A group of internet artists from all over the place who have decided to give each other a challenge every few weeks, on a theme chosen by each in turn. We have different ideas and styles, but share a love of textiles, and want to have some fun.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Hi From Julie

I thought it was about time I said hello to everyone here, especially as I see from the list that I am one of the last to do so.  I know quite a few of the names here and am a bit overawed by the calibre of the participants but I am looking forward to the challenges and to learning and sharing in this environment.

As some of you probably know I don't work as I have CFS and I came to quilting by a circuitous route but one that I am finding is quite common.  For about 6 years in the early 2000's I concentrated on painting in oils and watercolour but gradually got drawn into looking at fibre art and thence to quilting.  You can see my work on my blog at http://mixedmedia-jem.blogspot.com   My original idea was to paint on fabric but so far I haven't done much of that.  Maybe this is my chance to try?

It was a random visit to the Festival of Quilts in 2004 that set me off on this whirlwind path of joyful play with farbics, dyes, threads and embellishments.  I still don't know where I am going but I am enjoying the ride. 

I have an idea for this first challenge of Shadow and Light so the next thing is to get on with it! lol 

Many thanks to Annabel, as ever, for having the idea and the drive to bring us all together and I look forward to seeing how we all interpret this theme.  Slightly scary is the thought of thinking of a theme when it's my turn!

Friday, 29 July 2011

Greetings from Clare

Hi everybody,
I'm Claire - based in County Clare, in the Mid-West of Ireland.

I work full-time as an Environmental Scientist/Engineer at an aircraft maintenance firm.

In my spare time, I love nothing better than to mess around with fabric and paper. Really like dyeing and printing fabric.
Have a blog: Millypenny

At the moment, I'm Editor and Webmaster for the Irish Patchwork Society (IPS). I only have 1 more newsletter to do, and then I can hand over to my new sub-editor, so should have a lot more time on my hands.
I'm also the Editorial Rep. for the Mid-West Branch of the IPS and look after their blog as well.

I have an idea for the "lights and shadows" theme in mind. Based on a photograph from a holiday in Spain that I've always wanted to do something with, and now's my chance. Just have to get my thinking cap on and figure how to turn it into a textile piece though...

Looking forward to seeing what everyone is going to make for the challenge - it's going to be very interesting!

Greetings from Limerick

Hello everyone, my name is Paula Rafferty and it's my friend Claire's fault that I'm here, thanks Claire.
I'm a full time art/craft teacher working in the Irish Prison system and a mother of two. I also make quilts in my spare time.
My background is fashion, I trained as a fashion designer in Limerick School of Art and Design back in the last eighties. I specialised in stretch fabrics and ran my own design business for six years before returning to collage to train as a teacher.
I started quilting in 2002 after years of collecting fabrics and Kaffe Fassett books, due to the fact I joined a local quilt group.
Totally obsessed I've become with a purpose built studio at the side of the house which is bursting with my fabric stash, and is my haven when I need to escape!
I make both traditional and contemporary quilts, my traditional quilts I call my therapy quilts ( usually squares that I piece in random patterns )as I usually make several of these while or just after working on a contemporary piece ( lots of painting, dyeing, printing, etc and thinking).
I've no ideas yet for the challenge as I'm frantic trying to finish my collection for the Fashion Sans Frontiers fashion show for the Festival of Quilts in a couple of weeks.
Terrified and excited I am as I haven't made garments in a number of years but looking forward to seeing all the quilts and the shopping, there'll be no stopping me as I'm taking the car so no weight restrictions!
Delighted to be part of the group and cann't wait to get started,
Paula Rafferty

Monday, 25 July 2011

Sue - here I am

Posting from London where I'm visiting my Mum in the house I grew up in.  Normally I live in a village between Bristol and Weston-super-Mare, not far from the birthplace of our Annabel.  One day, I'll actually meet her.  I have met Liz, and know almost everyone else from blogland/yahoo groups and the like.  So, ladies, it's lovely to be with you here.

I'm going to be 57 next month and have had ME for 23 years, before which I was a zippy social worker and young Mum to Sarah (now 24 and living away from home).  I also have arthritis and am awaiting a hip replacement op, probably in September.  Harout and I also have Anna (20) and Ben (15).  I am not really a patchworker although I have dabbled a bit over the years, and especially when I took C&G Embroidery.  Thus I guess I'm more of an embroiderer but I'm a technique tart and dabble with many different methods of working.  I have also started painting again, having found a lovely teacher within reach who is helping me achieve acrylic paintings I'm well chuffed with.

