Sunday, 17 November 2013

Never mind the free machining video - what was that pen!!

Righty ho then peeps!  It seems the pen was more interesting than the video :) Congratulations to the lady who watched it 8 times to try and find out the make.

Yes, it is an Indian Ink, waterproof pen, with a soft tip which is a bit like a paintbrush but writes well. It's a Faber-Castell, Pitt artist pen and is size B. Sorry, I can't remember where I got it but it must be widely available or I wouldn't have found it.

Hope that helps!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Slight confession and a bit of distraction

Once again, I find myself working too slowly for my own comfort.  It's not that I'm sitting around doing nothing - I don't know how to! - it's just that the exhibition, new baby, and other things are taking their fair share of time.  I get quite cross with myself when I think about how slow I am and all the things I need to be doing!


I am managing to fiddle around with these Christmas tags from another idea on DMTV. And I'm doing a bit of work in my sketchbook about the guerrilla gardening.





















This sketchbook page will be about the geranium trains that schoolchildren make each year for the town's parks etc.





But mostly, of course, I'm temporarily blinded by this little charmer.....
Evie xx

More stats to go on the quilt

Bit gloomy this, but I have been trawling various sources for death tolls. 

I haven't had much luck with putting these stats on the dark brown strips I've attached to the background, so will probably write them on by hand.  That should keep me occupied!


World War 2 1939-45 between 50 and 80 million deaths. Spanish Civil War 1936-36, 1 million deaths. Paraguay 1864 – 1870, 1 million deaths. Mongol conquests 1206-1368, 50 million deaths. China 1340-1368, 30 million deaths. China 1616-1662, 25 million deaths. China 1851-1864, 20 to 100 million deaths. World War 1914-18 15,  65 million deaths. Timur-e-Lang 1369-1405, 20 million deaths. China 755 – 763, 13 to 36 million deaths. China 1862-1877, 12 million deaths. Japan 1894-1945, 5 to 30 million deaths. Russia 1917-1921, 5 to 9 million deaths. Congo 1998 – 2003, 5 million deaths. Napoleonic Wars 1803 – 1815, 4 to 7 million deaths. Holy Roman Empire, 1618 -1648, 3 to 12 million deaths. China 1840’s to unknown, 3 to 7 million deaths. Nigeria 1967 to 1970, 3 million deaths. Afghanistan 1979 onwards, 1.5 to 2 million deaths so far. Poland 1655 to 1660, 4 million deaths. Korean War 1950 – 1953, 4 million deaths. Vietnam 1955 to 1975, 1 to 3 million deaths. France 1562 – 1598, 2 to 4 million deaths. Africa 1816 – 1828, 2 million deaths. Sudan 1983 – 2005, 2 million deaths. Holy Crusades 1095 – 1291, 1 to 3 million deaths. France 50BC to 58BC, 1 million deaths. China 1856 – 1973, 1 million deaths. Mexico 1911 – 1920, 2 million deaths. Iran/Iraq 1980 – 1988, 1 to 2 million deaths. America 1861 – 1865, 80,000 deaths. Spain 1936 – 1939, 1 million deaths. Paraguay 1864 – 1870, 1 million deaths. 


And just because blogs should have photos, here's one of me and some old school chums that I hadn't seen for over 40 years.  

Friday, 15 November 2013

Free machine pattern I'm using on Life 10 - small video for you!

I'm using a favourite pattern for the free machined section of the Life Mould quilt.  This is the layers section of earth under the leaves which are decaying.

The fabric was printed for me by Fingerprint and has a list of all the wars ever on it.  I wanted something linear, but also wanted a leaf or two, so simply straightened out the pattern. You can see it here on Through Our Hands magazine.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

A warning about your stats.

Life is amazing;  full of variety and many wonderous things.

I include in that, the internet. How some people do what they do is beyond me - the why is sometimes easier to understand though because it's usually for money.

A wise precaution for you

If you blog, or have a website etc., it's quite nice to be able to keep track of who's visiting and which posts were popular, and it's easy to do via all the stats offered by folk like Sitemeter and Blogger's own stats.  You may use them yourself.  If you use blogger stats, it's quite possible that you'll have found lots and lots of visitors from odd sites like Vampirestats.  There are several of these strange sites who put up the visitor numbers hugely and it looks like they're sending you hundreds of visitors a day.  However, they're not!!

I'm writing this as a precaution to anyone out there who's noticed them, with the advice that you should not - under any circumstances - click on the site to see who they are.  They are spam referers and can send cookies etc that act within your computer and they can't be blocked because they are able to hide their IP details. You will be deluged with pop ups, advertisements, annoying little things that won't go away...you know the sort of thing. No one has got a solution for this particular menace.  As far as I can tell, it's up to google to sort out - which they could probably do very easily if they were bothered - but in the meantime if you come across an interesting site that's sending you visitors, google the name first before clicking the links.

If you have clicked on it, then alas, you'll have to bear with it. Unless anyone out there has found a solution?

Just thought I'd mention it!

