Friday, April 29, 2005


Detail of Persephone's Rug for the Underworld
This is a detail of the stitching I have been doing on Persephone's Rug for the Underworld. Lately I have been doing a lot of double stitching or quilting to get more of a line.I like to use threads that show up as I think if I am going to do that amount of stitching I may as well see it! I also like to use rayon machien embroidery threads- that have that bit of extra sheen which at a distance makes the fabric seem almost velvet. I don't normally work on a couple of pieces at a time but as I am scrambling to get as much done as I can before I go to Europe next week, I have a couple of pieces on the go.

Today was another 10,000 dedicated walking step day.It really is starting to become a habit! Posted by Hello

Teaching In Europe

Musings of a textile itinerant
On my screen everything looks haywire so sorry for the double posting but I cnanot get into Blogger to edit anything- I can't even get to Blogger except through one link named Blog This.

7 May 2005- dyeing workshop at the Lapjesgaard, Amstelveen, the Netherlands
8 May 2005- machine quilting and applique- class full
13 May 2005- machine quilting and applique- Heerle- contact Shirley Jacobs-
17-19 May 2005- Tifaifai ( 2 day workshop) and Journal quilts(one day workshop) at the Patchwork Studio in Harelbeke , Belgium- Belgium
21-22 May 2005- Breaking All the Rules at Quilt Zauberei-Dinslaken, Germany
24-26May- private lessons
27-28 May 2005- Tifaifai- at De Kantbloem in Nieuwe Tongen, Overflakkee, the Netherlands
1 June 2005- Hoofddorp Quilters, the Netherlands
2-3 June 2005 - transfer dyeing and stitching at the Log Cabin in Hillensberg, Germany
4-5 June 2005- Tifaifai at De Lapjesgaard- see contact details for 7 May
9-10 June 2005- Dyeing fabric at de Stofmeid in Drenthe the Netherlands
14-15 June 2005- Inspiration in Fabrication- workshop in conjucntion with an exhibition I am having with my friend Annelies Elburg called Ondersteboven from 15-19 June 2005 at the Pannekoekenboerderij, Erve Brooks, Gelselaar, Gelderland, the Netherlands.
If you are interested and cannot contact any of the shops/contacts you can always email me

My Inner European

Musings of a textile itinerant
Here is a little quizz I got from DebR's blog

Your Inner European is French!

Smart and sophisticated.

You have the best of everything - at least, *you* think so.

I knew it- it had to be French- and I am working on getting something like a shape to go with it- did a dedicated 10,000 steps of walking yesterday ( that is about 7 kilometres) quite apart from the normal to and fro of the daily.

Musings of a textile itinerant

Musings of a textile itinerant

For some reason I cannot go in and edit at Blogger as I was going to add some comments to the pcitures. This is the Hellfire XVII piece I have been working on- it is quite large - about 50 inches square. A lot of stitching will go in around the shapes, but I am going to do that with the batting in place as I am running out of time before I leave next week. The stitching will accentuate the shapes more and bring out the tree shapes more- I am hoping.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Hellfire XVII Posted by Hello

Detail hellfire XVII Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


This is another piece of tapa I bought in New Zealand a few years ago. The inclusion of animal shapes seems to be a more recent addition to tapa making, and the pattern on the tail almost loks like a motif you get on greek urns.
I had hopd to place a pic of my Hellfire XVII progress- as the assymetric borders are on and the tie dye is on, but I ran out of time to photograph before it got dark. Had to do that walking !!!!

