Textile and art inspiration is still to be found in lockdown. Some of us are more housebound than others. Yet others have been housebound for many years through illness. Still in our surroundings or photos we can find inspiration in so much. Using your home or surroundings as inspiration is a very good place to start.
What Has Inspired Me This Week?
I am often housebound, through illness and even lack of money. How these things impact upon me and others is poorly understood. I use my artistic tendencies to stay occupied and inform my textile and art inspiration. This last few weeks I have been following a free online course with Future Learn. I also use my travels in the past to inform my work. This is not only an abundant source of inspiration but also lifts my spirit immensely and gives me hope to travel again.
I was fortunate enough to live in Tunisia for a time. Not only did I research Tunisian carpets and shawls to write a book, Textiles of Tunisia, but I also wrote about travels in the Sahara. Now I am happy to be launching Tunisia, the travel guide. This is only Part One, Part Two will follow shortly. As with all my inspiration ebooks, this one also includes exclusive artwork that is for sale. So my travels inspire my art. You can see one example on the front cover. This ebook is now available on the website , your purchase makes the world of difference to me as an independent artist.
Having a long term project that I can work on each day helps enormously. Quilting the scrap quilt was fun. I can procrastinate over quilting, torn between straight line, free motion and so on. I thought hearts were very appropriate to this quilt, given the situation with Covid19 and the increasing number of deaths worldwide. This won’t go on sale until I feel it is safe to go out and post it, but if you do want to purchase, please contact me. It is a two-sided quilt.
With my leftover threads and tiniest scraps of fabric, I made another thread bowl. These are an inspiration in themselves, a way to use every last bit of waste and turn it into something useful. Waste not want not.
Old textile work was found in my drawer last week. I had discovered a few unfinished projects. This week I had planned new art quilts I had mentioned in last week’s blog. However, having been ill all week, I could not manage much at all.
Friday saw me scramble to get something done and I started my second project with the pink and green fabric. However it is feeling a bit like the other project and I want it to be different. I have an idea for it now.
Old Textile Work
First though I went back to the old textile work. In my drawer was a four year old project (does not feel that long ago). Based on a photo in Tunisia, and a subsequent drawing as well as an altered image idea. I had gathered all my fabrics only to shove it all in a drawer owing to the death of a loved one. Yesterday I managed to finish it. Not strictly a quilt as it has no wadding, this stitched picture is now complete. I think my object here was to use as many fabrics as I could and this packs in at least eight. Is that a record for a tiny piece?
No sooner have you finished one, that another old textile work beckons. This is one I lost confidence with. It was my very first piece of free motion stitching on a painting. So wobbly, but I think I can pull it together now.
There are still lots of art quilts to get down into fabric and stitch. I am also about to launch my next Inspiration ebook – Domes, Towers and Turrets. It’s been very exciting to work on this one and it is the last of the themes for the moment. There are 14 of them and 3 art/travel ones. Next up in February or March will be the original themes I started doing before I got waylaid. These are not just photos but textile work. More about that next time. Visit the website to see all my work.
New Products In Store Quilts and ebooks including two new quilted wall hangings and two new Inspiration ebooks. If you are looking for Part 3 of the Scrap Quilt, give me another week and it will be finished. This week was all about getting some new products in store. I also completed two more knitting patterns for the Peak District Knitting Book I am writing. So it was a very productive week after what has seemed like being in the wilderness.
I know quilters who seem to make a quilt a day and I am much much slower, which worries me sometimes but maybe it is just tortoise and hare stuff. I started the ‘Indian Wedding’ quilts on 25 September 2019. They would both have been finished one month later, but I had no binding for the second one. Now completed, here they are in all their loveliness and they are for sale here. More photos on the listing.
New Inspiration ebooks
New products in store also includes lots of new ebooks. At just 7.99, these are superb value. Each ebook in the series features hundreds of photos you can use to inspire your own work, often with examples of my work too. They are downloadable pfds. The new titles are Flaking Paint and Trees. Existing titles include Skies, Rust, Lichen, Bark, Coast. I am working on three forthcoming titles concerning pattern. You can see all the ebooks here
I am doing very well putting the Peak District Knitting Pattern book together. So far I have a hat, scarf, shawl, stole. Next up is a pair of socks. This knitting pattern book will be sold on Ravelry, where I already have a few patterns (nowhere near all my patterns!)
Did I say I would finish that Scrap Quilt for next week???
New products – a look back at the last six months. I have worked so hard on my core skills of writing, teaching and publishing. Here are the new products:
The last six months have seen me create a brand new website of new products
In the last six months, I have launched six new ebooks providing inspiration for artists in every field. These include numerous photos you can use to create your own work, no matter what kind of artist you are. The ebooks also include examples of my work (these cannot be used but can inspire). The six titles are
6. Stone and Strata
They can all be viewed here
The next title in preparation is Desert.
My digital work receives a lot of interest. The question I am most asked is ‘How did you do that?’. To answer that I created an Advanced Photoshop ecourse. It is Advanced in that it takes a few processes but is still simple to use and produce the effects I do. You can purchase it here.
As my main focus is now quilting, there are many ecourses and tutorials I have created for quilters. I am still finishing the writing of two ecourses for hand quilting, which will be launched shortly together with a beginner’s quilting course. I have been busy hand dyeing and rust dyeing fabric too. I intend to expand the range further. These are found under the supplies section of the website.
A future focus will be an ecourse in colour and themed work.
My main focus for the next two months is getting ready to take part in the Festival of Quilts for the first time and to showcase my ecourses and quilt kits. You will find me on Stand C5, come and say hello.