It occurs to me that my most recent painting is kind of about light and shade, and that I took loads of light and shade-relevant photos at the Chelsea Physic Gardens yesterday afternoon (lovely place to visit).

Lots of possibilities to explore, aren't there? This is going to be fun!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

1st Challenge - date amendment

Just a quick note to remind you to let me know if you want email notifications when people leave comments.

Also, Sally has reminded me that I originally said there would be 2 months in which to do a challenge and I'd only allowed about 6 weeks for this one. So I've made an amendment to the end date for the first challenge and it's now 23rd September 2011. Soz.

Introducing Sally Bramald

I've been quilting for years and years and years. I normally make traditional or contemporary though not art quilts.

I was born in London, went to Australia when small, left at about 15 years old to live on a Greek Island, then arrived back in London, by myself at 16 years old. I have worked in computers, antiques and back in my hippy days I ran a shop in Kensington Market, in High St Ken, London.

I have a 22year year old daughter who has finished uni and is now living in London. So it is just my husband and I at home. He has a paralysed diaphragm, I have fibromyalgia between the two of us we nearly make up one fully functioning person.  I have a girl Friday (who comes on Thursdays) to help out.

I joined this challenge because Annabel said we would have 2 months to complete each piece, though I see we only have less than 6 weeks for the first one! I normally like to mull a piece of work over in my head for a couple of years before starting, this will be my challenge........

Introducing Deirdre

I'm Deirdre Abbotts, I’m 55 and I live in Westport, CT (50 miles east of NYC). I have several friends in this group and I'm thrilled to be able to participate. My mind seems to be flipping through ideas for the Light & Shadow challenge, sorting the ideas into Yes No and Maybe piles.

I've been married for 20+ years and have a daughter in college who loves the weather in NC and my a son who likes it cooler lives in VT.

The last few years have had too much day-job and not enough creative expression. I was on the board of my quilt guild but found the politics to be overwhelming and under-appreciated. So this year I have stepped back and will let some of the other members step up, while continuing to maintain the guild website.

I did make a commitment (to myself) this year to learn printmaking, and have been using my membership at Center for Contemporary Printmaking to experiment and try new techniques. I really like using the presses and it's great to be in a place where there is so much talent on display. CCP has great classes and exhibits, and I'm lucky it is only a few miles from my home. I'm hoping to learn ways to try some of the techniques I'm using on paper and see what I can do on fabric.

I have several quilt projects in various states of completion. And I'm looking forward to finishing a few of them!

Like the rest of you, I'm sure I have more ideas then time. But that won't stop me from thinking of the next project... no matter what the medium. Fiber, painting, photography, printmaking, web design, drawing, beading, the list could (and does) go on and on!

I NEED ART in my LIFE! Without it - I'm Incomplete!

:-D eirdre

PS – Thanks to Annabel for sending me another key!

Introducing Elma

I think I am really the "granny" of the group being well past Sandra .........................suffice it to say I got my bus pass several years ago..................h-m-m-m!!
I was, in another life, an Occupational Therapist till marriage and motherhood took over! I have always had a needle and thread in my hand as far back as I can remember, one of my grandmothers was a dressmaker, unfortuately I never met her, as she died well before I was even a twinkle in my father's eye!
I started off with embroidery, then dressmaking and eventually found my passion for patchwork and quilting in 1986 on our first visit to the States, and so the journey began.
I am a member of Paisley Patchers and Kilbirnie Sew'n' sews, which are my two local Quilting Groups. I have moved, as the years have gone by, from being very much a traditional quilter to enjoying experimenting with different textile media. Last year was my first toe in the water to exhibiting at FoQ, which has been an interesting adventure............. doing so again this year ;-)
I am lookinfg forward to bouncing ideas back and forth with you all!!

Elma in Lochwinnoch, Scotland

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Introducing Annabel

Blank page trauma.

Thinking. Thinking....

What to say, what to say?  Well, I'm 55 so sort of in the middle of the group age wise, so far anyway. I am married to Graham and have two beautiful wonderful daughters, that sadly don't live very near me. I was born in Somerset but I moved so many times as a child that I'm left with a permanent feeling of not having a place where I can park my heart. Warwickshire does for now.

I've been quilting for about 12 years and painting for about 4 years, and just recently the two have sort of melded together. I'm on some sort of happy journey but don't quite know where my destination is. It might be that I will continue to change and not have a style...ever!  I have no artistic background whatsoever and have come a little late to such things, so feel I need to cram lots in before I get too old to hold the scissors.

