Thursday, 27 August 2009

Not the weather for tents

The last of the children's workshops yesterday. We have been
lucky enough to enjoy three out of the four outside in the tent.
Definitely an indoor activity this time, the rain falling in
sheets, accompanied by strong winds.

Gosh, my students are very industrious, but with my
helpers, Nikky and Imogen, we managed to keep up with them.
We got through the t-shirts in double quick time, a little break
to tidy/mop up and it was on to squares of fabric.

Itajime is a great favorite, giving so many different patterns.
The two pieces here are the result of my demonstrations.

Now to tidy away all the bits of workshop stuff, clear the
decks and have a bit of a play myself,

Thursday, 20 August 2009

A perfect day

An indigo workshop at Walford Mill, on a glorious August afternoon.
The vat was very happy, raring to go. The girls prepared two t shirts
each, large squares of cloth, and three pillow cases.

All new to the magical process of indigo. Amazement at the first dip,
then wonderment as the cloth changed colour. The smell did not
appeal to all, lots of wrinkled noses. Blue hands, drips on arms
and legs. We talked about the Ancient Britons painting
themselves with woad.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

When Hil and Phil came out to play

On Wednesday we prepared screens for breakdown printing.
Gave them three days to dry out, still had to use hairdryers
to finish off. No hot sun, but humidity and urea doing their thing.

My test screen

Hil's fabby print

And Phil's equally fabby print

Finally the mopping up cloth.

I can feel more breakdown days on the horizon. It's all a case
of just getting down and doing.

Friday, 14 August 2009


Catching up with my "Wall" Journal Quilts - done.

A mud wall, Hodka (detail)

The walls are constructed by placing sticks into the
ground and liberally covering them with a mud and
straw mix. Organic voids.


A section of wall coated with old dull gold, and fresh
gold leaf fluttering in the wind. The wall forms part
of a temple where the Buddha meditated. Somewhere
years past, a star has been incised in the stone. Why?

Well, my "Walls" quilts pushed my little boundaries.
Tried out all sorts of different techniques, some, perhaps
more successful than others, but your don't know til you try.

I think my last posts have possibly reflected how fed up I have
felt with the grey skies, cold and rain. In good company though
if reading blogs from all over are guides. But, look colour!

A breakdown screen almost ready to play with.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009


Or just digging around.

A couple of days ago summer arrived - just for the day. I took
myself off to BOB (back of beyond) my jungle, or 'natural'
garden. It has two clean ups, in the spring and in the autumn
Apart from that it just does it's own thing. Nettles for the
butterflies, plants for any beast that finds the pantry,
and my frog pond hiding amidst leafy fronds.

There is also my beloved compost heaps. For some strange
reason I just love tending them. Lots of wriggly worms busy
helping to turn the veggie and plant waste into yummy compost.

This occasionally yields treasures, teaspoons, kitchen knives,
Keith glasses, found in spring having spent the entire winter
not composting I am pleased to say. A good wash and
they were as new. Last year I found an avocado stone
sprouting - it deserved a pot,

It is now over a metre tall and enjoying the rain.

While just generally getting down and dirty I uncovered a collection
of pottery shards and broken bottle tops. Treasure! Gathered
over the years and forgotten.

So today started off cloudy and grey. Time for stitching.
Two Journal Quilts ready to go, but the sun is out, it's warm.
Think I might just go fossicking again.

Friday, 7 August 2009

A day out in Bath

The day looked promising, the sun shining and warm.
Driving through the countryside, plenty of caravans
and tractors, allowing time to take in the view of the
green and verdant countryside, rolls of haystacks,
and fields of wheat awaiting harvest.

By the time I arrived in Bath the rain came down.
Tourists from all over the world following their
guides, taking in the glorious Georgian buildings,
swathed in wet weather gear.

In the square at the back of the Roman Baths
I came across these compressed wire sculptures.

Sunday, 2 August 2009


A wall in Chandi Chowk, Old Delhi

Meanwhile, back in the UK, continuing the wall theme, my
Journal Quilt for June. All grunge and doom. I put it down
to what is happening outside my window. However, apparently,
my ruler, Mercury, enters Virgo early this week and all will
be well. Suddenly the sun is shining. Brighter days ahead?

Hectic workshops with ten in a tent on Thursday. The brothers
pole wrapped long lengths of cloth. Good for them - they stuck
at it with only a few mumbles. Tomorrow I am taking a screen
printing workshop here. Fingers crossed for swathes
of colour and blue skies.