Using digitally printed fabrics in a different way, opening and closing of doors, and the problems with shop bought cake

One of the things about working on a piece fairly constantly over a period of time, is that you don't see it as others do.  Your eyes get used to seeing the same things daily and your brain switches off a bit to the bigger picture.

So I was a bit surprised when I was asked how I managed to get the quilts into Life 12 - Murder, which I finished yesterday - the ones draped over the table.

Here's a little explanation about the process.

 Using Digitally printed fabrics 

 I had no idea at the outset whether this would work or not, just the germ of an idea.  I draped two Life quilts over a box on my workroom table, and arranged them so they had gentle folds and flat areas towards the front and side.  I then took a photo.

I emailed the photo to Laura 
with directions about the length I wanted the finished image to be.  I knew I wanted space for other things above the qilts - birds on a chain -  so had to be careful not to make the image too tall in proportion to length.  Laura did magic and sent me back a piece of printed cloth.

I fixed bondaweb to the reverse of the cloth and then cut out just the shape of the quilts, ironed and then stitched. I cant think of another way of achieving this effect.  I also used own designed digitally printed cloth on Life 10-Leaf Mould (below) - imagery on leaves and printed text in the "soil/leaf mould"

I then set up a still life and took a photo to use for collage and painting references.  Why didn't I put everything on the quilts and just take a photo of  it all?  Well,  I didn't want to soil my precious quilts with food and wine etc., and at the time, I was just playing with an idea and making it up as I went along. I hadn't got that far!  Here's a still life set up, one of several!

Now what's the problem with shop bought cake??  Well, size basically.  Have a look at it in the photo.  It looks cakish doesn't it? but then compare it to the size of the cotton reels, and say, the teapot.  It's very very very small....too small.  I was too lazy to make one and nipped to Tesco. They've got a cheek haven't they calling it a Victoria Sandwich?  It's just a big cupcake really.  It was enormous fun taking a huge bite or two from it, but scale never occurred to me.  Oh well, as Father Ted would say, "it's not small, just a long way away."

I enjoyed making up the applique still life - great to delve into the fabrics again - and free machining it all, then painting it afterwards, but I'm also glad it's finished so I can move on to the next quilt in a few days time.

Doors opening and closing?

Last year and again this year, I entered a Life quilt in Fine Art Quilt Masters at foq.  I didn't have high expectations, which was just as well as I didn't get past the initial sift through!  It's still a bit disappointing though, and I have decided that I don't think I want to enter any more quilt competitions (the ones that will have me that is!!) ever again.  We're just not cut out for each other!  So that was one quilt show door closing....fortunately it couldn't bang shut, as the wood was rotten and the hinges have gone!

But another opens, and I heard today that Life 10 is wanted for an art gallery in Wolverhampton as part of their Craft and Conflict exhibition for 3 months from September.  The other artists are:  Michael Brennand-Wood, Elizabeth Turrell, Lin Cheung, Iona McCuig and Betty Pepper.

At the same time I heard that Lady Gilda Levy is very keen to tour the London Oxo Tower exhibition to other rather lovely venues around the country, and I'm delighted to be part of that.  What with that and Through Our Hands quilt show at Bilston in May 2015,- and TOH 2 to prepare for a month after that finishes, I shall have a busy few months.  Best get cracking!!


  1. Sorry to hear you didn't get into the Masters (neither did I!) Who knows what they are looking for - whoever 'they' are? Congratulations on the Wolverhampton gallery though, you are in excellent company there. I look forward to hearing of the new venues for London Oxo Tower exhibition.

    1. Sorry Maggi, they don't know what they're missing. Thanks for your kind words too! X

  2. You richly deserve all the accolades heaped on you by the art community. You work is amazing!!

  3. Annabel- I love your posts: you talk such a lot of sense, you share freely and most important, you make me laugh. I love tthe finger gesture, used so politely as a legitimate action!