Friday, June 12, 2009
Janet Bolton at Cowslip
Last weekend I took my annual trip to Cowslip for the Janet Bolton naive applique course. I have attended this course every year for the past 5 years. It has become more than just a sewing course as I meet up with now dear friends who live far away. Pennie is in Sussex and Janet is in Oxford. We met on the course and it is so lovely when we meet up again. It's like no time has passed at all, we just take up where we left off. We sew and chat and catch up with each other's lives. It is always a treat to be at Cowslip as it is the loveliest place on earth to be. Some of you may have seen Jo, who runs Cowslip on the Hand Made Home programme with Kirsty Allsop. She was the lovely lady who made the quilt.
I have sometimes struggled with my pieces over the years and have come away with unfinished pieces, vowing to get them finished before the next course. This has not always happened and so I went along with 3 unfinished pieces and an idea for my next piece. I put my unfinished pieces to one side and my new piece just flowed. I knew what I wanted to do and for once I did not struggle with it, it was a joy. I also finished 2 other pieces from previous years which means I now have 4 finished pieces and one to finish.
Let me show you what I have made so far.
(Click on photos to enlarge)
2004 - I made a piece featuring my two children, Jazz and Alfie who were 14 and 4 at the time. I made them on a beach flying kites, Jazz has lost hers. This piece is framed and hangs in our bathroom.
2006 - By this time I had had another baby, Lizzy and so I made a picture of her, on the beach with me. We have spotted Jazz's kite! This piece has been unfinished until now and is ready for framing.
2007 - I decided to unite my children on the beach. This was not a good year for me, I had things going on in my life that were making me unhappy and to this day this piece remains unfinished. It was twice the size but once I cut it down I could see how it could work. I will finish it.
2008 - I wanted to try making my three bubbas on the beach again and this time it worked. I didn't get to finish it until a few days before I went to Cowslip.
For those of you that know this area they are standing on Instow beach with Appledore across the estuary.
2009 - The final piece was inspired by Albert Lamorisse's film from 1954 called The Red Balloon or Le Balon Rouge. I was asked to source some fabrics for the Royal Opera House's production of The Red Balloon and as research I watched this charming film again. I hadn't seen it in years. If you want to see it, it's not long, watch it on YouTube.
So my final piece features my three chasing the red balloon.
I hadn't realised until now that I always place Jazz first, Lizzy in the middle and Alfie leading. I wonder why?
These pictures are definitely a series and I have used some of the same fabrics in each one to link them. They tell a story and document my children's lives over the past 5 years.
Here's the lovely Janet holding my piece. She really is the most wonderful and inspiring person. I adore her. I have already signed up for next year!