30 août 2008

New project

Started with Marseille V.
This is a picture I took on the ‘ile de Frioul’ near Marseille.
This picture was also the catalisator for my Marseille-series.

I knew I would do this picture in fibre but I had no idea how I wanted to realize it.
It had to express power and fragility at the same time.
It had to be realistic enough in its abstraction.
Do you still follow ?

Since I’ve already done several workshops with Ellen Lindner and that I had in mind making this art-quilt in collage-form with free-cut shapes, I knew she was the right person to help !

So I started to play :
A very basic sketch :
An off-balance watercolour sketch, just to get a colour idea :
A watercolour sketch with some description :
A paper collage, to get an idea of what it would give in fabric (with a lot of imagination !) :
Changing some of the details to get more swing :
I’m far from ready with this picture. I will alter this design more.
Still playing with more ideas.

I have, for instance, a finishing flower idea : making dimensional flowers with embroidery thread so I obtain a fluffy effect.

"In these matters the only certainty is that nothing is certain".
Pliny the Elder (23AD-79AD)

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28 août 2008


I quilted the First of the Marseille IV-quilts. I kept it simple : just the contours of the rectangles were quilted with a light blue metallic thread.
On the detail shot you can see how I reassembled the picture.
My intention is to bind both the quilts with a sheer ribbon.
I want to accentuate the transparency of the water and the air from the picture.
That’s why I left a rather large ‘border round the picture.

Since fall is in the air I took a picture of a little leaf quilt I made – past year already – I tried to reproduce the fragility of a leaf. It made me think to ‘dentelle de Bruges’. I free machine embroidered the leaves on Avalon and then appliqué it to the already quilted background.

Susan from Wild Onion asked us : “What are your favourite tools in your studio ?”
I answered : my computer to communicate ; my sewing machine, my ‘working wall’ –couldn’t find the word ‘design wall’ and my iron.
Strangely in another group there was a discussion about ironing shirts.
Well, most of us –fibre artists don’t iron shirts ; in exception those of our DH- when absolutely necessary- and certainly not those of our sons.
I think that’s one of the first things I learned to my son : ironing ! and cooking…
My son sometimes wished he was born a 100 years earlier, I told him that if it had been in my family he also had to do that. Haha..

“There’s no real need to do housework – after four years it doesn’t get any worse.”
Since my son’s name is Quentin I found a quote from :
Quentin Crisp

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26 août 2008

New Journal

I started a new journal and wanted to have a nice cover so…
I gesso-ed the orange cover and sketched an imaginary tree scape with the Caran d’Ache neocolor II water-soluble wax pastels.
These are wonderful to work with. A specially because I can blend the sketches with water.
Once dried I applied a varnish to protect this front page.
Since a blank journal isn’t a journal yet before something is written in it, I first wrote a review about the Marseille IV- collage.

Then I doodled :
This one makes me think of a lost word becoming a whole colourful story :

And this one a peacock that has lost his pride and seeks for his feathers:

These doodles are one of the ways I’m searching for ideas that I can translate in fibre.
It’s not because I show the idea that it will become a reality in fabric.
From the 100 ideas I write down, there’s maybe one that is a ‘go-for-it’.
“Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most”.
Mark Twain
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24 août 2008

Collage bis

I continued working on the twin-collage.
I have cut several rectangles out from the two images on fabric and switched them with each other. Ironing a stabilizer on the back of a transferred image isn’t the easiest thing to do.
But if you want to have neat work…

I took a picture after the first series of cut-outs

and when I decided to stop to ‘hear’ and ‘see’ what the pictures told me.

Since this work is ‘small sized’ and very ‘blue’ I worked on colour-value rather than recognising the boats in the picture.
This work turned to be an almost mono-chromatic exercise !
Did you know that blue isn’t even my ‘preferred’ colour.

“As you think so you are – As you Imagine so you become !”

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22 août 2008


Working further with the picture I chose for my collage I decided to cut the picture apart and to make something like this :
It’s a roughly ‘sketch’ of my intention.
I used ‘paint’ to cut and replace some pieces.

I transferred the picture a second time on another piece of fabric so that I can combine both pieces : 2 quilts for the work of one !

I used Fossil Fern-fabric because of the subtle colour gradation in the fabric.
I will use a darning technique Dena Crain showed us in the ‘Darned Quilt’ workshop.

It is the first time I can work in a series with a specific theme – in my case ‘Marseille’- and I just love it. I feel that I get further one step at the time thanks to the use of a journal.

I have a lot of junk sketches in my journal but –for the moment- no more UFO’s in fabric.

Sketched my ‘home’:
and dream neighbours houses
To temper the colours I painted brown and black over the sketch and wiped the paint off while wet.

‘Life-transforming ideas have always come to me through books’.
Bell Hooks

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20 août 2008

Journal exercise

Doing an challenge from ‘Stitching Fingers’ , a group where I’m a member.
The task was : Use a part of the given clip art picture and work with it.
This was the picture :
I cropped a piece from the upper right side and turned it :
The only thing I did for the moment is :
sketching and colouring the detail !

Not much yet but it will come.
I try to work a little bit every day in my studio, but some weeks I simply have to work more in the shop or have to spend more time with my family.

Yesterday was one of those days.
I spend the whole day in Bruges with my son, just the two of us. They know that, once a year, when they’re alone with me, they get spoiled.

