Tuesday 1 August 2023

Improv fun!

I dip in and out of collage as a quilt making techinque and I am always surprised that there are so many different ways to collage a textile piece.  

Improv piece of the fastnet rock lighthouse using fabrics other then cotton.
Making Waves using bondaweb and raw edge, I entered this into an Irish Patchwork Society exhibition, inspired by the Great Wave by Hokusai.
Using up scraps from a Laura Heine collage workshop to make Jupiter!
Whimsical fun using scraps and big stitch embroidery in the style of Laura Wasilowski.

So when the theme of collage popped up I thought : Yes!  I've got this... and then I thought what can I make that's not the same as all of the above?  I got stuck! 

Then, the opportunity came to sign up for a collage portrait class, with Paula Rafferty, at the River of Dreams annual exhibiton in Limerick and I jumped at the chance.  We made a portrait of Dolores O'Riordan from the Cranberries, also from Limerick, and I had the opportunity so many times to hear her sing and the band play as I was growing up, when they were starting our on their amazing music journey.

In the end though, I ended up going back to improv and having a play.  One of my favourite places on the West coast of Ireland, about an hours drive away, is Kilkee.  It has a horseshoe bay and two cliff walks on either side of the beach.  Maybe this colourful, cartoonish, childlike collage is my go to.  I don't know, but I had a lot of fun playing with shape and colour and straightline quilted it to put in a frame.
I think I might change or add to the car pulling the boat, thats a tiny bit too basic I think.  I really like the houses falling away on the frame and I think this could be fun to make bigger and add more detail, like the steps going down to the beach and some boats in the sea.  Otherwise, I quite like its happy maddness, and it was very much a happy way to spend a rainy afternoon playing with scraps!


  1. The whimsical nature of this piece is very fun! I'd like to visit that little spot. I'm glad you went with what makes you happy, but I'd also love to hear what you thought of the portrait class.

  2. So many interesting ideas and quilts. I really liked the portrait. your final piece is cute, a good way to play with the fabrics and have a memory.

  3. I love this. Appreciate the different techniques you’ve shown. Barbara

  4. What a happy little piece! I like the contrast of the playful placement of the fabrics with the uniform stitching. And I am glad you included the other pieces too!

  5. I have found that it is always dangerous to think "I have got this!" when it comes to Endeavourers Challenges Ruth :) I really like the whimsy of your Kilkee harbour, it has a blustery, blowy charm which has generally been my experience with harbours in Ireland too!

  6. This is such a fun and joyful piece. It makes me smile and want to visit :)