Last week I went to Bristol Quilters’ workshop with Mandy Pattullo. I had a great day. Mandy Pattullo is an artist whose work I have admired since I saw it at the Festival of Quilts a couple of years ago. Her work is with old and often recycled textiles and embroidery. She was very generous in allowing us to photograph her work and so here are a few photos to show the sort of work she does:
She gave us each a piece of a plain old quilt and some templates for flowers and hearts and things, as well as a couple of pieces of very worn old quilts which we used to start the background. I decided early on that I wanted to make a fox as we are having fun and games with our dogs getting us up at 4.00 am most mornings to root out whatever is in the garden and which I think might be a little vulpine friend.
I was sitting between two great quilters, Alison and Nathalie, and they gave me the fabric for the fox’s body and legs. I was really pleased to be able to use Nathalie’s Laura Ashley fabric for the fox’s body as this fits in with the project that I have been doing for ages. Alison gave me the fabric for the legs – which I would make much finer if I did it again. Foxes have black legs, surprisingly, and this was the best we could do, but they do look like lacy tights, which I rather like.
The method is to block in some thing like the fox body or a vase and then to take a water soluble pen and draw a line and then improvise round it. I drew my line which I turned into a tree. It’s done with chain stitch in stranded embroidery cotton. The whole piece came together at the end when I put those black flowers clipped out of a quilting cotton and then stitched down with detached chain stitch and colonial knots, the latter done in orange to try and tie everything together.
The fox was done in needle-turned applique which I enjoyed doing far more than I expected. Then I put a mix of slivers of leopard print cotton and straight stitches in a variety of threads, some of which were given to me by my good friend Mary from her mum’s stash:
I embroidered the eye and nose. I finished the piece with a backing of terracotta Laura Ashley fabric to echo the fox.
This is the page from my notebook/sketchbook about the piece:
I really enjoyed the workshop and meeting Mandy, who was great. I want to do a bit more in this sort of style but without the old quilt as I don’t have one to cut up.