Whilst I'm painting, I think I'll never sew again, and whilst I'm sewing, I think I'll never paint again. I need to do both in some form.  I have a room which is the back half of a double length garage, which has been converted for me to use as a studio. It has huge glass doors which open and let the summer in - when we have any of course, and am free to produce whatever the mood fancies. I also like to work on a large scale - I like the impact large quilts make in a gallery space.

It's important for me that what I produce is meaningful in some way, and I'd love for it to be called art. That would make me happy.  I have a sense of humour which sneaks into pieces as well, without being asked! I don't know how it does that; it's magic.

I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone does. Have fun everyone.

Introducing Sandra

Hi everyone - sorry I forgot to introduce myself earlier.  I'm probably the granny of the group - 64 in years - but inside my head I'm still nineteen.  I live alone (as a human) but with two cats who seem worryingly intensely interested in everything I do.  I have recently developed the top floor of the house (large Leeds terrace) into studio space - think linen cupboard and storage on the landing, large sewing-room with everything the right height thanks to kitchen going cheap on ebay plus design/painting/printing room.  Planning to downsize and move to Northumberland if I can a)stop what I'm doing long enough to decorate the house ready for sale (trouble about being retired is you can no longer afford to pay someone to do such things)  and b) find a place with large studio space with attached living accommodation.  So no need to hold your breath - though I am getting there a bit at a time.

Husband (died in 2000) was a painter (pictures not walls) and restorer of paintings and taught me a lot about art even if sometimes it nearly led to divorce (I did think that teaching someone about perspective by getting them to draw Whitby rooftops was somewhat unreasonable - for those who don't know Whitby, houses are higgledy-piggledy and all different sizes as well as being on hills and up steps and things...)  I also did a second degree in Cultural History which opened my mind to all sorts of things way back at the end of the sixties.

After a long time teaching English I was finally invalided out with CFS/ME when I took up quilting as therapy in 1993.  Later I tried to run a fabric-dyeing business (OK at dyeing, useless at business) during which I met Marion for the first time.  Then a hiatus until sometime around 2006 or so when I discovered art quilting and later computers and blogging, not to mention the Contemporary Quilt group.  As you can imagine I have no trouble filling my time, though I will admit I am by nature an arch-procrastinator.

Oh and I tend to talk too much.  Sorry about that!

Introducing Mags

Hi, I'm Margaret (Mags for short) and I'm a  year younger than Marion , Angela and Liz. Something about reaching 50... I've been doing a lot of navel gazing and not much quilting this year so the idea of a challenge shared with your company is just what I need.
I work full time as a scientist at Kew Gardens, married to Ian for 6 years, no children . We've lived in this house in Brentford for 4 years - large enough to hold  thousands of books ( the only duplicate  a Delia Smith cookery book!) 3 computers and my stash of fabric and art supplies which is not small. I have the biggest room  as my office/studio.

I have always painted  and drawn and have been stitching almost as long ( my  mother did C&G embroidery in the 70's and taught patchwork and quilting). I've been making Journal Quilts for the last 8 years but my preference is for working on a larger scale ( I'm glad to see that there's no size constaint here!) I set up a website a few months ago  and I've been blogging since 2007 (magsramsay - experiments with textiles, paints and plants ).
Looking forward to seeing what everybody comes up with!

...and Another!

I'm Angela...the same age as Marion & Liz and I hail from Cheadle - the one in Cheshire, not Staffordshire.  I've lived there for 30 years with my husband, two children (who've now flown the nest) and an assortment of pets including rabbits, hamsters, goldfish and an adopted cat...who are now all in pet heaven.  I work part time as a medical secretary for our local GP surgery but the rest of my time is taken up with quilt/textile design.

I've been blogging since 2008 - Angela's Textile Art .  I love to create smaller pieces of work - mainly journals - but my latest project, which many of you will already know about is a wedding quilt for my son's wedding next June.  This has been a huge project for me and started life as Jennifer Chiaverini's 'Sylvia's Bridal Sampler', but I couldn't cope with piecing all those small pieces and cheated by duplicating the easier blocks and making up a few of my own - so it's now the 'Wedding Quilt' !  It makes a change from textile art but I'm really getting withdrawal symptoms now.

My favourite textiles to work with are Lutradur and Tyvek, so watch this space...  I've got plans for Light & Shadow already :o)

Hello from Jane

Thank you Annabel for forming this group! I'm really looking forward to the challenges and to getting to know you all better.

