Tuesday, 5 June 2018

A New Adventure

At the beginning of the year, I decided to start learning how to quilt - I joined the Quilter's Guild (UK) and found a local group to attend called Quirky Quilters. The ladies all proved to be very helpful, friendly, welcoming and kind by sharing their knowledge and expertise.

Today with that same group I was lucky enough to take part in an afternoon workshop with Judy Newman (A Very Fine House) from Australia - my first attempt at hand piecing.

After a short talk and look at all of the beautiful quilts Judy makes, she expertly guided us through making templates and cutting and stitching to form the first part of the block for the quilt she calls Sugar Plum.  Judy loves to collect vintage fabrics to make her quilts and the odd bit of Liberty is almost certain to creep in. 

This amazing lady makes all these quilts by hand and is such a patient and generous tutor.  Along with her daughter, Emma, she was leaving us to drive to Heathrow to face her 24 hour flight home - but the great news is that she is planning to return to the UK in August 2019 to exhibit at the NEC Birmingham, Quilt Show. Can't wait to see her new designs!!



Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another. John Dewey

Friday, 11 May 2018

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Crazy Quilt Journal Project 2018

This is my block for January!

The theme for this block is 'Burn's Night', a celebration in Scotland on 25 January. Blue and white fabric for the colours of their flag, celtic charms - they are Celts and a silk ribbon thistle, a special emblem for the Scots. Take a look at the blog page - such fantastic work will gradually appear from all the participants.http://crazyquiltjournalproject2018.blogspot.co.uk/

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Activities for This Week

I seem to have been rejuvenated since the New Year and am spending less time using the internet and much more time stitching/knitting and designing.

I finished another knitted hoodie for my grandaughter - I'm very pleased with it and I found some 'fishy' buttons for our little baby fish.

Some time last year I started a quilt using the Pfaff Embroidery machine - it's designed by Sweet Pea embroidery designs, a few of the blocks follow.

And lastly, my cogs have been whirling with ideas for the Near & Far textile work - been trying some rubbings with wax crayons and markel sticks, washed over with intense ink - hopefully it will transfer well to fabric.

It's not what you know, but what you do with what you know

Friday, 5 January 2018

First Completed Project of 2018

Today I have posted off my completed 'trees' for the Stitch a Tree Project.  This is being organised by Alice Kettle and all the stitched trees will be arranged into a large embroidery called Forest - by her.  The finished piece, which is likely to be huge, will be displayed at the Whitworth, Manchester in September 2018. Everyone who contributes will have their piece acknowledged and indicated on a map.

The link to more information on this project is: www.threadbearingwitness.com

The story of the project in a short version is - 'the symbol of a tree has been used by various practitioners including the Refugee Resilience Collective, who work with children in refugee camps' - this work is in aid and support of refugees.

This project has been so popular that a voluntary donation of £3 is requested to obtain your pack and booklet.  It is hoped that the finished piece will be auctioned in aid of refugees.  Why not look at the website and see if you can help - you don't need to be a fantastic embroiderer.
The booklet accompanying your pack

A Willow Tree to represent a common tree in Somerset

A Palm Tree, which may be familiar to some of the refugees

'Say No to Negativity'

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Near & Far - The Pilgrim's Story and Journey - The Story Emerges

Will Nolande, His Story, His Journey

Will Nolande is a young man born into a poor peasant family. His family have no land and no possessions, except for their small wooden home built by his father. The erection of this home was permitted by the local baron in the forest of his estate.

Will's father, Robert, is a woodman for the baron; he is allowed to kill one deer per year, trap rabbits and to forage to feed his family as payment for his work on the estate. Will's mother, Edythe, cares for the family and works in the castle's kitchens on feast days. Will has seven sisters.

Will has always had a strong faith and had dreams of becoming a monk at the local abbey. His family, fearful of having no income in the future if Will followed this path, apprenticed him to the village blacksmith, Oswald Smythe. Oswald and his wife, Agathe, have no children. Will honours his mother's and father's wishes as the bible teaches him and works hard throughout his apprenticeship with great dedication to learning the craft.

