Do you ever wonder how do people develop a body of work for an exhibition? How they come up with the idea in the first place?? I’m now working on a series of quilts for an exhibition which will travel with Grosvenor Shows in the second half of the next year. But let me tell you where it all started ….
In the beginning, I went to a talk by Sheena Norquay and was really inspired by her wall hangings with circles which were once featured on the flyer of Quilter’s guild. My partner really loved it too, so he went off and tried to make something similar.
He designed the circles, I quilted everything for him and he then painted them. He made several of them, but most are now sold. Back then we were using Silk Gutta from Pebeo to add the colour to the circles. But you’re limited by gold, silver, copper and black. A few years later we discovered Glitter and Metallic Liners from Marabu. They come in 18 glitter colours and 18 metallics! That opened up a whole new world for us. We started to stock them and I had to create samples, which would inspire people – feather, tree, Xmas tree and paisley were the first designs. If you ever met me on a show, you have seen me teaching them and demonstrating. And people love them.
With the Festival of Quilts 2017 approaching, I wanted to create a wall hanging which would showcase the paints in their glory and so I made the Sparkling mandala. At that time it was the biggest piece we painted and it had exactly the wow effect we were after.
I then took it with me when I was demonstrating on the shows. But with every show, I had to have another sample ready to demonstrate on. And at the beginning of this year, I did quite a few of the shows. I decided I’ll just quilt a little mandala and will have the weekend to colour it in. That was a great success with people and I had lots of ” does it come as a kit?” questions. So I got back into the studio and developed 4 Mandala designs which we sell as kits. It was great making them, but as they were kits, by the last one I really felt restricted by the size …
With the Festival of Quilts this year I wanted to make another mandala but this time enter it into the Miniature category. Even though it’s little, (11″ square) it was a long time in the making as it has a lot of hand embroidery. But all the effort and time was worth it as it got Highly Commended !!! I was so chuffed!
Next step was to go bigger again, we were inspired by some fabric and started to work on a few more wall hangings, so I went and approached Grosvenor shows who were happy to have my Mandala series on display in the second half of next year. We made probably half of them – still about 6-8 to go. It’s great to have a deadline, and having to create a body of work which has got a common theme yet keep all the pieces different and original is a lovely challenge and my partner and I are loving every step of the journey.
One of the hanging is going into Grosvenor Shows Northern Quilt Exhibition at Harrogate … can’t share the picture just yet, but if you’re in Harrogate do look it up, I’m sure you will not miss it if you look for the sparkliest quilt in the show 😉
[The Great Northern Quilt Show will be taking place at the Yorkshire show Ground in Harrogate from 31st August to 3rd September. Tickets are available on the door and its free parking]
Just as in life, one thing leads to another. You start small and encouraged by the work, the success and the praise you go on, you go deeper, further, bigger wherever the journey takes you. Until one day you decide you had enough and you’d like to try something else, but don’t worry I don’t feel like having enough just yet so brace yourself to see more sparkling hangings.
Thank you for reading