Thursday, 12 September 2013

That's all folks

Well, for now at least.

The Orientation tour is over and the work's all back at home. A big thank you to Minerva for being such excellent hosts for the final outing of this exhibition and to everyone who came to see the quilts. Linda sold two pieces which is wonderful news.

As individuals SiX members each have lots in store for the coming year, but we are planning another outing as a group so we'll be back with details on that as soon as they're confirmed. In the meantime I hope you'll enjoy keeping up with us all on our own blogs. You'll find links to them in the side bar.

And just in case you don't already know about them, I'm going to give two ventures a bit of a plug:

Art Textiles: Made in Britain
Set up by our very own Hilary Beattie, this is an exciting group of British quilters and textile artists who'll be exhibiting together in support of the Quilter's Guild of the British Isles and especially to assist with funds for the Quilt Museum in York. You can follow the goings on at their Facebook page. Although quite new it looks already like a really lively group.

Through Our Hands
This one's all down to me and Annabel. Through Our Hands provides exhibition opportunities and a portfolio website for our featured artists. There's also a free e-portfolio catalogue that you can download, a Facebook page and an online magazine where you'll find news and information about all sorts of art and textile related things. All in all, lots to see. Here are some links:

The website

The Facebook page

The magazine

The free e-catalogue

Monday, 22 July 2013

Meet The Artists

We had a lovely day on Sunday at Meet the Artists at Minerva. Thank you to all the team at the gallery for your hospitality.

Here are a few photos just to set the scene. As you can see, the usual suspects were chattering away!

The exhibition continues all summer - see the sidebar for info and links.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Come and See Us!!

Don't forget, tomorrow it's Meet the Artists at Minerva 13

(High Street, Llanidloes, Mid-Wales, SY18 6BY)

Me, Linda, Annabel, Hilary, Steph, Edwina, Ineke will all be there to chat and answer any questions about the work and Hilary will be demonstrating some of the techniques that she uses in her quilts.

As well as the work by SiX, also on display will be work by another exhibiting group called Cauldron and a collection of Canadian Red Cross quilts. It ought to be a lovely so if you fancy a ride out in the beautiful Welsh countryside do come and see us.

Bye for now!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Quilts gone - SiX just hit the deadline again!!

Just a quickie after reading Edwinas' last post about delivering the work to Minerva. Edwina forgot to photograph her quilt as she was so last minute, I forgot to put and names and prices on mine, for the same reason. I think we in this group could really be called the Last Minuters .. we all seem to do it! Anyway, I've sent my information off now and I did remember to photograph mine (what a good girl) I'm going to post two on here and two on my own blog so if you are visiting the gallery, you can opt to keep some as new on the day, or if not - hop over there and see the others. Each are about 24" x 19" (I think - I did forget to write it down!). If you don't want to see any right now, then look away NOW .....

I've really enjoyed these pieces and will definitely be continuing the series, although not for SiX, as we move on next to our gallery for Festival of Quilts next year. But I am personally doing a gallery for next Springs Fashion and Embroidery at the NEC, which I am calling 'The Shape of Nature' and I think a few moons would go down very nicely in there!

Hope to see lots of you at Minerva - it looks lovely form Edwinas' photographs and I'm looking forward to sharing some collage design ideas with you there - Hilary x

Quilts delivered

Yesterday I drove over to Llanidloes to deliver a boot full of quilts to Minerva for the Summer Exhibition that opens next week.

It was a pity it was a cloudy day as it can be such a beautiful journey across to west Wales.
As usual, my final quilt was completed the night before and I was so eager to pack it up for an early start that I quite forgot to take any photographs, so no excuses, you must visit the exhibition to see all of these new pieces of work which all of the members of Six and Friends have produced since our last exhibition at the Bramble Patch.
I had a sneak preview of the other two exhibitions, a selection of traditional Canadian Red Cross Quilts and beautiful work by the textile group Cauldron. There will certainly be enough work on show to make a visit worthwhile.
The Arts Centre has had a facelift and is looking very smart and ready for summer visitors.

We hope to see many of you at our Meet the Artists event on Sunday 21st July between 1 and 3pm.
See you soon

Saturday, 29 June 2013

It's nearly time!

