Clearing the decks

I have got so much to do between now and (dare I mention it) Christmas, and I have been struggling to settle to serious work. I decided it was time for drastic action - or at least time to reorganise my severely limited workspace on board the good ship 'KAOS' (appropriately named). My lovely partner has recently made up some brilliant new LED lights for me but I needed to get under/round/through my desk to fit them, so it seemed like the ideal time to...gulp...tidy up!
My workspace is quite small and, as you can see, it gets very cluttered. I purposely chose an evening when said partner was out and the dog, very sensibly, went and hid in his bed. At one point about half way through the tidying, rewiring and swearing I wondered how all the stuff had fitted into the space, but eventually I managed to wrestle everything away:
So pleased with the new lighting; these new LEDs are amazing. I even put my sewing machine away (temporarily) since I had a load of hand finishing to do. Now on with the jobs; turning all these blanks...
...into my HORNBEAM tiny leafy brooches (pattern available on my website - click on the photos to go to my patterns page)

Freshening up Hidden Depths...

...the Exhibition. We went in on Monday, tidied up the quilts, re-arranged the roof, rehung the miniatures, hoovered, swept, and snuck away... It all looks good.
Open Wednesdays till Sundays, 10 till 4 each day, with accompanying coffee, cake, and lunches, until just after the New Year
Ravenous Cafe
The Raveningham Centre
Beccles Road
Norfolk NR14 6NU
Do come..

Some Days are Just Creative

We had a great day, despite the darkness and the rain, in the workshop today. Both having made some blocks for the Quiltfest entries we have been working on, we laid out, added to, rearranged, sewed together, and consulted.
And drank lots of tea.  See the previous post for HH's first two, including the original quilt.. Now, these are entirely different again
HB working in a soft blue-green palette with pops of shocking pink


And HH with a stark black-white-and-pink - not quite complete here

and details

We have both been messing about with the original 4 blocks, combining and extending the ideas..

Working on the same project at the same time (not something we are in habit of doing) has been very interesting and most instructive. It has really highlighted our different working methods - both equally viable:
HH's artistic approach saw her making half a dozen blocks of various dimensions and proportions, pinning them to the design wall in a pleasing arrangement and filling in the intervening space to make the quilt to the appropriate size.
HB works in a much more methodical way making the improv blocks in regular, modular sizes to fit into a pre-determined grid structure. The layout was then arranged (and rearranged) on a workbench and spaces filled with un-pieced blocks.
Hard to believe that these two very different quilts contain that same four blocks - plus a few of our own variations on these four.

Modern Goes to Quiltfest

Just to remind all of the details on this. This was my quilt, as featured in The Quilter magazine over 4 issues, with different improvised blocks each time. My finished version was in rainbow colours and white, but there are no restrictions. Any Guild member inspired by the ideas can send a quilt to Quiltfest next February, but you need to have images ready to send in November. The entry forms and more details are here
click on the header “Modern Sampler Entry Form”
Now, although this was from the head and heart (and the ideas) of Modern Quilting, the end product can be entirely in your own style, and there is no reason why you have to be wedded to white. 

So, here's a glimpse of Version 2 - pieced last night and ready to layer..
This one is called Mod Indigo

Version 3 coming along soon...

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:

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