I have been meaning to post a link for Ozquilt Inc for awhile, as I was involved in the set-up process some years ago, thought the main shaker and mover was Barbara Macey ( who unfortunately does not have a website) and am still a committee member. Barbara was making contemporary quilts of her own invention many years ago, and when I first came to quiltmaking in 1990 her name was usually mentioned in whispered awe. She was the first Australian to have a quilt in Quilt National. Ozquilt is Australia's organisation for contemporary quilters and it has a members gallery that has been juried, as well as a print newsletter.Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


The reds
Finally- everyone back to school and a day to myself! I did quite a lot of dyeing, mainly blues and reds as I have to wait for more dye to arrive. The blues in the photos are not as nice as they are in the flesh- they actually have quite a lot of turquoise.
I think I have worked out the border for Hellfire XVII- but of course it involves more tie dyeing- so that will take at least another night!
Karen- you asked about my masters work- yes I did get it back eventually- did you see it up? I have no idea what it looked like all together- my space where I work is too small to get any idea. The work has gone off to the photographers as I want to put in for some residency applications as any kind of permanent teaching gig looks unlikely except for summer and winter school type things and of course workshops through quilt organisationsetc . I am teaching a five day workshop at the Murrumbidgee School of Creative Arts
from 3-8 July 2005- in which people will take white cloth , dye it , print it and design their own original quilt and hopefully get pretty close to completing it!

On My Washing Line Today Posted by Hello

Monday, April 25, 2005

Anzac Today

No pictures today ( or maybe later)- it is a day when Australian and New Zealanders remember all their war dead by commemorating a futile attempt to take a small beach at Anzac Cove in the Dardenelles - known as Gallipolli. It was a political and military disaster and involved the sacrifice and maiming of 450,000 lives of young men including the Turkish soldiers. The cove had to be evacuated in the end which amazingly was done without the loss of life. It is seen as the 'blooding' of our nation. However for me one of the most poignant comments on war comes from a young and brilliant English poet, Wilfred Owen, who died on 4 November 1918 in the Somme, days before the armistice. I read it out loud once at an Anzac day ceremony when I was still in High school ( and had been asked to deliver a speech on behalf of the school- I simply read the poem because it said it all) and the local RSL were so outraged that they wrote a letter of complaint to the school, but as the school was able to point out- it was written by a soldier who had made the ultimate sacrifice in battle- his life. I feel for everyone who has lost someone in any war, however the killing of young men and women is not a solution to anything, as wars have proved time and time again.
So here goes;
Dulce et Decorum Est
Bent Double, like beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed,coughing like hags,we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned out backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep.Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod.All went lame ,all blind;
Drunk with fatigue;deaf even to the hoots;
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! Gas! Quick,boys!- An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime-
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
Under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight
He plunges at me,guttering, choking,drowning.

If in some smothering dream, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face,like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear ,at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Bitter as the cud
Of vile,incurable sores on innocent tongues,-
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie:Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria Mori.
from Wilfred Owen, Poems, ed., Edmund Blunden, (1969, Chatto and Windus, London)

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Another day

Hellfire XVII in progress
We have been busy today. First Collin went and picked the grapes early this morning because the birds were making big inroads on what was left. Then we crushed them in the grape/apple crusher and we have about 22 litres of wine from our own grapes- it should have been way more but for the birds... Then we crushed piles and piles of apples, also to crush and make apple wine with. That is still in progress- it all takes time. Even though we do not have that much land in the big picture- about one hectare and not all of it is used for vegetables or orchard ,at this time of year it takes a fair whack of time to process all the produce. I can't really keep up with it all, but try the best i can.

Made some progress with Hellfire XVII - managed to burn the holes in the fabric and then fix the fire fabric behind the forest fabric- so it will be a reverse applique. I had wanted to do more but then we got stuck into crushing apples.

And Debra I went and looked at the 27th of January pic- I think I must have run out of time because I can't find any pictures of the fabric. I have a lot of dyeing and printing to do before 5 May when I leave for Europe. I will post a list of where I am teaching in the next few days and links if I have them.Posted by Hello

Pressing the grapes Posted by Hello

picking grapes Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 23, 2005


Looking over my back fence

Debra asked me about dyed fabric I promised to show before I went to England and then didn't- I cannot rememeber the fabric now- sorry. But I did dye some more fabric today trying to make a fabric that was more subtle with greys and ochres to make another hellfire quilt. I will then burn the edges onto what look like tree trunks and go from there. Whilst i was photographing the sun was behind the fabric and backlit it in a lovely way- the fabric of itself is backlit in a way but the actual backlighting made it different.

