Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Winter into Spring

doodling line designs

The Machine Quilter Retreat last weekend was so much fun! We had a great group of girls from all over the country. The weather was so kind! It did snow but only after everyone had arrived safe and sound on Friday. Then it rained and by Sunday it was positively balmy. So all the driving there and back again was just fine.

auditioning threads

 We laughed a lot and enjoyed auditioning thread and brainstorming quilting patterns on various tops.

Jackie showing us some finished quilts
 Everyone brought quilts to share. It was very inspiring!
Marilyn and Martha 
Marilyn wrote a poem, which captured the Retreat so much better than prose.
Dancing the line
Outside, a muntjac deer, her coat
shimmering like wet clay, picks her sunlit way
through snow fading from the soft edge of hard.

Inside, its time to show and tell our pieces,
to ask  - which pattern, which thread?
We spool silk, cotton, trilobal fibre

over fabric, consider curls of matt, glossy,  
same and shifting colour lines:
question,    disagree,      play.

Next we air doodle, letting the trace
whisper to our mind’s eye, then, pen on paper,
we repeat: ripple stipple, border feathers, loops,

writing their twists, turns, and pauses
into our muscle memory before we needle-draw,
back and forth across stretched sandwiches

-top, fleece, backing. We are dancing the line
to the thaw’s soundscape, stitching across
bears paw, log cabin, blocks and strips

of cloth, sewing buds of scallops, mussel shells,
hearts,  side stepping to shadow one,
then another - creating quilting blossom.

Outside the buttercup moon lights
the leaves, trees, paths, free from snow:
in its gaze we turn towards home.

©Marilyn Hammick January 2013

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Whatever the Weather

Well, the snow was beautiful. It still looks lovely in the fields around our house. But even the A and B roads are clear in the Lincolnshire area around us. The motorways are fine too. So travelling to our Petwood Machine Quilter Retreat this weekend looks pretty good. We're looking forward to wood fires, lovely meals and a demand free weekend without distractions as we focus on fine tuning our machine quilting skills.

Dress for the Retreat is smart casual. We dress up a bit for the evening meals and dress comfortably for the day time workshops.

We'll have frames set up and we'll supply all the materials for the weekend. Please bring any finished quilts or unfinished tops for our afternoon brainstorming session.  We would be delighted to see what you've been up to. If you would like some help tensioning your sewing machine, please bring that along as well. I've just received the January Superior Threads shipment!! So there will be lots of thread to look through.

 The retreat begins at 7:00 pm with our evening meal. But the Hotel staff are expecting arrivals any time after 2:00. So you're welcome to come a bit early and settle in your rooms and relax after the journey if you like. I'll be setting up in the Garden Room in the afternoon then collecting Emily from the Newark train station. We'll meet you for the evening meal at 7:00.We're looking forward to seeing you all! Drop me an email if you have any questions. martha@machinequilter.co.uk    Follow this link to see a schedule for the weekend..

Friday, 18 January 2013

Art Quilter goes to School

 When the Art department at my daughter's high school saw her Starry Night project they wanted to see how a machine quilting frame would let you draw with the needle. So I arranged to bring the 6 foot ART Quilter frame, Table and JUKI TL98 P to the school' s year 12 ART Class for the day. 

We started with some Klimt swirls, first on paper 

and then on the frame. We tried a variety of repeated patterns from nature too.

 Then we moved on to Kandinsky circles.

 The students cut out concentric circles in fleece and fabric

 which we raw edge appliquéd directly onto the black background fabric on the frame.

 It was a small class so each student could design and appliqué their own circle.

I liked how each one was so different. The students enjoyed choosing the different fabric and threads.

At the end of the session, we took the practice piece off the Art Quilter frame and each student received a slice of the day's thread play to put in their art books.

It was fun to see students who were not familiar with sewing machines or quilting frames be able to design and complete a project all in one day!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Kandinsky Circles

  "Music is the ultimate teacher ... Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings, the artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another to cause vibrations in the soul.
Wassily Kandinsky 1866 - 1944   
influential Russian painter, father of Abstract Art

Kandinsky was fascinated by the relationship between music and painting. His understanding of the emotional power of form and colour can be inspirational to quilters too.

Yellow - warm, cheeky and exciting, disturbing, loud, sharp trumpets, high fanfares
Blue - deep, inner, peaceful, heavenly, light blue flute, mid-blue Cello, darkest blue Organ
Green - stillness, peace with hidden strength, quiet drawn out violin
White - pregnant with possibility, harmony of silence, a pause that breaks the melody
Black - extinguished, a final pause
Red - alive growing, energy, glowing passion, sure strength, pure joy, the sound of Trumpets, Tuba, deep notes on the Cello, high clear Violin
Orange - radiant health, church bells, alto voice, violin, singing tone
Violet - rare, royal, sad, forlorn, Bassoon, English Horn