May has been a busy month for Amanda Jane Textiles. Two of my quilts ‘Australian Animals’ and ‘Blue Mountains’ (both made from fabrics purchased in Oz), were on display in Belsay Hall as part of a quilt show organised by the Northern Region of the Quilters’ Guild. I took my turn to do some stewarding at the show, too. Here are the two quilts, which are meant to be seen side by side:
An ‘Introduction to hand-stitched patchwork’ day took place on 9 May 2015 in Sunderland, during which we experimented with English piecing over papers and crazy patchwork. Choosing and combining colours are two of the great pleasures of patchwork and stitching by hand makes it into a restful and relaxing pastime. Here are some of the participants in action with their crazy patchwork pieces:
And here are two of the pretty hexagon rosettes that were stitched:
The following Saturday, in Darlington, there was a ‘Craft Saturdays’ session on lino-cut printing. We explored basic block-printing techniques, investigated sources of inspiration and cut a smaller and a larger block using cutting tools.
Here are some of the results:
It is encouraging – and useful – to get feedback from workshop participants. Helpful suggestions are always incorporated into the next round of planning, and positive comments helped to confirm that the stated aims of the days were being met.
Sometimes, there are surprises. One recent workshop attendee turned out to be an embroiderer whose work I had admired last year, when I went to see an embroidery exhibition at Sunderland Art Gallery.
The Bishop Auckland Art Gallery continues to open its doors every day and I have twice this month been on duty in the Gallery to welcome people in. There is a range of Amanda Jane Textiles craft items currently for sale in the gallery and I am beginning to explore ideas for more.
Part of my plan, on becoming self-employed last year, was to design and print fabric. Investigation and research into printing is ongoing, but I have been busy with designing, building up a portfolio by completing a design a week for the American website Spoonflower (www.spoonflower.com) where I design under the name Amanda Jane Textiles. This week’s design theme (set by Spoonflower) is ‘Sandcastles’ and here is a sneak preview of my design, based on a painting in watercolour, with fond recollections of days spent on the sand in Cornwall with buckets and spades, wind-breaks and beach-towels:
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