I also want to say thanks to the people who told me where they had come from, in looking at my blog- and thanks for all the lovely comments as well!

I have devised a little walking circuit on our land ( basically I go around and around trying to do Junott's 10,000 steps- not quite yet there but up to a regular 5 kilometres)- everyone I have told says how boring- but I love looking at minutae and tonight as the sun was going down I had to break the walk and get the camera to show you some of the view from my back fence- it's so peaceful and the light at this time of day is magic- quite different to anywhere else in the world.Sometimes looking at the minutae makes you realise how special a place can be- and I must admit I am getting ideas for more lace.

Backlit cloth literally Posted by Hello

More dyeing Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Advantage of being a Woman textile Artist


The leaves of the persimmon have lovely autumn colour at th emoment- usually it is not quite as briliant as this but then this year it has not had any fruit.

Feeling a bit disgruntled today and whilst hand stitching on the net and squares piece outside in the sunshine nutted out the The Advantages of Being a Woman Textile Artist inspired of course by the Guerilla Girls - so here is my take on it:

The advantages of being a woman textile artist!

Work without selling your work except as a tourist curiousity to other women and an occasional knowing man

Never ever having to be in shows with men

Having an escape from the fibre textile world to hold half a dozen jobs to pay for the printing of postcards ( to sell because no one wants to buy textiles but do want to have the pretty pictures of the textile work as long as they don’t have to touch it)and building websites and traveling to seminars that tell you how to be a successful artist run by organizations that get the government grants originally meant for artists or fringe desert dwellers

Having the opportunity to use your skills as a textile artist for the creation of family heirlooms and baby blankets for near and dear family

Not having to choke on big fat cigars for that would make the textiles too smelly- and not working in Italian suits- what is wrong with bog coats or Bedouin tents that hide all manner of gravitational age manifestations that Italian suits don’t.

Never being stuck in a tenured teaching position- textiles belongs to the underclass of grannies and misguided women who sit in corners quietly stitching away at family heirlooms…

Having more time to stitch when your mate dumps you for someone younger- stitch the bitch! And thus create feminist subversive stitched family heirlooms.

Never being included in any revised versions of art history for all the work is still hidden away in the closets and dowry boxes because they are family heirlooms.

Having to undergo the embarrassment of having the length of your stitches and their overall neatness judged as indicative of your genius as a textile artist.

Getting your picture in an art magazine as some kind of modern day version of Whistler’s mother (who does not appear to know how to stitch) by sitting and myopically stitching in a rocking chair- or otherwise being well disguised in the desert as a Bedouin tent.

©2005 Dijanne Cevaal

Anyway my Print Gocco stuff arrived but the fabric I ordered last week hasn't- I have metres and metres of fabric to dye and dwindling time in which to do it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


More auditioning of cloth- this one is indian muslin- very light weight and the length is about 55 inches by 40 inches wide. I intend to hand stitch the entire cloth , in straight or running stitch and I am using a cotton curtaining flannel as my batting- it is lovely and soft to stitch through. I am afraid I am totally besotted by rich rich colour and ethnic textiles. Whilst i was contemplating this one I think another Hellfire fell out of the sky but as I am waiting on more cloth to arrive I can't dye the fabric to see if I can bring off what I am visualising.

