Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Rug is Done!

I did not mean to leave such a brief entry yesterday but life got in the way. I finished quilting Persephone's Rug for the Underworld just now- it measures 42 inches by 65 inches ( 100cm x 165 cm) and took a lot of quilting. The background fabric is damask tabelcloth which I dyed and I really like the texture that appeared- it is much more textured than with the normal cotton I use. The downside of this was, that it did stretch a little because of the coarser weave so my hands are sore from trying to stretch the fabric so I did not get bad puckers. The quilting took longer as a result.

And thank you for the feedback on teaching notes- I like the idea of leaving gaps so people can make their own notes. And yes the washing line is colourful at times. Before we had the washing line we had a fence across the middle of the block and I used to hang the cloth on that- peoople could see it from the road as they drove by somepeople used to slow down to look to see what all that colour was. I called it my mini Christo fence in multicolour. I also dyed the small dam we have at the front of the block red once. I accidentally poured a bucket with dye that had not been used into the sand filter I use to filter the dyewater through. And no the frogs didn't turn red and it didn't seem to affect them either even though the dam was bright red for a couple of days.

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Friday, April 21, 2006

Autumn Days

I notice lots of bloggers in the northern hemisphere are posting pictures of the signs of spring in their gardens- daffodils, blossoming cherries- but here in the southern hemisphere it is the inexorable decline into winter- the days are shortening, the weather is changeable, cold and wet and the garden is starting to put on its winter coat. Maybe that is why I am also thinking of pomegranates as it was Persephone's tasting of the fruit that sealed her fate as having to live part of her life in the underworld. And thank you Debra for the information in your comment.

Today i did some dyeing in between showers of rain, did more quilting on the Underworld rug and generally started to get into panic mode. It is not long until I go. Then I was looking around the internet and saw somebody was teaching the same class as I taught last year and the description was almost word for word the same. It is one of the irritating facts of life as a teacher that the minute you teach there is always going to be someone picking up what you teach and then teach it themselves. Most times I don't worry about it too much but occasionally it really bugs me, especially when they don't even change the wording of your description- you spend a lot of time developing things and money and the cost of travelling to Europe is high and then to have the work taken out from under your feet is a little annoying. People say you have to keep on coming up with new things and moving on but sometimes the thought enters my mind ;" why I should be the bunny who is always looking to move forward and build on my work?"

Have to make a couple more lasagna's to put in the freezer- to keep the kids moderately happy whilst I am gone, make sure that i have organised all bills to be paid, paid all the kids camp fees ( there is three going on camp this year ) and write some new notes for a class I teach where the notes I have been using are alarmingly old.
And here is a question- do you expect to get notes when you attend a class? I have had some discussions with teachers in the past and some say they don't hand out notes any more, but encourage students to take notes of things done and said in class. And do people like to get bibliographies of inspiring books? I must admit I rarely buy quilt books anymore, but do buy textile books, especially ones dealing with textile history. I buy very few technique books as I like to work things out for myself and if I can't tend to ask on internet groups.
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Thursday, April 20, 2006


After deciding that I liked a row of pomegranates along the side of the fabric I wondered what if I cut them out- and took away the sharp edge? I ended up cutting them all out and then placing them onto the piece. I like the lutradur for this for you can see it, but it is not as sharp a contrast as fabric would be and it still allows the background fabric to play in the whole, so it is much more subtle and it doesn't take away from the richness of the fabric. What you can't see here is the thread really gives that sparkle and richness to the surface, because I am running two threads through my needle adding to the depth of colour- almost like a real pomegranate.

I feel as if I have hit on pomegramate lode here- for a start I have always loved the fruit and have been known to knock on a perfect strangers' door to ask if I can pick the fruit, it is the symbol for my favourite classical tale of Demeter , and I saw lots of it when I travelled through Egypt and Syria- in some of the old Roman tiles which were being restored, in other motifs, and it occurs frequently in early printed textiles, suggesting that in the sixtenth century it may have held a much more symbolic meaning than now. I wonder what it was that we have lost? Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Rug for the Underworld

I really need to get a wriggle on with quilting the two quilts I want to do before I leave again on 26 April. I liked the dyed cloth I made the other day but something was nagging at the back of my mind about needing something else. So yesterday and today I painted the papers to make some transfers onto lutradur of pomegranates , the symbol of Persephone. I think I like it much better now probably with my need to be literal at times.I also like that it has not got the same sort of hardline as applique but with stitching the definition will increase.
And several people have emailed to say the link I gave for Marion Barnett and my worksheet awhile ago( and it is a worksheet- the book with more full on information is coming later this year) was wrong so here is the correct to stitching tomorrow! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Ancient fabric

This is a photo I took of a small scrap of fabric that we found when we visited the Mere Ruka tomb and the adjacent dig. It could be anywhere from 2500-5000 years old and it is finely woven linen. There were many 'scraps' of fabric littered everywhere as all those buried were mummified and wrapped in linen. In fact I was amazed by how many graves they had found and the amount of fabric that poked out in places.It made me wonder how many spinners and weavers there must have been- were they men or women?

I want to somehow use the photos to create something which this fragment that has carried itself into the lens of my camera through eons and eons . How can i transform it into something that I can use now.

