March 2018

A bit of a late round-up of March as April has whizzed by. Extra deadlines, school holidays and bank holidays do not make for a happy freelancer! In the true spirit of freelancing this week sees the workload lightening up which hopefully means ticking more things off my creative to-do list.

The most exciting thing in March was the launch of the Jane Austen Community Quilts. We produced a book (that arrived just in time) and lots of people came to celebrate and see the finished pieces. More information can be found on the museum blog here. Many people asked if I felt sad to be finishing, but project work means that you know as the task gets completed your role will be coming to an end so it does not have the pull of leaving, say a job where everything is still the same after you have gone. However, I do feel sad not to be regularly visiting Chawton as it has such a special feel and really miss the people I worked with. Thank goodness for Instagram and email and I will definitely be going back for a trip this summer.

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 This is Carolyn Clark, who longarmed both quilts.

This is Carolyn Clark, who longarmed both quilts.

Later in the month my husband was off work so we had a few days out. Early in the week we visited Pallant House to see the excellent Sheila Bownas exhibition (photos below) recommended by my friend Wendy. Bownas designed textiles from the 1950s and there was a small display of her work, shown in chronological order, which made it interesting to see how it evolved over the decades. A couple of days later we visited Ditching Museum of Art and Craft to see the Elizabeth Freidlander exhibition. Different style and story, but I felt both were linked by a sense that often designing textiles is a job, and it is the work that does the talking for the designer. So, I suppose, slightly different to art where often it is the artist and their life and vision which sometimes eclipses the work. Thought provoking. Both exhibitions were excellent, and I felt really lucky to have them so close to home.

I also managed to get some of my own work done. One of my recent strands of work are little story boxes. After making a mock up with fabric and paper it has slowly been refined. I wanted to make a piece for the project manager at Jane Austen's House Museum to say thank you. In the end, I chose a quote from Northanger Abbey about reading - this felt apt.

I also went on a  printing class. I have worked with lino on and off for ages, but this was in a beautiful little botanicals shop so inspiration was everywhere! Here is a photo of my finished print taken in the pub after!

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Lastly, below is the Popular Patchwork Block of the Month quilt. This was revealed at the beginning of March, and I designed and made the last three blocks. I love the bright, modern feel of the quilt, and have seen some of the competition entries which are all just fabulous. I have several unfinished samplers in the work to be finished pile, and this has given me a push to get them finished.

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