Thursday, 30 October 2014

Beauty in St Petersburg

The Church on the Spilt Blood, St Petersburg
Perhaps the most spectacular place we visited in St Petersburg was The Church on the Spilled Blood, the site of Alexander II's assignation in 1881. Outside, the Church is similar to St Basils Cathedral in Moscow, which Emily and I visited on our last visit to Russia. Inside the light reflecting off the 7500 square meters of mosaics make it look like a portal to heaven. Warning! This is a picture-heavy post. It's worth clicking on a photo and just viewing the larger images. 

The sheer scope and size of the Church is staggering.

And the true perspective of the images is amazing despite the height and curvature of the walls.

The Transfiguration on the Mount

detail of the door panels
Also called the Church of the Resurrection
the transfiguration detail
detail of the borders surrounding the main images

Such luminous beauty enters our soul waiting to resurface in some form of art. Emily and I are pondering ways to translate these images into textile art. Russian art in all its forms fascinates and inspires me!

Martha and Emily outside the Church on the Spilt Blood
Jesus rescues Adam and Eve

made in the style of St Basil's in Moscow
detail of the outside

Emily outside the Church on the Spilt Blood

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Architectural Elements

Visiting St Petersburg is like walking into an enchantment. The architecture is in a grand style with ornate Baroque carvings, soft and vibrant colours, unusual ornaments, all manner of statues erected on the rooftops and embellished on the walls. 

The skyline is rife with guilded domes and spires. There are pillars and columned arches, wide streets criss crossed by the many bridges, large and small. The rippling water everywhere providing the perfect contrast to the still stone

Spectacularly stunning,  piercingly beautiful. A textile artist could not fail to be inspired. Words fail, so I will let the pictures talk.

Emily, Kanako san and Gadzhi Kadiev
JUKI Corporation brings together Emily and Martha from England, Kanako san from Japan and Gadzhi Kadiev from Russia to promote the new JUKI QVP2200 long arm quilting machine in St Petersburg.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Quilt Forum in St Petersburg

JUKI QVP2200 all set up and ready to go

Our first job was to get the JUKI 2200QVP set up and ready to roll.

We thought that the bright variegated Fantastico thread looked like firebird feathers against the black fabric background..

Everything was working beautifully and we were all ready for the Quilt Forum University class later in the day.

pretty feathers and swirls by Emily Milne

This JUKI long arm QVP goes 2200 stitches per minute, 
glides like a dream 
and creates beautiful lines of stitching!
Quilt forum University - first try on the JUKI QVP2200
Look at the smiles! It is so fun to bring quilters together to try great tools. This was the first time that most of these ladies had ever tried a long arm quilting machine. They were so excited to try the JUKI QVP2200!

Emily and Martha demonstrated free-motion quilting on the JUKI QVP
 Everyone was keen to see how the long arm quilting machine worked.

Martha demonstrating doodling line designs
We showed how doodling line designs with pen and paper helps us to gain fluency on the long arm quilting machine. Everyone had the chance to practice line designs on paper and then to draw the same design with needle and thread on the new JUKI QVP2200 long arm.

King Tut cotton onthe QVP2200
 Each time we tried a new design we changed the thread. So everyone could see how various plain and variegated threads cotton, trilobal polyester, silk and metallic threads performed on the JUKI QVP2200.

one lady drew a rooster with Super Metallic variegated gold thread
One clever lady drew this rooster with Superior Metallic variegated gold thread. We all gathered round and applauded her creativity. It's so exciting to see waht happens when people start using the sewing machine needle like a pen!

Quilt Forum venue - an enormous Department Store in St Petersburg
 The Quilt Forum venue was a lovely room in this enormous department store that took up an entire city block.

pretty line designs on the JUKI QVP2200
doodling with different ranges of Superior Threads

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Going to St Petersburg

"Have you heard 
that we're going to St Petersburg?"

Emily and I have been invited to give a class on free-motion quilting at Quilt Forum University in St Petersburg. We'll be bringing quilts and lots of new and exciting thread ranges from Superior Threads for a Thread Play session on the new QVP 2200 JUKI long arm.

We leave this Wednesday and arrive back in the UK late Sunday. 
If you need to contact us send an email: 
and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Meanwhile, as we prepare for the trip we are so excited to be going back to Russia! Our Moscow trip was so memorable. People are becoming passionate about quilting in Russia! It is exciting to watch it grow.

Marina Mamonova with Emily and Martha in Moscow March 2012
There is so much in Russia to inspire the textile artist! I've been posting gorgeous images on my pinterest board of Russian folk art, landscapes, architecture and textiles.

Chesme Church - St. Petersburg, 
We are looking forward to visiting this enchanting city!

London to St Petersburg