CQ West: Unfolding Stories 4


Catalogue of the work exhibited in the 'Unfolding Stories 4' exhibition by the art quilt and textile group CQ West.


CQ West


art by members of

CQ West

This catalogue is published by the artists of CQ West

© Copyright the Artists of CQ West, 2020

Published by CQ West


Layout and design: Claire Passmore


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval

system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,

photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the expressed written permission of the

copyright holders.

CQ West

A personal creative language underpins the ethos of the members of CQ West. This is

a free spirited group who continue to make work informed by subjects which absorb

and interest them, with all members following self-directed themes. It is a belief of the

group that one of its strengths is having a membership with widely ranging skills and

achievements. Individuals within the group generously share knowledge and creative

and artistic insights. This practice informs and strengthens all, and is pivotal to

achieving the diversity of exhibits on display.

Exhibiting every two years with the exhibition title of ‘Unfolding Stories’ and now

reaching Unfolding Stories 4, the group always shows newly made art quilt or textile

art pieces. This catalogue is the second produced by the group and offers an insight

into the techniques and ideas of each of the participating artists.

CQ West artists and makers all reside in the south west of Britain. Many members

exhibit their work nationally, some internationally, and many teach workshops or give

talks. We all strive to develop our work and become more professional in our art

practice. .

It is our hope that you will find the work on display exciting and engrossing to view.

Hopefully it will also convey that exciting moment when each artist can take a

breath, aware that somehow, for a while, they have stepped onto a creative path of

hand and mind and eye.

To find out more about our members, please visit our website at:




I am a textile artist working within the parameters of art

quilting. My passion is colour, which is complemented by

shape, line and texture. My inspiration is varied: maps,

cosmology, quantum physics, nature, the urban landscape,

climate change. I am interested in science and technology,

and I am very concerned about the climate crisis and the

lack of progress in halting the destruction of our planet.

I work mostly in series, and my map series is probably the best

known. Recently I have been experimenting with new

techniques, and my way of working has changed from

piecing and appliqué to using wholecloth designs I create

with digital tools. Each design is first printed on fabric and then

layered and stitched. The pieces I present in this exhibition are

in this new style of work.

An abstract design is like a

blank canvas - anything

goes. Its meaning is

whatever the maker sees in

it at a given time. This piece

gives me a jumbled urban

feeling - contemporary?

medieval? I don’t know;

anything is possible. It is a

magical kind of Urban

Jungle to me.

Digitally designed, printed

on fabric, layered and


Urban Jungle

78cm x 118cm (right)

Hillside Village

42cm x 42cm x 2cm (opposite)



As a woman of many passions I was delighted to realise I could

bring two very important ones to me together in one creative

and satisfying activity. Like many textile lovers I too was playing

with thread, yarns and fabric from an early age and creating

became a passion that was greatly rewarded and immensely


My profession as a Clinical Psychologist is based on another

passion - a deep fascination with the human condition -

questioning what influences each of us to become the

individuals we are. So, as a creative artist my quest is to combine

the ongoing questioning regarding our human condition with

the luscious, tactile, colourful qualities of thread.

I create for pleasure and I continue to create because the

satisfaction it gives me is addictive. My wish is that you too may

find pleasure in seeing my work.

Consisting of multiple images of

smiling and non-smiling sunflowers this

work is a colourful, fun looking strip, as

if a child’s sampler piece. The

sunshine child is the bright looking,

attentive, caring, considerate and

always smiling child. This behaviour

brings much appreciation and

reinforcement from those surrounding

him / her and can easily become an

unconscious way of being. This piece

is a playful yet serious depiction of

choice: when to smile and when not

to smile. It’s saying ‘I will smile when

it’s true. I will be real with my smile.’

A-mending the script

270cm x 12cm (right)

Fitting In

90cm x 90cm




This work is based on the birds of the Somerset Levels

and aims to illustrate the beauty and fragility of their

world and their battles for survival.

So many birds are under threat due to the

increasing human impact on the planet. I will sadly

never run out of threatened birds to base work on.

I absolutely love the process of creating these

pieces; the story of each bird draws me in and

consumes me for a time. The journey is continuous as

each piece teaches me something new or gives me

inspiration for the next project

I create these pieces after much research, layering

and painting fabrics and then, using a sewing

machine, ‘paint’ the details with thread a technique

called free-motion embroidery.

‘Children of the Sky' is a piece

based on the beautiful poem of

the same name by Mark Britten

a farmer from the Somerset

levels. The poem connects us to

nature and the passing seasons.

