Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Pomegranate Variations

Pomegranates- an old favourite. I have been making more cards- theya re all 5"x7" as I like the slightly larger format- and at the moment I am not swapping them as I hope to sell them. I have to earn a living somehow and this is one of the ways, by making smaller pieces and hoping they have enough appeal to sell. It is part of the balance of running a small one person ,supporting the family business- you have to make things that are bread and butter as well as other pieces that are bigger.I had hoped to make more today but somehow I got into stitcvhing them so intensely they became quite time consuming- which was not the intention.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

More Cards

Don't you hate it when you drive all the way into town ( 21 kilometres) and forget to buy the main thing you went into town for -though I did post loads of my Book Seventy Two Ways No to Stipple or Meander.I needed to buy the backing for lots more cards but forgot it and I probably won't go into town again until Thursday. I have also been waiting for fabric to dye to arrive for nearly four weeks now. I did ring up last week and they were sending it that day but it still hasn't arrived...sigh, I have a shop waiting and it is not long until I go overseas. I still want to do a lot more cards, but time is starting to run out.As you can see I have gone a bit pomegranate mad.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Small Works

I have been practising what I wrote about in my booklet Seventy Two Ways Not to Stipple or Meander ( which is for sale- just email me) on some small pieces I would like to take to France in a fortnight't's time. I had so many plans to make many things, but as per usual I have set myself way too many things to do and I have to toss things overboard in order to float the ship. I have to finish hand stitching a quilt before I go and I am thinking about doing a big forest piece.

I am still waiting for the fabric to arrive that I won last month- as I need to dye some fabric to take to Melbourne next week. I always seem to be dyeing fabric on the even of leaving- and then it has to be ironed.

The days are lengthening finally- I was well and truly ready for winter to be over, though it hasn't really been sunny. I have been rationing my reading on Matisse the Master- my goodness he was single minded in his pursuit of his art- he worked himself into nervous distraction- but disappointingly there is no mention of the influence of tifaifai on his later work. I can see a definite connection and it is interesting that he asked for a tifaifai to be sent to him in France after he had left Tahiti ( I have this information form another source)- he had been given one as a gift whilst in Tahiti- and with his love of textiles I think he would have noticed tifaifai straight away. Most textiles that passed through his hands made it onto his canvasses in one way or another so it would seem strange for tifaifai not to. Anyway I can definitely see influence in the linen pieces he did for David Ascher & Co- Matisse's shapes are free form- but the shapes themselves are so reminescent of traditional Polynesian motifs- his arrangements are looser like some of the tapas you see from the region ( and he had quite a lot of tapa as well)- anyway one day if I have time I want to do a bit more research on it.

 Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Need Help in Germany

Well I must admit to being bowled over by the response to my booklet/CD- I have spent all day fiddling around sorting out CD covers and organising more printing. I have also been asked to submit a cd for a possible article- so the wonder of the internet continues. I must admit to being really pleased that people are prepared to pay- as many people expect free things from the internet- so much so that I am starting to wonder how the creators of good ideas will receive incentive to continue sharing good ideas-after all without invention and ideas things come to a screaming halt. This is not to say I don't like sharing, I do but I also think there is a limit , especially as everyday things in life have all sorts of fees and costs attached to them. Even subscribing to the internet comes with a fee. So thank you everyone who thinks it is worthwhile paying for the Seventy Two ways- I appreciate it! And don't foget you can order directly from me by emailing me

I do have a question though - especially for any German readers- I fly into Frankfurt late on 11 September and then will drive to Karlsruhe/Baden Baden( as I have to pick up some friends the foloowing day)- I will spend a day there and am wondering is there any sort of printing service in Baden Baden or closeby where I could get the booklet printed rather than carry it with me? Also can anyone suggest a reasonable hotel or bed and breakfast?

The photo is of a postcard I have made - I have made a few recently to take with me to Val d'Argent. I have a question- what do people do with fibre postcards when they have bought them?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

It's Done!

It's done- Seventy Two Ways Not to Stipple or Meander ( Ideas for Free Machine Quilting). I had the booklet digitally printed today and it has come out fine- you can see the stitching and the thread count of the fabric I quilted- so the detail is good. I will sus out some more printing options in the future but haven't got the time right at the moment.

Anyway if you are interested in the CD it will be a pdf document( so you will need Acrobat Reader or other pdf reading program) of the booklet( it's morte of a book with 81 pages and it is spiral bound) email me. In Australia I can be paid by cheque or postal order- for overseas orders I can be paid with Paypal.

