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.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Roll call

Well, going by the responses to last post it seems we have 6 potential members: Sue, Luitgard, Jenny, Mimi, Susanne and myself (Kathryn). Unless some of you are going by aliases, this doesn't seem to bear much resemblance to the members list on the sidebar of the blog. We all seem to agree a fresh start is needed with some differences about how we go about that, prinipally about what platform we use. I am happy to take an active role in moderating once we have set up a renewed and revitalised website/blog/whatever, but honestly don't have the technical skills to get us started. It would also seem we should increase our membership - perhaps by invitation to our readership(such as it is) or through our personal connections. I am at the Australasian Quilt Convention next week, and could use that to network. I am also wondering if regular challenges suits our needs, as most of us seem to have difficulty completing them. I wonder if this is the inspiration we need at this stage of our collective creative lives. Maybe we should realistically look at less challenges, and more sharing and comments about whatever else we are working on and finding inspirational. More like a community of artists encouraging and spurring each other on. For example, perhaps every two months we respond to a prompt such as: What technique / medium currently excites you? Where do you do your creative work? How do you track down the muse when she has gone into hiding? Just some thoughts. Please respond, whether or not you are an official member. Cheers Kathryn p.s I still can't seem to load any photos!

Sunday, 24 March 2013


I feel that we are no further forward.  Have we got a group or not?  I suggest a roll call of everyone who is still reading.  Answer the simple question - are you in or not?  I suggest 7 April as a cut-off date for this.

If we have enough people still interested I suggest that the current blog is shut down & strongly recommend a Yahoo group in its place.  I said this before because it is flexible & easy to use.  It is also much easier for anyone interested to join.  All we need is someone to volunteer to set it up.  I understand that it is simple to do but I cannot organise it as I am running a couple of groups already in addition to my work.

Any volunteers & please can we have a roll call so the position is clearer?

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

No longer drowning, just waving!

I will put my hand up as a member who has not fulfilled my committment to the group since I joined last year. However, I am keen for the group to continue, perhaps restructured, but certainly revitalised and refreshed. To demonstrate my committment, I would like to post a photo of my contribution to the latest challenge: Reflections... but for some reason I can't load the photo, so I am putting the link to my blog instead, where hopefully you will be able to see it. http://contextilequilting,blogspot.com.au I don't know if a change in format will revitalise the group, but it certainly can only help to present our work in an up-to-date way that reflects our enthusiasm for textile art. Life became very busy for me last year, and I have two unfinished challenge pieces - once I felt the group had moved on, I guess I sort of lost interest. But I find the concept of "the group" very nebulous, and I wasn't quite sure who else was potentially posting or viewing. I am keen to continue, to engage with the creative community in this quite personalised way, and to be pushed in my artistic endeavours. Kathryn p.s. if someone has a hint as to why I can't post the photo, please let me know!

Sunday, 17 March 2013


I was wondering what was happening to the group as well.  No-one knows whose in & whose out. People seemed to be leaving withough saying so & it appears to me that the ship is rudderless & without a captain.  Who is in charge?

1)  I have found from the start that the blog is organised in a confusing & unnecessarily complex way.  There is no e-mail contact given so what do prospective members do if they are interested in joining?  The profiles are unnecessary in this form (mine was never put on the site properly anyway).  The Challenge Gallery does not exist (at least, the pictures are crossed out on my computer).

2)  I think the idea of getting each member in turn to set a Challenge was a good one but thw timescale was too short to  finish new piece on a regular basis  Three months or so per Challenge would have been better & work in progress should be acceptable.  I take a long time to formulate my ideas & design my work before even starting to make it in fabric.

3)  I believe that if if we are to stay in play then the whole project has to be reformed & that a Yahoo group is the easiest to set up & manage - inded, I don't know why this wasn't the format from the start  We could talk to each other through it & others could join by application.  I don't think that I have the skills to do this but if someone else were to take it on they would have my full support.

4)  Perhaps we could start with a 'roll call' of whose in?

Over now to whoever else is paying attention!