All the work is now delivered to Minerva Arts Centre, Llanidloes for the final exhibition in the Orientation tour. This will be the largest collection of work that we've put together with everyone adding brand new pieces. Minerva is a wonderful venue in a lovely town and we hope that you'll be able to visit during the summer. If you're free, why not come on Sunday 21st July? Everyone except Catherine will be there (we're letting her off as coming from Vancouver is a bit of a trek) to chat and answer questions about the work. We'd love to see you.

You'll find all the dates and details over in the sidebar.

They Bloom Brightly in his Garden - Laura Kemshall

Saturday, 15 June 2013

three moons - will be four

Maybe you already know, but if you don't I am currently writing  book, which I hope to be published by FOQ - which is a tight deadline and has kept me busy. So those moons I told you about last time have had to take a bit of a side seat for a week or two. But time is passing and we are very close to the next SiX exhibition, so I've got them back out and been working on them this week. There will be four and they will be called Many Moons as a group. Each will also have it's own title within the group - so here is progress so far on
'Hunters Moon'
 'Steadfast Moon' 

and of course 'Eastern Moon'

the moons in these are very closely quilted with metallic thread and do glisten. Hard to capture this on camera, but maybe this close up shows it a little
They will b joined by 'Lucky Moon', when I get a delivery of metallic thread. Each moon took a whole reel, so I have run out! In the meantime, I could not resist seeing how these pieces might look, transformed for a thermofax screen

Pretty flipping gorgeous I think, and I foresee a series two based on these. If you would like to see how the others turned out, then I am going to post them on my own blog so do pop over and have a look. I still need to add some hand stitch, bind and mount the original moons first though.  If I get them done in time to photograph, I'll post final images - if not, then you will just have to visit Minerva! I can't remember if I mentioned it - but I am going to do a demo on July 21st as part of the Meet the Artists day at Minerva. I'll be running through how to make background collages like these and also those on the Oriental Pot series. Hope lots of you will come - I think most of us are going so it will be a good day - Hilary x

Friday, 31 May 2013

New Workshops

Hi everyone,

I know it's been ages since I posted! I'm using the blog today for a bit of shameless self promotion - to tell you about my new workshops this summer. I'm really excited about these new classes and I hope you'll be tempted to sign up. They're aimed at all skill levels so no matter what your experience come along and have a fun filled creative day.

The first class is called Pages to Print. On that day we'll experiment with lots of hands on techniques like collage, printing, mark making, rubbings, you name it, to create some exciting design ideas on paper. You will then be able to choose your favourites and we'll print them for you to fabric using our wide format digital printer. Included in the workshop price is half a metre of fabric and I've found that it's possible to fit 3 generous sized panels (each about 47cm square) into that amount of fabric. These panels will be perfect for inclusion in your next quilt, stitched textile or to make a set of cushions. Best of all, the fabric will be completely unique to you!

The second class is called TXT Message and we'll have fun playing with different methods to add text to fabric. Before the class I'll ask you to send me a page of your handwriting and we'll print this to fabric for you so that you'll have a piece of unique fabric to work with. We'll combine the digitally printed handwriting with monoprint, stencilling, rubbings and more. You'll go home with a collection of fabrics and hopefully lots of ideas about what to do with them!

I'd love for you to join me for these workshops. We'll be providing coffee, tea, cake, a light lunch and some materials as well as the half metre of digitally printed fabric. You can find out more details and how to book on my blog. Here's the link. If you've got questions about either of the workshops just email me anytime.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

