Friday, May 31, 2013


I started thinking about this theme from finding information about “what is mark-making?”

Here what I’ve found:

“Mark-making is the process of applying pencil to paper or applying anything to anything! (scratching marks in plaster, using pen and ink, paint on canvas, anything that leaves a mark on the page could be considered mark making that's what is so nice about it:)

“Mark making is a term used to describe the different lines, patterns, and textures we create in an artwork. It applies to any art material(s) we use on any surface(s), not only paint on canvas or pencil on paper. A dot made with a pencil, a line created with a pen, a swirl painted with a brush, these are all types of mark making.”
Ok, now I know for sure what mark is about!
The other question was: What I can leave as my mark?
1)      My fingertips?
2)      My hand contour?
3)      My signature?
4)      Colours- my favorites for now are violets and greens;
5)      Lines which I like- smooth
6)      The technique that I like – simple and easy to sew
After summarizing and discarding unnecessary this is what appeared.
I used some of my dyed and stamped fabrics, beads, machine and hand quilting, weaved circle.

Leave your mark.

For this challenge quilt:  Leave Your Mark I chose to leave marks in several ways on white cotton fabric.  First I stitched the fabric for shibori.  Then I dyed it in an indigo vat and pulled out the stitching when it was rinsed and dried and dyed the peach fabric using MX procion dyes.   The quilting marks on the blue fabric were added with indigo-dyed rayon embroidery thread.  Altogether a very satisfying way to leave marks.


Seasonal colour

The title is a little tongue in cheek - just a hint of conifer green and holly berry red to enliven this monochrome, monoprinted winter tree scene. I  played with monoprinting, and wanted
to make marks that were extremely primitive, almost prehistoric or childish. Black acrylic brayered onto acetate, marks made with cotton buds, printed on plain white cotton. As usual, I did samples of complicated quilting, but ended up with simplicity, outlining and satin stitch fill. I added a few stars, but my mother helpfully pointed out that if it is snowing, the stars won't be out!

Spin the Wheel of Chance

Katie Pidgeon, Spin the Wheel of Chance and "Make Your Mark"

Spin the wheel of chance and “Make Your Mark”

This has probably been my most challenging quilt theme.  Throughout the past few weeks, I have been thinking if I have “made my mark” and I’m not sure. I don’t think we are the makers of our fate; rather, it’s the people around us that ultimately defines who we become.  So, my quilt is a wheel of chance you can see at fairs.  You never know where it will land, but sometimes you need to spin again.

Techniques:    hand embroidery (French knots, running stitch, whipped running stitch)
Materials:       whole cloth, pencil crayons, shiva sticks, buttons, perle cotton thread
Date:               May 31, 2013

Size:                15 inches x 15 inches

Katie Pidgeon

The "X" Factor

The theme "Leave Your Mark" presented me with a struggle, so I left this idea alone so that my subconscious could come up with a suitable response.   And... I recalled how a couple of artist friends had made past comments about my abstract work often included an X.   So my quilt is called the "X" Factor.

My art-quilt is made using hand-dyed cotton fabric, dyed silk for the X, and dyed threads for the embellishment.   The line work represents growth with its upward movement, and my choice of red is due to its dramatic and passionate essence.

The background was cotton cloth that I dyed with thickened Procion dyes.   I kept the design simplistic to feature the rhythm of life.  Choice of fabric for the binding compliments the rest of the piece.   

This piece was large a result of intuitive spontaneous choices rather than a planned organised approach.    This is the way I like to work and it reflects the way I now like to leave my marks in daily life.

Morgan and Momoy

This challenge had me a bit flummoxed for a bit; I struggled with how I wanted to represent "leaving my mark".  Each time I considered the challenge, I came back to this thought: the greatest mark I'll leave on this Earth is my children.  They will be here after I'm gone.  Hopefully, they will be good people, responsible global citizens, and loving partners and parents.  That's the greatest legacy I can leave.

With that in mind, I created this piece based on a drawing my youngest did when she was 3.  I have it framed and hanging in my studio.  The color selections are directly influenced by what she drew, right down to the faded small figure.... and the spelling mistake. I  mimicked her crayon drawn line with paint and I used my left hand so the lines weren't as sure.

I took the "leaving your mark" theme one step further with my fabrics.  In our group discussions, we've been talking about some of our individual challenges of using only things from our stash.  I wanted to do that, but didn't have a good fabric for the center panel.  As a result, I used a piece of fabric I dyed with onion skins to be ecologically-minded.   Every small step, I hope, makes a difference.

