Monthly Archives: June 2016

Recipe for the next Ruins background

Cultivate a selection of beautiful breakdown printed fabrics in choosen colour family of rust and half-strength black with some added petrol green.

Cut into pieces each 2.5 x 6.5inches. Keep all scraps just because they are too nice to throw away (and I may want to make some more miniature pieces!)

Select and clear my biggest design wall. Put the football on the radio (optional).

And randomly add fabric pieces to the design wall. OK so not completely randomly. I want this piece to be approximately 70 inches wide by 100 inches high being pale at the top and dark at the bottom. The design wall is not big enough so I will have to do this in two halves. I select pieces semi-randomly from the piles then just put them up on the design wall going from left to right, row after row. Every 4 or 5 rows I stop and rearrange anything that looks really out of place but I try not to do too much of this. Carry on until design wall is covered.

Tweak a little then leave to ‘marinate’ overnight. I always make sure that I look at the composition in both daylight and under artificial light before I start stitching.

Unfortunately the design wall had it’s own opinion of the composition and shed lots of pieces overnight. Darn!! (Probably my own fault as I had to slightly overlap the pieces so that I could fit 12 on each row).  Or maybe this is just another way to randomise the position of the pieces? Look on the bright side Leah.


The runner’s up …

Vestiges II

Vestiges II

This is the other miniature I completed this week. I added the uprights before stitching the horizontal lines. I’m not sure it 100% works on a piece this small (30cm x 30cm) but I like it enough to give it a name! Just need to add the facings and a label. My original attempt didn’t work for me so won’t get a name or be finished. That said I have pinned it up on one of my design walls so that I can keep thinking about what would make it work.

A nameless sample that didn't work

A nameless sample that didn’t work

Life’s little hiccups

A few weeks before going on holiday I was told that my day job (as a Global Design and Development Manager) was no longer sustainable … a fancy way of saying that I was being made redundant. Which kind of sucks but, having sat on the other side of the table in the past, I quickly moved past being angry and upset to being pragmatic albeit still rather sad. The paperwork was completed the day before we travelled to Dunure so I had lots of time to start looking forward as I sat on the beach looking across to Arran. Those glorious sunsets being symbolic of one part of my life ending and another one starting …

Sun setting over Arran on the last day of our holiday

Sun setting over Arran on the last day of our holiday

But as part of moving forward there has been a lot to sort out – a car (I am going to really, really miss my company car!), a mobile phone (thank goodness that I have kids to help sort this one out!), broadband (just don’t ask! total nightmare!) and of course money stuff. I feel like I have spent the whole week either filling out forms or being put on hold on the phone. Despite being officially unemployed I have only managed about 10 hours in the studio. But those few hours have produced a miniature quilt that I am happy to show at Festival of Quilts. I decided I didn’t like my first attempt so I started again and actually made two more pieces. Below is the piece I like. It is called Vestiges.

Vestiges 30cm x 30cm

30cm x 30cm

I wish that I could take this opportunity to become a full time studio artist. Alas we still have a hefty mortgage so I will be spending the next few months looking for a new job. Happily my redundancy pay will keep the wolf from the door for a while so I can take my time. Which means that, now I have sorted out most of the ‘stuff’ that needed doing quickly, I can put in more hours in the studio. Or I could just sit in the garden drinking good coffee and enjoying the summer!

A good way to end a holiday

Today is our last full day in Dunure. The weather is still glorious but I was beginning to feel a little miserable at the thought of leaving the cottage, and the beach, and the views and the pub … Until I opened my email and read that Ruins 5 has been shortlisted into Fine Art Quilt Masters! Serious happy dance going on! Time for an early gin and tonic made with Rock Rose hand crafted Scottish gin.