Memory Quilt: two more appliqué panels

I’ve completed two more panels for my appliqué memory quilt, recording our journeys in the USA over Christmas. These flank the first panel I made, completing the bottom row. I’ve started on the second row – the first row is the most tricky from a conceptual point of view, so I’m leaving that until last! I think my satin stitch has improved, and I’ve definitely got the hang of transferring my sketches to make fabric images.

Still to do: fabric interpretations of Trinity Church, Boston; The Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Center and World Trade One. All of those are going to take a bit of work to choose from the fabrics to get the best sense of depth with such a limited palette of colours. That said, I’m rather pleased with how the Mayflower turned out – the stripes on the side were part of the fabric, with careful positioning of the cutout of course…

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All Counties Craft Challenge

I’m delighted to be hosting John Bloodworth, The Gentleman Crafter, at the Studio on Tuesday 4th April, 10am to 3:30pm for a day of card making. John has spent the last 10 months touring the country in an attempt to do a workshop in every county, raising money for Mind mental health charity.

You can book your place here, and if you can’t make the day, I would urge you to support him by donating to his challenge here. It’s a fantastic charity endeavour, a great charity, and as someone with mental health issues (me) I’d really love for you to support and encourage John as he comes toward the end of his epic year.

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Art Journal Page: Deep Waters

It was a ‘watersolubles’ theme at Art Journaling last night. In between diagnosing a broken Mac (it was one of the RAM cards that died) and having the car serviced (it was a VW diesel engine…), I grabbed an hour or so to do an inspiration page:

It reminded me that all watersolubles are not created equal, with some water-soluble wax crayons barely moving when wetted, even on watercolour paper, and others wandering off and doing their own thing quite happily. It also is worth noting that, to get best effects, you should gesso or otherwise seal your journal page unless working in a watercolour paper journal.

In the above example, I used the blues on watercolour paper before drying and cutting out the letters on my Silhouette Cameo. The background is a combination of colour and graphite watersolubles over gesso, overprinted with acrylic paint. Handwritten text and outlines finished off the layout.

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Bas Relief Roses

At today’s bas relief cards workshop, I did the unthinkable (for me at least) – worked on a technique and a sample alongside a workshop guest, without trying it first weeks before. And despite the gung-ho attitude, we both ended up with, even if we do say so ourselves, a cracking outcome. There was something rather pleasing about making a 2D stamped image a little more 3D, smudging and smoothing paper clay into place before letting the stains and paint do their thing.

Bas Relief Rose Card

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Memory Quilt: Block No. 8

No, you haven’t missed seven previous instalments – this is the first of nine blocks that I’ve tackled for a new memory quilt.  I wanted to make a quilt as a ‘souvenir’ of our trip to the USA over Christmas – in addition to my travel journal which is yet to be finished…

We chose the fabric whilst away, in a lovely quilting shop, Stowe Fabric & Yarn, in Stowe, Vermont, and once I got home and had five minutes to myself, I started designing. It’s the first quilt I have made that uses appliqué techniques – and I’m going to need a bit more practice on my satin stitches I think. The quilt is going to feature nine appliqué panels, and here’s the first. No guesses as to which tourist venue this panel refers to…

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Handmade faux leather book

I’ve previously made a ‘book’, to hold various ephemera, as a leaving present for the minister of my previous church. So when it came to putting together another bespoke binder for prayer flags, a photo book and collected digital photos, I built on my previous project and created a faux leather effect ‘book’.

The ‘book’ is just about the size of a sheet of A4 and about 1½” deep. Constructed from 2mm greyboard and 5mm foamcore board, the canvas cover is painted with a mix of rose madder and burnt sienna acrylic paints to resemble worn leather. The spine text is pressed in with an embossing tool to give an impression of embossed foiling, whilst the frontplate uses careful shading to achieve the same effect.
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Tangle Pattern: Why-O-Why

It seems that my brain has tuned into tangle patterns again since I created the three patterns while I was in USA over Christmas. This pattern has been rearranging itself in my head for the last week or so, and this morning I had the opportunity to get it onto paper, step-by-step.

If you’re brave, try missing out step 2 (which I added as a guide) and going straight to the tramlines in step 3. It’s another of those patterns which ‘pops’ with a bit of shading. It’s also one of those patterns, given the resemblance to celtic knots, that may be out there already – but I can tell you I didn’t reference anything when making the instructions, and my brain is very relieved now it’s not juggling all the Os and interconnecting Ys! And there’s always the chance you’ll be going ‘why, oh why did I start this one?’…

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