Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Fabulous show, Filming the Exhibition, AGM papers and some screen prints - not to mention fast approaching deadline

I think that title reflects that it is a while since I wrote here and there is a bit of a catch-up needed. I'll probably go in reverse order as I can remember the recent bits best.

I am a member of the group 'Stitch in the Middle' . It is a wonderful group with members ranging from quilters just starting to some real old hands and  very well known names. We make Contemporary Quilts and decided to base our first exhibition on midlands architecture, as that is where we all live. The exhibition is entitled 'Living in the Middle  and we had the opening  yesterday at Weavers Gallery In Ledbury. I put in Guardians of the City 1, which you have already seen , and also Guardians of the City 2 (I am very imaginative with names) - which was a follow on.  I loved the imagery from number one, but wanted a bigger cathedral. Here it is:

The central quilt is mounted on a board, which has been decorated too and some elements overlap. The size is about 31" x 36". Amanda and team have done a beautiful job hanging the work and it is well worth a visit (Ledbury is also gorgeous and Mrs Muffins - just opposite the gallery is another recommendation!). The artists exhibiting are: Pauline Barnes, Hilary Beattie, Janet Bevan, Lesley Brankin, Veronica Coad, Jill Exell, Linda Forey, Jill Gray, Judith Hill, Cheryl Kirby, Edwina Mackinnon, Debbie Orange, Jenny Rolfe, Kathy Unwin, Jan Webb and  Amanda Wright. I wish I could show you photos - but I forget to charge my camera before leaving home and ran out of power the day before! However ... we were visited on day one by Val Nesbitt from Justhands-on TV and she and her crew filmed with us all morning, covering all the quilts on display. I have to say it was an exciting new experience which I loved ( I would - she asked me to talk!!) and what was especially nice was that several of the artists were there to talk about their own work. Obviously there will be some serious editing  - but we are hoping for a maybe 15 minute clip and Val has promised to let us know when it goes out. I will pass that on - although the site http://www.justhands-on.tv/ is well worth a visit anyway.

The day before that, I visited the new British Quilt and Stitch Village (BQ&SV) at Uttoxeter, This show, which was successfully developed by Margaret McQuillen, was taken over this year by Traplet Publications, who publish British Patchwork and Quilting and Sewing World magazines among many other things. This was their first outing to a quilt show and I have to say they did a brilliant job in my view. Margaret was a hard act to follow - but they manged to keep all that was so good and unique about this show, whilst putting  their own print on it. I love this show, as it  is one of very few shows where you get to see quilts and embroidery exhibitions, and competitions in the same place. It's a great venue and the new owners have developed a 'village' feel by using several of the buildings on the site. I thought this worked very well - it is a layout often used on the continent and obviously gives more space for displays (and shopping!!) and a nice open feel. We were lucky with the weather too -so you could move around without getting wet  My camera died on me - but I did mange to get a picture of the Visitors Choice quilt by Judi Mendelssohn

I believe this is a New York Beauty block and Judi made it almost as therapy during  a difficult time in her life.  It is really stunning and I am always in awe of the skill and patience involved in a proceeding a beautiful piece like this. An heirloom of the future no doubt.

I had my own reason to celebrate as I was fortunate enough to win the large wall hanging category with my hanging 'My Home, My Heart,  My Country' for which I received a new silver plate for the mantel piece and a wonderful Janome Sewing Machine from Sew Creative -  Brilliant!  But it got better. The hanging was also chosen as overall Champion so I got another plate (bigger too!!) and another gorgeous sewing machine - this one a real beauty from Pfaff - I gather it had only just been launched before the show  How good is that??The presentations were made in the Winners Enclosure at the racecourse - an inspired choice - and I managed the long walk up and down without tripping (or cantering). I declined a lap of honour but did get my picture taken with my quilt

Thanks Jenny  - a very very proud girl and I am so pleased that it was this particular quilt ...as it does mean a lot to me. 

I have now agreed with BQ&SV to show a solo gallery of work at next years show. This will be called 'Beauty Matters' No - I am not branching out into  cosmetics .. just saying that in this sometimes sad and ugly world of ours, noticing and sharing beauty does matter. I am very much looking forward to working towards this gallery and hope that lots of you will come and see it next Spring.

This is becoming a very long blog - but I do just want to share these images of some of the materials made from recycled papers at my demo at the AGM

Very yummy and are all pieces that could (and will!) be used for collage and applique  Very easy and simple to make too. We will be looking at these (and lots of other techniques  at my academy workshop at the Festival of Quilts  and using them to create designs and ideas for future work. I am also running a bi-monthly two day workshop at the Bramble Patch In Weedon in 2014, where we will be able to look at many surface design techniques in detail, working with them to make very personal design and work. All these course are fine for beginners and will be great fun ... and both are now online for booking (www.thefestivalofquilts.co.uk and www.thebramblepatch.co.uk) Details of sessions are also on my website - www.hilarybeattie.co.uk - I'll keep posting more images too.