Erased Marks

It was interesting working on this theme, overwhelming at times. Initially I had a great idea, it’s why I picked the theme but somehow, the idea disappeared and a new one had to be found.

 I remember a poem written by a San man, one of the wandering people from the deserts of Southern Africa, he wrote about The People leaving their footprints in the sand and the wind blowing them away. We are only remembered for as long as the marks we make last.
 "And our footprints, which the wind intends to blow away, would otherwise still lie plainly visible." Dia!kwain, San People

 The San people only “own” what they can carry from place to place. There are so many things in my boxes that I can make marks with, most items made by other people. I wanted some way to create marks that came completely from my hands and mind. Marks that were personal to me. To that end I used cheap erasers, lino carving tools, a piece of sponge, thickened procion dyes and a piece of white cloth. Strangely embellishment did not work on the quilt, so it is simple, only the images defined by the lines of stitching.

These are my marks, they are imperfect, the grid is imperfect, but they exist.

Who Can Count the Apples?

When I first heard of this theme all I could think of was ‘calligraphy’. When I looked though some old course work I did about 15 years ago, I found a practise piece, written in a spiral format, with the saying: ‘Who can count the apples in one seed?’  I decided to base my quilt upon my old wonky attempts at calligraphy, supported by other ways of marks with my own hand, including mono printing, thread sketching and hand stitching.
Then I got to thinking about how the saying actually fitted into the theme.
As a teacher, having to put up with the daily challenges of trying to impart wisdom into wiggly children, it’s easy to find oneself sinking into the mire of pessimism; feeling as though I have not made much of a difference in the world. Clearly that is untrue, as the saying suggests that one seed planted can yield future orchards. Perhaps that is why there is a symbolic connection between the apple and the teacher? We all like to think we have made our mark on the world and this saying helps us to remember that no effort is wasted.
I decided to depict a dead and spent apple tree as the major element with the orchards spreading on and on into the distance.

Linden Lancaster Who Can Count the Apples?

Who Can Count the Apples? Detail 1

Who Can Count the Apples Detail 2

Next theme, June and July 2013

The next theme for ‘Latitude’ is ‘Memories’

Oscar Wilde said a memory is the ‘diary we all carry around with us’.

Memories can warm you up from the inside. But they also can tear you apart.

Bittersweet, regret, disappointment, lost love, suffering.

“Stephen kissed me in the spring,
Robin in the fall,
But Colin only looked at me
And never kissed at all.

Stephen’s kiss was lost in jest,
Robin’s lost in play,
But the kiss in Colin’s eyes
Haunts me night and day.”

Sara Teasdale, The collected Poems.

Songs and smells will bring you back to a moment in time more than anything else.
Certain songs from the 70’s will bring me back to tank tops and tight jeans, dancing at the school social or spending endless summer days at the river.
The smell of a newborn baby, mother’s perfume, grandma’s cooking or carpenter’s work clothes bring back warm and fuzzy memories.

And of course there is all those lovely photographs taken with the old ‘Box Brownie’ and Instant ‘Polaroid’ cameras.People and places.

Perhaps you have a dodgey memory and can never find things or remember appointments…………now, where did I put those keys…..?

Hope you have fun with this theme.   Linden.

I read it!

When I was working at the hospital we often had to read informations and then sign on a list that we had done so. As I have a long name I put an entwined S and C (my initials) on the list.
A few months ago I had to cut strips from 23 different batik fabrics to make a quilt for my daughter. I left the small strips I had cut in order to square the fabric on the cutting table and when I took them to throw them away they looked so good I decided to keep for a future quilt. While trying to find the best way to put my sign on fabric I saw this small colourful fabrics strips.
The back is machine pieced and quilted, a left over from a first attempt for our first challenge, carnival. I placed the batik strips on top of the quilted background and used my felting machine to attach them.



My approach to an art piece is usually a psychological or philosophical one. I am trying to convey a thought or concept in a visual way. For this theme of leaving our mark, after much thought I felt that the belief that I wanted to express was that by our very existence we leave a mark. Just as dropping a pebble into a pond causes concentric ripples to flow outward in all directions, our presence also creates ripples of  influence in the world around us.

