Thursday, 31 January 2013

Just a start!

Laura's post yesterday made me realise that the next exhibition of Orientation is quite close. Seeking ideas for new work I looked back through a sketchbook started when the theme was first proposed and I came across this page which I rather like.

It's a combination of gouache with Indian ink finished with metallic, acrylic paint on an open spread of an A4 book.

After washing under a running tap these are the effects I got. I'm going to scan the page and commission Jamie at Fingerprint to digitally print it as large as the resolution will allow. I'll let you see how the print turns out when it's done.

Talk to you soon - Linda

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Some quilting

Hi everyone,

The deadline for Orientation's outing at the Bramble Patch is beginning to loom large isn't it? Feeling a bit under pressure I've been making efforts to get some quilting tackled. Once upon a time this would have been done and dusted in a few solid hours, but those days are gone! I decided that I needed to add some colour to these digital prints so I've gone in with some red thread to stitch the sashiko inspired background pattern. I think I'll use a similar pattern for areas on the Boro quilt too, but that's way down the list at the moment.

I'm liking this work much more now there's some stitching added. At the moment there's a pair of quilts that'll hang together, but I hoped there might be six in total. We'll see! I'm making no promises.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Life 6 - Still Life (with an orange)

A progress update for you! 
Above: Making the table and draping the cloth over it.

Life 6 is a happy quilt about contentment. The model will have an enigmatic smile and closed eyes, and be seated at a table with some pots and oranges, and half an orange on a plate.

And you know me, there's a reason for everything! Why half an orange? It's significant in China being a sign of good fortune and happiness.

And it's to do with the poem that's being stitched onto the body.

The Orange
by Wendy Cope

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 the 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.

Below left: Painting some cloth to make a Chinese vase, and right putting in some applique shapes.

Pinning the vase into place prior to stitching and painting.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Sushi quilting

As many of you will have seen on Linda's blog I spent a very happy day quilting my latest sushi quilt on Linda's long arm quilting machine this week.

It took a little while to remember which button to press and to try to move the machine smoothly as it tracked the circles on the template (which was on the table underneath the machine) but I soon got into my stride, with Laura's expert help, and I came home very happy knowing that another quilt was close to completion.

I'm very pleased with the how the circular quilting design contrasts with the straight 'logs' of the design and complements the painted sushi blocks.

I have a little tidying up to do now and then I think I will hand quilt some coloured circles, in wasabi green and pimento red, before adding a binding.
As this is the scene in my back garden five minutes ago I think I will have an enjoyable few hours this afternoon at my sewing machine listening to my latest audio book!

Thank you for reading and talk to you again soon.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Life 5 finished.

Apologies if you've already read this elsewhere. I've pinned Life 5 - Shall I be Mother? to the wall so you can see the finished image. The quilt itself isn't quite finished as it has a brown fabric border/frame to go on so that it matches the others.  There's some closeup photos underneath the details of the story.

This is the story - remember it's not real!!

Perhaps I should explain to non-Brits! The saying "Shall I be mother?" is often said when one takes charge of the teapot at gatherings, and helps everyone else to a cup of tea. So there is a double meaning on this quilt  and it's all caught up with the tea ceremony, which is why it will be shown as part of the Orientation exhibition at Wheedon in March.

So, there's this young woman who needs to work for a living as a geisha. She's not a prostitute but a respected member of a society which values things differently. She makes her living from singing and dancing and entertaining including officiating at tea ceremonies. Illegally, her virginity has been bought and she is with child. She's doesn't know what to do. Her instincts as a prospective mother have to be weighed against her lifestyle and the years of training she's undertaken. Her life as a geisha would not be possible and she has to live somehow. She has an answer of course, but it's not simple. She doesn't know what to do. There's a rational argument, an instinctive human response, and a spiritual one as well.

Here's the words that are stitched onto the body
Shall I be mother?  I don’t know, I really don’t know. In 2001 my mizuage was illegally sold for 20,000 and means I am now officially Geisha. For me the tea ceremony is a transformative practice and I follow the belief of wabi sabi and I can now be a host and earn my living. I do not believe in an afterlife. When I die, I disappear. But I am with child and my mortality will become my immortality.

No one should have the right to say what happens to my body, because I don’t belong to anyone else.  I was given the gift of life when I was born but I find I am not free. No one is. Governments and religions all dictate to us. They have given themselves the right to command what happens to our bodies and say when one person becomes two, and that one person will suffer because of the other.  What is soul? Consciousness is soul. Potential isn’t soul. I had the potential to pass exams but didn’t. A potential person isn’t a person. Thomas Aquinas said that boys had soul 40 days gestation and girls at 90 days, and the Catholic Church says soul exists from conception. How can that be?  I can't believe in your God, and wonder how can you quantify the spiritual and justify your actions by promising an afterlife, but, I am human, I am woman, and........

At 1 month 0.5cms
Heart pumping since 18th day. The beginnings of eyes, spinal cord and nerves, lungs, stomach, intestines, liver and kidneys.

At 2 months 2.5 to 3.5 cms
Arms and legs become distinct and tiny fingers and toes appear. All internal organs of an adult, at various stages of development, are present. The first bone cells begin to be formed. Brain waves can be detected from about the sixth week.

At 3 months. 6-8 cms
Development continues. The mother may feel the foetus kicking as it flexes its muscles. The heartbeat can be detected. The foetus now looks clearly like a human baby and can suck its thumb.

At 4 months 12-18 cms
The head has distinct human features and may have hair. The skin is pink, and the bones are closing to form joints. A baby can now be a girl or a boy.

At 5 months 25-30cms
Developing rapidly and very active

At 6 months 28-34cms.
Eyes may now open. All systems are formed and are just growing in size

At 7-9months 36-56cms
Grows in size and fat is deposited to help survival at birth. Grows fingernails.

Closeups of Life 5 - "Shall I Be Mother?"