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.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Architextur - and an introduction

It was just a short time ago that I became a member of this group ... and when I read about the theme that was due on Feb. 24th, I had to grin. Because - I had already done a quilt to that theme! About a year ago, and it measures about 1 m square.
"Architextur" was the challenge of the MainQuiltFestival in 2011. The quilt was due Dec 2010, and I was late, as I'm quite often. The quilts were not allowed to be shown before the exhibition, so I worked on it secretly and blogged only little bits of information. In the end - that quilt never made it to the exhibition, because I messed up, big time. DH and me were able to save it, so at least it became hang-able. It now lives in our office /guest room in our home.
This trainstation was the inspiration for the quilt. I commute to work every day, so I see this building quite often. The fabrics are hand-dyed, and I transferred surface textures from different parts of the station with paintsticks. As our station is an pretty old station, you can find lots of different patterns - I had fun, and was even joined by a little guy who helped out ;-))
The piecing of the quilt included some troubles, but I was able to solve them. I started quilting the top in the fine light lines, and everything was well. But (you knew there would be a but, don't you?) - than I started to quilt the dark strips. I wanted them to resemble wood ... and I did dense quilting ... more like "intense machine stitching" ... and when I realized that my quilt was now happily waving at me, it was too late. So, no quilt of mine at that show - but by pulling it taut over stretchers, it did not go to waste.

Ok - now some information about me. I live in the southern part of Germany with my husband and two cats. English is not my first language, so I might make mistakes ... sorry for this !! When I'm not working for a paycheck, I'm chasing my creative dreams. Quilting became my creative outlet about 15 years ago. First I sewed traditional quilts, but soon those got a twist towards a more modern style. In 2009 I started art quilting - and I never looked back. Recently I realized why quilting became so important to me, the link to that specific blog post is here. And this is the link to my blog - I try to blog at least 3 times a week. I'm glad to be now a member of this group - looking forward to our next challenge!

Monday, 27 February 2012

I will lift up mine eyes

Well, here is my first offering to the group: "I will lift up mine eyes".  Thread sketching on silk.  A3 size.
I am not really religious, but as soon as I learnt that I would be able to participate in this theme of Architexture,  I immediately started thinking about soaring and elegant cathedral ceilings.  Perhaps I was sub-consciously influenced by Alain de Botton's concurrent visit to Australia to promote his most recent book. Over the past week, I have also had a work trip to Adelaide, known as Australia's City of Churches.  Perhaps it is because of the start of Lent, I am not sure, but I knew this is what I wanted to represent.
I had hoped to be able to take some photos in Adelaide, but sadly that wasn't to be, so the quilt is based on a photograph by Jan van der Crabben, accessed through Wikipedia, and covered by the "Creative Commons Attribution - Share Alike 2.0 Generic Licence" which allows the sharing or adaptation of images with attribution.  (The resulting work, such as this quilt, are then covered by the same licence)

The quilt was constructed with a base of white homespun and cotton batting, covered with layers of white, cream and pastel strips of different weights and textures of 100% silk, from the stash for eco-dying.  You can see this in the following photograph of the completed quilt, taken on top of the lightbox.
I really started this quilt without knowing how I would finish it.  I like the raw and uneven edges, but it did need something to give it a "full stop".  I discovered a scrap of the gold embroidered sari border, which seemed perfect but too small.  I actually went to our local fabric and trims shop to look for something similar, but when the shop assistant asked if I needed any help, the look on her face when I tried to explain I wanted something "ecclesiastical" made it all too clear I would have to modify and make do.
I mitered the 2 small strips I had, then ran off lines of gold thread the extend to the top and left borders - in keeping with the frayed edges throughout the quilt.  I actually think this is better than if I had been able to find enough trim to frame the whole image.
I finished the opposite corner a lace truncated cross - again discovered amid the stash of silks.
The rose window was no in the original photo, and I tried to emphasis its focal point by cutting some gold silk to roughly fit the shape - like looking at a glorious dawn or sunset through the window.
Wonderful and thought-provoking theme.  I am looking forward to the next one!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Archi-texture (Hundertwasser style)

This piece was started in a Sandra Meech workshop a few years ago. It was inspired by Hundertwasser and its a mixed-media piece.
The background is made up of painted papers, which I then free machine quilted. The binding is made of purple fabric, with blanket stitch used to add beading around the edges. I didn't manage to get an A3-sized piece done this time, instead it's A4-sized.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

My Archi-texture piece

I seem to have been focussing a lot on bricks and stones and general architectural marks in my printing over the last few years so I decided to make a piece using some of the various fabrics. My plan at first was to do a sort of free-form log cabin but since I didn't bother to consult my C&G sample this went a bit awry rather quickly!