Children of the Sky

62cm x 62cm

The Hobby is a summer visitor to

the UK and thriving on the

Somerset Levels. Hobbies are

one of the few birds capable of

catching Swifts and Swallows in


‘On Manoeuvres’

48cm x 48cm

Children of the Sky 44cm x 44cm (opposite)



Circles, whole, sliced, segmented and broken meld with other

shapes and colour dominating my textile art. My designs are

simple, stark and often repetitive. The designs start as

monoprints on paper – a wonderful, messy process. Potential

icons are isolated, traced and scaled up to make paper

patterns. These are cut out in fabric and pieced. Once

layered up, the fabric tops are stitched, usually with simple

parallel lines, either on a domestic machine or my longarm.

My go to preference is abstract design but I also work with

text, drawing and mark making to produce social and

political art quilts. This genre causes much artistic conflict – my

social themes are about the textile industry’s bad practices,

unsafe working conditions and environmental issues created

by fabric and garment production. I love dyeing my own new

cloth which is environmentally unacceptable. A dilemma yet

to be resolved!!

My work reflects my love of colour, shape and printing which often results in a

number of abstract works based on a single design. My Break Down Circles series

was inspired by a single print from a monoprinting session. Circles often feature in my

work and this series combines circle shapes with fabrics which have been

handprinted with breakdown printing techniques. I have explored this technique

with a minimal colour palette – golden yellow and black which has given rise to

various shades of green.

A Textile Artist’s Dilema

125cm x 78cm (opposite)

Breakdown Circles 1 – 6

35.6cm x 35.6cm (above)



I am a curious person; I enjoy exploring and experimenting

with shapes, materials and structures, often with only a theme

in mind, just to discover what might be. I use the walls of my

studio much like the pages in a huge sketchbook and to

some they look chaotic, but to me they are the place my

thoughts evolve and begin to be transformed into a visual


When I create my work I almost always start by hand dying or

altering textiles in some way. I enjoy the processes of cutting,

sometimes melting or burning, stitching, and layering fabrics,

inks, paints, metals, threads and other interesting materials,

allowing the work to evolve and a story to unfold.

Much of the work I make is rooted in social commentary,

things about which I have very strong emotions and feelings. I

hope this is evident in my current work

Location: Cote d’Ivoire & Ghana

Subject: Child workers, human traffic, forced

labour. Smallholder cacao farms in West

Africa produce 70% of the world’s cacao

beans. ‘Middle men’ sell the beans to

companies familiar to us: Nestle, Mars,

Hershey, Ferrero, Godiva……….

Over 2 million children currently work on the

farms. Children as young as 5 are lured with

promises of education, money, bicycles, a

better life… many are trafficked from Mali or

Burkina Faso by smugglers who sell them on.

Outcome: suffering, hunger, beatings, injury

from heavy lifting, accidents whilst using

machetes, contamination from crop

spraying, little or no education.

This is all illegal. These children are the not-so

secret workers, hiding in the undergrowth.

Chocolate companies blame the farms.

Farms blame the low price they are paid for

their beans. 19 years ago the big chocolate

companies signed the Harkin-Engel Protocol

and promised to end the use of child

workers. Their promises have still not been


Dirty Secret 104cm x 90cm (right)

Für Die Kinder 78cm x 68cm (opposite)



I have a need deep within to create...to capture my world

through a personal visual language. With cloth, thread

and paint, I represent the moment, celebrating simplicity

and beauty whilst gaining satisfaction and connection

from the process of making.

Currently my work reflects a creative response to personal

thoughts around fulfilment. The empty vessels have

become part of the narrative. As each piece is produced

it’s with consideration of what contributes towards

fulfilment for me.

A celebration of friendship representing shared journey paths, in their diversity,

opportunities and value. Connection with those who enrich and fulfil that journey.

Connection 30cm x 50cm (above)

Fulfilment from the gift

of the natural world. A

visual feast to delight

in, both internally and


Provision 40cm x 75cm


Simplicity (left)



I’ve stitched since I can remember. I started quilting in the

early ’80s and then only briefly. I really got interested in the

mid 2000s when art quilts caught my attention. I like painting

and printing onto fabric and although I do occasionally use

commercial fabrics these are often over dyed.

My inspiration comes from lots of sources. I take way too

many photographs and enjoy sifting through them and my

collection of postcards, to find a starting point or theme.

Currently I am interested in the way water distorts what is seen

through windows and windscreens.

‘Rainy Day III’ is the continuation

of a theme which started with a

picture of Geneva through a wet


I love the distortion of shapes and

colours. I have attempted to

extract the essence of this idea

through monoprinting and then

adding colour.

