chris gray

  • stitching magic by Chris Gray

    chris gray, textile artist UK,  stitching magic



    Her first book is out!!!
     Instead of giving it in hands of an editor, dear Chris did it all by herself!   (
    click here to get to Mabon Arts, her website and from there you can click to go on her blog where you’ll find her latest findings)


    It’s right now available in Harrogate at the Knitting and Stitching Show where she spends her days … and afterwards (from 27th of this month) via her website.


    I’ve got it already in my hands … thanks Chris!!! …
    & love it!


    As creative designer Chris is writing how ‘magic’ her journey in creating is, where she finds her inspiration, how to make all those ideas “hers” and so personal.
    She explains how to make amulets – scroll covers – dangles – wall pockets and all in clear language , and no tiny little letters difficult to see, but clear layout with a lot of good detail-pictures.

    Love this 20-pages book: the format is handy to put near you while at work and it gives me lots of inspiration to go on with the result of my workshop with her (clicliclic).

    chris gray, textile artist UK,  stitching magic

    Well done Chris! You make the magic do-able.



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  • workshop Chris Gray



    Before I’ll make my reporting of the quilts and other stuff I saw at Sainte Marie aux Mines, I’ll talk about the workshop I organized for our region with Chris Gray.
    It’s been about ten years I’ve been part of the regional responsible for Flemish Brabant in the Belgian quilters’ guild, but meanwhile I took over also the secretary job and recently the website. So another team has been set up for our region so that I can have a little more spare time in the working of our guild. Who is Chris Gray? For those who are curious for her work look here at Mabon Arts    & here at her blog Textile Butterfly.

    Chris Gray, workshop Belgium,


    She’s with a stand at the Festival of Quilts (type chris gray in the search bar on your left!) and on many others in the UK, been in Sainte Marie aux Mines last year and is giving workshops all around. But most of all she’s an innovative artist, dying her own fabrics and threads, daring to experiment with all kind of stuff and making wonderful pieces of art that have that delicate and fine and so beautiful touch. You might like her style or not, but undeniable, you’ll have to admit that she’s making great stuff. So I found it was time for Belgium to learn about her. Most of all she’s a kind, nice, generous colorful lady taking her time to explain how she’s getting to that result, showing xxx times the same stitch till you got it in your fingers, her sense of humor makes you feel so relaxed … she’s lovely!  


    This is the picture of her samples used in the workshop of yesterday. We had as well block printing explanations, learned her way of dying, use the embroidery stitches on a relaxed way, how to work with all sizes of washers, beads and sequins, her hand dyed embroidery threads and fabric …. She also showed her new work that will be for next year’s shows and workshops, and the good news that she’ll be publishing in a book (so that we can enjoy her work any time, any day).


    We were 17 – those who missed the workshop can only have regrets because everyone was very happy with what they learned, with the work they started (one finished!) and with the joy of having had a good day.


    This is she at work with block-printing and thinking … did I tell them all of it? J




    Chris Gray, Mabon Arts, textile butterfly, workshop in Belgium, patchwork, quilting, embroidery

    And these are some works of the group.

    Chris Gray, Mabon Arts, textile butterfly, workshop in Belgium, patchwork, quilting, embroidery

    chris gray,mabon arts,textile butterfly,workshop in belgium,patchwork,quilting,embroidery

    This is mine so far, didn’t do as much as some other participants, because I have been chatting and talking too much … mine is going to be part of the quilt for next year’s competition of our Belgian Guild as the theme is “Patchwork & Embroidery”. So I’ve got my ideas all set in my head, am collecting now all the stuff I’ll need to make it, and started with this.

    Chris Gray, Mabon Arts, textile butterfly, workshop in Belgium, patchwork, quilting, embroidery


    Please don’t forget to come and visit our BIG patchwork & quilt exhibition in Edingen-Enghien beginning October!!!  (Click here to see the shops we’ll have for you and the demonstrations that will be done – we have also a large stand of Bernina and Husqvarna Pfaff!!!).
    Just jump in, just for 6 little euros (4€ for our members or citizens of Edingen-Enghien) you’ll enter in a kind of color-paradise  
    JJ!  You don't find exhibitions that cheap with high quality - I can garantuee you that (otherwise you'll ask the >2.500 visitors we have every year!)

    Next posting will be about Ste Marie Aux Mines and the nearby villages, but look at the blog of Chris: she’s giving an interesting link (or click here ) to a story about Alsace that might interest you!!!

