Boroinspired quilting

I have always wanted to have a go at making a quilt. I was given a small blue one when the children were small that I always loved.

I have never been able to imagine cutting out the fabric neatly with 90 degree corners and straight lines. Doing some research around my teabag quilts after some one said they looked a bit like sashiko- I discovered the fabulous world of Japanese stitching and boro inspired patching.

There are lots of sources on Pinterest and blogs about the history of /methods online

https://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/an-experts-favorite-japanese-textiles#9

Above is an early 19th Century bed cover.

Back to my quilt. I was offered a bag of fabric scraps by a friend if mine. I decided to have a go at making a quilt using an old single duvet as a base.

As a child I remember saying when I grow up I am never going to darn socks – after watching my mother sew little hard circles of stitches into jumpers and socks. So I am amused that the technique mum taught me is now being used to top stitch a whole quilt!!!

My aversion to the effort required to cut neat shapes means that the design will be quite organic and the top stitching will hide a multitude of sins ….

I had a bright cotton skirt that was too busy. It would make a good choice to base all my other fabric colour choices on.

I started at the edges because I thought the hem of the skirt would add strength to the final piece.

I practiced boroinspired stitching on some of the pieces

Then started adding my friends fabric scraps. She has some experience with quilting so a lot of the pieces were cut into rectangles or squares ….

I wasn’t really sure about the yellow but it does lift the blue.

I have been a bit obsessive and made my hands and back ache. So I decided to stop pinning new fabric and sewing it onto the base and concentrate on a bit of top stitching.

Jon and I are enjoying this because me adding fabric pieces is very very messy 😂with needles pins, fabric and thread all over the kitchen.

This is as far as I have got with my design. I am thinking of just adding blue pieces to the middle bit in a nod to the Japanese

history. I am using second hand pieces of fabric or clothes in an attempt to be frugal.

Attempting big stitch quilting with tea bags

I always need to try something new or develop what I am doing. I found a series of tutorials for big stitch quilting by Jo Glover. She explains what to do and what equipment to use. I adapted her ideas using a teabag top layer ironed onto interfacing. I decided to go back to 3×3 bag samplers. I basted the teabags to the layers of wadding and back piece. I won’t do that again because the tea bags don’t stay secure enough at the edges

Jo recommended buying a water soluble crayon and crotchet cotton and sewing with a number 7 needle.

Big stitching quilts use similar motifs to Durham quilts as far as I can see in my research. I found it tricky to draw a feather motif free hand so I used the above hearts – it ended up looking a bit like a Christmas cactus 😂. With the Big stitching method you are only supposed to use running stitch. I have left the top half of this piece just running and filled in the outline on the bottom section. I think this works better against the lines that Jo suggested using on the back ground. The blue lines are the chalk pen, which is lovely to draw with. The make I used was Aqua Trickmarker.

I had a go at a second piece drawing a feather wreath design……..

Again I had to go back and stitch the outline. I think I am working too small for this technique – though I like the background texture. I decided these two quilts didn’t work on their own as standalone pieces so I added text

I seemed to have lots of text floating around from this and my ‘Tea and home’ project so I decided to have a go at just doing the back ground pattern from Jo’s tutorials

I think this is one of my favourites – I do like a bit of text lol.

Links to Jo’s videos on YouTube – they are all very short

Sometimes it feels like I am in a dyslexic fugue-shining a light – ‘Soul Restoration’

I am ‘doing’ Soul Restoration with the ‘Brave Girls University’ . my best arty friend Debbie Howard is tutoring me electronically and I have signed up for Melody Ross’ video tutorials and bought the work book….

I am shining a light on my truths, today looking at my dyslexia which is driving me mad this week. I have trouble with dates and calendars – I try so hard to compensate but sometimes I have a melt down – 4 double bookings over the next few months has me reduced to a quivering jelly with a lack of self esteem……. I drew a table last night of my cock ups to get a better idea of how much grovelling I have to do , over the next few days.

As compensation I decided to stop beating my self up and look up symptoms of adult dyslexia

I tried very hard to spell the title properly but – drawing letters sends my potty – concentration on tooooo many things at once 😂😂😂

I picked out those that apply to me the most – if you have 10 the website has a course that you can attend to help you ……

https://www.dyslexia.com/about-dyslexia/signs-of-dyslexia/common-characteristics-of-adult-dyslexia/

I try an compensate but when I was a teacher it was a bit tricky with report writing and timetables….

