help to blend the two. Also trying out a horizontal run of fabric strips to fill a space, inspired by the half buried old fences on the east coast
I like the 'fence', but not six of them - our eye always prefers odd numbers, so I've made it seven
After a bit more messing around (technical term) I've firmed up the fence, added some bits of lace and also some grasses made from silk and sheers - I love these
And here it is with all the machine quilting done - as if by magic. Ready for hand stitching now, and I need to go back in and re-colour Dixter a bit, as he lost a bit of depth whilst being trawled through the machine. First though - it needed a good blocking to get it back flat - you can just about see the pins round the edges ... should be dry and ready for more work on Monday
 Collage started at the Rise and Shine breakfast - to be continued!
First lay down of BB2
and how my studio looked as a result - no-one could call me a neat worker
First sample for the Rise and Shine demo - a nice steaming cup of coffee (hope I get one) 
Second sample, using those Liberty fabrics and a nice Chintzy tea set
and lastly, my favourite, using vintage fabrics and a lovely Midwinter 'Stylecraft' coffee pot
Treasured scraps of Liberty fabric, ironed on to bondaweb (actually 'heat and bond lite' in this case), ready for some scrap collages
Same thing, with scraps of vintage fabric
and more of the same - if this doesn't get you feeling excited, then you are definitley not a fabricaholic!
Detail of machine applique
The piece on the left is being blocked after machine stitching - the piece on the right still needs doing ... what a difference it makes
My lovely back!
and again
Backing canvas prepared for one panel
and one panel nearly mounted
and that's it for now - all three panels will be at the NEC
Fabric painted, printed and rubbed with markal oilsticks - this one is for the backgrounds
Pre-dyed and printed - for leaves
another shade of green
and another
greys and greens
and two lots of purple for the alliums
quite a lot of work, but it makes the work authentic and so much more interesting I think!
'Narcissi' - all quilted and bound .... just waiting to be mounted on a board now
and 'Iris' .....
and a new one - 'Tulips'
detail of stitching ....
and the back - much easier to see the stiching
Here are the collages we made at my demonstration sessions at the AIM for Art Gallery 
Trying out background fabrics and using a cropping tool to isolate out intended design
I think these black silhouettes work so well on these slightly retro fabrics
Final decision for narcissi
and for the iris
And here are some images of my work in the windows
I think it looks great!
Here is the mountboard for Jugs 2 before the quilt is added - rather attractive on it's own really
Another animal silouhette, based on my old boy - Nigel ... well on the way and will be called 'By the River' I think
Jugs 3 laid out and rather jolly - on to stitching now
The background all quilted
and a detail
and the back - easier to see the quilting!
Applique pieces added and stitched
and the back again
 'By the River', all handstitching added - this also acts as quilting as it goes through all all layers 
here is the stitching form the back - hand stitching is not so pretty on the reverse (as you can see) which is why I shall cover this up with another fabric( more on this subject in the blog...) 
and finally, here it is on my design wall, being blocked. I do this for most quilts, it really straightens them out after all the previous work
the finished piece!