Hidden Depths - Exhibition of Textile Art

Been having a great time this week hanging our own exhibition in the excellent Ravenous Cafe here at the Raveningham Centre. Come and see our new work - including many award winning pieces - and enjoy the range of superb eatables on offer! I know I am biased, but I think this collection looks fantastic. Helen and I have such different styles that they compliment each other brilliantly.

Hidden Depths 
An exhibition of textile art by Helen Howes & Helen Butcher (aka AitchBee) exploring the concept of depth and distance.

19th September to 31st December 2018
Wednesday to Sunday - 10am to 4pm
The Ravenous Cafe
The Raveningham Centre
Beccles Road
NR14 6NU.

For more information about workshops and classes we are running during this exhibition, please see Helen's website: www.helenhowestextiles.co.uk/class/calendar.html

Dirty Rainbow...

I've got an idea for a quilt (just one? Well, no, actually I have about twelve ideas spinning around in my head at any one time!) This is one that has been bubbling away for a while, all about negative space - one of the modern quilt design key elements. I can see the design, but I couldn't see the colours until HelenH started putting together a dirty rainbow pack of Oakshott fabrics:

Isn't it delicious! I shall put this together with some cream/beige and show you some more pictures later in the week.

Not Everything is Made of Cloth

This is "Raveningham School - Catfish", and it's one of my pieces for the unofficial fringe of the Waveney Valley Sculpture Trail, which runs here until the 16th of September.. We are open every day for this, as is the cafe and the Trail.
Made from remnants of last year's boaty whale, and a lot of unusable bits of sewing machines..
More pieces here

Triumphant Return

Well we have returned from the Festival of Quilts; in triumph in the case of HH, with her second "Judge's Choice" award in two years with this exquisite silk tree miniature called "Another Fair Copse". I watched Helen construct and quilt this piece while I was teaching a class on foundation paper piecing at her workshop and, apart from the breeze moving the tiny silk strips about at inopportune moments, it was all made in an amazingly short period of time.

As you can see the award is almost as big as the quilt!

My miniature had the distinction of being smaller than just one of the blocks on the "Ebb Tide" quilt that I had entered into the Modern category. It finished at under 8 inches square and includes 81 individual blocks! But then I am known for being a bit o.t.t. about miniatures.

I made this design  originally as a 3 foot square wall hanging (much bigger blocks) for Michael Oakshott to show off his new range Longshott cottons. Click on the photo below to go to the Oakshot Fabrics website

Almost There!

Well, we are nearly ready to go to the Festival of Quilts 2018: sleepless nights, frantic finishing of quilts, preparing free patterns, chasing tickets, arranging rotas, and sorting out of private lives (yes, we do actually have lives outside Festival, although at the moment it is difficult to remember that) are almost done. Today we have hung up the last of our display quilts to drop its creases before packing.

This little beauty is called RATTLE and is made in OAKSHOTT's fabulous cottons with a large dash of batik. Come and see us on the Modern Quilt Group's desk of the Quilters' Guild stand right by the front doors at the NEC where we will be giving away free patterns and postcards and talk, talk, talking to everyone about Modern Quilting.

Now all I have to do is combat that 3am sudden wakefulness "what have I forgotten to pack?" and get on the road (very early in the am) to go and set up. At least we shouldn't have last year's challenges with the weather; desperation to get unloaded undercover before all the quilts got wet!

What else are picnic tables for?

So what are you likely to find many dedicated quilters doing a month before the Festival of Quilts? Despite it being hot enough to melt tungsten (at least that is how it feels) you will find us sitting under large bed quilts. Not because we all have masochistic tendencies (but hey, each to their own, I don't judge), it is because we need to hand-stitch down our binding. That's where the picnic tables come in - a cunning plan

You can't quite see him, but my little helper (large Chesapeake Bay Retriever) is also under the picnic tables (yes both) since he soon found this was the coolest place in the garden - as indeed it is!

I love Indigo!

Now, I never took a liking to hand dyeing - either product or process - but I have fallen in love with indigo. It's a quite magical and much more immediate process where you never know exactly what results you are going to get. The final colour/pattern depends on the basic fabric - silk, cotton or linen (wool works too), how you scrunch or tie it up, how long it is in the dye-bath and how many times you dip it.

Over-dyeing coloured or printed fabrics produced some interesting results too. I have an idea for a Modern indigo quilt floating about in my head using this severely limited palette. Must go and finish my stuff for Festival of Quilts so I can start on this!