Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Alicia Merrett Workshop and more blogging friends

The Quilt Museum in York currently has a great exhibition on until 3 July (well, 2 actually) and I arranged to go up and see it and to meet up with Sandra who blogs as The Dyer's Hand and a friend of hers, Penny, who I hadn't met before.  Luckily for me Sandra happened to mention that Alicia Merrett was running a workshop in the morning of our planned visit (today).  I contacted the Museum and was delighted to find that there were places available.  I could not believe that a two and a half hour workshop, including admission to the exhibition, was only going to cost me £10!!  If you live within travelling distance of the Quilt Museum it's worth checking out their website for workshops.  Even if you are not an actual quilter you can still acquire very useful skills for textile artwork.  

Our two and a half hours were packed with tuition from Alicia on the theme of ' Fine Line Magic'. Alicia's work includes quilts which look like beautiful aerial maps with suggestions of fields and demarcations. 


These fine curved lines that make up the walls, hedges, rivers etc in her work were the subject of our workshop.  The method for making these lines was surprisingly straightforward although my poor confused brain did struggle just a little as we were working fairly quickly. 


You'll have to excuse the rough edges but this is just a sample but you can see the general idea.  You can see that some of the lines are indeed very fine and narrow and with a little more finesse and thought there are many directions that I can take this technique.  I made a couple more samples and will be carrying on with these pieces to make a larger piece so I'll post about that when I get it done.  

Quite a few years ago, when I was painting regularly, I made a small watercolour painting based on a photograph in National Geographic of an aerial view of an island off the coast of Ireland.


I would love to turn this little painting into a textile piece and hopefully, with Alicia's helpful instructions, I may be able to realise that ambition........but not till I've finished my Festival of Quilts entry!   

After the workshop I met up with Sandra and Penny and had a lovely chat and catch up and then got treated to a demonstration by Alicia to reinforce the morning's workshop.  I also had the chance to look at the Breakthrough exhibition which was truly inspiring.  Similarly to the exhibition at Quiltfest in Wales of one half of the Breakthrough quilts (which had all been made by members of the Contemporary Quilt Group of the Quilters Guild) the quilts were accompanied by samples detailing how the quilts were made. This is such a valuable addition to an exhibition as the structure of a quilt is always fascinating.  Unfortunately the Quilt Museum doesn't allow photographs so I can't show you any details.  However you can see Sandra's Breakthrough quilt here and Tina Slipper's entry here. Cath Stonard had an amazing quilt titled Kisses on Concrete which really grabbed my imagination.  You need to see it close to to appreciate the texture in all the little 'kisses'.  Liz Drake's 'Chesil' caught my eye, as did Mags Ramsey's Bexhill Breakwaters (hope I've got that right). Mags has included a lot of detail on her blog of how she achieved her quilt.  There are so many beautiful quilts in this exhibition so do go and see it if you can.

Ok, enough blogging without pictures!  Look what I received in the post this week


This lovely mixed media postcard is from Emma who blogs as A Little Bit of Everything The postcard is on a paper base and includes fabric, woven ribbon, collage, printing, stamping and stitching.  Emma reaches the big Five-O in June and decided to offer to swap postcards with 50 bloggers.  She has been much quicker off the mark than me and I have to get busy and make my card for her now that I have received her card.  Every time I look at Emma's card I see something new.  It's a lovely card for my collection.  Thank you Emma. :o)

16 comments:

Dot said...

Hi Julie
Your blog is always a pleasure to visit! Lot's of beautiful eye candly. Love the sound of the workhop you attended (and what a bargain). Love the sample you have shown here of your work. And I could see your beautiful landscape painting used as inspiration for textile art.
Sending lots of love your way.
Dot xx

Dot said...

P.S Thanks for the heads up about Robyn Atkin's book. I have popped across and downloaded a copy. How nice of her!

Jackie said...

There is something compelling about aerial views and maps.I love your painting and the first picture quilt is superb. I don't know if you ever saw my village map..but I wish I'd done one like yours or Alicias.I'm looking forward to seeing you textile version.

LOVE STITCHING RED said...

A gorgeous and inspiring post. So glad you had a grand day out with Sandra and Penny and managed to get on that amazing workshop. The photos are fab and now I'm looking forward to a little extra time to visit all the links in your post. I will be sending you an email. Have now been to hospital and have a bit more news

Lots of love
xo

Gina said...

Alicia's quilt is lovely... as is your ariel painting. I think it would make a lovely quilt.

pam said...

Wow York sounded great and i quite envy you - I bought a book on wavy line quilts and have so far only managed to read it! I think your painting will make a brilliant quilt look forward to seeing it!!

sandra wyman said...

Thanks for the mention. And that painting is wonderful. It would make an amazing quilt! (next year's FOQ entry?) Hope you've recovered!

JP said...

love the workshop idea and yor painting

peneller said...

I've been following your blog for a while now and it was great to meet you at last Julie. It was so good to sit and chat to Alicia and I'm sorry that I wasn't able to get to her workshop. Your painting is lovely and I agree that it would make a great quilt.
love Penny

Angela said...

The workshop sounds great, what a lovely day.

maggi said...

You obviously chose an excellent day to visit. Alicia has such a distinctive style. Lovely postcard from Emma.

Jacquelines blog said...

It looks like you had a lovely day. Beautiful pictures.

Shirley Goodwin said...

Love that painting you did - I think it would make a great quilt.

fiona d said...

what a lovely day you had, and sounds like a very interesting (and useful) workshop. Your watercolour is beautiful - I love the detail in it. I find aerial photos very inspiring too.

Fenland Textile Studio said...

I love the water colour you have shown, how talented you are. I can't wait to see you textile impression of it. The Quilt Museum workshops are really reasonable, hope the classroom was warmer than when I last taught in it though.

katelnorth said...

Love those curved lines - I think you will have a lovely piece once you've finished!