If we now think of dropping many pebbles into a pond the ripples spread out and begin to overlap thus causing the patterns to merge and change. Similarly although we send out our particular pattern of energy, so do others and these patterns encounter one another and form new patterns. So we may effect change in other people in ways that we will never know but they will also effect changes in us. Thus we build our families, our communities, our societies and our world.

For Buddhists the bohdi leaf is a symbol of the spirit, as Buddha was sitting under a bohdi tree when he reached enlightenment. I have used an abstracted image of a bohdi leaf to represent the spirit and the echo quilting to convey the idea of the energy waves that we emit and receive as we journey through our life.

I have used a technique of layering colours of silk and then slashing down to reveal the under layers to convey the idea that our influence exists on many levels, physical, emotional, intellectual and psychological.

The materials are Indian silk and commercial cotton fabric.

Where I Left My Mark

Margy's theme 'Leave Your Mark' has been a very special challenge 
as we all leave our marks every day and in many ways.

Beside the mark we make through our children very few of us will leave a mark 
that will survive even through few generations. 

I have tried to capture mankind's ephemeral presence on earth in my quilt 
by leaving my fingerprints on this pond.

Technique: Procion MX dyed cotton with stencilled acrylic paint.
Machine embroidery with tulle and machine quilting.

Other designs can be seen on my blog.



When this theme "Leave your mark" was announced I start to think of threads. Threads that I have used and use for sewing knitting, weaving, crocheting etc. and other threads, "threads" that we leave for generations to come, our DNA. Another idea was handwriting, a very personal mark. I left the thread idea and started  to write on fabric. I wrote some sentences on a piece of hand dyed cotton. Sentences that had to do with how to discover and develop our own personal style as artists.

Such as:
- In following what attracts you will develop your style.

- What you like is your strength.

- Keep your weaknesses in proportion.

- If you follow your own strengths your style will emerge.

Some of the words occurring in the handwritten text were chosen  and letters from the chosen words were cut out, fused  and machine quilted on the background fabric.

Material used: Hand  dyed cotton fabrics, polyester and rayon threads, fusible web and a 80/20 polyester/cotton wadding.




As artists, we all leave our mark, and I was working with monoprint when this challenge came up. And doing monoprinting is a way of making marks. I chose this image of Saga Oseberg at sea, with wind in her sail. I have been working a bit with the original Viking ship Oseberg since my final piece for my City of Guilds course, I just love this ship. Saga Oseberg is an exact copy of the original, made with old tools, no modern machines. Even the Graffiti carvings on the old one is copied, and the quilted boat shape in the background is one of these carvings.
Since my last two pieces are green, I decided Not to use green in this one. I decided to go black and white on this, with a little contrast colour. Another of our old Viking boats, Gokstad, had shields in black and yellow, so I ended with this golden yellow. Hand-quilted ship, and machine-quilted background. Greta.

'drop-cloth quilt'

This is my last piece for Latitude. I need more time to concentrate on my coursework, so that's why I decided to leave this group. If I commit to something I want to give it 100%, and with having too many commitments, I just cannot do that. I wish you all lots of fun and success and will certainly be following the group and the blogs of individual members and of course you're welcome to visit my blog as well.

I always work on a work-surface, covered with a piece of white fabric, usually a cheap cotton. Over time this 'drop-cloth' gets covered in stains and marks and when it's getting a little too full, I change it for a new one. It's always a joy to start with a fresh-looking work-surface, but it never stays like that for very long! :-)
I always keep the used 'drop cloths', as they tend to end up looking very interesting and I can still find some use for them.
I'd thought of several ways of interpreting 'leaving your mark', but couldn't decide on one. At one point I was going through my fabric stash and came across one of my drop-cloths. I cut out a section, which had a print of one of my Rembrandt thermofax screens on it, left there after I printed on organza, in which case you get two prints for the price of one.
I've been working with my 'Rembrandt theme' for a while now. When making my fabric Rembrandt portraits, it was so fascinating that, even though he died four centuries ago, he still seems very much alive when studying his self-portrait so thoroughly. He sure left his mark!
So I thought the combination of using my drop cloth, on which I've left my mark and the print of one of Rembrandt's portraits on it, would be a very good interpretation of the theme 'leaving your mark' and this is the result.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Leave Your Mark

 As a wildlife rehabilitator  I hope to leave a small and gentle mark in the fields and forests that surround me.  This piece speaks of the illusive animals with whom we share our environment and the wonder that we experience when our paths cross.

Hand dyed cotton, machine stitching and hand embroidery.

by Heidi Wulfraat