Thick Threads Workshop

This week I ran a 3 day workshop from my studio. It started as a request from a group of students.

We started drawing a still life straight on to canvas, coloured it using inktense crayons and blocks and then added some stitch using 12 weight threads.

Here are some of the results

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Students then went on to develop their own ideas by dying some woollen fabric and stitching with various 12wt threads

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The course was a success partly due to Aurifil and Wonderfil supplying me with threads to students to experiment with.

Here is an email I received last night from one of the students

hi Gillian,

Many thanks for the 3 day thick threads workshop, I felt I learnt a lot and now feel much more confident using a variety of these threads. It was extremely valuable being able to try out so many different threads particularly the ‘goodie’ sample pack of aurofil lana in such lovely colour ways. I also loved sampling the other types of thread too such as accent and spagetti. I definitely will be purchasing more of these threads in the future to enhance my textile work!  No other venue or workshop would have given us the opportunity to experiment with such a variety of thicker threads.

Thankyou.

Would be good to have a chance to teach the course again somewhere! I have lots of threads to bring with me.

Student work

I’m been doing so much teaching over the last couple of weeks that I have had little time to do any of my own work.

I alway love to receive emails from students with attached photos of finished projects

Here is a photo of a finished Indian Ladies kit from a student who was on a course at the Bramble patch.

Looks great!

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And here is a photo of a finished Flower Kit. I love the background!

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I took a photo of one of the students work on a Cow parsley and seed heads workshop at the Bramble Patch – fabulous (especially as Rebecca wanted to start again half way through the day)

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Here a few of photos of students work on the “Take a Simple Shape workshop”

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Students working hard!

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These don’t look much but they are the beginnings of a new quilt!

One day last week I went to a talk by Luke Haynes at Simple Solid’s at a new Patchwork and Quilting Shop just outside of Huddersfield.

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He gave a very good presentation and I loved listening to his approach to quilting. It gave me lots to think about.

Aurifil Thread

I was given a complimentary ticket for the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Place by Wonderfil and as my daughter lives in London it meant a free bed and with a cheap train ticket I went to visit the show and to see a couple of places I have been meaning to go to for a while.

Alexandra Palace is a lovely venue, and it was quiet as it was open an extra day. I met up with a couple of friends, said hello to lots of people so it was a very pleasant day. I didnt buy much and only saw one piece of work that I loved.

That sounds bad, no there was lots of lovely work!

The next day I visited the William Morris Gallery at Walthamstow. If you have never been then you should!

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I first became familiar with the textiles of William Morris in the 70’s when I actually bought a copy of New From Nowhere (his book) which I never read.

Some of his work may be dark but some of his designs are still very contemporary.

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I was particularly interested in the display case showing some Icelandic textiles that Morris collected when he visited there.

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The embroideries made by his wife and daughter are still very brightly coloured

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I then went on to a National trust property 2 Willow Rd, it was the home of Arno Goldfinger in the 1930’s and has some fabulous features.

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We then went on to Fenton House where there are is a  17th Century Stumpwork casket and an Elizabethan Sweet bag.

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Before getting the train home we went to the Tower of London to see the Poppies.

I walked in to Paperchase to see some Christmas cards with a similar design to my latest quilt ( decorated jumpers). I have included the photo here – just so that everyone knows the cards came after my quilt.

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I arrived home to find a parcel for me – my threads arrived from Aurifil. These have been given to me by Aurifil for use at one of my workshops. Lucky students! Thanks to Aurifil!

The Quilt Cabin Hebden Bridge

Yesterday was one of those really good days when I know why I like teaching.

The Quilt Cabin is in Hebden Bridge, only a small shop and has been open for less than a year, but I love teach there and working with Elaine. I arrive and it is tidy and clean – I haven’t had to worry about tidying my studio and cleaning up etc. Coffee is provided and yesterday we even had home made scones made by Jane.

I have been teaching a 3 day course spread over a few weeks

Take a Simple Shape

so we have gone from design to making a wallhanging with students doing some homework in between.

The students were very nervous on day 1 stressing about their ability to draw, design and stitch.

The results are fabulous – I am sure these could be put in an exhibition.

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A lovely group of students and I hope we they will return for more classes.

New Work

It is a couple of weeks since I added an entry to my blog, I have had a pile of quilts that just needed finishing so here are a few completed pieces of work.

