Friday, July 13, 2018

Renaissance Red and Angels


 I have  restarted work on the red renaissance traveller's blanket in order to finish it for exhibition later this month. Am thrilled to have been invited to  be guest exhibitor at the Melbourne Craft and Quilt Fair  from 26-29 July. It's wonderful to show the work again as in all reality it has taken more than a years work to finish all the pieces, and working on a daily basis. I would love to sell them but I also want to exhibit them and therein lies a dilemma for sure.

​ This  red blanket is inspired  by a month spent in Florence in 2015​ and I spent days walking around the city. The religious art became a little overwhelming, everywhere stunningly beautiful art so I decided to focus on angels. The angel I have used in the red blanket actually was a smalls statue in the museum attached to the San Croce Basilica, and seemed somewhat forlorn with its broken arms and sweet expression and then I found a quote from W B Yeats "be not inhospitable to strangers, lest they be angels in disguise" , a kind of perfect motto when travelling really.



The round motifs have been cut from the  linocut print of the Davanzati tree which was inspired by the frescos on the wall of the bedchamber in the Davanzati Palace in Florence This motifs almost sparkle and seem rich and opulent, just as you might imagine the renaissance to be.



There is still time to join the Traveller's Blanket on-line class which starts on 1 August.  I hand out extensive notes via pdf file and Open a private Facebook group for discussion. I hope to inspire you to tell your own stories in stitch and cloth. Someone ( Linda Clift) coined the phrase nomadic stitching , I like it a lot as my book about two Traveller's Blanket in French is called Plaids Nomades, and I do feel like a nomad at times-having to work out of my suitcase for at least 6 months of the year. The blankets are a perfect way to keep hands and thoughts occupied whilst waiting or travelling.

Nomadic Stitching - stitching whilst on the move, wherever a wait of time occurs. Be not idle, fill it with a stitch or two. Time passing by the windows as we sit on trains and buses, on planes, in waiting stations, cold winds heckling at the edge of our clothing, or heat embracing our armpits, or forehead perspiration starting up the body's air conditioner.

And yet a gentle rhythm offers reflection , a moments pause in the passing imagery; a willing to have our own rhythm in this whirling fast moving world.

Or simply enjoying quiet repose whilst your hand moves gently through the cloth creating another mark and another mark that together will make a story.

The cost of the course is $75AUS and encompasses four lessons over an eight week period though I keep the group open for longer as the work is a slow process.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Melbourne Craft and Quilt Fair

You could be forgiven for thinking I had fallen off the planet, but in all reality I sat and stitched and stitched to try and finish all the traveller's blankets for the Sydney Craft & Quilt Fair at the end of June. I almost got there- the last one is almost finished but not quite but I hung it anyway. However it will be finished for the Melbourne Craft & quilt Fair  from 26-29 July. I have had a week off from stitching since returning from Sydney, and have done a big tidy up in my shed and also have been burning off some of the dead wood on my block. My hands needed a rest.

I also hope that I will be able to blog more regularly from now on, as I hope some of my connectivity problems might be resolved!

So the Waste not Want not indigo piece is finished- it took some stitching and measures 120 cms squarish. This piece is worked through two layers only so I had to work carefully to prevent any puckering of the stitches. The whole background has been quilted with  running stitch.




And then I worked on a piece using the naturally dyed fabrics and threads that the Stitching Project sent me some time ago. I thought long and hard about this one as the colours were out of my comfort zone, being soft and pastel like. Eventually I decided that I would use the woodblock I purchased in a woodcarvers shop in Delhi and make my own linocut of a boabab tree- trees of life from different cultures. When I began I felt I was not going to like it at all but it grew on my as I worked ( I suppose trees have that effect!) and then when I had finished I decided it needed some Indian bling so I added the little diamanti flowers for some zing.



So I have decided to run another Traveller's Blanket on-line class starting 1 August 2018. My new notes are entirely updated now to include more recent work and as I said hopefully connectivity  problems will no longer be an issue. The class  will consist of four  pdf files outlining how I work and giving dyeing instructions as well as stitching ideas, as well as story telling ideas. I will also set up a private Facebook group for sharing and discussion. I keep this group open for quite some time as I realise the making of a traveller's blanket is quite a long process! The cost for the course is $75AUS