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Hard to Choose a Favourite thing!

Hard To Choose A Favourite Thing

I’m one of those people who think a day is wasted if I haven’t made something that didn’t exist the day before! It doesn’t really matter what that thing is as long as I create something! It may be as simple as a loaf of bread or a tasty cake but the most satisfying creations are always ‘arty’. I sew, quilt or knit almost every day but I get the most enjoyment from my drawing, printing and painting because they are so immediate. A quilt can take me weeks or even months but I can make a drawing whenever I have a few free minutes. There are always several sketchbooks on the go – usually because I’m too impatient to wait for pages to dry before I can turn to the next. This one is a tiny square format which is ideal for quick sketches. The little bird was drawn with water-soluble pencils and then I added washes of water to diffuse the pigments. We’re working on a ‘how to’ video showing this technique for designmatterstv – hopefully it’ll be available soon. The nuthatch in the book I’m holding was done in exactly the same way but I liked his shape and colouring so much I decided to make a second version using more traditional watercolour techniques. I’ve mounted the finished watercolour painting onto a wooden panel and sealed the surface with cold wax to protect it. He’s in my online shop now if you are tempted to own the original!

It’s a cold wintry day here and I’m about to make soup! While it’s bubbling away I can get back to that sketchbook. No time to squander!

Bye for now,
Linda

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Dare I mention Christmas yet?

Dare I Mention Christmas Yet?

I know that it’s barely November but the shops are already gearing up for the holiday season and I’m jumping on the bandwagon too! I’m gradually adding a few small and affordable pieces to my online shop. These 6 inch square pincushions might be just the thing for a friend who enjoys textiles or maybe even as a treat for yourself! I’ve really enjoyed making them using all my favourite fabrics and techniques and I hope you’ll like them too. I’ve got quite a few more of these waiting to be photographed and I’ll be adding them to the ‘Shop’ as fast as I can so please check back from time to time to see if anything appeals and feel free to drop me an email if you need more info or have questions.

Bye for now,
Linda

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Studio Sale

Studio Sale

I don’t make many quilts for sale. My work is usually created in response to a call for submission to an exhibition but I’m pleased to say that they do often sell when they are on show. There’s nothing quite like seeing quilts ‘in the flesh’ to tempt a buyer. But in these uncertain times there are few opportunities for getting the quilts out and about. I don’t have any upcoming exhibitions even pencilled into my diary so I’ve decided to post a few of my quilts here on the website just in case anyone fancies giving one a home! I’ve also kept the prices as low as I can because, buying direct from the maker means there’s no gallery commission!

You might remember some of my Moth series from the article in Quilting Arts Magazine a little while ago? I am fascinated by the creatures I see in my garden, in fact, nature is my greatest inspiration. There were several of these moth quilts made for an exhibition we had planned before the dreaded pandemic struck. A couple of them made a brief appearance on the Madeira trade stand at the National Exhibition Centre but they were never exhibited as intended. Seems a pity to have them hidden away  where no one gets to enjoy them so you’ll find three of them now available in the shop.

I’ve also added one of my favourite pieces, ‘Wolf Moon’. This one was made for a DesignmattersTV video and has also never been exhibited.

Quilts are a fantastic way of adding colour and personality to an interior and they will give years of pleasure as long as they are not hung in strong, direct sunlight. Treat them as you would a watercolour painting.

I’ll be adding more to the ‘Shop’ as I find time to get them photographed so please check back from time to time to see if anything appeals and feel free to drop me an email if you need more info or have questions.

Bye for now,
Linda

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Unfinished Business

Unfinished Business

I hate unfinished business but when we are making videos for Designmatterstv we often have lots of pieces that get put to one side once they’ve done their job. I’ve been rifling through my heaps of ‘stuff’ and the search revealed a cheery looking bit of piecing that only needed quilting and binding to be complete. I’m fortunate to have an even feed attachment (walking foot) for my Husqvarna machine and I’m always impressed with how easy it makes perfect straight-line quilting. I wanted to use some of my hand dyed cotton threads on this piece as well as the Madeira Cotona 30s I used for the machine stitching so I hand stitched around the contours of the stencilled and painted leaves and berries on the corner triangles with variegated, single strand threads. I’m happy with the contrast I’ve achieved by combining geometric shapes of the patchwork and machine quilting with the softer, more organic shapes of the stencilled leaves and the hand stitch.

