Janet C.

Listing and analysing my skills gave me much to think about. The Quilt Police had to be shouted down when I wrote my idea of perfection. The fact that they were successfully ignored shows me just how far I have come on this journey. I made a quilt called Give a Life in 2000. It was an emotional response to children dying of starvation in Africa. Not a comfortable source of inspiration, but those images spoke so powerfully to me. The quilt spoke to others, it demanded attention because it came from my heart. It works for an international charity now, helping to overcome the problems of drought, disease and other natural calamities.

My quilt Breakwater was the result of my photos and sketches of a breakwater on the Norfolk coast with the sunset glowing through it. I was on holiday with my husband. He cannot walk as far as the beach, so there was a tinge of sadness mixed with the happiness of being near the sea. This 19” square textile collage sums up those moments.

The colours express my feelings at that time. Bright, happy, but with a darker edge. I feel that its strength lies in my use of colour. However, there is a weak area flowing across like mist. Is this memory? Clouds are too dominant, but if they were more realistic that would detract from the abstract feel of the rest of the piece.

The manipulation on PaintShop Pro and subsequent enlarging and printing onto fabric were moderately successful. I cut up the A4 photo, added dyed and painted fabrics and raw silk, but I am not entirely happy with this. Too bitty! I lost the clear, clean lines of the sun coming through the strong diagonal beams of the breakwater. In terms of tone and content there simply wasn’t enough.

If I was to make this again I would have cleaner lines, more contrast, more drama. I have lost the drama! And fewer bits. I thought they would add the textures that were all around me on the stony, sandy, seaweed-strewn beach.

Perfection? No. But maybe I now know why not. This is the fifth in a series based on those photos and sketches. It is the biggest and most elaborate. The others were simpler. Lots to learn and improve on there!