As soon as I heard the theme "A Walk in the Park", I knew exactly what I wanted to do, exactly how I wanted the piece to look and exactly what materials I wanted to play around with.
Every Sunday in the summer, when I was little, my Dad and I would go visit my Grandad's house. On the way home there would be the stop off at the pub where I would be whisked away upstairs to visit with the pub owners family, have red lemonade and a packet of Kings or Tayto crisps while the pints of Guinness flowed downstairs as an aperitif before the big Sunday dinner.
We'd walk home though the Peoples Park where my uncle Pat was a Park Warden, chat for a bit and Dad would somehow manage when no-one was looking to snaffle a rose for Mum who was busy cooking the Sunday roast.
So the idea that popped into my head was a quilted Rose. I had bought Dye-na-flow paints at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham last year and not used them and I wanted to try them, I also wanted a watercolour painted effect. Lots of wants in that one idea.
Our housing estate has a very active neighbour's association and they love their flowers. We have flowerbeds in the two greens we use for giving the dogs a run. A remembrance garden and an allotment. My garden Roses had done blooming but whatever they are feeding the flowers on the green they are blooming away all summer long.
So on one of our dog walks I took some photos, pulled out the watercolours and made an attempt at painting some roses. Some roses make for better subjects than others so there was more than one attempt at it!
Then it was time to be brave and move onto fabric. Unlike watercolour paper the dye bled quite a bit more when mixed with water so it was a little bit difficult to control. I read that you should use 20% water. Used straight out of the bottle gives a hard edge which could be fun to use too but not the look I was going for.
Also I taped the fabric down to an old cutting mat and that may have led to more bleeding. I've seen people use resists and suspend the fabric in a frame to control the flow and spread of the dye. Still I was happy with the delicate effect it gave.
Lastly I wanted the background to compliment the piece and touch on the idea that memories are there in the background and they don't disappear even though the moment that in it, is the Rose in front of me today, so I quilted in some Nora's Roses (see Lori Kennendy @the Inbox Jaunt) in white to fade into the background. I put it in a frame as a gift for my Mum whose favourite flower is still a Rose.
So there you have it "A Walk in the Park" and a trip down memory lane.