Current project 3: Small silks

My silk pieces are a means of exploring all sorts of ideas, of experimenting but taking the experiment to a reasonably finished state without taking up too many resources, including time, to get to something which pleases me.  (And seems to please others enough to buy some, or at least admire them – which is always encouraging.)

I have made small works almost from the beginning of finding my voice.  They have involved digital design and print in every case I think, and were first produced using transfer paper.  Some transfer papers did not stand the test of time, but I discovered this relatively quickly, and so they were discarded.  For me Canon were the best, and originally they also had an A3 size as well as A4 – brilliant!  Unfortunately the A3 was discontinued, and I too have moved on from those papers.

It was through wanting to make large work that I came across the printers R.A.Smart.  As well as printing large whole cloth designs for me they printed what I call my multiple files – each file containing several images of varied sizes.

multipleThese have provided me with small quilt forms, all in cotton, and you might recognise the two jugglers from the previous post in the file illustrated above.  But I wanted to make even smaller pieces.  I very much liked the A3 size, and found that I could obtain inkjet-prepared fabric from Crafty Computer Paper.

I settled on using the silk mostly because the coating on the cotton not only absorbed much of the ink thus leaving a pastel-y appearance, and the coating also made the surface hard to hand stitch.  I did make a multi-panel quilt with the cotton, using the pastel effect deliberately, but it took over a year to quilt, and gave my arthritic fingers much pain – and I am not wholly satisfied with the result,

Always a laugh

Always a laugh

despite being able to use the stiffness of the cotton to cut away sections in order to insert the little blocks of patchwork.


Always detailThe silk sheets, on the other hand seem to work like a dream.  I have been happy with most of the pieces I’ve made.  Here are a few details of the latest ones:

Encounterbirdiewant or needI like to have a small piece ready to pick up as a relief from other work, or to take with me if I am visiting a friend, or going away.  They are wonderfully portable.  This is the next one waiting for the stitching to be started:next

I have also used the silk in another multiple block quilt which proved to be successful: Crowded which is at present touring with other Quilt National 2015 quilts.crowded

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