I'm Jane Davila from Connecticut in the US. I live about an hour north of New York City which gives me the best of all things - a quintessential New England small town that's just a short train ride away from Broadway and the biggest art scene in the world. I've lived in a lot of different places (Miami, Dallas, Woodstock, Lima Peru, etc) but I can't imagine living anywhere else now. Of course it was 104F in NYC yesterday, so somewhere cooler sounds lovely in this second, lol.

My mom and I opened a quilt shop in 1990 and I learned to quilt and began teaching quilt classes there. In 2003 a friend and I developed a series of art quilting classes that grew into 2 books with C&T Publishing, Art Quilt Workbook and Art Quilts at Play. Since then I've written another book for C&T and another will be released in OCtober 2012.

Two years ago we closed our shop (after 19 years) and now I work as a freelance teacher, traveling all over the world, author and designer. In January I accepted the position of freelance editor of the digital emagazine Quilting Arts In Stitches. My husband and I continue to sell all of the fun art quilting, mixed media and surface design supplies that I used to sell in the shop but as vendors at quilt shows and online, so we do a fair amount of traveling for that too.

My husband is an artist also, working in oils and in sculpture. He emigrated to the US from Peru and is from a family of artists. His father was a well-known abstract expressionist in South America and one of his brothers is a surrealist. Our daughter lives about 15 minutes away from us and is super creative also (she hasn't embraced the label "artist" yet) and is a whiz at etsy and online selling of her crafts.

Because I started out as a printmaker, a lot of my fiber work incorporates printmaking techniques and I tend to work fairly small. A lot of my recent work has been for deadlines (books, magazines, teaching proposals) and I really need a place and a reason to do some work for fun and just for me. I am so looking forward to our challenges here and seeing what we all come up with!

Another hello!

Hi everyone, thought I'd leap in and introduce myself too before procrastination gets the better of me!

I'm Liz, I'm the same age as Marion, and I live in Newport, South Wales (the one by Cardiff). I have three teenage boys (aggh!), a husband, three hens and a 21 year old cat. I've been blogging since 2005 and flagging a bit: my blog is called Dreaming Spirals. The last few years I've been mostly screenprinting large pieces of work and not stitching very much but I'd like to get back into smaller pieces as I think I work better that way.

I'm glad that the first challenge is light and shadow because I took part in the ArthouseCoop Sketchbook Project last year and was mostly drawing fences and steps and their shadows... it's the summer holidays and I won't have much time to work on it so at least I can get down to something quickly!

Hello, Everyone...

and thank you, Annabel, for starting us off. I wonder if it might be a good thing to say a few words about who we are and our current work? I know I know all the names on the list, but don't know the people behind them particularly well. As I'm not blogging much, you may not know quite what I'm up to at the moment...

I'm marion, 51, Scottish artist living in the middle of nowhere in sunny Norfolk UK with DH and four stroppy cats. Probably best known for working with Evolon and Lutradur. Currently experimenting with large scale semi abstract floral images printed out on Big Bertha, my wide scale Epson printer.

I'm involved in a local gallery, and would be happy to arrange an exhibition for this group if you would like it? Nothing like getting in at the deep end, is there ?

New Challenge

Love the challenge Annabel.  It's just up my street - immediate thoughts are trees.  But maybe I won't go for immediate thoughts this time, eh?  After all this is meant to be a challenge!

The First Challenge

Righty ho then, and off we go! I'm setting the first challenge so that no one feels pressured into thinking of something for a completely new group; we're all unknown quantities! I'm keeping it simple for a first go, but be warned, I can get a bit strange!!

Challenges should be broad enough to encompass everyone's styles I think, and to give a bit of thinking room - although doing something out of the comfort zone is great too. My idea of a nightmare is for someone to say "Do a Mariners Compass 6" square in charcoal grey and cadmium red"  I'd need counselling.

You can post as you go along and share your thinking processes, or save it for the end date, which for this challenge is 23rd September, and will be Light and Shadow   Entirely up to you.


Many thanks Annabell I received your email invite!

Welcome everyone

Welcome to the beginning of a new challenge. We're a group who have got together to challenge and inspire ourselves, and have some fun at the same time.

We are in the process of setting up this blog and would be delighted if you would like to tune in now and again to see what we're up to. No doubt it's appearance will change a bit over the coming weeks too!

The idea is for each of us in turn to set a challenge - it can be anything - that everybody will work on for a few weeks. Things may change over time, but we'll start on the premise of allowing 8 weeks to make a piece of original work of any size to fit within the theme. It might not be a finished piece ie ready to hang, but will be a completed design.

Hopefully everyone will blog about their thought processes and their progress.