Will is now entering the final week of his seven year indenture.
Oswald and Agathe are very fond of Will and all his family; they plan to leave the forge to him when they pass on. Will has no knowledge of this.

Oswald knows Will is deeply religious; Oswald has a brother, Cuthbert, who is a monk at the nearby abbey. Oswald has allowed Will time each week to visit Cuthbert to learn some reading and writing. Also, in an effort to keep the young man interested in the blacksmith business, for the past two years, Oswald has released Will from his obligations to go on local pilgrimages. It is Oswald's hope that this will allow Will to feel he has fulfilled his religious needs.

The pilgrimages have had the opposite effect; Will feels the urge to join the church is becoming stronger.
As Will prepares for his final pilgrimage before completing his seven year apprenticeship, tragegy strikes his family. His father, Robert, is gored by a wild boar whilst working in the castle's woodland and dies from his injuries. Will now knows that is year's pilgrimage will probably not happen.

The baron is a good man and promises not to turn the family out of their home, but with no husband and hunter, there is little hope for Edythe and Will's seven sisters.

In a twist of fate, Will is ordered to go to the castle. In the great hall, the baron introduces him to a nephew. This nephew is rich but weak willed and reckless. He offers to pay Will a good sum of money to go on a pilgrimage on his behalf. He wants Will to pray for his son, who is ill and not improving. Will is to go to France. This is very common for wealthy people to pay others to make a pilgrimage on their behalf to save themselves from the deprivations and difficulties expected of pilgrims during their journey. All parties agree to the deal and Will is given all details of the journey and promised the money when the preparations for departure are complete.

Will takes the minimum amount of money for his needs, as he feels living in as much poverty as he can whilst travelling will fulfill his needs from this pilgrimage.

He entrusts the rest of the money to Oswald for the care of his mother and sisters. He knows Oswald and Agathe will protect Edythe and her daughters.

Will sets off on his arduous journey across the channel and through the unfamiliar countryside of France. He soon meets other pilgrims travelling to the same destination. He starts to discuss his circumstances with these new friends and questions the authenticity of a proxy pilgrimage. One of the travellers he meets is a member of the Knights Templar, Hugo de Clair. Will and Hugo strike up an unlikely friendship; a knight and a common man. Hugo talks to Will about the ideals of the Knights Templar movement.
He explains that they pride themselves on protecting the faith and all followers. They hope their actions will help to bring all aspects of the religion they love to each and everyone by whatever means. He encourages Will to believe that the strong can deliver this for the weak; Will now feels that his mission is worthwhile.

As they travel together, Hugo realises that Will would be a great asset to the cause of the Knights Templar and invites him to join them as a brother. These are the lowest order of the organisation which consists of the Knights, the Monks and then the Brothers; the squires, guards, stewards and blacksmiths. All of the Order are expected to fight on horseback in the Holy War.

Will must make the choice of following the life he desires, using
the skills taught to him by Oswald, or returning home to fulfill his obligations to his family and the blacksmith.

As Will reaches his destination in France and he begins to climb the steps to the chapel on his knees, he knows he has much to ponder.

What will his decision be?

This is Will's journey – a physical, emotional and spiritual journey – the textile pieces will reflect this story.

©Gilli Salmons – 2017 – Near & Far, Maps and Journeys

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Near & Far Textile Group

I'm pleased to say that I've joined the very recently formed textile group - Near & Far. Here are my first thoughts:



It still puzzles me why I chose this subject; religion has no place in my life but I do enjoy history and travel. I hope I'm able to explore my subject matter enough to give me the ideas and imagination to create my textile/mixed media pieces.

From early research it is obvious that the medieval church was all powerful, rich and corrupt. Most of the congregation were uneducated and illiterate and this was also the case for many pilgrims. Churches expanded their wealth by encouraging the 'pilgrimage culture' and seeking money from these travellers to view or touch the 'relics' in their possession. Common people believed seeing these items could save their soul, improve their chances of entering heaven, or cure illness, deformity and disease.