I was looking at Sharon Boggon's site In A minute Ago on the weekend and noted that she had posted a link for the website she built for Tilleke Schwartz and noticed that she was participating in a workshop in Finland called Northern Fibres. The website has some very interesting work of all the participants in the workshop which is still to take place- I would really love to do something like this - and enjoy that kind of interaction and stimulation- I often feel isolated here, and there is just me and my computer. I also found the work to be interesting in that it is much more related to fibre rather than textile as such, which got me to pondering- I am hopelessly besotted by textiles ( though I love fibre) but how does textile fit into the kind of contemporary practice as evidenced by the work on the website. How does my work fit into that kind of sphere?- and indeed does it at all?- am I hopelessly stuck on the antiquated side of textiles? What also intrigued me was that apart from Tilleke Schwartz' work no other work really referenced the act of stitching much- by this I mean hand sewing or the act of sewing as such- though other work referenced weaving and knitting- other ways of creating cloth. Is making a quilt an outmoded way of dealing with textile?Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Persephone's Rug for the Underworld

Persephone's rug for the Underworld
This quilt has been a bit slow in the making- i had all the bits of cloth I wanted to use but somehow could not strike a balance. Then this morning on my walk I had an ah ha! moment. There is a creeper fern that growns in some parts of the dense undergrowth- it has very fine fronds that are quite stiff to touch ( so good printing material). For some reason I always think of ferns as some kind of underworld thing. I remember when we first came to Australia we could not believe all the bracken and ferns that grew in the bush in Bonegilla- ferns is not something you see much of in the Netherlands. Ergo I always associate ferns with the underworld because from Europe ,Australia is kind of under the world- well on the other side anyway. So i thought what if I printed some of the fern leaves and then the stripey dyed fabric could be the underworld and so this is Persephone's Rug for the Underworld- which I am sending to the top part of the world for an exhibition.Now to the quilting!

Some of you will have noticed that I have a site meter on my blog- it's been interesting seeing who visits( not that you are identified, but the country of the server is indicated sometimes as well as the time zone). So since being back people from Germany, France, Belgium,The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Slovakia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Austria, Switzerland,Italy, Spain the United States, Canada , Argentina, Russia, India, Guam, Thailand, Singapore, New Zealand and some more that I cannot recall have visited the blog. I must admit to being a little intrigued as to whom these people are and how they are finding the blog. So please if you have a moment, I would love to know.,Posted by Hello

printing with the fern Posted by Hello

Ah ha! Posted by Hello

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Produce from our Garden

The four pictures posted today are all of produce picked in the last day ( and it is not even all of it!) I have on the stove, pasta sauce brewing, in the oven slow roasted tomatoes, the apples will be eaten as well as made into wine, we will probably pick the reisling grapes today, and the quinces - I can't find my fruit leather sheets that go with my dehydrator- so I might have to make leather in the oven. The pumpkins we will store. Then we are having a get together with friends and having a bonfire- so I will take roasted garden vegetables- zucchini, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant,capsicums, chillie, onion, garlic, pumpkin, sprinkled with fresh herbs and olive oil and roasted and some tabbouleh- we have loads of parsley.
Not a lot of sewing today- but tomorow everyone in my household goes back to school! And then I shall have to put the nose to the grindstone in a serious way as on 5 May I go to Europe for a stint of taching in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany and an exhibition with my friend Annelies Elburg at a Saxon pancake farm Erve Brooks in Gelselaar, Gelderland from June 15- June 19. And I am giving a workshop there on 13/14 June called Inspiration in Fabrication. We did an exhibition there last year too.Posted by Hello

Quinces Posted by Hello

Pumpkins Posted by Hello

Apples and apples Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 16, 2005


Journal Cover Close-up
I decided that i would look at what books were on the shelf above my sewing machine- and yes indeed items fall from time to time as I sew.... So i thought I would share the titles- as you can no doubt see I am besotted by textiles . I don't actually own many quilts books, although I collect catalogues of exhibtions of contemporary quilts whenever I can. I tend to cross the bridge of" how to" on my own which means I often have back to front ways of doing things but it can also mean that sometimes you take that extra leap as you confront the problem with the skills that you have and then have to surmount your lack skills in order to create what you visualise.

