Personalising fabric

printed fabricsThe array of printed fabrics offered today is just amazing and I can spend significant amounts of time browsing shops and websites, enjoying the inventive designs.  Still, it seems when I  come to do work from developing my own design (as opposed to to making up pieced blocks as samples) I can’t find exactly what I want.  I’ve done dyeing before but this time I decided to try altering patterned and plain fabrics I already had.

I’m working on a piece ipieced trianglesnspired by a visit to Ravenna and  from my photographs I designed three small textural areas (cobblestones, brickwork and mosaic) and had Thermofax screens made up. Claire turned my emails into delivered screens in just 24 hours so I was able to spend a day playing with paints and screens preparing fabric for a weekend away.

my flying geeseI went to a workshop with Annette Morgan and using the technques on offer began to produce the blocks I will need for my Ravenna piece. These two are both based on  areas of floor mosaic in San Vitale basilica.


Other participants were working in wonderfully vivid colours in their blocks, art quilt 1joining them into art quilts.  Mine will be joined later when I have stitched some more and can begin to see how they will fit together. You can see we were creating the same blocks – foundation pieced triangles and flying geese for example – but the fabrics, scale and placement create completely different impressions.


Two exhibitions in a week

This year I joined the Costume and Textile Association which supports the unique costume and textile collection of the Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service. To celebrate its 25th anniversary it held an open, juried competition for textile artists with the theme Silvery Threads.  I took the plunge and entered a piece I’d been working on based on the paisley, or boteh, design which was found on Norwich shawls.

botehI was delighted to have the piece accepted and on Saturday went up to view all the entries.  It is a very interesting collection of different textile techniques and individual approaches and I can thoroughly recommend getting to it if you can before it closes on Sunday. There is a list of award winners here.

hostryThe venue was the wonderful new Hostry building at Norwich Cathedral – worth a visit even if you miss the exhibition.

tin hut oct 14On Tuesday I visited the exhibition in Bury St Edmunds of work by members of Tin Hut Textiles. This was a beautifully varied exhibition with the members all working in their own styles to interpret common themes, the most recent being All that Glisters. These pieces sat very well alongside lovely works from previous  ‘elements’ such as copper.