Saturday, May 31, 2014

New Frontiers

This quilt was strongly technique driven. When I read the title, “Space, the final frontier” played through my mind and just kept replaying every time I thought about a design or idea.
I wanted to explore new techniques, use new materials for this quilt and push boundaries a bit further. The top layer was started in a class with Pat Deacon, her technique seemed well suited to the theme. 

My constellation

Theme “Space”… Nevertheless Amanda has given a lot of interpretations of this theme I had no any idea till the last week before reveal day.

Finally I've decided to narrow the possibilities of the theme to my own space, to the things around me which I enjoy.

So this is “My constellation”: flowers, fabrics, beads, apple (the name of our city “Almaty” can be translated as “Place where apples are growing”), quilts …

Hand painted fabric, silk, beads, buttons, technique – chenille.

Dream island

Almost from the beginning I knew how I wanted to translate our new theme into a quilt: I have a very comfortable chair near a window in our living room. I like to sit there and read, hand-piece, hand-quilt or just dream. This chair is my space. I had decided to just quilt the outlines of the chair and the cupboard behind it as well as the window on either a wholecloth quilt or a piece background for more structure.
When I finally started on this quilt I decided to make a completely different quilt. From time to time I wish I could espace to a small tropical island to get away from all our every day stress. This is my dream space.
I used the book Art Quilt Maps by Valerie Goodwin as a starting inspiration for the map of my dream island. I put squares of different light batiks on the center of a sticky background for the island to give it more structure and used different shades of blue for the water.
Then I fused pieces of chiffon on the water fabric.

I fused the cabins on the island and green fabrics and chiffon for the trees. Then the whole quilt was free motion quilted. I missed color so I decided to add painted bondaweb to look like all the flowers that can be found on such an island. I punched the shapes and then fused them. First I wanted only to add a few flowers but soon I had to be careful to leave some negative space.

I decided against quilting the flower shapes as I didn't want them to get too much into the foreground.

cotton fabric
polyester batting
polyester thread
raw-edge apliqué
fused chiffon
painted bondaweb
free-motion quilting.

Sabine Courtellemont-Max

My Space Your Space Our Space

My first thought when I saw our theme SPACE, were of those wonderful pictures NASA and others have given us from the outer space. Just like some of our hand dyed fabrics, especially some of the ice and snow dyed ones. But of course I needed something more.
In April, my daughter and I had a weekend in London and Manchester. She wanted to go to the Backstreet Boys concert in Manchester, and I wanted to visit the Harry Potter experience at Leavesden.
Well, we went together on both places. And of course, there were a bit of shopping!
Walking in the streets of London, the idea suddenly came to me. This was her space, and mine, and we had them together, so this trip ended as our space.
I decided to use photos I had taken at the concert and during the studio-tour. Transferred them to fabric, cut the in strips and bonded them to some fusible wadding. Unfortunately, the photo transfers were not so bright as I wanted, so I put a piece of blue organza on top to give it a bit more colour. I then finished this part with some stitching on top, running stitches and french knots.
The background fabric I had chosen, emphasizes the colours of the photos. For the quilting, I went for machine-embroidered lettering, inspired by Laura Kemshall. Because of the size, 15"x15", I could not use too bold letters, but I think I found a font that suits the size. And to give this background a bit more life, I put in some running stitches in some of the letters with the turquoise from the pictures.
Instead of bonding the photo-part to the background, I wanted it to have more depth, so I finished it with a blind fold and attached it loosely with stitches from the back.
and a close-up:

Lost heritage

Lost heritage

Although this isn't quite finished, and can't be till I go home to New Zealand, the bones of the piece are complete. The top and left of the diagonal represents Christchurch in 2009, and the bottom right what it was like in 2013. There is so much space, but that is not a good thing. We have lost virtually all of the historic buildings in the centre, and in their place we have rubble and carparks.

I plan to write along the roads the names of many of the iconic buildings that have been lost. And cut away the backing behind the rubble areas. These are printed on Extravorganza, actual photos of rubble. The intention is that they look transparent and devoid of meaning.

I got seduced by some Alexander Henry fabrics I happened upon. Using mainly rectangles gives the impression of blocks and buildings. The small amounts of red and maroon give more of an idea of the scale of actual buildings.

Christchurch is called the Garden City, so the green areas are typical of the parks and reserves that are there, and of course survived unscathed.

Here is the finished quilt, with the names of the Grade 1 buildings that have been lost. There are many more Grade 2 ones. 