As one of my reasons for participating in this challenge is to try out new techniques, I decided to use freeform rotary cutting and also a self-facing rather than traditional binding (using Kathy Loomis' excellent tutorial.)

The fabrics are a mixture of cotton, silk dupion and another sort of silk which was a right pain. They had been printed at various times with a selection of fabric paints, thickened procion dyes, thickened natural dye extracts, and rust; mostly with thermofax screens and/or found objects.

One curious thing I have noticed about my design process over the last few months is that I seem to end up rotating most of my finished work 90 degrees before I'm happy with it, and this was no exception. I must have some sort of curious lopsided mind!! That's probably why most of my work ends up a strange shape as well!

Friday, 24 February 2012

An Archi-textural Urn

After one heck of a lot of deliberation and changes of mind I finally found the perfect design for me to produce something quick and effective for my Challenge piece.

I printed this section of the design onto Lutradur, placed fabric behind it which is from the Stonehenge Collection by Northcott, outlined the shapes with rayon thread then painted a light layer of puff paint on the raised sections before zapping with the heat gun.  And here's the result...

I couldn't capture the exact colours but they are more of a pale aqua, pale pink and grey.  I think it does look better in the flesh though!


Don't look now but I'm actually here for this challenge's reveal.  See, I do stay home sometimes LOL
 I'll start from the end which is the piece I've reached by today's reveal date.  At the moment it's  called Archi-texture I as I've forgotten the name of the building that inspired it but it is all about decaying surfaces and is only one of the directions this challenge took my thoughts.

After enjoying the process of the Pojagi in the last challenge I was keen to carry on exploring layers and the idea of looking through. On a train journey from Cornwall I had plenty of time to let my mind wander and notes I made at the time include suggestions of monoprinting on cotton; building up layers of print on top; sponging; painting over stitched, quilted fabric, discharging, painting again; scribbled stitching.  As the train slowly approached London we passed a Macdonalds' with its iconic arched logo and that turned a light on.  Having recently seen Karen Turner's work I thought about layering fabrics over a textured basecloth and cutting the arches through to reveal the texture below.  I think that would have been a fun way to go but when I got home and started looking at my photos of texture and architecture I found an image I had taken in Leicester near the New Walk Museum of a very decaying building.

As you can now see the image at the top caught my imagination and I decided to explore that with surface design on fabric.

Using my own printed , dyed and discharged fabrics I cut and bonded the pieces to batting layering one or two sheers with text on them below the dyed net curtaining that forms the 3 neutral columns.  My free machining/quilting skills are distinctly lacking but I used a variety of stitching to describe the cracks that you might see as a building deteriorates.  The 'quilt' is A3 size and there is no binding, the backing was turned through and the edge closed with top stitching all round.

The beauty of this challenge, as with the preceding ones, is that it has opened my mind up to so many possibilities and so many ways to interpret the texture in architecture and I could and hopefully will carry on exploring for many months to come.  I am hoping that the next challenge will lead naturally into related areas of work and I still have to come back to how pojagi and archi-texture can come together. 

Tuesday, 21 February 2012


Hi, I'm Kathryn and thoroughly chuffed to join this group.  I am in my 50's, from Melbourne, Australia and a friend of Lisette's. I have been quilting since 1985, and if you laid my quilts out in chronological order, they would probably be a fair representation of the history of quilting over the past (almost) 3 decades.  At this point, my quilts tend to be quite representational, and I love free-motion quilting and thread-painting.
I have just begun to teach: I don't know whether to say professionally or formally, but let's just say that it will be recognized on my tax return!
It's a bit of a tight turnaround to meet Fridays deadline, but I love the challenge theme and know where I want to take it!  Hopefully I will have something more tangible to show by Friday!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Getting There - Slowly...

I have just layered up, at last, my piece for this challenge.  Over the last few months I've had a few (minor) health problems and then last week I sadly lost my dad...

I'm hoping to make the deadline, which is next Friday, so I might just do it.  Just one thing though - it's Journal sized (A4) and the reason for this is that it's a size I am most comfortable working with.  I hope that isn't a problem?  I think we agreed on A3 at one stage but to be honest, that's too large for me.

It's taken me hours of trawling through my photos to find a suitable design and there are lots I'd love to do until this particular one just jumped out at me and the ideas of how to portray it fell into place straight away.  Now all I have to do is transfer my ideas to the fabric...