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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Blue sky in Luxembourg City

It was sunny and hot on the day I visited Luxembourg City, but it was beautiful.  The sky was blue, contrasting with things which were in shadows.


Saturday, 3 June 2017

Posting photographs

I had promised myself to be really good at posting in my blog this year.  But it is not happening. This is mainly because I tend to post in Facebook instead. That's also due to the fact that I can post text and photographs in Facebook direct from my phone, which is especially important when I am away. But I haven't worked out a way of blogging from my phone - it seems complicated and not working properly.

However I was very good at posting regularly when I only posted photographs - first one a day, then one a week.  As it happens I have lots of photographs I have taken in the last few months which I would like to show. So to try to get back into the habit of blogging, I will post photographs as often as I can.

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Photo for today: a view from above - but not a map - it is the skate park in Luxembourg City, in the middle of a much bigger park - I think the area is called the Grund.  I was standing on a sort of bridge above it, probably about 50 metres high.


Keep tuning in!

Alicia





Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Grey and misty skies

After last week's beautiful skies, this week we've had mists, rain and wind.  Misty images can be beautiful too - here are a couple of photos, taken from the secondary school's playing fields.




Wells Cathedral



Glastonbury Tor

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Wonderful skies

Extraordinary skies - this are the views from my front and back windows this morning. One of the things I love about living in Somerset is that one can see the expanse of sky in a way I couldn't in London.




These photos were first posted in Facebook earlier today. I am having computer problems so I can never know if it will work or not at a particular time, so my blog posts will be erratic for the next few weeks. I am getting a new computer but it's not coming until next week and then I have to set it up. I can post in Facebook via my phone but I haven't found a way of posting in the blog through my phone.

Alicia

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Habitat : Species #3 - the making of

In 2013 I made a quilt called Habitat : Species, for SAQA's Earth Stories project. The exhibition of 25,  size 72" by 72", international quilts depicting positive earth stories, was based on portfolio and project-based applications. The exhibition has been touring since 2014 throughout US university museums and galleries. It is a fascinating show, and extremely successful.  The tour is due to finish in June 2017, when the quilts will be returned to the makers.

My quilt is based on Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve in the Avalon Marshes, Somerset Levels, a protected area where habitats are created to attract and protect endangered species. I hope to exhibit it at the Reserve when it comes back - they would love to have it.

A second, smaller 'lead-in' piece, of the same name as the main quilt, was also included in the tour.

As I said in a previous post, this Boxing Day, a beautiful sunny day, I went on a family walk in the reserve, where my daughter is Reserve Warden, and I was overwhelmed by the light and the beauty of the place, and took numerous photos.  From those I created Habitat : Species #3:  Migrants, Returnees and Settlers. Some of the photos are in my previous post about it.

When I came home, I searched for fabrics that evoked the colours of that day. I arranged them on my design wall.

There are many birches in the reserve, so I represented them with light coloured lines.  There are reed beds, open water, meadows, and more, and I tried to evoke all of them in my quilt. Here all the sections have been stitched together and the top is being stretched by pinning to the design wall.  Stretching it overnight makes the top much flatter. You will see that there have been several changes and additions in the arrangement of the sections, compared with the fabrics on the wall, above.


There are paths for visitors, so I tried inserting dark lines between sections, but I felt they broke the connection between areas and the relationship between colours, so I decided against it.

I quilted it quite densely, as I usually do.



Finally I added the names of several of the species inhabiting the reserve, using fused appliqué letters. Those are not quilted.


I'm pleased with the final product. The colour palette is different from the work I've been doing recently, and I find it appealing.


I've been intending to post this much earlier, but time and computer problems delayed me. But I'm still keeping up with my New Year resolution of blogging regularly, even if I do it less often than I intended. Maybe next time I will post a photo of the original Habitat : Species quilt.

Alicia

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Good News

I have been receiving some very good news about my quilts - they are travelling and being published, and I'm very happy!

My most successful map quilt to date is Port At Dusk Diptych, an imaginary map constructed in two sections. I made one section first - the left hand side one - but I felt it was incomplete, so I made the second section, on the right. It seems to work well, I think it works better than if it was one whole quilt. Friends tell me that another successful feature is the use of the deep blue colour for the water. That is a fabric hand-dyed by Heidi Stoll-Weber, a wonderful quilter and expert dyer who lives and works in Frankfurt. And she comes to the Festival of Quilts every year! Unfortunately the dye she used for that fabric is extremely difficult to obtain, if not impossible, so I don't know whether she will be able to make more fabric of this shade.


This quilt is well travelled - it was shown in several places in the UK, including Fine Art Quilt Masters at the Festival of Quilts in 2015; received an award at Art Quilt Elements in Philadelphia, USA;  was at Nadelwelt Karlsruhe in Germany, and at the Korea Bojagi Forum in 2016; and it has been selected for Excellence in Fibers by Fiber Art Now magazine. It has now travelled back to the USA where it will be shown at the Excellence in Fibers exhibition at the New Bedford Art Museum / Artworks! in New Bedford, Massachusetts, from January 25th to March 29th. And I have just heard that it has also been selected to appear in the forthcoming SAQA's Art Quilt Retrospective book.


I know I said I will talk about the process of making the quilt shown in my previous posting - Habitats : Species #3 - but I am having a lot of computer problems, and have been unable to process the photos that I need for that posting.  But I will do it as soon as I can! 