On My Bookshelf:I am sorry no ISBN’s unless people are desperate

  1. Contemporary Quilts- by Sandra Meech
  2. Shibori- The Innovative Art of Japanese Resist Dyeing- Yoshiko Wada et al
  3. World Textiles- John Gillow
  4. Au Fil du Desert-( Bedouin tents)- a catalogue
  5. Complex Cloth- Jane Dunnewold
  6. The Ultimate Stencil Book ( over the top stenciling ) –Althea Wilson
  7. Design and Practice for Printed Textiles- Andrea McNamara and Patrick Snelling
  8. Tie Dyed Textiles of India- Veronica Murphy and Rosemary Crill
  9. Andrinople, le Rouge Magnifique-Mulhouse Museum publication
  10. Bonnard- Julian Bell
  11. African Designs- Rebecca Jewel
  12. Australian Colour- Leo Meier
  13. Textiles- The Art Institute of Chicago
  14. Et Avec des Rubans,Qu’est-ce Que Vous Faites- catalogue
  15. Olga Prins Lubanski- catalogue
  16. Sari to Sarong- National gallery of Australia catalogue
  17. Batik- De Ziel van Java- Sukama Jawa
  18. African Textiles- John Picton
  19. Tonga Maori- catalogue
  20. Darkness and Light- William Robinson
  21. Historic Australian Quilts- Annette Gero
  22. Pacific Tapa- Auckland Museum catalogue
  23. Le Boubou Cette Chic- catalogue
  24. Avis Higgs- Douglas Lloyd-Jenkins( an mid forties Australian textile designer)
  25. Craft Arts International #35
  26. Beaux Arts- catalogue
  27. Icoane Romanesti- icons given to me by Georgetta Ina Statescu
  28. Terres et Peuple d’Afrique
  29. European Art Quilts II- catalogue
  30. l’Exposition de Quilts Francaise- catalogue
  31. The Greatest T-Shirt Book- Carol Taylor
  32. Frida- the Biograhpy of Frida Kahlo- Haydn Herrera
  33. Abstract Designs- Amor Fenn ( old book this one!)
  34. Historic Textile Fabrics- Richard Glazer ( another old book)
  35. Patterns From Paradise- Vicky Pogginolli
  36. Tifaifai and Quilts of Polynesia- Joyce Hammond
  37. Bright earth- Phillip Ball
  38. Textiles; A Classification of Technique- Alfred Buhler ( from the Basel Museum)
  39. Feel Free- Husqvarna catalogue ( I am the cover girl!)
  40. Keeping the World Sewing- Husqvarna catalogue
  41. Dans la Luminiere de Giverny- catalogue given to me by Jacqueline Govin owner of an extraordinary collection of catalogues
  42. Quilt Triennale- catalogue
  43. Patterns Book II- Jean Allen
  44. Patterns Book III- Jean Allen
  45. Leslie Gabrielse-Applique. A book about his work
  46. Musee de la Moyen Age- catalogue of the Cluny Museum in Paris
  47. Internationaler Quiltwettbewerb und Quiltaustellung
  48. Karl Blossfeldte
  49. William Dalrymple- City of the Djinns
  50. The Olive Grove- Patrice Newell
  51. The World of Ottoman Art- Micthell Levey
  52. The Diary of Frida Kahlo
  53. European Art Quilts III- catalogue
  54. Fiers Magyars- catalogue ( on Magyar felted coats)
  55. American Art Quilts 2002- catalogue
  56. Landscape and Memory- Simon Schama
  57. Indigenous Australian Art in the National Gallery of Victoria- catalogue
  58. Ethnic Style- Miranda Innes
  59. Islamic Textiles- Patricia Baker

Posted by Hello

Journal Vover Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 14, 2005

My workroom

the left hand side of my workroom

Today was supposed to be a day of loads of work but instead it ended up being a stressful day worrying about what had happened to my work for my masters exhibition which I needed last weekend but still hadn't turned up despite my requesting it since being back. In any case it has been found but I won't have it for a talk I am giving on Saturday and I won't have time to have it properly photographed before I go to Europe in early May- so I am not especially happy about it all.
Also there are some people I email with that I know read the blog- if you haven't heard from me it is because someone in my house managed to disappear my mailbox and address book ( whilst I was away)- so please email me !