I think I've run out of time and probably your endurance for today - so I'll save the screen prints for next time! I need to get my nose to the grindstone and get my piece for the new art quilt competition at FOQ finished ... got to be done by Friday  I'll tell you more about that next time too. I'll just post one image of the screen printing .. just to whet your appetites (hopefully)

As always - thanks for visiting and talk soon - Hilary x

Friday, 12 April 2013

Studio update .. looks like I've been busy again

After my last shameful expose on here, I did resolve to keep my studio tidy(er) .. but we all know what happens to these sort of resolves don't we? so - yes - I've messed it all up again! My mess seemed popular last time, so not wishing to deprive anyone here are some heartening images of post AGM studio ....

General 'stuff' - not toooooo bad
remember this bench? - not much changed here then

abused printers

getting bad now - wet area ... extended since last images of it .. mess extended too unfortunately


at least some washed up - but not dried and certainly not put away

disgusting treatment of Thelma

painting table - rather taken over by events I think

hey ho - I got myself this comforting sign - I'm hoping it is true

I must tidy it all up again .. but I had to make time this week to meet up with my friends and colleagues Edwina McKinnon and Catherine Nichols for dinner, plans and gossip and to go on a wonderful workshop with Catherine . I'll tell you all about it and post lots of images next time .. I don't think Catherine - who is an organised girl, should have to share page space with the above photos .. but here is just one of all the girls work. Catherine is the headless woman in black at the table head - will put her head back next time - she does normally wear it

I also promised more photos pf the AGM and I haven't forgotten - although I have still not found one camera .. I imagine it is under those piles somewhere. Here is just one image to go on with of some of the cloth made during my demo on Sunday (yes - the one with the hangover). I like the cloth though. Inevitably demo cloth is a bit scattered with unrelated imagery - but I do like the combination of clocks (rubbings from a template my friend Steph forced me to buy - she was right ... I did like it) and coffee words on here ... I think a coffee time quilt may well emerge form this. Will post lots more soon
Thanks for visiting - enjoy feeling superior won't you!! - Hilary x

Monday, 8 April 2013

AGM - what a jolly time we had

You may have noticed a small silence from me over the last couple of weeks? and you probably guessed that all the last minute work for the QGBI AGM in Nottingham was the reason. Even with the very best planning - and the committee did all that, the last week or so are both busy and hairy! But we got there, and it all went brilliantly I thought. Food at the venue was the only complaint I heard, and even that was said with humour and understanding that this is so often the issue with such a large event. All other comments were positive and everyone I spoke to had a good time - some of us a bit too good - followed by nasty hangovers - but let us not dwell on such very naughty behaviour. I have quite a few photos to share - so here are the first bunch:

Robin Hood - and yes he was rather fabulous in those tights .. many middle aged hearts were set a flutter  I suspect ....

but unfortunately he bought flipping maid Marion with him ... who was young and gorgeous ...oh well! Here they both are with Denise, our Conference Officer - and she did a quite outstanding job too
getting stuck in at the region 10 stand ...

some of the prizes in the Chinese auction and some of the entries for the Sue Ridgewell challenge 'My World is Green'

more Sue R quilts ....

and more
and still more - a really well supported competition

Gilli Theokritoff giving a popular demo about using foils to add a bit of glamour to work

and yours truly about to get stuck into some painting and printing - Linda B, I think I have the back of your head here!
Here is a shot of Priscilla and Anne hard at work in my workshop - all students made really beautiful work which I will share when I find my other camera!

You may remember that I started a quilt for the Regional challenge? - well it was finished JUST in time and I was lucky enough to win first with it too .. so thank you to all those who voted for it! Here it is .. called 'Guardians of the City'

and a detail of the swans ... local legend has it that if the swans leave the city of Lincoln, the Cathedral will collapse.
and finally - here is the piece that you all chose to go as an auction prize .. the tulips ..

I was busy demonstrating and covered in paint when the auction prizes were drawn. I would love to know who won my piece .. so if it was anyone who reads this, do please let me know.

I had such a good time, met up with many friends and made many more. It was especially nice to talk to lots of you who tell me you read this blog and follow my work ... I appreciate it so much. I hope you will feel more brave having met me and realised what an idiot I am really, and talk to me on here! It can be a quite lonely job working away and it is so nice to haer from you.

I'll post more images of the quilts, my workshop and the cloths painted during the demo next time. Thanks for visiting - Hilary xx