Tuesday, 12 March 2013


Hello, is anybody out there?! I'm just wondering who is still participating? I'm really sorry so many members left the group, even if I understand your reasons.
So, can we do a new start? As far as I know it's Jenny, Luitgard and me who are still members of the group. Maybe Frauke is going to join us again? Some new members waiting? Some "silent" members, only waiting for a new challenge?
I would like to continue this challenge, to stay in contact with you all and although to meet new people.
And I would like to hear what you think about it. 
Btw, there have been the first signs of spring in my garden  lately

Wednesday, 6 March 2013


I apologise for not explaining these in the course of my post for 'Reflections'.  I am afraid that I did not give thought to whether members were acquainted with these so I shall try to put matters right.

Very briefly, these rules form the basis of all pattern repeats & apparently the building blocks for crystallography & some of Escher's work as well.  They include arrangements such as mirror, flip, drop, half-drop, glide etc.  I can point you to some books which should help.  The best one for quilters is probably Ruth McDowell's 'Symmetry' as she uses a hand symbol to illustrate the various orientations.  Also useful is Jinny Beyer's 'Discovering Tessellations' & Peter Phillips's 'Handbook of Regular Patterns'.  An Internet search will reveal 'Wallpaper Groups' on a Clark University site.  These amount to the same thing but are a bit complicated if you are unfamiliar with the principles.

I hope this helps.  If you still cannot find anything e-mail me.

Is there going to be a new challenge soon?

Sunday, 24 February 2013


I finished this piece ages ago and it has stayed motionless on the computer.  I am a terrible blogger but have got round to it at last.  It is an experiment with Symmetry and uses some of the 17 Rules.  The swimmers are mirrored and the background is based on selections from the central piece.  It was part of a series on the 2012 Olympic Games - unfortunately, swimming was not one of our success stories!

Most of this piece was computer designed and printed onto TP.  It was then free machine quilted.

(The previous two pieces are to come.  Again, they have been stuck for some time)

Friday, 22 February 2013

Sorry to be saying goodbye

I have been thinking long and hard about continuing with this group and feel that I have to call it a day.  I have enjoyed making the challenge pieces that I've made since we started, but I want to concentrate on other aspects of my work and have also elected to join the monthly Journal Quilt challenge with the Contemporary Quilt Group of the Quilters Guild UK. 

I hope the group continues to grow and wish all of you happy times creating in the future.
Best wishes and I'm sure I'll see you around the internet or even in real life :-)
Julie Mackinder

Monday, 4 February 2013

Reflections - Julie

I have to confess that I have stretched my interpretation of 'Reflection' as I needed to make a quilt for another challenge and I wanted this piece to serve both purposes.  I have lots of images on my computer of reflections both in water and in other surfaces like glass and metal and intend to explore ways of interpreting them in fabric.  As the subject of my other challenge is 'My World Is Green' I decided to 'reflect' on an image of an area of the UK that is special to me.

For the last several years my husband and I have spent 2 weeks every year in Cornwall in St Ives. A typical part of Cornish scenery is the fields surrounded by Cornish hedges, which are in fact walls planted up with herbage and flowers so that they appear grassy.

My photograph of the fields near St Ives was manipulated in Photoshop and provided the basis for my quilt.

Above is the finished quilt and below is a detail.

The quilt has been made using curved piecing and uses my own hand dyes and some commercial fabrics. You can read more about my process on my blog  here and here

I enjoyed this challenge and I'm looking forward to seeing the other reveals.

Saturday, 2 February 2013


When I hear "reflections" I immediately think colours, reflected by water, fractured shapes, movement. I've collected lots of images matching the theme and it was really a challenge to choose one and make a quilt out of it!
Here it is, Reflection #1 (100x60cm)
I'm quiet pleased how it turned out and  that it lies totally flat despite of all those curved seams makes me happy!
I'm going to tell you more about the process on my blog soon.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Reflection by Luitgard

When I go for my morning run I'm always fascinated by the birds living at a small lake. The first rays of daylight touch the water which is still covered with morning fog. And the birds are already busy, cleaning their plumage and getting ready for a new day.

Technique: Thermofax screenprin,t painted, quilted by machine. Size: 30" by 18"
Thermofax birds by Ineke Berlyn