Exploring quilt history

As I develop new work for my Fragments exhibition in the summer, I am investigating and exploring a lot of old quilts. I am continuing to explore my photographs and notes from the research visit to the Quilt Association’s collections in February and creating new technique ideas based on the structures, designs and history of the quilts. I am also investigating the antique quilts and pieces which I own myself and working out ways of incorporating elements from these pieces into new work.

 

 

I have also been investigating my own collections of quilts and bits, engaging in Quilt Archaeology (credit to someone on Instagram but alas I forget who). What interests me is not the fineness of the stitching or the patchwork patterns but the textures, the tactility and the reasons these quilts were made and used (or not).  I’ve been using drawing, painting, mark making and print techniques to explore my ideas, some of which are very large scale which will have dramatic impact and some much smaller and more intimate, like the quilts themselves, and invite close consideration.

 

Meanwhile, my Harefield Hospital Centenary Quilt project has been featured this week on the People’s History of the NHS blog.

Rowan leaves to represent Rowan Ward. Hand embroidery.

Criminal Quilts 2017

My Criminal Quilts series originally commissioned by Shire Hall Gallery is probably my best known work including the 2016 Fine Art Quilt Masters winner. This winning piece will be exhibited in the Minerva Arts Centre this summer and the patchwork piece will be at Unit Twelve from the end of April.  I’m really excited to be starting a new project taking this work further with Staffordshire Records Office in 2017-18. I’ve just received funding from Arts Council England to develop new work, exhibitions and community partnership projects based around the original archive material relating to Victorian women criminals.

To celebrate (or actually, co-incidentally) I’ve got a free workshop on Sunday 26th March at New Walk Museum in Leicester inspired by this series of work.

Inspired by Ruth’s work and using silhouettes of hands, create your own piece with a personal touch. Explore drawing and creating patterns on paper with your own hand outline and embellish with embroidery, fabric and paper collage.   No previous experience is required.  The workshop is FREE but booking is essential. Call the museum on 0116 225 4900 to book your place.

Workshops at the Knitting & Stitching Show

Alongside the fabulous Interlace exhibition I am taking to the Knitting & Stitching Show next month, I am also teaching one-hour introduction workshops in English Paper Pieced Patchwork and Introduction to Trapunto Quilting. Workshops usually sell out before the show starts so please book online in advance.

English paper pieced patchwork Weds 13.00

Trapunto quilting Thurs 13.00 & Sun 11.45

I will also be exhibiting and teaching at the Dublin & Harrogate Knitting & Stitching Shows.

 

Creative Patchwork weekend 24th & 25th October

A whole weekend of creative and experimental patchwork and piecing using historic textiles as inspiration. Explore innovative and interesting techniques for patchwork and try lots of new ideas. You can come to one day or both days. All materials are included, although you are welcome to bring your own too. One day is £50, or book both days for £95. Book here

Saturday: Machine Patchwork

Enjoy a day of easy, stress-free machine sewn patchwork. Try out freestyle or ‘improv’ quilting to create colourful and quirky patchwork panels. Try log cabin, strip piecing and scrappy improv styles and simple blocks to build up into quilts. Measuring and maths will be kept to a minimum and I don’t insist on perfect matching seams so this is a great workshop if you prefer a more relaxed style.

You will need to be able to use a sewing machine confidently. Please bring your own sewing machine if possible. If travelling from a distance I can arrange a machine for you so please confirm this when you book. All other tools and materials are provided.

 

Sunday : Hand Patchwork

Enjoy a slow stitching day, hand sewing with beautiful fabrics and traditional techniques. Learn the art of English Paper Piecing using hexagons or other templates and try out subtle, delicate crazy patchwork using hand embroidery stitches to join tiny scraps of fabric. No previous experience required. All materials provided.

Book here

 

 

 

Daily Make (15 & 16)

I reworked The Beauty of Stains, making the stains permanent through stitch.

 

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Stitching stains. #narrativethreads #dailymake2015

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I’ve made a lot of paper pieced patchwork for Narrative Threads.

 

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Patchwork on the train #dailymake2015

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I’ve started a birthday present for my mum but I’m not going to show it here in case she looks. I know she doesn’t look at Instagram.

 

I even made a fascinator for a workshop sample.

 

I’ve started my research visits to museums to inspire new work for my solo exhibition Narrative Threads.