Trip to the Highlands

This half term we ventured north to the highlands of Scotland.  After a very scary journey to the airport at 4am (avoiding fallen trees and a near miss with a branch and our winsdcreen) the wind finally dropped and we took off 3 hours late.  The day before leaving we had literally dragged poor Bruno, our springer spaniel into kennels (not his idea of a holiday) and thrown some stuff into two holdalls.

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond

We stayed in a great Forest log cabin on Loch Long overlooking Arrochar.  The scenery was stunning the autumn colours on the hills were breathtaking, even the girls were inspired to go walking!

One of the best trips whilst there was to the Isle of Bute, a quick 10 minute ferry crossing which was an adventure for the girls.  The weather was pretty kind to us and we had a wonderful explore around Mount Stuart a fabulous Victorian house built by the Stuarts.  The house is full of quirky wood carvings and the most wonderful stained glass windows that represent the night sky and its constellations.  If your purse is deep you can be married in the chapel and sleep in a fabulous room with an early conservatory (Stella McCartney was married here).

Mount Stuart

Mount Stuart

Our accommodation was more modest!  Overlooking Arrochar on Loch Long the cabins were perfect for a week away. We sat in the hot tub marvelling at the view with the rain pelting us from all angles – bliss!

Home for a week, Ardgarten on Loch Long.

Home for a week, Ardgarten on Loch Long.

One of the places I had wanted to see was Loch Eck, a narrow Loch near where we were staying. A relative on my fathers side called Edward Ball (Ted Ball) was a  landscape artist for Coalport China works towards the end of the 19th century and one of the pieces of Coalport China we own by him is of Loch Eck.  Coalport and nearby Ironbridge are famous for their links to the early Industrial revolution and the production of china at Coalport. Other local potteries included Caughley and Benthall. All of these factories are near the Industrial town of Broseley where my family and I lived for many generations.

John Randall (1810-1910) was Coalport’s most famous painter and was born in Broseley. During his illustrious career at Coalport his work was exhibited widely including: the 1851 Exhibition; the 1871 International Exhibition and the 1876 Art Treasures Exhibition.

Antique Coalport pot pourri.

Antique Coalport pot pourri.

Painting E O Ball (Ted Ball) a relative that painted Landscape panels for Coalport china  between 1981-1919.

Painting E O Ball (Ted Ball) a relative that painted Landscape panels for Coalport china between 1981-1919.

The short trip has inspired me to create a Scottish landscape quilt using lots of autumnal colours. I’m going to rummage through my hoard of fabrics and see where they take me!

Last but definitely not least, for those of you concerned about Brunsky’s welfare here he is home and happy!  No dog free holidays planned for the near future…..



Pulp Fiction

The 2013 12 x 12 Quilt Exhibition at midsomer quilting has the title ‘Film / Movie’.

This is my first entry as I had two films that immedically jumped to mind.  Pulp Fiction was the first and was an image that would allow me to experiment with a new technique.  I have recently been reading a book called ‘Photo Inspired Art Quilts’ by Leni Levenson Wiener.  This book is very inspiring and her art quilts are fabulous.  The technique she uses may allow me to create more intricate pieces that the piecing technique I currently use limits the image choice I can make.

So, inspired to try something new got started.  I photographed our blender and started to draw the areas of light and shade (I do not have Adobe photoshop at present, something that Leni recommends).  This was great fun and made me stop and really look at the object.  I used to love still life at school and miss just stopping and looking at details.  I then made a series of patterns (see 2nd picture below) for each colour and selected my fabrics. Please note, this picture is unfinished, not yet quilted or backed!

‘Pulp Fiction’



American dark comedic crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino

The films title refers to the pulp magazines and crime novels of the mid 20th century, known for their graphic violence and punchy dialogue.

The film is described as having a ‘trippy fantasy landscape’.  It emphasizes the banal or kitschy elements of culture, most often through the use of irony.

The blender ‘pulps the fiction’ in a Pop Art style.

Angela Knapp

Entry 1 into 2013 Midsomer Norton 12 x 12 Quilt Exhibition .  Title - Film

Entry 1 into 2013 Midsomer Norton 12 x 12 Quilt Exhibition . Title – Film

The  photo below just about shows you the pattern with all the colours labelled.  The next step was to make a pattern sheet for each colour.

The first pattern sheet with all the colours labelled.

The first pattern sheet with all the colours labelled.