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”.
Darrell Royal

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18 août 2008


Worked in my sketchbook yesterday and this evening.
I made a defence shield page using medieval clip-art : I first had ripped an old pocketbook apart, glued some ripped pages ; painted a little gesso over the page so that I still could read the words ;
I painted the warrior – representing me - and glued the image on my page, I added some words I still could read from the gessoed page.
At last I painted some watercolour over the page.

These are the colours I used :

After the defence shield page, I made a collage from random words found in the ‘Art Quilt Book’ from Jane Davila and Elin Waterston.
I’m working thru the book with a small yahoo-group, starting with chapter 4 already this week.

I chose ‘Marseille’ as theme ; how could I chose something else ?

This week, we have to make a fabric collage.I will make one incorporating this picture transferred on blue fabric :
Marseille III is ready to be quilted :
I hope to quilt it sometime this week.

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old ;
We grow old because we stop playing.”
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

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16 août 2008


Time management is important for me !
If I hadn’t a well planned agenda, I wouldn’t be able to do as much as I do now.
So I did 2 agenda covers :
The turtle one for me, the green one is for my eldest in the hope she will be able to manage her time well one day…
You can’t see the variety of colours well on mine but if you have a look at the brown paper picture of two days ago, you will have a better idea.

Did the background for the Marseille III.

As you see I turned back to my initial idea. I will appliqué the rectangles with a decorative stitch : a boat or a fishbone stitch : a little humour...

And from the other background I made a quick quilt : “Abstrait III”.

I made that one while listening (and looking from time to time) to ‘My fair Lady’ (!).

I’m glad I continue to sketch and write in my sketchbook.
I have tasted a fantastic olive oil with lemon and asked for the recipe : wrote it right down in my sketchbook. Now I will look for lemon and olive pictures to make that page look nicer.

Did something very stupid : washed the jacket of my son : his nearly new expensive i-pod was still in his jacket.
The jacket is clean now, the protection for his I-pod also and the i-pod is total loss.
Trying to make my son laugh, I asked him, if I putted the i-pod in the dryer and putted it together again, it wouldn’t work again. I think he believes I come from another galaxy !

“Strange as it seems, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and higher education positively fortifies it”.
Stephen Vizinczey

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14 août 2008

Rain and Time

Since we have such a fantastic weather lately I made a collage about the weather.

The umbrellas should make a good quilt idea.
Another idea : The rain as quilting lines on a hand dyed whole cloth quilt.

I found stone pictures and I liked the structure of the stones.
Or better : I liked the negative space between the stones :

Worked a little on the Marseille III and I’m a little 'stucked' :
I was tired when I chose this hand dyed fabric for the Marseille-quilt –
on the moment I liked the combination.
But now, I do not know ! It’s not enough and too much in one fabric.
This is a strong hand dyed fabric. I have this piece for about 10 years.
Every time I take it in my hands, I say that I have to use it but still have no use of it.
Tomorrow is another day : I have a free afternoon and will work further on the Marseille-quilt.

I painted brown paper to make an agenda–cover from Sue Bleiweiss workshop. I used acryl paint and once the surface dry, I went wild with the oil pastels from Caran d’ache and the Shiva’s.
I also found cool buttons to use as closure :
Just love the turtle.
This would be the perfect agenda-closure : It would remind me to go slower with my live.
Carpe Diem.

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice….
In practice there is”.
Yogi Berra

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12 août 2008


No, I do not use any translator for my blog.
When I started to blog I decided to write in English because many of my quilting friends are English speaking.
Following online workshops gave me the ability to expand my knowledge of the written English language.
Talking is another case : I speak English with a French accent !!
Since we’re going to New Orleans and Houston end October I will have the opportunity to talk a lot !

I’m beginning to think which work I will expose during the exhibition at the end of the year till end January.
I’m rather productive for the moment considering I’m also working fulltime in our shop.
But I stick to small work : I have to rearrange my studio to hang some bigger work !
And I need to sell some. I came to a point that instead of giving it away to family because they like my work, I better sell it to people who likes it.
The exhibition will be the right time to start selling some work. I will have to calculate a correct price for each piece and this will not be an easy job.

This quilt has been made after a picture of a door in the Provence. When I look at this work, it still gives me peace. I used fibre-edge for the tree leaves and uses pastels to age the door, the flowers were embroidered on tulle and then appliquéd.
“Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious”.
Peter Ustinov

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11 août 2008

Sunday activities

Yesterday, I made a day- collage about Belgium because I hade read a quote that is perfect for our country : ‘Agree not to agree !’
And no ; I do not want to live in another country. We have several communities in our country and we just love to have words fights ; a bit like brothers and sisters , they also fight all the time but can’t live without each other.

I first started with the words from Jacques Brel's song : "Le plat Pays" and played with wordle .

I also did a little watercolour sketch :
I promised myself to make a colour exercise or a collage every other day in my sketchbook.
That way I give myself a sketchbook routine and I visualise the ideas I get.
This will permit me to go further on some ideas, throw others away or put some ideas on hold.
Again having a sketchbook is ideal to learn to work in series.
You work with an idea and twist it again and again…

I worked further on “Cale Sèche” :
I chose the threads needed to thread paint :
And started to thread paint
I’m still playing with several quilt lay outs in Electric Quilt6 :
I know that I do not want this :
May be I will do this :
Still playing with other colours for the background fabric.
The death line for this quilt is next Sunday, so I still have time to play.

"Put up in a place where it’s easy to see the cryptic admonishment T.T.T.
When you feel how depressingly slowly you climb, it’s well to remember that
Things Take Time."
Piet Hein

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