Relics on offer were pieces of bone or skulls of the saints, pieces of the true cross, vials of Christ's blood and the milk of Mary. The fact that there were numerous claims to 'owing' these items by many of the churches and abbeys were lost on the pilgrims seeking redemption. These pious people were often never aware of the apparent duplication of what should have been unique, if truly existing at all.

My pilgrim is called Will Nolande and his story will soon emerge.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

An Exhibition by Bishops Caundle Embellishing Group

There is a one day 'pop up' exhibition at Bishops Caundle Village Hall, Holt Lane, Bishops Caundle, Dorset - tomorrow - 6 November 2017 - 10 am to 3 pm - FOUR SEASONS




Tuesday, 30 August 2016

So where did July and August go?

Well once again it seems that I have left it for ages between posts; I just have no idea where the time flies off to and all the good intentions to write something more regularly just disappear.  The last few weeks have been spent doing all the normal stuff - boring housework, back breaking work in the garden, having my nails done (my special treat), taking the dogs out, meeting friends and family and of course, sewing.  The other time consuming activity in my life just lately has been my own craft fair - we are about to have number two this Sunday and the tables have been filled very quickly each time I'm pleased to say, with no vacancies for the next two in October and November ..... and a lengthy waiting list!
I have been doing more activities with Kathy Shaw and her free online classes on the crazy patchwork theme - the last module was painting, dyeing, and all manner of colouring all types of things including the metal charms that are used. And eager beaver me has now signed up for the next module which is more embroidery based and will involve stitching motifs - first task.... trees.

The next year has started at Weymouth with Kate Paterson and I'm sorry to hear that due to family issues, this will be the last programme she will run - we are working on the poem by Sara Coleridge - The Months of the Year and the workshop for the month of August is linked to harvest and sunflowers.

I've also linked up on Facebook with a group set up by Hilary Beattie - she is a textile artist who likes to use mixed media wherever possible - the August challenge was to make a piece about A3 size of whatever you like, using any technique - I have a sort of on/off sketchbook on the theme of woodland, so I made myself a fabric collage of various fabrics; fat quarters, dyed fabrics, transfer paint dyed lace, washi tape ... and a feather!?, covered it with a piece of green chiffon and machine stitched it to form the impression of tree trunks. I had some very positive comments.

I'm going to Maria's tomorrow for a stitching day - still don't know what I'll do - I will try to write up something again before six weeks is up ;-)
The way to gain a good reputation, is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear ~ Socrates 

Friday, 15 July 2016

Where Bloggers Create

This blog is being written for the 'Where Bloggers Create' party which is set up by Karen Valentine at My Desert Cottage: http://www.mydesertcottage.com/2016/06/where-bloggers-create-2016-will-be-in.html

The idea is similar to some of the other 'get togethers' arranged at various times, by various bloggers - but the beauty is that some of the interesting blogs that you may like to follow can be found in one place - this saves time trawling the web that should be spent creating instead.

I have taken part in these before but never 'Where Bloggers Create' - I live in England, the south west and in particular in the county of Somerset; it is rural, with pretty villages, farming communities, roman roads, abbeys, the Royal Naval Air Service, beaches on the north coast facing Wales across the Bristol channel and, of course, Glastonbury!!!

I love anything textile - I sew, embroider by hand and machine, felt, knit and recently I've started to do crazy patchwork. I dye and paint fabrics, I use mixed media, incorporate paper and metal - in other words I love to create and I soak up anything around the textile world like a sponge.

I enjoy spending 'stitchy' (or shopping) days with my best friend Maria, I like to walk my dogs - Indie and Moosh (he belongs to my son who's in Australia at the moment) and I try to get over to France once a year now too.

Scattered amongst this post are photos of things I have done and I'm now looking forward to spending time finding new blogs to follow - after this weekend which will be spent with my oldest son and daughter-in-law.

I hope you enjoy some of the things I've made here and perhaps you'll read some of my other posts.

Gilli in Somerset, England 
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