Monday, 11 November 2013

Life 10 - Leaf Mould words....maybe

Please bare in mind that this is fiction....I made it up, but have tried to fit it into the many stories and first hand evidences of what happened in Coventry in November 1940.

14th November 2000

There are things we believe we cannot bear, but we can bear them. We do bear them.

You hear of horrible things happening all around the world; war, famine, disease, death and destruction,  but mostly they're happening to other people. You feel sad, you feel sorry, you might even cry, especially when babbies are starving or hurt.

I'm Pat and it's my birthday today and I'm very old. Too old probably to be still enjoying yoga after all these years but it gives me time to think.  I remember another birthday many years ago on 14th November 1940. I can bear the pain now but it took a long time. I was a young woman living in Coventry.

To celebrate my birthday I'd asked mum if it was ok if I went to the cinema with my best friend as a treat. We'd saved for weeks to see Gone With The Wind. Mary and I work in a hospital in Coventry, but I wasn't paid, in fact I paid them £52 a year for my training. I worked really hard. Lots of women did. They worked in munitions factories, with chemicals, drove ambulances and buses, became tailors, flew planes, all sorts of things. Not that the unions liked it much.

We were in the thick of World War 2. I had two younger step sisters who were a bit poorly with whooping cough that day, and they weren't allowed to use the street shelter because of it, but I'd seen mum put them in their siren suits and tuck them into a corner of the Anderson Shelter with some blankets. It was 7.30 and I was about to set off for the cinema, when we heard the steady drone of planes and some loud thuds of bombs dropping. Within minutes, the ground shook and the sky was lit up with incendiaries. For a brief moment they looked like fairy lights, but they soon took and fire began to sweep through the city. Five hundred bombers dropped 500 tonnes of high explosives and over 900 incendiary bombs on the city that night. It took them ten hours.

You'd be amazed at how many people can cram into a small air raid shelter. There were no toilets, no water, nothing, except the relentless noise of land mines and bombs, the ack ack guns, lots of crying, sneezing, smells, dust and dark. My friend Mary didn't make it to the shelter. She was with her boyfriend sheltering in a shop doorway when the arch collapsed and a wall fell on them both.  There were so many people to bury that night that it couldn't be done properly and Mary and her boyfriend were put into a communal grave with 1560 other people. At least, if you believe in God, I suppose they're still together.

Of course, mother had wanted to stay with the children, rather than go to the shelter, and had gone back into the house to check the blackout curtains in the front room, and bolt the door.  She opened the door quickly to look at the flames engulfing the city. She never knew what happened to her, it was very quick, but she was hit by shrapnel from the ack ack guns. Shrapnel can cut through soft flesh like a scythe. I found her after the all clear had sounded, and the image of her lying there almost cut in half will stay with me until I die.  I wanted to think it was a mistake, and for someone to tell me it wasn't true. But it was.

We all lost so much that night. The city was destroyed and people died. It wasn't just us though.  Between 50 and 80 million people were killed on all sides in World War 2 and wars keep happening don't they?  Perhaps we shouldn't bear it.


Sunday, 10 November 2013

Angela and the Life Quilts

I thought I'd just tell you about this book Listening To Our Grandmothers by Mary Ann Mhina.

A short while ago I received an email from Mary Ann Mhina saying she was writing a book which included a piece about Angela. Angela is the Life model that I have used in some of my quilts. She wanted to use Life 4 to illustrate the page about Angela.  Unfortunately due to publishing problems this wasn't possible in the end, but the book does reference my website which is rather lovely.  Future editions may feature the quilt so I hope it goes well for Mary Ann!

Angela's a remarkable woman, and lots of you have commented on the quilts, especially Life 4, not only about what you thought of my work, but what you thought of Angela and her willingness to be a model for me and show herself to the world.  I find her fascinating to draw and enjoy trying to capture the curves properly....a real challenge and a very interesting model.

My quilts have their own stories.  They are not Angela's story however, which confuses people sometimes!  Angela's story is told in this book by Mary Ann. The link above takes you to Amazon and you can "look inside" if you want to.

Life 9



I asked Angela if she would be willing to model for another quilt and she happily said yes, so Life 11 will be, "Making Time" and may be on show at the Festival of Quilts in the summer, I'm not sure yet.

She tells me her hair is now quite a lot longer so I shall have to forego those lovely spikey bits!
Life 3
Life 4
Life 1

Friday, 1 November 2013

Life 10 - Leaf Mould, progress.




I'm just deciding where to put a shaft of light - this will affect the leaf colourings which at the moment are all yellow/green/gold. The light will shine on my "praying"/thinking woman.

The wavy line at the bottom, is where the second piece of fabric is going; it's printed with a list of all the wars ever and will have strips with casualty numbers appliqued on top.

The colours will probably change quite a bit yet - it's too early in the construction to decide. This is a new model btw - not the same as Life 5 - although the pose is kneeling in a similar way.


Portrait in parts

For this portrait I'm starting off by using some stencils and stamps to make a background. I especially like the stencil with the jumble...