Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Tomorrow

Today is my last day as a 50 year old something and tomorrow a new decade of 60's begins. I am no longer one of the young ones in my quilt group unlike when I started . When I first went to a quilt group I had two  young children, somewhere along the way a third daughter came along and she used to come to AQA meetings with me because I wasn't going to miss a meeting. In those days  around 1995 there was a stellar group of quilters at AQA and meetings literally buzzed. Ynez my youngest daughter would be in her carry basket under my chair, and once I got so carried away with some demos going on that I completely forgot she was under the chair- until I suddenly realised and called out in panic- the last time I went to an AQA meeting last year, several reminded me of that event- it had stayed in their minds and had caused much amusement. Irving Green , bless his soul, used to say I had such a beautiful quiet baby because I exposed her to the hubbub of quilterly noise, whilst  with his baby granddaughter he had to tip toe around for fear of waking the child. I don't know, but I have to say these things seem almost like yesterday.

I started quilting in 1989 and knew almost straight away I had found my passion. I had sewed and even embroidered as a teenager, I had also knitted and crocheted, making my own fairisle designs and  knitted motifs inspired by Jenny Kee- but when I made that first quilt, a grandmothers flower garden block variation from a Pauline Burbidge book, and even though I did not like the resulting quilt, as a result of the fabrics i chose - I had found what I  had wanted to do.

The passion stayed alive despite a few years ago when I really felt like bailing out and getting a full time job to pay the bills instead of the uncertainty of  income that quilting and teaching brings.I think my passion waned a bit because since 2008 I have been a single mum- and I found that the needs of teenage daughters and running a business was crazily hard- harder than when they were babies, teenagers do not have afternoon naps for a start, and I seemed to be in the car a lot of the time for one reason or another. It was a phase that all mothers go through and I have to say that despite the teenage years and their angst my girls have grown into beautiful, independent , talented young women, that I am incredibly proud of and who are following their own paths into the world . I could not ask for more.

And now I am house sitting the house of a friend in Le Triadou close to Montpellier. I spent time here in 2010 because in all reality I had struggled to find equilibrium after divorce. My friend Liwanag Sales ( also a quilter) had been through a similar thing, except she had more children , but together we talked and talked and talked away a lot of the bitterness that surrounds such events. It started me on another journey. The idea of creating a book that  talked about my creative process and how travel affected my creativity, because literally my suitcase is often my studio.I dilly dallied around with the idea when I returned to Australia, and the Sentinelle series intervened including a certificate course in desk top publishing which I loved. The Sentinelles somehow inspired people, though I never really exhibited the whole series in Australia- but people responded to their sense of spirituality and the opportunity to create a story in stitch. I never expected such a beautiful ethereal and  deeply moving exhibition would result.The work of  many other hands working with a linocut image I had made. It restarted me touring things again, which I had stopped doing in 2010.

Then my daughter studied Visual Communication and Design at RMIT and I have to say she pushed me to finally get the book made that I had been talking about. I had made pieces for it, I had kind of created a story, but I had not pulled it together in any coherent way. To create this book as a collaboration with my daughter Celeste  ( Celeste Galtry Creative)was a wonderful experience. She helped me with the Pozible fund raising campaign- which so many of you supported and made self publishing the book possible, and for which I am eternally grateful. She bossed me around, she kept my nose to the grindstone and she designed a beautiful book that sings of her aesthetic, but also showcases my work and the story I wanted to write. Then my good friend http://www.christinemoulin.fr/Christine Moulin did the translation so the book could be bilingual. I am very proud of what we all achieved and it was a huge learning curve. and I am thinking of embarking on another journey like it in a year or two. It combined two things- my love of textile and my love of books and being able to do it with my daughter and a good friend was a special experience.

Part of a series of work in that book , the Chartres chapter is being exhibited in Chartres from 12 March 2016- 20 March 2016- and I have to say it's a thrill to be able to show the Chartres inspired pieces in the place that inspired them. And then  onto Quilts en Beaujolais in April- it's the fourth time I have been  guest artist at the event and I am very grateful  for the support of  Monique and Geoff , but it also means I have to make new work!. Then in June I will also be exhibiting as a guest artist  along with some other incredibly talented textile artists at Forca Fil in Provence. How can I not love this southern part of France?



So I want to thank all of you - my readers, my friends, and my family who have been so supportive since I first started on this journey. When I began I had no idea, the many friends I would make, the laughter and the fun and the sheer hard work that would ensue, but all of you have helped and nurtured the creative part of my soul, you have kept me going when things were tough and you have kept my buoyed during those times and you have embraced my work so thank you!

And then last but not least- my daughter designed some Moo cards for me- which arrived this morning. Whilst I have had business cards in the past I always printed them myself- this is the first time I have had ones printed by a professional company. There is always room for a new thing! And I love them.( the cards are much nicer in reality- not a very good photograph by me)

So if you leave a comment- I would like to send one lucky reader a gift as my birthday gift to you. Your names will all be put in a hat and I shall send the winner something. I will close the comments on Sunday evening- french time .



24 comments:

Jenny said...

I was pleased you were able to share your story we have all diffent reasons why we take the road we do.
I was please to meet you at the European patchwork meeting last year and see some of your work.
I loved the show and hope to go again sometime

Marrie-jette said...

