Three Ladies, two Men and an Open Studio

10 June 2015

Well I survived hanging my first Open Studio (or indeed show of any kind - I don't think holding the screws when we hung the quilts at FOQ last year counts!)

And I have to report, dear reader, that those two days were two of the most exhausting I have ever had.

And I also have to report that, despite there being three of us, we need to oomph and organisation of my good friends, Rob and Andy, who came up to help us hang.  Without them I honestly do not know how we would have done it.

And it did not help my state of mind that my dear Dad - he of the artistic genes - died the day before we started to hang (but that is another story - let's just stick with the open studio for now).

So we three at Mix3d Stitch were like rabbits in the headlights - somewhat paralysed by the enormity of the task. But 2 men with step ladders and a hammer and a tape measure and we were rocking and rolling.

The space divided neatly into three areas (no forward planning there! ) so Yvonne took the 'living area', I took the 'dining area' and Jane took the 'Kitchen area'.  And that works so brilliantly with our individual styles - Yvonne is more traditional I would say, my pieces and then Jane's more quirky 'folk' pieces.  The work looks stunning hung and it all works so well with the other work.

Looking from my space down to Jane's.

Yvonne's work over the mantel piece.

Looking from my space into Yvonne's. Note a tension rod is ideal to hang a quilt forward in an alcove (for the observant, yes that is 'Horizons - al Zahara' back from it's travels)

Smaller pieces by Yvonne on the bureau.

Jane's stunning quilts.

Jane's end - and there is another bit of inspiration! Black zip boxes from IKEA are brilliant for smaller pieces to make them stand out.  And that is not wall paper, but her printed cloth. But we all think it would make great tiles. Shout if you are interested - we can work wonders. 

A few of my framed pieces. 

Jane's 'Jarrow' quilt (paper on brown paper - my sort of quilt) sneaked into Yvonne's space.

So then we had the private viewing on the Friday evening - with no clear idea how many people were going to turn up.  Honestly?  I anticipated about 6-10. Well, dear reader, we ran out of booze (and we were watering it down with peach juice to make Bellinis - posh!)

And, to top it all off, we sold stuff on the Friday evening - that was completely unexpected I can tell you.

Then on Saturday we were open properly for our first OS.

Again, we had no idea how many to expect.  Yes there is signage all over the place, yes I have been tweeting and Facebooking like mad (as have the main Open Studios organisers) and yes, my good friend Annabel of 'Through our Hands' did a lovely piece about us, but even so we still had no idea how it would go.

Well - what can I say? We had a steady stream of people all day, most of whom stayed at least 3/4 of an hour, studied the work, asked us lots of lovely questions, drank tea, ate Rhubarb and Date cake (Jane, we all need that recipe!) and generally were just lovely.  And we sold more work - now that is a great endorsement.

And most special of all, our second visitor had travelled all the way from north London (we gave her husband tea and sat him in the garden) just to see us!  She had read about us from Through our Hands. Now that is a heavy responsibility - but she was just lovely and, though a professional artist herself, was extremely complementary.

And we did it all again the following day!

And we are doing it all again this weekend too - and if the weather holds we might get the indigo vat out.

So if you are in the North Bucks area do pop in. We are open 11-5 both Saturday and Sunday.  I cannot promise the Rhubarb and Date cake - we ate it all - but there will be tea and I am sure we can rustle up another cake!


  1. Congratulations. I must say that it looks really good and obviously was well worth all the effort.

    1. Maggi - thanks so much!

      It was exhausting. I highly recommend Rob and Andy! Vital for all such occasions!

  2. Huge congratulations to all three of you very hard working and talented ladies. I'm gutted to have missed Friday evening but hoping to pop over some time this weekend.....fingers crossed. X

    1. Thanks Linda - it would be great to meet you at last. And Leadra too if she is staying with you. That would me just fantastic, though I might get a bit star struck in your company!

      I can tell Leandra just how fantastic her paint is!

      Anyway - hopefully Jane will have created another cake of genius by then so we can feed you cake too!

      Fingers crossed

      H xx

  3. Congratulations on staging a great event. Everything looks beautifully displayed. Thank you for the idea of the tension pole. Why didn't I think of that one? I've got a pojagi that would hang beautifully at my patio door on one of those (one side is fixed).

    I'm really sorry to read of your loss. xx

    1. Thanks Julie - tension rods are a brilliant way to hang smaller quilts. A stroke of genius! (ha ha)

  4. I'm so pleased that you've all had such a successful start, and I have to say that your exhibition looks really exciting and very professional from your photos. Good luck with next weekend, I'm sure you'll be just as exhausted again.....hopefully!!

  5. I have been anxiously awaiting your report and I couldn't be more impressed/pleased/excited for you! That quilt at the top of the post - oh, it is so beautiful and clever the way the individual pieces are spaced with the leaves as bridges of sorts. And all your other work looks so professional, so well presented that one would think you do this every day. The way the three of you have filled the space, well, it looks every bit as good as any I saw on our local open studio tour last year. Kudos and congratulations, well done, well attended, well patronized. Here's hoping next weekend will be as successful. And yes, this sort of thing does totally drain you. Feet up, gird those loins, then hit the ground running again in a few days.

    And of course, doing all this with your dad so recently gone - well, we do what we must do and I gather his spirit helped you carry on. Hugs from way too far away...

  6. It all looks great, hope you have a successful weekend! Steph x

  7. So glad to hear that is was a success. I'll need to make it up there next year.

  8. So glad it went well for you - and very sorry to hear about your Dad.

  9. Hi, just catching up...just back from America and my brother's funeral. So, I do want to say I am very sorry to hear about your dad. I hope that when you have time to stop to think that you will remember the special things.
    So glad for your open studio success. All the best for the next stint.
    Sandy in Bracknell

  10. Looks lovely Hilary!!

    I wish I was a bit closer geographically!!

    x C

  11. Your work looks great as usual. So sorry to hear about your Dad - thinking of you x

  12. It looks great Hilary - so pleased it went well and that you sold some work! And very sorry to hear about your dad. :(

  13. Thank you to everyone who has left a comment and so sorry that I have not been able to reply to everyone. I will post an update on the OS very soon, just as soon as a few photo gremlins have been sorted out. But I can tell you, to date it has been a blast! And such a confidence builder. We are all up for doing it again next year!!

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