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  • Carrefour Européen du Patchwork III


    À Lièpvre, dans l’Espace exposition il se trouvait l’exposition de l’association France Patchwork : le concours « 1quilt 1vie » et mes deux préférés dans celle-ci sont le quilt de Christine Mignot et celui de Claire Allier, l’un pour l’usage de toutes les étiquettes (j’en ai déjà une belle collection aussi) et l’autre pour l’assemblage de tous ces différents morceaux de fils tissés entrelacés.

    In Lièpvre we could see the exhibition of France Patchwork « 1quilt-1live » and I particularly loved the quilt of C.Mignot because I’m collecting also labels of clothes, and C.Allier because it’s such an uncommon mix of all threads and yarns, in a strange weave-construction.


    11 christine mignot.jpg

    12 claire allier.jpg


    Puis dans la même salle, l’EQA qui nous ramenait l’expo de cet été vue à York (creating diversity) et dont les deux quilts belges de Lia et Nicole ont bien eu du succès.

    In the same exhibition room, the EQA quilts, seen this summer at York-UK : from every member of the EQA, two quilts, theme Creating Diversity. These are the Belgian quilts from Lia Flemings and Nicole Glorie.

    13 1.jpg


    Les Pays-Bas, des vues bien typiques et un travail très fin aussi.
    The Netherlands, with the swans of Hilde Van Schaardenburg.

    13 2.jpg

    Un quilt en gros lin - laines – cotons mais dans des tons si subtils (et je n’ai pas pris note du nom…
    Interesting use of coarse weave fabrics in subtle color choices. 

    13 3.jpg

    Et puis un des deux quilts de l’Italie … quels détails à découvrir !
    And this one from Italy (obvious of courseJ)

    13 4.jpg

    Dans la collection des quilts anciens de la Collection Perrier présenté par France Patchwork, nous pouvions voir des quilts d’une grande beauté, des lainages en carrés et hexagones superbement brodés et rebrodés dont j’ai particulièrement aimé les bords… Cela nous changeait des quilts ‘traditionnels’.
    From the Perrier Collection we saw a collection of some gorgeous woolen quilts, embroidered, squares, hexagons,… and such spectacular edges ! Loved it...

    14 mosaiques d'étoffes bis.jpg

    14 mosaiques d'étoffes.jpg

    Un petit retour en arrière vers Ste Croix au Presbytère pour « le fil », l’expo du Point de Croix dont l’invitée était Françoise Marchadier. Une expo basée sur la technique du point de croix dans une tradition des marquoirs anciens mais en superposition de lettres et motifs, dans un tout autre ordre pour en faire des énigmes à résoudre, à regarder et à observer encore et encore. J’aimais bien !
    Let’s go back to Ste Croix where there is –traditionally- an exhibition of cross stitch embroidery. This year … a modern interpretation on old pieces. Very lovely and pleasant to look at with a lot of interesting details to discover

    15 ptd croix1.jpg

    15 ptd croix3.jpg


    Pour les expositions de Rombach et Sainte Marie aux Mines … faudra vous rabattre sur les autres blogs car je n’ai pas visité. Comme je l’avais signalé il y a quelques jours, faut faire un choix J mais j’espère que vous avez aimé mon parcours à moi.

    As I said a couple of days ago, I did have to make a choice on the villages to visit, because  I had only one day available to see the quilts … so if you want to find some pictures of the exhibitions at Rombach and Sainte Marie aux Mines … you’ll have to search on the net on other blogs. I spent next day and half in Colmar and I’ll tell you about it in the next days.

    Néanmoins j’ai de belles photos en route de montage sur la ville de Colmar, que j’ai gambadée de long en large et dont j’ai découvert l’histoire.
    Ça c’est pour les prochains jours …


    En attendant une photo de la laine en pure cashmere que j’ai reçue de Chris Gray (mabonarts- clic) encore une fois merci Chris! - une broderie achetée chez Neelam (clic) -  et un DVD  parce que c'est le début d'une année scolaire et qu'il ne faut jamais arrêter d'apprendre
    Meanwhile some stuff I brought back in my luggage : pure soft delicous cashmere from Chris Gray, an embroidered pannel from Neelam and a DVD to learn …


    carrefour europeen du patchwork, sainte croix aux mines, lièpvre, chris gray, neelam, eqa,

    carrefour europeen du patchwork, sainte croix aux mines, lièpvre, chris gray, neelam, eqa,

    carrefour europeen du patchwork, sainte croix aux mines, lièpvre, chris gray, neelam, eqa,


    Have a nice weekend !


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  • Festival of Quilts 2012 Part IV


    One of the last artists I loved the work and the special corner in the exhibition hall is Kate Dowty who with a background in graphic design, makes some wonderful quilts with a very textural surface. Starting with a landscape, and its seasonal changes, she uses a mixture of techniques and makes beautiful mural quilts with layers of fabrics threads and colors.

