Lesley Brankin

Textile Artist

Category: Painted (page 1 of 2)

Celebrating a Special Anniversary

2019 sees the 40th Anniversary of The Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles (QGBI) and I was flattered (and somewhat daunted) when invited to make a quilt for inclusion in a special celebratory exhibition entitled ‘Spotlight@40’. If that wasn’t enough pressure I was told that subsequently my quilt was to become part of QGBI’s permanent  collection. Having worked, on and off, on my contribution for the past 12 months I can now show the finished quilt.

Belonging

Inspiration:

The second and third lines of The Quilters’ Guild Mission Statement read

“We bring together quilters in a spirit of friendship and learning.

We promote quilt-making in all its forms across the UK”.

In the spirit of coming together, in this, The Guild’s 40thAnniversary year, I invited fellow  members of QGBI Region 11 to donate squares of cream/white fabric and provide a single descriptive word summing up what membership means to them. The squares were pieced together as a background and the tallied words featured in my ‘spotlight’.

Design Process:

I love experimenting with different methods of making ‘marks’ using acrylic inks and simple, everyday tools such as old store cards and cardboard rolls. Taking the word ‘spotlight’ as my inspiration I began playing with ideas that might represent beams of light emanating from a spotlight. My favourite experimental marks were then scanned into my computer and the resultant files digitally combined and manipulated. One image in particular appealed and when scaled up became the basis of my design.

Making Process:

Having pieced the donated squares together as a quilt background I was reluctant to put paint all over them in case something went wrong – after all I only had one set of squares!  Using painted Lutradur as an overlay layer provided the solution and also gave an interesting surface to work on. The radial lines were created using my ‘card scraping’ technique but I substituted a long ruler for a store card.

The circle is printed using the edge of a plastic plate and the overlay shadow regions are cut from blue floral mesh bonded using Mistyfuse.

The descriptive words were printed out onto T-shirt transfer paper, cut out and individually applied – the size of the text represents the number of members who cited that word.  Finally my completed Lutradur overlay was applied to the background squares using more Mistyfuse and the quilt top was complete.

Finishing:

After sandwiching using Hobbs 80/20 wadding with a complimentary batik backing, I machine quilted all over the quilt before adding lines of machine embroidery and straight stitching for additional interest.

Thank You

A big thank you to everyone who supplied me with squares, words and on-going encouragement and also to Doughty’s of Hereford for kindly supplying the background fabric and wadding for the quilt.

 

If visiting Festival of Quilts in August or the Knitting & Stitching shows later in the year, please do pop by the Spotlight@40 gallery and view ‘Belonging’ and the other quilts

Small Beginnings

Rain

After what can only be described as year of intense highs and lows, the start of 2019 has seen the shoots of creativity starting to sprout once more. It may not be a large piece of work (A4 sized) but ‘Rain’ is the first piece of work I have completed for a good while. Created in response to a group challenge on the theme of ‘weather’.

Metropolis

 

Metropolis

Life has been a bit busy recently and I have not had chance to feature my latest quilt.  Another experimental mark making piece which reminded me of a cityscape, hence the title of ‘Metropolis’.  It was awarded 3rd place in the Art Quilt category at Festival of Quilts earlier in the month.

Metropolis (detail)

 

Ledbury Poetry Festival 2018

Each year, designed to co-incide with the annual Poetry Festival, Weavers Gallery in Ledbury hosts a themed exhibition of invitational work by local textile artists.  This year our theme was the life and works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Dawn to Dusk

I love thee to the level of every day’s

Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.

(from Elizabeth  Barrett Browning’s poem ‘How do I love thee?’)

 

The Wheel Goes Round …

28 June – 8 July 2018

Weavers Gallery, Church Lane, Ledbury HR8 1DW

Open 10.00am to 4.00pm

Free entry, sadly no disabled access (first floor gallery).

Eclectica shortlisted for Fine Art Quilt Masters 2018

Eclectica

I am delighted to announce that Eclectica has been shortlisted for the Fine Art Quilt Masters 2018, one of 23 pieces of work selected for inclusion in this prestigious exhibition at Festival of Quilts in August. You can see the full list of selected works here – I am in some great company.

This is one of a number of pieces of experimental mark making work which have evolved since my attending an inspirational drawing course led by renowned textile artist Matthew Harris at West Dean College early last year. It is not a quilt in the conventional sense in that I have layered, felted and stitched multiple pieces of painted  muslin onto a base of wool felt. Deliberately there is no backing fabric as I wanted the drape of the wool to be an inherent feature of the piece.

Eclectica – detail

Fish ‘n’ Chips goes on Tour

Fish ‘n’ Chips

Fish ‘n’ Chips is touring (2018-2019) with Contemporary Quilt’s ‘In Print’ challenge exhibition. Our first venue is The Forge Mill Needle Museum, Redditch and runs from 25th May until 8th July 2018. Other venues and dates will be announced in due course.

Monoprinted on calico using artists acrylic paint.  Transfer printed appliquéd transparent fabric and acetone printed  newspaper ‘chips’. Machine and hand quilting.

Weeping Window

During March and April Hereford Cathedral hosted the travelling Weeping Window installation, a collaborative piece by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper. A subset of the original Tower of London Poppies, created to commemorate the First World War centenary, this work captured my imagination.

Hereford Cathedral, Weeping Window March/April 2018

Hereford Cathedral, Weeping Window, detail

Still sticking with my mark making theme – this is an A4 sample piece I made in response.

Weeping Window

Weeping Window Detail

The Road Most Travelled

The Road Most Travelled

Even though the hand is better the mark making experimentation continues as, of course, I can now add stitch as well! This is a small (9 x 7 inch) hand stitched sample piece.

Magical Venetian Mosaics

San Donato

Should you ever find yourself on the island of Murano in the Venetian lagoon, Italy do be sure to make time visit the church of Santa Maria e San Donato. Although the outside of this building is stunning in its own right (and is itself a fabulous source of patchwork design ideas), the star of the show has to be the beautiful medieval mosaic floor. Sadly when I visited photographs of the interior of the church were not permitted but the delight it gave me wandering around remains with me today.

Santa Maria e San Donato, Murano

Having injured my hand at the end of 2017 and unable to do any stitching I did not want to miss out of doing the latest Art Quilts Around the World challenge. With Google’s help I found an image of a section of the church floor and drew up a sketch. Using a light box I traced this onto prepared for dyeing calico (muslin to my American friends) using a permanent marker pen. I then spent many happy hours colouring in the design using a mixture of Inktense dye pencils (painted with aloe vera to activate them) and permanent marker pens.

I have finally been able to complete the quilt by simply free motion machine quilting around the main motifs using a mid shade of grey thread.

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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