I have posted some pictures of my workroom- as you can see it is not a very large space in which to work and is the reason I need a shed/studio- but nothing much is happening on that front. The footings for the shed have gone in, part of the structure has been screwed together, but we need someone to help with putting up the structure- everyone seems to be busy at the moment :-( It is also tidier than usual- I just haven't enough space to put things and I haven't really got an incredibly large fabric stash- just lots of books, journals and other bits and pieces of textile. The back part of the room is covered by bookcases filled with books- and I use it as the design wall by tucking bits of fabric amongst the books. Ohh and it is not hoar frost on the outside of the windows- it's spider webs ( which are rife in the Otways because there are so many flies and well you know the story fo the cow that swallowed the fly etc- I think it was secretly written by an Otways resident)-there used to be a black spider that lived inside the window on the wall actually , I didn't have the heart to disappear it as it used to come out when I was sewing on the machine and kind of sit bouncing on its web as the machien vibrated the wall and its web ( i know this is every acrachnophobics nightmare so I am sorry)- however Collin came into my room and squashed it one day trying to be helpful.

Hopefully tomorrow will be more productive- at least I know my work that was 3 years in gestation and making has turned up.

.Posted by Hello

The right hand side of my work room Posted by Hello

Monday, April 11, 2005

Wall Mural

Grafitti on the wall in Geelong

A couple of weeks ago I was in Geelong photographing a building for Collin, and in trying to get all the angles on the building I came across this wall mural in a little side street. It is not such a great photo as it was hard to get a position which showed its quirkiness but the tower of the building along the pipe was the real building I was trying to photograph- and art deco building one of the few still standing in Geelong.

Am disappearing for 3 days- have to go visit my mother in Gembrook ( the other side of Melbourne) so the kids and I are going to the revamped National Gallery of Victoria for an hour or so, then see if there is anything to enthuse teenagers in Swan Street Richmond ( seconds wharehouse of most fashion design stores) and Ikea. We have nothing like this close to where I live so it will be rush rush race race and I don't like shopping!
So I am taking some hand work with me.
Yesterday was a long day at Tallarook ( and no walk as we left at the crack of dawn) it was 36 degrees celsius- phew that is hot for April! The work of the Zigzags was interesting- they had each done 21, A3 sized pieces ( double legal standard size) and each had explored a technique- so 21 pieces , 21 techniques( as it's main focus though some pieces obviously had more than one technique). Susan Matthews, June Brown and Yvonne Voss are all established artists so this wasn't a raw beginners experimentation with different techniques and materials. It was interesting how they used them and overall I thought some pieces were successful whilst others were less so and did not suit the 'style' of the individual artist. I enjoyed seeing the exhibition but think thematic explorations are more successful- it allows each artists' voice much clearer expression- which goes to show that technique can dwarf the voice - and using more techniques and latest gadgets and materials does not always produce something that sits well with an individual artists work. Having said that, I do think each of the artists would have found one or two ways of working which they might not otherwise have considered.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Slow progress

Detail- Breaking all the Rules
Tomorrow I have to go to a quilt show in Tallarook-at the Mechanics Hall from ten until 5five. Also present will be work by Zigzag- Susan Matthews,June Brown and Yvonne Voss and shops and country style morning and afternoon teas.

I have been making slow progress- my room has been occupied by kids and Collin all using my computer. This is very frustrating as I don't like people in my work space when I have a lot of stuff to do- it is bad enough having to run a business and do all my work from a room in the house where I get constantly interrupted- but when people are in my room as well, well then I just go to pieces and so have had a week of achieving little. The pomegranate quilt is coming along slowly.

I have posted some pics of a relatively old quilt of mine called Finally Home Adinkra- it is a homage to adinkra cloth from West Africa but also my attempt at exploring the concept of nothing meeting and yet still creating geometric impact. Of course it is also to some extent my penchant for disobeying rules, and as I am hopeless at making any points meet in anything pieced this was my way of dealing with it.