    KATE DOWTY.jpg


    There were more galleries of artists, but when you are forbidden to take pictures, you cannot show anything on a blog ….



    Also we had also a lecture by Leslie Gabrielse,


    His words from his website (click)


    While a student at the Academy of the Arts in Rotterdam, I was exposed to many media and enthusiastically embraced all possibilities. I worked in ceramics, textile design, graphic arts and painting. I found handling textiles very satisfying, partially because as a child I was surrounded by many fabrics and the sound of a sewing machine because my mother was a fashion designer. Even though my material is fabric I consider myself a painter-draftsman always working with the interpretation between material and illusion.


    lect gabrielse1.jpg


    During his lecture he explained us step by step, photo by photo, how he made his appliqued quilts, embroidered with perlé thread n°5. The whole creative process was explained in detail and in fact, he is a painter with fabrics. It was a fascinating moment and I felt so sad that so little persons did take time to hear him talking about his creativity and revealing his details. You could take pictures as much you wanted, and at the end he unfolded one of his last pieces: impressive! I bought his book (signed of course) and I ‘ve done a very good buy. I remembered the first time I saw some of his quilts was in the 199x in Brugge, Belfort, when there was the annual quilt exhibition from the UK that came abroad; couple of years before the Festival of quilts were started. It was a magic moment, because the Belfort is a very special location with a nice “atmosphere”. He was also in Veldhoven at the OEQC two years ago, see my article here.


    lect gabrielse2.jpg


    One of his quilts was hanging in the NEC, at the exhibition of SAQA Masters Art Quilts volume 2.

    click on Masters 2 and you’ll see all the quilts from this travelling collection.


    lect gabrielse3.jpg


    Another “classic” in the Festival of Quilts is the Diversity in Europe with one quilt of each member-country. This year Belgium chose a public winner of last year’s exhibition (corner right up in second pic hereunder)





    From the shops I’ll show you my dear friends of “Il était une fois” : here is Michèle Charvet on the picture and if you want to see more of her boutis it’s here,
    and more of the shop and the news on the blog, it’s click here. Of course you’ll see them in the Alsace next month!


    shop iletait1fois.jpg


    My meeting with Chris Gray was wonderful; we chatted every day a little moment and had lunch on Sunday before we left. She’s a lady always full of energy and so much kindness: her blog is here     and from there you can go to her shop. At the NEC she was running between her stand and the workshops (all full and sold out)  she gave J.

    Look on the pic’s to all those little embroidery threads she dyed!


    shop mabon arts1.jpg


    She presented her little houses in real (look in the middle of the pic)  and they are all wonderful.
     For the ones who didn’t make it to Birmingham: she’ll be at Sainte Marie aux Mines and know that the patterns of her houses are also explained in French and Dutch !!

    shop mabon arts2.jpg


    An annual ‘rendez-vous’ is also the stand of the Cotton Patch of Birmingham with the fabrics of Rowan: all those colors and fabrics and models: Who wouldn’t like such a stand???

    shop rowan.jpg


    And a very special wall on a stand caught my attention: zigzags.

    Look at these stuffed little log cabins, all attached in the corners, isn’t it wonderful? The site is


    shop zigzags.jpg


    And a newcomer – at least I never saw her at the FoQ : so refreshing, so fine work, so carefully displayed and the owner … well she was always smiling and working with her hook : I present you Woolipip. Her site (click here) is full of lovely little things she made.

    shop woolipip.jpg


    So that’s it for today

    Next posting will be about two other shops, special meetings and a selection of the competition quilts. Because, don’t forget, the FoQ is first of all a giant competition of international quilting!

    Have a great weekend


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  • the sun...

    I received my little panel from Chris (see message here …) and I’m enjoying the materials she sent me to work another one. It’s great silk stuff that surely will find his way!

    thanks again Chris.



    and meanwhile, sun has come in a beautiful blue sky and my cherries are growing and growing and growing !


    have a nice sunny day, wherever you are

    if you don’t have the sun at your place, come to Belgium  JJJJ


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  • lucky me...

    yoeppie !!!!

    Remember the previous message where I talked about Chris Gray’s blog and a winner to be announced on Friday ?

    So, today … it’s Friday

    I went looking at her blog Textile Butterfly

    And guess whose name is mentioned under the little panel??

    yup ! MINE  


    lucky me


    and I mentioned already she’ll be in Birmingham
    AND also      in Ste Marie Aux Mines


    Mes visiteurs français(es) pourront donc faire sa connaissance et voir ses petites merveilles lors du Carrefour Européen du Patchwork au Val d’Argent en septembre 2012

    Giveaway May 2012 5.JPG


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