Saturday, 30 March 2013

Don't interrupt me, the stars are tessellating


Another week, another patch of The Constellation Quilt completed.
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This phrase, “Don’t interrupt me, the stars are tessellating” could be spoken by the hero to the heroine in a clich├ęd romantic scene in a musical or melodrama. The stars are often associated with romance, and this is something I wanted to pick up on in the quilt.
This phrase is one which I cross stitched when I first began embroidering, one of those phrases that comes to you and persists, nonsensical though it may be.
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Of course, the stars can’t really tessellate; that is, unless they appear in a quilt, for which there are many tessellating stars patterns, one of which I based the motif of this patch on. As I’m keeping the quilt’s construction very simple, I wanted to make reference to the more complicated star patterns here.
The patch is something of a stitch sampler, with back stitch, running stitch, stem stitch and chain stitch all featuring. You can’t tell from the scan, but the thread of the text is in two different shades of gold; I picked it up on a bountiful recent visit to Wroxham.

Monday, 25 March 2013

"You will meet a tall dark stranger"


As I mentioned in my previous post, this patch of The Constellation Quilt is all about Polly Kettle’s fortune telling. I couldn’t help but refer back to my Fortunate Cookie Predicts Pavement Proposal embroidery which featured in my project The Cure For Love with this patch; a number of rhyming cookie fortunes are strewn next to Polly’s sparkling crystal ball. I must apologise for taking so long to post this; the “mystic rays” radiating out from the centre of the crystal ball ate up a LOT of thread, and I’ve just been away for the weekend (I know, excuses, excuses!)
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Any Talking Heads fans may notice that I’ve borrowed a bit of a lyric from Once In A Lifetime with the first fortune, “You  may find yourself behind the wheel of a large Land Ranger“:

I decided to make all the fortunes rhyme to add a playful, light-hearted sense to the patch; I don’t think the occult should be taken too seriously! I’m just about to start the companion piece to this patch, in which I will be playing with water soluble aida (or cross stitch) fabric for the first time; I’m excited to see the results!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Stardust


I’m so inspired to complete the remaining patches of The Constellation Quilt that I’ve even been dreaming about them! The next patch will be a playful look at the stars as they apply to fortune telling (appropriate for a quilt based on my character Polly Kettle, a fortune telling siren).
I’ve just finished reading Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, and amongst the reams of gorgeous imagery is quite a bit of writing about the chaos and majesty of the stars, including the below:
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 Yes, it’s a little melodramatic, but so is Polly Kettle, so it seems appropriate! I enjoyed adding all the tiny gold stars (or should I say stardust?) The background fabric of the patch has the slightest gold sheen; I will be interspersing the Polly Kettle letter patches with these, and with patches of a warm yellow-gold colour. I think this “stardust” patch may be the “cornerstone” patch which ends the first “Polly” line of the quilt.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

A puffin for my parents


This March my parents both turn fifty. Being an impoverished artist, I decided to make their present. As they’re both wildlife lovers and I particularly enjoy embroidering birds, I decided on a puffin, which is a bird they met in the Scottish Highland a few years ago (Dad got some cracking pictures!)
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My puffin isn’t quite as bright and breathtaking, but is hopefully just as cute! It’s embroidered on a doily given to me by my Grannie (my Mum’s mum), which I think makes it more meaningful. Next stop is getting it framed.
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I’m really looking forward to the fiftieth birthday celebrations next Saturday; it’s sure to be quite a do!

Monday, 4 March 2013

OOMK at the ICA


I missed OOMK zine‘s launch the other week as I was up in the Scottish Highlands, which is a real shame; it looked like a fab night!
However, I did make it down to the ICA on Saturday to pick up my copy of the zine. Page 28 features a little article on exhibiting in the E17 Art Trail by yours truly. When I first exhibited in the art trail two Septembers ago, I never would have dreamt that my experience would end up in a publication sold at the Institute of Contemporary Art! I almost feel like a “proper” artist.
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OOMK (or “One Of My Kind”) zine “is a highly visual, handcrafted small-press publication. Our content largely pivots upon the imaginations, creativity and spirituality of women.” The theme of Issue 1 is Fabric, and the full colour zine is filled with textile art, collages, comics, and articles (including one by Betsy Greer, the coiner of “craftivism”). Get your hands on your own copy here.