A welcome return to the East

Heavens! - it has been absolutely yonks since I posted on here - and for good reason ... it has been that long too since I finished my last piece for the Orientation exhibition. Some of the group made extra pieces for the Bramble Patch show, but I just didn't find time. But I knew I would make some new works before we moved to Minerva in the summer, and I have finally reached the point on the calendar where it says 'make SiX pieces'. I'm hoping it will actually be a series of six pieces as it happens, but for the moment I am working on the first four. The series will be called 'Many Moons' and has been percolating in my head for a while now. I knew almost from the first mention of the theme that I wanted to do some cranes flying in front of a moon. I made a sample for my C+G course with Design Matters, which featured birds in front of a moon/sun and I do like that imagery:
Just as an aside - I couldn't resist seeing how this image would transfer to B+W for a possible thermofax screen ... this will definitely be getting made!
I also considered  moon gazing hares in front of ... yes, a moon ... I have used this image in silhouettes before and have a couple of bronze ones in the garden. But the birds stuck with me .. I have been making swans recently -  also seagulls and osprey. Magpies also attract me as I see them as a lucky symbol for me. So I decided that I would do a series of various birds, with moons on collaged backgrounds.
So next up was some quick sketches, using a selection of  books as inspiration sources for imagery and composition from the east:
Apologies for the awful photos - it was dark when I took them! I hope you can see enough though. I started with a square format in mind, but realised I was struggling to put my moon in an interesting position. It needs to be fairly big and was ending up almost in the middle - not a composition I like. So I changed to a longer format and sketched up four favourites, with the moons happily over to the sides.
Background collages came next - using the sketches as guides.
This one will be the moon with bamboo to the left ... I shall quilt the background before  appliqueing the bamboo and moon.
This will be the grasses and moon
checking colours for grasses and possible moon .. if you look in the top left of the table you can see where I have been paper cutting some possible patterns for moons
This one will be the willow to the left
and the willow to the right .. in each I am again checking the fabrics I plan to use for applique, work ok
Perhaps I should say that the patterned cloth in the background in each is my ironing pad - not part of the work. I am so used to it, I really don't notice it, but it might be confusing!
So now I need to machine quilt those backgrounds then I can apply the applique and choose final moon colours and patterns. When that is done - I shall start considering my bird shapes. I'll try to keep you up to date as I work.
Hope it is not too dull to see step by steps - I know I love to see how people get from A to B and onwards ... Hilary x

Friday, 12 April 2013 Wales!

As soon as one exhibition closes our minds turn to the next.  The Minerva Arts Centre is the venue for the final outing of Orientation hosted by The Quilt Association. We're so pleased to be able to show our work in this lovely spacious gallery. Not only will the current work be on display, but to fill all that extra room we'll be making new things too.

We hope that you'll join us for a special Meet The Artists afternoon:

Meet the Artists
Sunday 21st July 2013, 1pm-3pm
Minerva Arts Centre
High Street
SY18 6BY

Normal admission charges will apply. For more details please visit The Quilt Association website.

If you're not familiar with The Quilt Association and all of the work they do both in the documentation and collection of antique quilts, but also the exhibition of new work then do take a look at their website. I hadn't visited the site for a while and it's all been revamped. There is lots of information about the quilt collection including lovely images. I particularly liked this quilt which I'm sure I've seen on display there at a previous summer show. Along with the images is all the information that they've documented. This quilt is thought to date from around 1880.

If you can't come to the Meet the Artists day then don't worry, the exhibition runs from 8th July - 7th September so there's lots of time to visit. Also on display will be a collection of Canadian Red Cross quilts. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The Grand Total

Hi everyone,

Just heard from Anne at The Bramble Patch. She wrote to thank us all for exhibiting there and to let us know that the exhibition raised £1500 for Macmillan cancer care. Isn't that great news!

A big thank you to everyone who visited and helped to contribute to this excellent result.

Now, on to thinking about the next outing for Orientation at Minerva....


just made it!

Edwina and I have been on the road a lot this past week but one thing on the list was to get to the Bramble Patch and have a look at the Orientation exhibition. We made it! and just hours before it was due to come down, whew. I know we've posted some images already but the exhibition looked so lovely I can't resist showing a few more.
Thanks so much to Anne and the gang at the Bramble Patch for all their hospitality!


Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Still time for an outing

There's still time to catch Orientation at The Bramble Patch. On until Saturday, the exhibition includes work from all members of the group. Here are a few photos of how it's looking...

Monday, 25 March 2013


Just a quick post to remind you all that SiX and Friends - Orientation is now OPEN! The exhibition runs at The Bramble Patch until 6th April. (Closed Sundays and Easter Monday). You can find all the info here

Entry is £2 with proceeds going to Macmillan cancer care.

Can't make it to The Bramble Patch? Pop the dates for the next Orientation outing in your diary. The exhibition will be at Minerva Arts Centre, Llanidloes this summer. Find the details over in the side bar.

Hope you enjoy the show!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Teeny tiny things

I might be losing the plot.