There is a considerable degree of

interpretation and abstraction in

terms of the shapes, and a

degree of serendipity in the

printing as I also spray water to

encourage diffusion of colour.

‘Underwater’ uses the same

basic techniques, but with more

control of both the initial

monoprint and subsequent


Rainy Day III 95cm x 50cm (right)

Under Water 88cm x 57cm




I am a professional printmaker who has been working and

exhibiting in the field of art and design for twenty five years.

The thread running through this busy time has been my

interest in mark and texture and because of this I have always

been drawn towards Collagraph printing. I find this expressive

medium is ideal for achieving the surface design I aim for.

Currently I am lucky enough to have the freedom to print

onto both cloth and papers, and the time to experiment with

paints, dyes, traditional printing inks and letterforms.

I like to walk, enjoying the exercise and being outdoors. I

often let the rhythm of the walk become part of a piece of

work I’m making.

This abstract quilt has a basis in landscape. Its main concerns are with colour,

particularly colour glimpsed during a visit to an ancient hay meadow. The meadow on

a June day was in full flower, vibrant and sunny. Other influences are text and walking.

The lettering plus the physical action of walking make up the movement in the work.

The printed surface of the work is important. I made Collagraph plates from recycled

materials, utilising discarded packaging, hand-made papers, scraps of scrim and found

botanicals. Also a sprinkling of carborundum grit for shadow and texture. Once the

plates had dried they were inked and printed onto fabrics and papers, I chose not to

seal the plates so they could breakdown quickly and so that each print varies slightly

and the expressive mark making is increased. The print run for this work has been

achieved with either, linseed oil relief printing inks or textile acrylic paint. Hand cut

lettering has been printed in the same way. The work is hand stitched with pre-owned

or vintage threads.

Wild Flower Meadow 162cm x 36cm

(above and opposite)



I have been quilt making for more than 30 years, and started

by making quite traditional quilts, but have gradually moved

towards making art pieces.

Archaeology inspires me, and the traces left behind by

history. The area where archaeology and myth meet is a rich

source of ideas. I keep notebooks of drawings, made on

location and in museums, and use my sketches as sources for

my textiles. Some of my work is also influenced by the vivid

colours and patterns of folk arts.

I have belonged to two exhibiting groups, and have shown

my work in quilt shows, museums and art galleries both in the

UK and abroad. I have work in a national collection and in

private collections. I give talks, and teach workshops

occasionally, and like all of us, I am constantly beguiled by

fabric and stitch.

An exploration of the patterns and marks of ancient pottery. Similar shapes and

decorations occur in most cultures and clearly create a universal and shared visual

language. I am fascinated by these remnants of everyday life, which have moved

from simple domestic item to museum object. This piece can be displayed as a series

of wave-folds or closed up like a book or scroll.

Treasures From the Earth I

22cm x 124.5cm x 10cm


Treasures From the Earth 3

59cm x 52.5cm


Themes of loss, threat and displacement recur in

my work. Billybanks 9 is about a derelict housing

estate. Too Late to Leave documents

encroaching bushfires on a recent stay with my

daughter in Sydney. Text, stories and the black

and red colourway hark back to a newspaper




Billybanks 9

40cm x 40cm

Too Late to Leave

92cm x 46cm (opposite)

My work is mainly intuitive, drawing from my experiences in

Nature. My passion lies in taking the time to notice the story

around me.

In my studio, I depict a chosen moment and convey the feeling

of place, an animal's character and my relationship to the

experience. I aim for simplicity in life, whilst recognising that life

and relationships are multi-faceted. This is reflected in my art by

collaging textiles and mixed media, 'painted' with thread. I

prefer the pace, flow and effect of hand stitching, I tend to

produce three pieces at a time, as I find this process allows my

work to evolve in a natural way.



A vintage Ox-eyed Daisy curtain was the

starting point for this summer meadow

scene. The shy fawn is painted with

threads using a mixture of crewel wools

and embroidery silks over toning

collaged fabrics. Beading highlights the

Hogweed in flower, while a mix of felted

and small printed fabrics are dotted with

flora (taken from old table linen) and

hand-stitched together to create the

foreground of this meadow land. In this

piece, I hope to have captured the sunwarmed

sense of a summer scene.