I also want to keep up my new year resolution to blog regularly, so that's why I've written this one - photos were easily available - I don't want to let too much time pass between postings.

Alicia

Monday, 9 January 2017

Shapwick Heath, habitats, and migrant wildlife

On Boxing Day we went for a family walk to Shapwick Heath Nature Reserve, in the Avalon Marshes, Somerset Levels.  I have been there at other times, but I never had experienced the light and the colours in the Reserve as I did in that sunny, cold, winter day.

A quilt inspired by those colours unfolded in my mind. The next day I put some fabric colours together and started working on it.

The point of the nature reserve is to create habitats that provide shelter and food for the many animals, birds, butterflies, insects, etc. that need it.  Some species are residents, others are winter or summer migrants.  The most noticeable of them all are the starlings, and in January up to nine million migrant birds join the residents and form the most extraordinary 'murmurations', flying in changing organised shapes all over the area.

The reeds and open water are home to many birds and waterfowl, and there are other visitor attractions, such as bird hides.  See more in the captions to the photos.




So full of colour! I can see greens, yellows, reds, blues, and all shades in-between. 


The fern colour changes according to whether the leaves are in the sun or the shade, illuminated from above or from behind.


Amazing colours on the autumn leaves underfoot.


Downy birch wooded areas next to meadows.





The reconstructed Sweet Track - as it says in the photo above. Not very easy to walk on! Just as well that if you miss your step you just fall into a path covered in autumn leaves, and not onto swampy waters, as it would have happened 3,000 years ago.



The reed beds and open water, home to many waterfowl. And a view of Glastonbury Tor.


More reed beds shining in the sun.


My first attempt to a colour palette for my new quilt in the Habitats : Species series, focusing particularly on migrant wildlife.  

The quilt is nearly ready, but not quite.  See next blog post for details of construction and finished product.

Alicia

Sunday, 1 January 2017

New year, revamped blog


One of my New Year resolutions is to re-start writing regularly in my blog; and of course displaying photographs. So here I am.

First, a Review of last year:

It was a very successful year for me. I had work on show in Germany (solo gallery at Nadelwelt Karlsruhe), Spain (gallery display at Interquilt Girona), and individual quilts in many juried and invitational exhibitions - in the UK, Europe, USA, Australia, South Korea, Taiwan, and China. I won't list them all in detail, but I am especially proud of being juried into the Wayne Centre's Art Quilt Elements, SAQA's Concrete and Grassland, and Australia's a matter of time

Other proud moments were winning an award at Art Quilt Elements at the Wayne Centre, Philadelphia, especially as I was there to receive it personally! And being invited to show at the Korea Bojagi Forum, and at a quilt exhibition in Shanghai, China.  With my group Viewpoints 9,  I exhibited at the Taiwan International Quilt Exhibition (TIQE), the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas, and several venues in Australia and NewZealand - still ongoing. I couldn't attend those, but in April 2016 I did go to my first SAQA Conference, in Philadelphia, which was a great experience, and a wonderful opportunity to meet internet-based friends.


Port at Dusk Diptych is so far my most successful and popular quilt. It is the one that received the award at Art Quilt Elements, and before then, in 2015, it was on show at Through Our Hands's The Liberated Quilt at the Bilston Gallery in Wolverhampton, and then at Fine Art Quilt Masters at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham. In 2016 it travelled to Philadelphia and to South Korea.

And in 2017 Port at Dusk Diptych will be on show at the New Bedford Art Museum/ArtWorks! in New Bedford, Massachusetts, from 25th January to 19th March, as part of the 50 textile pieces selected for Excellence in Fibers, organised by Fiber Art Now magazine.

Moving onto 2017, I have been invited to participate in New Quilting, an exhibition organised by the  Rheged Centre in Penrith, Cumbria, from 3rd March to 23rd April.

There are more exciting things in the pipeline, including teaching abroad, but I will mention those as appropriate in future posts.

 Happy New Year to everybody!

Alicia




Friday, 8 May 2015

Return of the prodigal daughter


Hello friends!  Here I am again.  I hadn't realised how long is it since I wrote on my blog. I've been concentrating more on communicating via Facebook - it is quicker and more immediate.

I will try to update this blog a bit more often!

The main news at the moment is my participation in the forthcoming exhibition The Liberated Quilt: New Work from Through Our Hands - at the Bilston Craft Gallery,  Mount Pleasant, Bilston, West Midlands, WV14 7LU, www.wolverhamptonart.org.uk/bilston - Tel 01902 552507.  Check hours of opening before going, they are different on various weekdays; closed on Sundays and Mondays; admission free.

The exhibition opens on Saturday 16th May, with an informal opening from 1pm to  3pm, with presentations by some of the artists, and tea and cake.  Do come if you are in the area! If that is not possible, the exhibition will be open until 25th July.

Artists participating are: Annabel Rainbow, Alicia Merrett, Sandra Meech, Linda Colsh, Bethan Ash, Els van Baarle, Olga Prins-Lukowski, Bente Vold Klausen, Bobbie Britnell, Deidre Adams, Sue Benner, Jette Clover, Eszter Bornemisza, Claire Smith, Dijanne Cevaal, Elizabeth Barton, Linda Barlow, Mirjam Pet-Jacobs, Michala Gyetvai, Jeanne Williamson, Sara Impey, Susan Lenz, Laura Kemshall, Linda Kemshall.




More information on Through Our Hands can be found in the website, www.throughourhands.co.uk

Good night!

Alicia