I was reading the list – which I found interesting – it has a disclaimer at the top

‘Most adult dyslexics will exhibit at least 10 of the following traits and behaviors. These characteristics are often inconsistent, and may vary depending upon the day or situation.’

My art journalling called – I sometimes see pages in my head just before I wake up properly in the morning – today a girl was drowning in a sea of dyslexia – a bit dramatic but I liked it.

In the sea it says ” the very things that held you under are going to lift you up’ there is a randomn ‘ ‘achieve’ and ‘pressure’ and watches to represent time – calendars etc

The Soul Restoration course asks you to look at your light and shade in your life

Yesterday I had a mad art day and produced quite a few pages based on the idea around shining a light on the shade/ lies that I tell my self – I am finding the ‘lies’ quite difficult to get my head around

The one below looks at how there is too little natural light in my basement flat and how it is necessary to get out and walk everyday

Below I look at how I achieve when I push my self – this is quite a hard balance to achieve with the beating myself up that goes on with my dyslexia. These pages feel raw, untidy and unfinished but the express how I was feeling and the struggle to be authentic on the page

My first spread for this course looked at 3 different senses of self – a facade that I can present to the world , a shadow self and an authentic self. I made the page after a movement medicine session. Sometimes it feels like I dance to feel the light. – the page is a fold out piece so there are several pics

100 days of art therapy Journalling 

  I enjoyed my 30 days of journalling with Lisa Sonora so much that I didn’t want to stop. I had signed up to 10 days free journalling prompts with Shelley Klammet so I decided to sign up for her 100 days course. 

I am finding it very powerful – there is usually a written prompt and an art prompt everyday – I am feeling a bit vulnerable and peeled back after 10 days. 

This is a paid for course so I don’t think it is appropriate to discuss each prompt in detail. However , I can show my journalling responses 

  I have been having a tricky situation at work recently and I have felt very emotional in response to it . In some ways my reactions have felt  to over the top. I have been surprised how angry a couple of friends have been when I discussed it with them. 

I painting a wall in my living room red and the colour seems to be seeping into my journal.

Yesterday’s prompt was to use pastels in a gestural way and to meditate and sit quietly with the materials and be intuitive. 

I meditate a lot an whenever we have a prompt to be still and quiet – I find my self going some where deep and still. I didn’t want to use oil pastels in my journal because they are so messy. So I drew with my Neo water colour crayons. I was a bit diaspointed with the result 

  
Imeadiately afterwards I decided I wanted to tackle my work problem and put it to bed. 

   
 
I was very amused at the violence and power that resulted from this exercise – I comparison with the crayons. When I meditate I seem to put aside my emotions and go to a safe calm place.

 The juxtaposition of the insipid curly lines with the violence of my collages amused me no end. 

I had been dreaming of ripping up one of my neatly drawn flower mandalas for a couple days – it felt very satisfying and I am pleased to have the explosion down on paper. I think I am going to put a much heavier cross over the woman’s mouth on ‘feeling disempowered’ 

 
Yup that does it for me ….. 

 Nope …..  it needed some more violent red gestural stuff  lol!   

  

Graphic Novel Techniques 

I grew up enjoying reading comics and always appreciated the format – how the page could be divided to create the impression of action , the cropping of images and speech bubbles 

Recently at the Mancheter Metrapolitan University Summer Insitiute of Qualatititve inquiry (http://www.esri.mmu.ac.uk/siqr/) I saw a seminar by Linda Knight who was researching how the graphic novel could be used as a research method ( more info can be found on her blog Lindaknight1965.wordpress.com) 

I have tried a couple of times before to do a comic strip , but wasn’t happy with the techniques I was using (Doing art everyday for 2 years has its plus points). I had a stinking migraine the other week and felt inspired to do some image making based around this experience and my irritable bowel – the two are linked in my head 

I have used – fine liner, grey felt pen and my go to blackmail letter type lettering 

Number 1 is Irritable bowel   
I have tried to inject an element of humour. I struggle with cartoon figures so I have borrowed heavily from Picasso – I am not really sure my IBS ought to be talked about on the same page as Guernica but I do like those figures writhing around in the stomach 

Number 2 Hemiplegic Migraines 

 
I am well at the moment , my really bad migraines seem to be under control with drugs and not teaching at school. This is technique and way of working is  fun . I am going to have to play some more