Four Seasons: Essence of Summer

52 cm x 77cm (top left)

It is a rare, clear blue sky day, where

the Sun touches the snow and ice

sparkles in the pale light. Shadows pull

out hues of violet and grey, while three

deer forage for food. Here there is

stillness, the land is slumbering. Vintage

silks, lace and painted recycled fabrics

are collaged together with plastic

found on a beach, over-laid with


Four Seasons: Winter Bared

52 cm x 77cm (right)

Four Seasons: Spring, Blue and Brock

77cm x 52cm (opposite)



I love textiles - handling them, decorating, cutting, rearranging

and stitching them to make something that pleases the eye as

well as the hand. My work is ever-changing and continues to

develop as I discover and explore new ideas and techniques.

I print or dye most of my own fabrics using both natural and

synthetic dyes. I often use recycled cotton bed sheets but also

enjoy experimenting with novel materials, paper and mixed


Inspiration may come from anywhere: a beautiful piece of

fabric, a stunning view or something I’ve read or heard – the

words triggering visual associations in my mind.

Most of the pieces I make are quilted wall hangings ranging in

size from the smallest, at 8 inches square to up to 60 inches tall. I

have also made king-size bed quilts, lots of baby quilts and

everything in between.

My garden is on a riverbank and is under

water for part of every year. It is always green

but has fewer flowers than a garden which is

not liable to flooding! On a sunny day the

green of the grass and trees is enhanced by

the blue sky and golden sun. I wanted to

reflect the cheeriness of the bright light and

vibrant colours in my work. Sunny Day is

made from fabrics coloured with just blue

and yellow dyes. Some new and some

recycled, I prepared the fabrics using several

different techniques: some dyed in buckets

using different proportions of blue and yellow

dye, some dyed in trays with yellow, blue and

a mixed green dye poured over them, some

were printed with rollers and the most

complex were screen-printed using a

technique known as breakdown printing. By

cutting narrow strips of fabric of differing

widths and joining them together, I aimed to

create movement like the ripples on the

water. This movement is emphasised by the

fluid quilting used to hold the layers of the

work together. I hope that Sunny Day raises

the viewer’s spirits as much as it raises mine.

Sunny Day 105cm x 45cm

(above and opposite)



My work is all about place. I use walking/running and my art

as a means to understand the place I am in, be that a

location or perhaps a point in time.

I have a natural instinct to observe, map, collect and analyse

data when I am exploring and navigating ‘places’, through

maps, geology, flora, fauna, weather, people and cultures.

My textiles and artworks are a distillation of my experiences

outdoors and are created in the studio. Like the walking, the

‘making’ is also a slow meditative process, often taking 2-3

years to resolve a series/avenue of ideas.

In this series I am continuing with the abstraction of

found objects as symbols of ‘place’ and combined

them with my figure/life drawings to infer the links

between who we are and our attachment to

particular places. In this particular series I am also

exploring bringing together textile mediums of

dye/batik with traditional drawing/painting mediums;

including clear gesso and pastels/pens to depict my

image as I try to move towards a more painterly form

of expressing myself.

Pebble and Life Drawing

50cm x 20cm (above)

Among Ghosts

110cm x 110cm (right)

The Last Time

150cm x 150cm (opposite)



I have worked as a textiles teacher for many years in secondary

education. My recent move to Somerset has allowed me to

further develop my own creative journey – it is my ‘Unfolding


I take inspiration from the natural world around me and like to

work in series. My current textile pieces are inspired by

seascapes of the Greek Islands. I use photographs which have

been taken by my husband on our coastal walks. The shades of

aquamarine and turquoise are recreated through hand dyeing

a range of natural fabrics and I enjoy the therapeutic nature of

hand stitching to create pattern and texture in my pieces.

I love to share ideas, teach and help people on their creative

journeys and have developed a range of courses for adults,

which I hope will help to keep the traditional and contemporary

skills of patchwork and quilting alive.

Creating texture in a textiles

piece is an ideal way to add

depth and dimension – this

piece was designed after

taking inspiration from a

photograph taken by my


Selections of natural and manmade

fabrics with interesting

textures were hand-dyed in

ever deepening shades of

turquoise. It has been

embellished with hand

stitching, shells and seed


Summer Sea in Samos

90cm x 22cm (right)

Textures in the Sea

40cm x 30cm (opposite)



My style is pictorial. I am inspired by travelling, walking my

dog, or the world around me and its quirks. Mainly, though,

my ideas are fantasy, although some pieces might contain a

message or, hopefully, some humour. I am also interested in

perspective and the effects of light.

I mostly draw on whole cloth then paint with fabric paints,

often adding appliqué. I then free machine stitch in quite a

lot of detail. I am a great believer in artistic license.

