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IN RETIREMENT....Allison James

Updated: Mar 23

I decided to take up textiles full time, after many years as an academic, latterly as a Professor of Sociology. Aged 60, I felt that it was time to do something completely different. Or, in fact, to do full time what I had always enjoyed doing, but had had little time over the years to develop. I embarked on a series of City and Guilds evening classes in Embroidery, dabbled in felting for a while, and then I took some quilting classes. I had always loved the textured feel of quilts, but it was not until I discovered Art Quilting, a year or so ago, that I really felt I had found my home. Before that I had wrestled with getting my points to match only to find that I got bored easily after making one or two of the same block! And I certainly didn't need numerous king sized bed quilts! But then I discovered improv and art quilting and had a light bulb moment. These approaches offered me the freedom to design and create with shape and colour and to puzzle out for myself just how to put my fabric pieces together. I love the serendipity of improv - the chance side by side of colour combinations and pattern making- and I like, too, the fact that making an art quilt can be a very personal expression of memories, thoughts and feelings. I'm still learning and experimenting with each piece I do and I'm still trying to find my "voice' as a textile artist but I cannot think of a better way to spend my retirement: to become a novice and apprentice and to start over!

This piece is called "Flower Meadow" and was inspired by a field of poppies and wild flowers.


You can see more of my work on my website is: allisonjamestextiles.co.uk

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