I made a echinacea quilt for International threads and it has been displayed at the Quilt Cabin in Hebden Bridge and has been very much admired. I realised that my quilt would be in Europe for most of next year so thought I had better make another one that was slightly smaller. I have had a few requests to teach how to make one similar. Colours aren’t very good – photo taken in electric lighting

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I have another one in the series.

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Colourcraft have kindly given me some Acid Dyes to experiment with as I have been using them to dye the felt I use for for some of my pieces

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I have had an idea for ages to make a piece of work based on Scandinavian jumpers. For this piece I have used my dyed woollen felt and counterchanged the pieces. I have used Aurifil lana thread ( and a few other threads) to add the patterns.

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Here are some details

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I am really pleased with the finished piece, it is about 20″ x 24″ I would love to make a bigger one but it is time consuming.

I am really enjoying working with the inlay idea. I love these colours and now need to add some red stitching. The background is made up from all the left overs from previous projects.

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Octobers Journal Quilt is based on the lights shining on Chartres Cathedral and now just needs a little white paint.

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My last Voyage Quilt is almost finished – it just needs an edge and some more paint on the eyes and face. He doesn’t look quite right yet.

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Good news – I have gained some sponsership from Aurofil. I am looking forward to receiving a box of Lana threads from Italy. it should arrive soon!

I bought a couple of new books this week. 1970’s embroidery books! I have an idea for using some of my thicker threads

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European Patchwork Meeting

After visiting Basel and Mulhouse I then went on to Colmar and had a wander round the town, visiting a couple of Museums there.

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I enjoyed looking at the Coptic textiles at the Natural history museum. I loved this little pieceIMG_0578

I then caught a train to Selestat, to meet up with Uta Lenk. I unfortunately tripped, and fell, hurt my knee, leg etc. A combination of carrying a heavy rucksac, a sore heel from falling off my bike and wearing varifocal glasses.

I managed to get through the next few days with ibruphofen tablets.

We then caught the bus to St Marie Aux Mines to go to the European Patchwork Meeting. I went to meet up with friends, have a look at the Quilts and help on the SAQA stand. Accommodation close to the main venue is difficult to find but thanks to Uta for the invitation to share her tent I was able to go.

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We had a lot of fun, I met lots of fellow quilters from around the World and enjoyed looking at the quilts. There were so many stunning quilts but here are just a few of my favourites.

I loved Lisa Karlsson’s quilts. They were so big, I was so impressed I had to go back and have a second look, and enjoyed talking to Lisa.

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I also enjoyed Jana Sterbova’s collection of 20 quilts that were all red. These 2 quilts were my favourites

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It was good to see the work at Tellure, showing an ealy piece and a more recent piece from all those that have had exhibitions in the last 20 years. I like the more modern pieces for most of the exhibits but there was the occasional one that I actually preferred the early piece.

Here are a couple of quilts I particularly enjoyed looking at

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There were far too many fantastic quilts and I have put some in an album on facebook.

I loved the Radiation gallery, Wide horizons, Work by Anne Woringer, Olivia Uffer, Pascale’s Forest For Ever quilts, Kate Dowty’s and the Australian Quilts.

The international travelling is good but I also love the teaching I do at home and today I was teaching at the Quilt Cabin. A good day with some fabulous work produced by the students, spoilt only by my aching body. I am really enjoying teaching at the Quilt Cabin in Hebden Bridge.

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They are not finished, in a couple of weeks they will add some machine stitching

Basel

Yesterday I visited the Vitra Design Museum, no, I tried to but the gallery was closed, however the various buildings in the campus were open.
Here is a photo of the outside of the building designed by frank gehry.
In the sunshine it looked fabulous. Here also is the playground and the sculpture by claes Oldenburg

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The Vitra Haus had some very inspiring design features and the decor inside was amazing. I have been a fan of Alexander girard’s designs for a while so it was good to see some of them in their setting.

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Wouldn’t you just love a view like this

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And a studio like this

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But I would really like a lounge like this

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Today I have been to the museum of printed textiles and to the wallpaper museum.
It was interesting to compare the difference between the block printing in India and that of France in the 18th and 19th century.
There was a superb exhibition of art nouveau wall papers some printed in England, others in France, sadly no photos allowed.

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The Internet is very slow but I have some fabulous pictures.
Basel looked good in the evening sunshine last night

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