Lesley Brankin

Textile Artist

Author: Lesley Brankin

The Pink City

The Hawa Mahal, Jaipur

Back in September my sister Christine and I travelled to Jaipur, India as part of a Colouricious Block Printing Holiday. We had a fabulous time not only trying various forms of printing and visiting some of the main tourist sights but  also being allowed a privileged glimpse into the non tourist side of India. With several thousand photographs to work from trying to decide just what to use as an inspiration source for my work has been very difficult. After much deliberation I have selected to initially work with images of the Hawa Mahal, an architectural gem located in the very centre of the Pink City.

Hawa Mahal – sample quilt

My first sample piece (A4 size) features a stitched section of the building plus some block prints (of course!) and stencilling. The hand stitched hexagonal fretwork picks up on a detail from some of the windows.

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Cogs & Bees

Cogs & Bees

The theme for my latest  ‘Art Quilts Around the World Group‘ quilt was “Steampunk”

I had great plans to design a fantastical creature but got sidetracked by the wonderful shapes that cogs create! I already owned a selection of MDF ply cog shapes which I used to gelli print the background fabric. Next I had fun creating some ‘rusty’ cogs from thick Vilene and acrylic paints – these are stitched on such that they have a loose outside edge. Then came the addition of some of the smaller ply cogs and a few metal ones I found in a drawer. In that same drawer were some old keys and angel wings (isn’t it amazing what stuff we keep ‘just in case’?!) which for some unknown reason I was inspired to make little bees from. For a quilt which simply ‘developed’ as I went along I am quite pleased with the result.

Festival of Quilts

Yesterday ‘Big Brother’ was awarded first place in the Art Quilt category at Festival of Quilts, Birmingham. This is the first time I have entered this category so I was amazed to win!

Big Brother

‘Chuzenjii’, my other quilt at the show, was entered into the Pictorial class and received a ‘Highly Commended’ award – so not one but two reasons to celebrate!

Chuzenjii

Mary’s Garden

Mary, Mary, quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And pretty maids all in a row.

Mary’s Garden

The theme for the latest ‘Art Quilts Around the World Group‘ challenge was ‘Nursery Rhymes’. For my quilt I decided to ‘ignore’ the darker side of this nursery rhyme (you can read all about this in Sue Zimet’s post) and take the words of poem quite literally.

It was the word ‘contrary’ which caught my attention i.e. ‘opposite in nature, direction or meaning’.  Behind the garden wall, Mary, whom I view as a young girl, perhaps of teenage years, shows her spiky, disorganised ‘other’ self.

Techniques used: Image manipulation and printing, rubber stamping and Inktense pencils, appliqué, fabric painting, stencilling, foiling (silver bells), machine quilting.

You can see the other group members’ quilts here.

Gathering Memories

An A5 sized quilt donated to ‘Gathering Memories’, a charitable, community project aiming to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society. Do please visit  their website if interested in more information about this worthwhile initiative.

Seafood 1966

What Secrets?

What Secrets?

I have recently joined the ‘Art Quilts Around the World Group‘ and this is my first challenge quilt (A3 size). The given theme was “The Eyes Have It” and so my starting point was the saying “Eyes are the Windows to the Soul”.

When we go away on holiday I take lots of photographs of architectural details and in particular windows and doors, the older and more decrepit the better. I often wonder just what stories these faded, crumbling relicts have ‘seen’ and could tell us about if they could communicate.

By overlaying and manipulating photographs with a sketch of some eyes I created an interesting computer montage of a window. The image was then printed onto transfer paper, the window cut out and applied to a commercial quilting fabric, trapping strips of frayed muslin in the process. Finally I added washes of colour and stencilled ‘peeling paint’ shapes to give the impression of an aged door. Machine quilting and embroidery stitches add interest and definition.

© 2017 Lesley Brankin

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