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.

Saturday, 24 March 2012


Hurrah! I seem to be in good company in the lateness stakes. After much huffing, puffing & searching, here is my offering. It is based on sketches of parts of my favourite cathedral of all which is Durham. It is also influenced by some work I had been doing on distressed banners & flags.

It has painted & dyed muslin over printed fabrics & the squares are from computer porinted flags of my own design. (There is too much art work to show this). It is bound with twisted 'cords' of muslin overstitched to the edge. Free machining completes the piece.

I have my idea organised for the next round, I think, so there should be a prompter response!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Better late than Never

I'm only about six months late!
Sorry everyone
So here it is my

Through the Window piece

" Window to my heart"

This piece was inspired by pictures I took in the Burren in Co. Clare with Claire as our tour guide as  research for a larger group piece.
For the last couple of years I've been working on an Elemental theme incorporating the seasons as related to life cycles. It's me working out who and where I am
 ( end of summer, moving into autumn!)
I feel a strong bond to ancient rural sites and the power they hold.
As a child I grew up about half an hours drive from Newgrange, one of the most well known ancient sites and had two ruins of castles to play in, just several fields from home.
Here I've tried to blend me into the ancient stone looking through one window into the past.

 I love to play with all types of photo transfer and have used several of them here. I've used bits of images transferred using transfer paper, image maker and bubble jet set. They all react differently with the fabric and create interesting effects when layered.

Detail showing effect achieved by use of walnut ink wash

This image was taken from an ancient grave stone

and this is the back of the piece which I quiet like.
I burnt the edges so that I wouldn't feel obliged to bind them!
I wanted to keep a raw feeling to the piece.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

I have an idea, too!  It came to me while I was reading Terry Pratchett this morning and something interfaced with Mothering Sunday and items I had inherited from my Gran and my Nana.  Suddenly, there was the germ of an idea and it took off in my head....

More anon.

This picture may or may not be completely irrelevant - I am happily taking a course (Extending Embellishment) with Karen Ruane, and this is my most recent sample.

time challenge started!

i have started on the new challenge theme: time....
and for once i have an idea that i'm going to stick with, AND i have started - bonus points and elephant stamp please.
 in conversation with Kind Dog on the subject,  i was struck by an idea that is about process rather than form or about trying to capture a feeling or abstract idea. this one is extremely practical.
so far i have machine sewn strips of old cloth - fragments of old linens and clothing (cottons, silks, linens) onto a base ripped from an old cotton sheet. and i am hand stitching now with the most delicious thread that arrived this week from nancy at long ridge farm

Friday, 9 March 2012

Admin - posting 5

I've set up a group e-mail address which you'll see in the box on the right - in the New Members box.  It would be very, very helpful if everyone could e-mail that address - please?  Ta muchly.....

4th Challenge: Time

TIME: The Fourth Challenge  
set by Deirdre

The new  challenge is 'Time'.  (Although if you are like most people I bet Time is ALWAYS a challenge!)

Time waits for no one, and of course we never have Time.  

This winter has shown me how fleeting and unpredictable time is. 

So this challenge is to make a quilt which reflects what time means to you.

Deadline for complete of this challenge is Monday 24th April.

Good Luck!
   :-D eirdre

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Sue: Architexture - Memories of Marrakech

This was a challenging and frustrating challenge for me - not because I was not inspired by it, but because the combination of flu and ME/CFS after Christmas really floored me, and because I was unable to locate either my photographs of a very enjoyable and inspiring visit to Marrakech or the fabrics and threads I have amassed with the intention of making some textile art based upon the trip.  Marrakech is an extreme experience.  We stayed in a riad inside the old Medina, away from the modern   generic European architecture, so it was quite an immersive experience, too, and I loved it.  This is just scratching the surface of my repository of ideas and intentions based on the Cinnamon or Ochre City, but I have enjoyed revisiting in my mind while working it.

There were a number of striking features to buildings in the old cities I saw.  The pine-cone topping of walls fascinated me, and the use of ceramic tiles to introduce geometric pattern and colour to interior -walls.  Buildings tend to have plain exteriors clad in earth-pigmented stone or daub, but through the door one enters another world, peacefully arranged around a courtyard which lets in natural light, being open to the sky.  Walls and floors tend to be colourfully tiled in mosaic patterns, with carved plasterwork and shuttered, grilled windows adding to a richness of pattern and texture.  The best courtyards echo to the sound of running water flowing into a small plunge pool, surrounded by lush plantings of roses, bananas and sweet flowering jasmine.

I used a stencil and Markal sticks to give an impression of tile patterns, and took as my central feature the wonderful Almoravid dome of the Koubba, an ancient wash-house in which the faithful would perform their ablutions prior to prayer in the no-longer-standing mosque.  It is a stunning building, inside and out, which is now well below street level as the city has grown and redeveloped around it.  When we visited, there was a mother cat suckling her kittens in the shade of one of the external walls of its enclosure: the city seems to belong to the feral cats as much as to the people and the mopeds.

I wanted to convey the sense of enclosure within walls and the decorative interiors hidden by the dull exterior walls.  This is a land where the evil eye is feared, and wealth and good fortune traditionally not flaunted in order to avoid attracting it - except, of course, there are always subtle ways of showing off!

Again, I've roughly worked to a squared-off A3/A4 size, and used machine quilting on commercially available cotton fabrics, apart from my hand stencilled tile fabric.

Monday, 5 March 2012


Thanks for the 'heads up' Sue! I did my Challenge piece ages ago but we have had a large-scale reorganisation & I have only just found it. I thought that it was lost & I certainly cannot find all the artwork. I shall post what I have in the next day or so. (Please note that this is not a 'dog ate my homework' excuse).

I am certainly looking forward to the next Challenge.


My ME/CFS has been stoked by the fluey bugs I had since Christmas and I'm struggling to get anything done at the moment, although slow progress is being made on my Architextural piece.  I'm loving the pieces posted thus far and will comment on them when my piece is done.

Three questions:

1.  We've not heard from several members this time around - are you battling on like me, or have you dropped out?  Please let us know so we can progress appropriately :)

2.  Are you champing at the bit for the next challenge?  We have been working through our number alphabetically, which means that the next one should be set by Deirdre, I think.  Are you up for this, Deirdre?

3.  Does anyone have the waiting list of those desirous of joining us?

hoping for a very stitchy day tomorrow.

Sunday, 4 March 2012


here is my piece for 'architexture' ....
 lumen is a three dimensional hand stitched textile piece with layers of sari silk, hand dyed machine stitched cotton and sinemay. it was stitched with cotton and silk thread using sorbello stitch, running stitch and french knots. inside the piece are 'sticks' i made of cotton string soaked in black gesso and paverpol.
i had lots of ideas for this challenge mostly to do with cathedrals, skylines and gargoyles. but none of them fired my imagination until last week when i was surfing around the internet and got into a cross referencing spiral around the theme of liminal space and thresholds (which was another image i was toying with). there was a link to the word 'lumen' which of course, Alice-like, I followed and found the anatomical meaning of the word.

A lumen (Lat. lūmen, an opening or light) (pl. lumina) in biology is the inside space of a tubular structure, such as an artery or intestine.
which made me think of Kind Dog's 'heart event' as the hospital people called it, which happened nearly six months ago. of the inside of his arteries and how they were stitched back together lined with mesh. and how this has certainly saved and extended his life.
so while this is not an orthodox interpretation of the architexture theme it is certainly of a structure, a space, a construction.

it is lumen