Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stitching and stretching not cogitating!

Well I’ve been working on a couple of small pieces for the Elusive Beauty show at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, UK.   Dominie Nash and I are showing work together so we decided to share some of our fabrics and also to work some of the pieces to a standard size so that they would hang well together.  We picked a fairly small size: 18” by 24” partly because then the work can be grouped easily, but also because shipping work overseas is getting more and more expensive.

I’ve just about finished one piece this week:

here’s my sketch based on a photograph I took when I went on the Thames boat trip upto Hampton Court – I love boat trips and it was a lovely day, gliding slowly along up and down river.

power station on the thames

I decided to reverse some of the values, and also the picture ratio….so this was the piece I ended up with:

thames power station





This is not my usual colour palette – which is good! a stretch is always good…Dominie and I had made the pink fabric together, also the black/white foreground and the green I used for the background.   I liked contrasting the large vertical units of the power station (which really does look a bit like a temple! – there are actually 4 towers but from the angle I took the picture only 3 could be seen)…with the much smaller but similar shaped pieces of the old river pilings along the front.   what’s fun is that it’s not really clear if it’s old pilings, or piles of people!!

All comments gratefully accepted!

Then I decided I would try to simplify one of my designs as my friend had suggested…she thought I always included too many details….well I don’t think I was that successful…

this was my design:


Now you couldn’t get much simpler than that!!! 

but this is what I ended up with:


hamilton small detail




I have no idea where all that detail came from – I’m going to have to speak to my imagination!!




and now I really do need to stretch physically – I’m having tremendous trouble bending over the sewing machine, if I have it lower, my neck is bad, higher and my shoulder is on fire….so any suggestions (short of a new body…which wouldn’t be a bad idea actually!) …gratefully accepted…

And now to try simplification again!!!  If you have been, thanks for reading!   Elizabeth


Hilary said...

Elizabeth, even before I read the text I had said to myself that looks like Battersey Power Station! I like the reversal of values and had to smile at the 'simplified' design...

Did you have any joy with arranging some teaching at the Festival?


Elizabeth Barton said...

Yes, I'm setting up some classes at FOQ - I'm trying to break up my usual 5 day class into a 2 day, a one day, two half days and two lectures!! so there won't be quite the amount of individual attention I usually like to give, but hopefully there will be some thing for everyone!

Frances Arnold said...

I love that your simplified version has more detail than your "non-simple" version!!

Jackie said...

I smiled when you mentioned you don't usually do pink. Neither do I, but lately I pushed myself and did a small piece with magenta. I am quite pleased with it, the stretch was rewarding. The simplified piece intrigues me. Though you've added intricacies, the major shapes are still strong, so I think you succeeded in heeding your friend on your own terms. Well done!

Terry Jarrard-Dimond said...

I think your inner self was rebelling over the concept of simplification. Looks great!

Nina Marie said...

First of all I love both pieces and I think its great that you are using some new palettes. That can only lead to good things. As for the physical thing - I would suggest looking into the ergonomics of sewing. Here is one blog - . Also - stretches and weight training are essential! You can find all that info online too. Once you're shoulders and back are stronger they won't give you as much trouble. Make sure you are taking breaks and grabbing your fav cup of tea! Then you can take a bathroom break too (smile)! Hope that helps!