Van harte gefeliciteerd met je 60 ste verjaardag!
Hartelijke groet uit Nederland.

Lyn (in Kinglake) said...

Happy Birthday, Dijanne. Best wishes for the day, the coming year (and decade), and for all your endeavours in France - Lyn

Pam and Larry Field said...

Thank you, Dijanne, for sharing your story. I follow your blog and admire your work. You are an inspiration. My 2016 goal is to finish my Traveller''s Blanket. It will be travelling with me to Ecuador as we explore the country and looking for textiles. Feliz Campleanos, Pamala Page

Penny said...

Happy Birthday Dianne, 60 isn't so bad, wait until you get to my age!! I love your book, it is such an inspiration, love stitching your various stitcher is and you opened up a new world for me when I did your on line lino cutting class.

Penny said...

Sorry, didn't check what my tablet wrote, should be Djanne.

Meg said...

Dijanne, I first saw your work in a project published in one of the quilting magazines many years ago (can't even remember which one now) - a little quilt with turtles on it. Although it was a simple piece, it showed me some completely new ideas that were such an inspiration. I found your blog a few years later and have been delighted (and inspired further) ever since. I've had great fun joining your Sentinelle exhibitions and the Medieval Project and loved the international background you've given us in your blog. You've been the person whose work has given me the push to step off the beaten to find my own direction in this wonderful and varied world of quilting - so a very happy birthday to you with many more creative adventures ahead.

indigocarole said...

Happy Birthday Dijanne. Hope it's a good one. Mine was two weeks ago and now a year off the seventies! The sixties are a good decade. You realise how much you know and how much you have achieved, you especially. Keep on teaching and inspiring people. I'm looking forward to the next book already. xxx

Suzanne Gummow said...

Dijanne enjoy 60 as I think this decade will be your most creative -just keep doing and many things will fall into place. One day we will met again so enjoy your Birthday and I love reading about your journey.

Shirley Goodwin said...

I too struggled with turning 60, and for the same reasons. That was 15 months ago and I'm over it now! I often think fondly of the short time I spent with you and Liwanag at Le Triadou, and our visit to the wonderful Dufy paintings at Sete. I think it was 1999 when I took your dyeing class at Queenstown, and I'm sure that helped inspire me. Keep on being creative and your age will not matter.

Wild Yarns and Stuff said...

Sixties are your most creative and exciting time, just wait and see! Make the most of it!We ll have some great fireside yarns in the next few years!

Kate said...

Love hearing your story. Separation and divorce can be devastating, but also liberating. I admire your resilience and creativity!

Dentellebleue said...

Heureux anniversaire Dijanne, je suis heureuse pour toi de tout le chemin parcouru, qui, s'il a été semé d'embuches et de difficultés, a fait de toi une si belle personne!
Puisque tu es en France pour quelques mois, j'espère avoir l'occasion de te rencontrer, à Chartres très probablement.
Merci de continuer à nous enchanter avec tes travaux textiles, et tes couleurs. Amitiés de Ginette

els said...

Happy Birthday Dijanne. I agree with the others that the sixties are going to be your best and most creative time. I loved reading your story and meeting you in Beaujolais 2 years ago. Will see you again in April

Judy Martin said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful story in this post. Much of it sounds very familiar to my own - I was one of the youngest in my quilt guild meeting for so long - but now I am in my 60's. We have been at this a long time - and I am still not tired of it. Best of luck with your book.
x

Diane said...

Happy birthday and thanks for sharing your journey. I love reading about your travels!!

Christina said...

Dijanne, you once asked me what my favourite colour was. When I said electric blue you wrote 'what is electric blue without orange' and sent me both, I still have your note. I read your blog and can see the sights, one day I will have a workshop with you and we will play together.

Happy birthday for tomorrow, you are an inspiration.

Christina

claire waguespack fenton said...

Welcome to 60! Thanks for sharing your story. I've long admired your tenacity and, of course, your work! Happy Birthday and best wishes!

claire waguespack fenton said...

Welcome to 60! Thanks for sharing your story. I've long admired your tenacity and, of course, your work! Happy Birthday and best wishes!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dijanne,

We have had a very similar life. I will be sixty in October and I have also a marriage that ended. Thank you for sharing your story.
You are very talented and with your hard work, I admire you very much.
Have a great day!!
Marion Shaw

Margaret Cooter said...

Happy birthday, Dijanne - may your path have many wonderful vistas!
Thanks to a postcard swap on AQL or was it Threadends (a long time ago!) I have one of your hellfire postcards on my inspiration wall. It really does inspire me, as does a small quilt I bought at a show you attended in England ... also quite a long time ago.
cheers, margaret

Margaret said...

Happy Birthdy Dijanne..wishing you a year of wonderful experiences....hae folowed your blog for a long time...love your work!

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday, Dijanne! Thank you for sharing your story. Divorce was devastating for me, too, but new, wonderful doors opened . . . Or, like you, I made them open . . . I have enjoyed your book immensely, you and Celeste created a treasure. Best wishes as you enter the new decade. Victoria

Chrissy said...

Great summary of your life in the last few years Dijanne. Don't enter my name in the draw I have been lucky before. Enjoy your creativity in Framce.