My Street

Gabriele Bach - My street

When I read about the challenge "Space", my first thought were Houston, the space and "Star Trek". But space can also be my sewing room, a house or a street. That was the right idea. In the street where we live are some very colourful painted houses. Where are only row houses, all equally built 50 years ago. By and by the owners made their homes individual. Our street is well known in our little town because of its colourful houses. This street is the space, where I live. In Germany our community is one with the most densely population, so you could also title "no space".
My quilt is fused and machinestitched.


When I saw the theme "Space" I come to think of the Swedish painter Philip von Schantz and his paintings of vases and bottles which fools your eye and give you a sense of mystery. So one of his paintings was my inspiration for this piece.
Below is a link to this painting.

To try to convey space I started to paint a white background fabric with Dye-na-Flow acrylic paint. When still wet, newspaper masks with the shapes of bottles were placed on top and then sun printed. The bottle shapes that developed in a lighter shade than the background were then machine quilted. A second layer of fabric bottle shapes were raw edged appliquéd and finally as a third layer there were some organza shaped bottles added on top.
The piece is framed with a narrow binding.


“Space” is Latitude Quilts’ latest challenge.  This idea came from a workshop that I took from Susan Carlson about fabric collage.  The process was to take fabrics and cut out shapes that would be used to enhance a drawn picture on a piece of muslin.  As you build your creation, you use glue to tack down the pieces and once it is finished, the entire piece has a tulle overlay which is machine stitched down.  At the time of the workshop, the theme had must been announced and I thought this technique perfectly matched the theme.  So, my piece is simple called “Cosmos”


Cosmos_detail 1

Cosmos_detail 2
Katie Pidgeon

Techniques:    fabric collage, tulle overlay
Materials:       commercial fabric, tulle, beads and sequins
Date:               May 31, 2014

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Beginning of my Quilts

The Beginning of my Quilts

On saturday we will reveal our quilts for the challenge "space".
For me it is much more easier to make quilts, when I have a theme, a size and very important a finishing date. It doesn't matter if I like the theme or not, always my brain is set on the way! Everything I see gives me inspiration for the new quilt.
Some years ago our local quiltgroup ( decided to sew walkways for the next exhibition. Wherever I walked, I looked under my feet and thought how could I make this walkway, which fabrics and colours and which techniques could be used. When time comes to be concrete, I have to decide what to do. For me this is a very difficult part. The quilt will be horrible if I put all my ideas in one quilt. But I can't sew every idea I had and I don't want to sew only walkways (or every other theme) for the rest of my life! 

In this case I decided to do cobblestones, as a memory of my hometown Goslar. It is a little town, which had its greatest time in the middleage. 

In some streets the cobblestones are very even, they must be new. 

In the garden of the Moenchehausmuseum, a museum for modern art, was an exciting installation:
Cobblestones from Timm Ulrichs.
Back at home, I browsed through my fotos. I wanted to highlight the difference between the deep grooves and the cobblestones. As a child I always laughed about ladies with high heels in the streets.

Our group used selfdyed fabrics. I applied the cobblestones on the fabric and put under every cobblestone extra batting. 

I quilted very dense all the grooves between the cobblestones and was very pleased with the effect.

Gabriele Bach: Goslarer Kopfsteinpflaster, 82 x 160 cm

The size of a finished quilt is very important then planing it. After the walkways had been finished, our quiltgroup decided every quilt should be sewn a second time. But this quilt had to be very small, only 10 x 15 cm! That was an exciting challenge. You had to decide what is really important for the quilt and how to manage the little pieces. 

For the challenge "space" I had again many different ideas, one is now finished. But I am sure that the other members of this group had much more ideas. So it will be very exciting to see the new reveal!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Exhibition by Gillian Travis

I recently had the opportunity to visit an exhibition by Gillian Travis at the Bramble Patch. It was a wonderful exhibition filled with vibrant colour and a variety of different types of textile work. The pieces were absorbing and filled with rich details and content, as they captured the essence of holiday memories.

Gillian is a textile artist who lives in the UK and travels widely for pleasure and teaching. Her work is developed from the many photographs she takes while on her travels. It is contemporary and combines paint, print, felt stitch and embellishment. 
It seems best to let the pictures speak for themselves. If they wet your appetite more can be seen at



Circle New Shelves







Romania on a Washing Line

Monday, May 12, 2014

Russian quilter Vera Sherbakova

I took a class from Russian quilter Vera Sherbakova few days ago.  It was not first class I have taken from her and every time it is very interesting and fun! This time she introduced some speed patchwork techniques.

Natively Vera is from Almaty (Kazakhstan) but now is living in Moscow. She had more than 50 solo exhibitions in different countries.
Let me show you some of her quilts.



"How bird and fish divide sky and sea"
"House in the village"

"Miracle Island" - this composition is about 2 m height and 2,5 m in diameter
 "Birds place"

"1001 night"