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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.


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.


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!