And today I am revisiting lace- it's been sometime- in a sense a new way forward with it in another format- maybe some results to show tomorrow
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Thursday, April 13, 2006

More dyeing

I woke last night after thinking about the sea coloured piece I had dyed last week ( and I haven't got back to work because I have been doing the books so they can go to the accountant- talk about uninspiring...) thinking I should really try it in fire colours- my favourites. This piece is the result and it is about 2 metres long and a metre wide.It reminds me of weeping somehow, the tears of Demeter as Persephone was swept away by Hades? I think it needs a tree with sinewy braches that fall like a womans hair to the ground, I think it needs to be stitched and not appliqued- but really heavily stitched maybe even hand stitched.  Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 10, 2006

Gellibrand Alive!

Yesterday was Gellibrand Alive, a once a year event that celebrates our local crafts people and community. We have a very active quilt group, Otway Quilters, who make more traditional work and a number of ceramacists and organic produce growers.The whole event takes place at the Gellibrand Store. Unfortunately not so many people came through, but all the stall holders know each other- so it is a good chance to catch up with people even if the sales aren't great.

I have put a lot of my newer work that is for sale on my Seriously Textile Blog. I have fixed the link now, but I haven't put any writing with the pieces as blogger won't let me publish the editing- argggh
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Saturday, April 08, 2006

Look What I just dyed....

A couple of years ago I made a stitched seascape which was a wholecloth quilt. I sold it much too early on, but that is life as an artist- perhaps I should have raised the price, but then it may not have sold, so I parted company with it. Anyway it has always been my intention to do another, not the same off course but again wholly stitched. So after the damask dyed so beautifully yesterday i thought hmmm- so this is what I just dyed-it's so exactly what I wanted. It is a biggish piece about 2 metres by 1.5 metres and I am not cutting a scrap off it- this one is much more like an aerial look into a coral pool, so I think that is what it will become and because it is big it can probably carry some appliqued shapes- I am thinking those brain corals....can't wait for it to dry! Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 07, 2006

Finally a Little Work

I have finally gotten to the bottom of my room and now have a table set up to work on- the other table is still loaded full- the rest of the stuff is in the shed.

I worked on some lutradur today that I had painted before I went away- stitching the lozenge shapes. I melted back some of the lutradur with a wood burning tool I bought recently but it is so hot that I managed to burn through some of the fabric as well. I also dyed some fabric- I bought some old damask table cloths in England last year and the fire/forest piece is dyed on the damask- the colour came up just gorgeous. I am still thinking about whether I will leave it ful width- just under two meteres orcut it smaller. I also liked what happened when I collaged the fabric but unfortunately that would make it huge and I don't have enough fabric.

i have been sorting out my next trip away. I leave Australia on the 26th of April for France and then Spain. I am teaching at the following places;

29/30 April at Girona ( not far from Barcelona)- class is full

11/12 May at Centre du European Patchwork at Salleles d'Aude

15/18 May at the Stofmeid in Borger in Drente- the Netherlands also in conjunction with an exhibition of Australian quilts I have organised ( not Across Australia)- showing work of Alsion Schwabe, Wendy Lugg, Clare Smith, Robina Summers, Olga Walters, Sue Dennis, fiona Wright and beth and trevor reid and myself- lots of variety in technique and vision.

19/20 May at the Lapjesgaard at Amstelveen near Amsterdam ( there is still some spcae for these classes)

24-28 May I am having an exhibition with my friends Annelies Elburg, Laura Liebenberg and a felter whose name escapes me as well as demonstrations by Elvira from Dreamling at the Pannekoeke Boerderij Erve Brooks in Gelselaar , Gelderland in the Netherlands.

And I hope( I will- have to) to make 3 quilts before the 26th and I am thinking two of them will be large..... Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Cleaning Up

The clean up is progressing- i seem to have moved loads of stuff into the shed and I seem to have almost found the bottom of one work table so that maybe tomorrow I can work again. There is still some things to move, but I left them just in case I had second thoughts about them. One satisfying aspect has been burning a lot of paper- loads of it- photocopied stuff rom when I did my masters, and loads of toher things that I can live without. i can burn stuff because I live in the country and just love the yellowed pages and the fragile grey ash sheets that crumble when you touch. A lot of stuff is going into a garage sale on Saturday- lots of scraps of hand dyed fabric, magazines I can live without and books.

I also found some tifaifai cut outs I did years ago- hmm what to do with them....

Hopefully tomorrow some work- I am beginning to feel stuck...

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Monday, April 03, 2006

No the Wheels Haven't Fallen Off

I haven't posted as i have been away- first of all to Mossvale to teach for four days , but as it was a days drive each way that took me out of action for six days, then home for a day and a half and then teaching in Gippsland and a visit to my mother, and another four days gone. Got home yesterday after lunch and have spent all today moving stuff out of my work room so that there will be space for my eldest daughter to partially move in there. The plan had been for the studio to be happening by now, but it isn't and she needs her own space even though I shall be using it during the day. The other two children are now in the large room with those high sleepers/bunks that have a space underneath- unfortunately we do not have the wherewithal to build an extra room so they will have to share but at least it is much better than the utter terrifying chaos that used to reign in their room. The room is now a pretty cornflower blue with lime trim - their choice. However th eamount of stuf f in my room is scary- what did I think I needed all that stuff for? and what do I do with it now? Arrrgh

Sandy can you email me?? I have mislaid your email addie somehow and I can't get there through your blog.

Ok so the picture is from our travels- hopefully by later this week I might actually get to make something.