Digging deeper into the unfinished pieces I spotted a mono print that Laura had made during a workshop she taught at her studio before the dreaded pandemic brought everything to a halt. I thought it would be a perfect candidate for a little digital embroidery. Now I’m sometimes a bit hesitant about using preset designs from my embroidery machine because the control freak in me prefers to create my own. However, I was occupied with something else at the time and just chose a flower design I hadn’t used before. I know many people regard digital embroidery as a cheat but if I can set my  machine to be stitching away while I am busy doing something else at the same time I’m more than content! Of course I had to make it my own in a small way so I ignored the recommended colour choices and chose a completely different palette. As long as the value contact is maintained it should work perfectly. I actually love the result and will be finishing this with lots of quilting to lose the bagginess you see in this photo.

I always make time for drawing and painting even when I’ve got lots of sewing projects on the go. I never have to look far for inspiration – the garden is full of fabulous lilies at the moment. This painting is a practise piece for a more involved still life I’m working on now. As soon as it’s finished it will join my other watercolours in the Shop gallery on the website.

I hope you are keeping creative too!

Bye for now,
Linda

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New Sketchbook

New Sketchbook

It’s so exciting to have a brand new website as a present from Laura for last week’s big birthday! I had no idea she’d been secretly working on it for some time. While she was getting square eyed at the computer screen I’ve been enjoying myself making a new sketchbook. I’ve used recent plant prints together with some pages made last year. The papers are nearly all watercolour 140lb weight as I think they survive the hour of boiling better than cartridge paper.

You may have seen the method I use if you are a regular follower of the videos on Designmatterstv. It’s just a case of boiling a tightly clamped bundle of papers interspersed with plant material in a bath of water, vinegar and rusty objects! I realise that sounds crazy to the uninitiated but the slight unpredictability of the process really appeals to me. The best bit is removing the clamps to see exactly what has transferred to the paper. There are often squeals of delight as all is revealed!

Putting the prints into a book format provides lovely background colours and textures to work into. I am often inspired by nature so it makes perfect sense to me to print from leaves and flowers from my garden and then paint and draw onto the prints with more detail. I always work with birds, insects and flowers that I can photograph or collect each day when I need a visual reference. There’s no deadline  for the work – it just evolves organically. I return to the pages over  time and as the seasons change so does the inspiration. I make one of these garden diaries every year and get much pleasure looking back at them. If I spot an empty space I might work back into it at any time – even years later!

We’re planning to add flip through view of this latest book to the Sketchbook pages of my website soon so I hope you’ll check back if you’d like to see more detail.

Bye for now,
Linda

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A new website

A New Website

Hello, Laura here, Linda’s daughter. You might wonder why I’m writing on her blog, but the simple answer is, she doesn’t know it’s here! I’ve given the website a brand new look, added lots more examples of Linda’s work to the Portfolio sections and built a shop so if you see something you like, you can purchase it directly from the site.

I better break the news to Linda that she has a whole new website to explore (and to keep up to date), but first let me give you a quick run through of what’s here:

Portfolio
Here you’ll find a selection of Linda’s work including new pieces. It’s sorted into categories of Quilts, Paintings and Sketchbooks. I hope you’ll enjoy having a browse through it all.

Shop
A new feature on the site is the online shop. Here you’ll find small and large works for sale, cards, and hopefully soon, some prints.

Studio Blog
I know that blogging is not as popular as it once was, mainly due to the rise and rise of social media, but nevertheless, who doesn’t love a look at what’s currently on the easel or under the sewing machine needle. If you are looking for more frequent updates then please also check out Linda’s Instagram account.

DesignMatters TV
Linda and I teach exclusively online at the moment via video workshops recorded in our studios. We have hundreds of videos available on our website DesignMattersTV including lots of free content. We’d love for you to come over and check it out.

About Linda
In this section you’ll find the standard bio stuff.

So that’s a quick intro. I hope you enjoy having a wander around the site. I’ll be adding more as soon as I can. I’m sure there might be the odd un-made link or stupid speeeeliling errors here and there. Please don’t feel the need to write, Linda will tell me all about them for sure!