Leaving IV 51cm x 51cm

This series is a reaction to the death of my husband a year ago. Designing the work was

a great help and, as I went on, I decided I wanted each piece to convey any kind of

feeling of ‘leaving’ that might suggest itself to the viewer. It doesn’t necessarily have to

be a feeling of sadness and loss. Bewilderment was one of the emotions I felt at the time

and, for some reason, I kept imagining John disappearing into a vortex, or perhaps a

maelstrom of my confusion and I was compelled to make this piece.

I start with a drawing which I then size up using an app on my computer. Using a light

box I trace some basic lines onto white cotton and add further detail in pencil

afterwards. I paint with fabric paints and sometimes add appliqued pieces, which I paint

separately, to give depth and weight to the work. Each piece is then heavily free-motion

stitched using a lot of different colours and threads.

Leaving II 51cm x 51cm (opposite)



I am a stitcher; I just love to stitch, it is in my DNA, passed down

from my great grandmother, my grandmother and my mother.

I am happy to machine stitch but my favourite technique is

hand sewing, slow but meaningful. I use mostly recycled fabrics -

old sheets and tablecloths which are indigo dyed. I love the

rippling texture created by the stitches as well as the meditative

nature of the stitching.

My inspiration is very eclectic and can strike at any time. It might

be nature-based, architecture, a song lyric or a challenge

theme I take a fancy to. My trouble is too many ideas and not

enough time: I always have several pieces on the go at once

and frequently have to force myself to finish a piece before

starting another - deadlines are good.

Every day I stitched this piece,

I got up, made a cup of

coffee, then set the timer on

my phone for 15 minutes and

stitched away: a perfect start

to the day.

I used small scraps from my

stash, laid onto a heavy

weave African roll and hand

stitched them down in

Japanese boro style. I love the

undulating texture of the

completed diary which is

rolled onto a vintage bobbin

from one of the many Stroud

valleys’ woollen mills. This is my

fourth SlowStitch diary and

number five is already

growing. Happy stitching.

2019 Slow Stitch Diary

600cm x 15cm

(right and opposite)



I have always been interested in textiles in various

forms, which over the years has developed more

into quilting, initially traditional but now into more

contemporary stitching.

Living in Wiltshire, taking landscape photographs

and volunteering at the local archaeological

museum has caused the nearby landscape and the

artefacts buried within it to have a great influence

on my work. I use both commercial and hand-dyed

fabric and now I am also eco printing with leaves

and natural plant dyes.

Working with textiles I am conscious of the fragility of

fabrics compared to the durability of metal, pottery,

flints etc. Traces of fabric are rarely found so I have

been conducting experiments to compare the rates

of decay of fabric between the various elements of

air, water and the earth.

This new work follows on from a previous

piece which dealt with the ancient feet that

walked along a track.

‘Traces of the Past’ looks at the field patterns

shown on old maps and seen from the air. It

also looks at the language used for the

names of the old roads and trackways,

words that are becoming lost, words that

give meanings to the purpose of these

tracks: Packhorse way, Pilgrims path, Drove

roads and Corpse roads.

The trackway is hand stitched with linen

thread, with words of the names of old paths

and tracks machine stitched along it. Field

Boundaries are also machine stitched.

‘Sands of Time’ is inspired by fossil footprints

found in Norfolk which were washed away in

a storm. Rusted fabric overprinted with soles

of boots. Overlay of organdie with stencilled

sand patterns.

Sands of Time 69cm x 29cm x 7cm


Traces of the Past 3 (detail)

125cm x 25cm (opposite)

Unfolding Stories 4 Exhibitions

Due to the global pandemic caused by the Covid-19 Coronavirus at

the end of 2019 and throughout 2020, almost all global events where

people gather were cancelled.

Unfolding Stories 4 was scheduled to hang at the Lansdown Gallery

in Stroud, Gloucestershire in May 2020 and the West Country Quilt &

Textiles Show in Bristol in August 2020. Unfortunately neither of these

exhibitions were able to go ahead.

This catalogue is a record of the artwork that was created by many

of the artists of CQ West for this exhibition.

The Unfolding Stories 4 Artists

Alicia Merrett

Ana Kirby

Angela Knapp

Christine Seager

Claire Passmore

Dot Carter

Fran Griffiths

Jane Brooks

Judy Stephens

Kara Chambers

Lucy Poloniecka

Maria Harryman

Paula Simpson

Stephanie Crawford

Sylvia Hammond

Wendy Weller

Judith Barker

All artwork featured in this catalogue are copyright of the makers’ ©2020

*Special note: Members Helen Grist, Jan Hassard and Lisa deBoer

were unable to make work for this exhibition for personal reasons.

CQ West 2020

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