I thought I'd do some teeny tiny 1" pen and ink sketches based on an oriental theme, but its not going well!  Unfortunately, the drawing part of the brain is incredibly dusty from insufficient use, and its got all lumpy from being hurled against my skull with violence each time I sneeze. (I'm infested with manky cold germs) This loosens the dust and makes me sneeze again....more lumps.What can I do?

I actually need a much finer pen, and I need to THROW OUT (are you listening, Annabel?) all those pens which aren't water resistant and dissolve when you put paint on them....or in my case, sneeze on them.  Eeeeeeeyewwww.  (nb those wishing to purchase, please form an orderly queue!)

Oh well, back to the drawing board. It's around here somewhere.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Any colour you like as long as it's blue

This week Laura had an indigo vat brewing and I couldn't resist joining in. I found a gorgeous hand made paper that could only be improved with a dip.

 I plan to put half of the sheet back in the vat a second time to get a darker value.

Fortune cookie wrappers seemed ideal candidates to dunk.

And these folded and clamped papers look promising although at the moment they are too wet to open without tearing. Note to self - patience is a virtue! What a pity it's one I don't possess.

I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with them all but something oriental will no doubt emerge in time for the exhibition at Minerva if not sooner. Meanwhile, the vat is still active - there must be something left I can dye. Talk again soon, Linda

Sunday, 24 February 2013

1000 Cranes - Step 1

I've just about been finding time to do some quilting. I've promised two new pieces for SiX - Orientation which'll go on display next at The Bramble Patch in Northants, UK towards the end of March. When the theme 'Orientation' was suggested to the group nothing really sprang to mind, but I've learnt by experience that the themes which can appear to be the least inspiring at the outset, often drive the most interesting work in the long term. I suppose it's being forced to research something new that causes this and results in other influences being drawn into the work. I do find it difficult to change tack and much prefer to gently feed in outside inspiration to what I'm working on naturally rather than go off on a tangent and produce something quite separate to my 'proper work'. When you're a person from England who's experience of the Orient doesn't extend much further than the Chinese takeaway, it at first seems quite a stretch to introduce anything oriental into a set of work without it seeming unnatural. Eventually though ideas present themselves either through long hard thinking, or just doing. Looking at the work I'd been making over the last couple of years I noticed that there was one common denominator - hands. I do love drawing and painting hands. It's always challenging to capture the complicated form of hands and convince the viewer that there are bones and joints underneath the flesh and skin.

'1000 Cranes', Laura Kemshall, 2013, £225

I'd begun looking at origami forms and folded a crane, thinking I was going to draw it. Of course then it struck me that the interesting aspect of origami is the process of folding which is of course done by hand. I refolded the crane this time photographing each key stage. It was simple to convert the photos to black and white (I love focussing just on tone), then print them to cotton poplin using our digital textile printer here at Fingerprint.
Of course the print is just the first step. Quilting is my favourite part of the textile process. I've used freehand machine quilting. Usually I'd work on a longarm, but these pieces are relatively small so I've used a regular sewing machine, besides, Linda's been hogging the longarm and with the intermittent nature of my work at the moment I daren't block her progress with one of my quilts lingering on the frame far too long!

The quilting is simple, contour quilting on the hands, linear quilting on the crane to suggest the change of planes that the folds create and then a more decorative, Sashiko inspired background in an 'oriental' red. So this is the first, there's definitely a second underway and quite possibly more to complete the set, but I only have confidence in two being finished and ready to hang for the next exhibition.

Bye for now,

Friday, 22 February 2013

Life 6 - Still Life (With Orange)

The Story:  Imagine a warm day in summer; you've done your chores and the house is clean and tidy. You decided to go out and do some shopping and see some friends for a coffee and chat.  You've rushed around and had a fabulous time. You're back at home and are having a quiet 5 minutes.  You're thinking about the things that happened and the laughs you've had; the sun is shining in through the window and you feel warm and contented.  Your eyes begin to droop and you smile gently.

The words on the quilt are a poem by Wendy Cope:

The Orange
At lunchtime I bought a huge orange —
The size of it made us all laugh.
I peeled and shared it with Robert and Dave —
They got quarters and I had a half.

And that orange, it made me so happy,
As ordinary things often do
Just lately. The shopping. A walk in the park.
This is peace and contentment. It’s new.

The rest of the day was quite easy.
I did all the jobs on my list
And enjoyed them and had some time over.
I love you. I’m glad I exist.