So the costings are as follows

For Australia:

CD is $20AUD inclusive of postage.

Book is $25AUD inclusive of postage.

For all other places( Worldwide)

CD is $25 AUD ( $15USD, 12 Euro, 8.50 pounds sterling) inclusive of postage

Book is $30 AUD ( $23 USD, 18 Eyro, 12 pounds sterling) including postage.

I hope this is all clear. I will be teaching at the Quilt Indulgence Festival in the Southern Highlands of NSW from 6-10 September. Drive home on Saturday night and Sunday morning and catch the flight to Europe on on Sunday night - so a bit frenetic as usual. I will be at the Changing Exhibition curated by Thelma Smith at Val d'Argent- in the exhibition venue at Liepvre

Monday, August 21, 2006

Painting Papers

I have been painting papers for using to transfer dye to lutradur as I want to make a lot of small pieces to take to Val d'Argent and hopefully sell some! I used shiny papers for these from an old Den Haan & Wagenmaker fabric catalogue- I really like how they turned out as the background images,photos play with the superimposed printed shapes I put over them with the transfer dye. I am almost wishing I could get this printed with one of those big fabric printers ( certainly can't afford to buy one). I will certainly make a couple of pages in my journal using the papers after I have used them!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Still Tweaking

Thank you for the input on the pricing of the booklet- I am still trying to workout if the pdf format will work as the file is large and I don't want to spend hours sending the document. it is large because it shows the individual stitches and even the thread count in the fabric quite clearly. I think I will increase the pices I suggested and will let you know what I come up with. I had hoped to take one booklet in and have it photocopied and bound to work out the costing this weekend but that did not happen. Tuesday is the day!

Meanwhile I wanted to share a photo of a quilt i made in early 1995 which I gave to my mother-in-law. I have always liked this quilt because I love camelias- it was inspired by Japanese designs of camelias. I had to include the butterfly because I clipped a hole in the quilt when I was trimming away threads.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Guinea Pig needed

Rainbow asked about my Hundertwasser quilt- I have posted before , inJanuary 2005- I tried to create a link I hope it works! The colours are not true on my monitor anyway- but having laid out catalogues in the past before anything with turquoise in it can raid problems- especially greens that are turquoise based.

I have been working all day on the 72 squares ( Title now "Seventy Two Squares Without Stippling or Meandering-Ideas for Free Machine Quilting") and have got it into pdf format- there are still a few things to do, i forgot the overall shot- but I need a guinea pig ( one only sorry) to see if they can get the document in the pdf format and whether it comes through ok.Ok guinea pig has been found- Nic Bridges, whom I met in a class at Mossvale not so long ago, but whose work I have know of through the magazines It's taken ages to crop all the scans and then to think of names....Once I know I can deliver it as a booklet or a pdf file I will work out a price- the pricing is really hard- any ideas would be appreciated. It has turned into 80 odd pages ( so almost most average quilt book size but I am aware that the format is slightly different) 72 pages contain 5inch square scans of each square with a description or ideas for use. I am presuming some foreknowledge of continuous line quilting. So any ffedback on price would be much appreciated.A figure of around the AUS $ 10-15 was going on in my head ( that's about $7.60 -11.00 US,6- 8 euros or 4.30- 6.50 GBP)- is that too much?. The booklet would be a bit more because I would have to print it, and would also include postage( I am thinking with a spiral binding as 80 pages is too much to staple)

And I have used a photo of a forest quilt only because it uses a couple of different methods of machine quilting.

I have arranged to visit the Bernina factory in Switzerland after Val d'Argent- I believe it is an interesting tour. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

All the Sweet Perfumes

Serendipity or , does my subconscious really rule my life after all or is it just confluence? After calling this quilt All the Sweet Perfumes for a couple of days now ( after Lady Macbeth's outburst in the presence of the doctor) and then not being able to find the thread that i thought was perfect i remembered this morning that I had purchased some skeins of rayon in Damascus ( they use them for making tassels) that had winked and enticed me and couldn't be left there. It was still in the suitcase- where I had left things as most of my workstuff is packed away. So when i opened it- there it was - the perfect thread- the right colour and even more amazingly it had the sweet smell of perfume( i had bought some daphne essential oil which had leaked into my suitcase on the home ward journey). Now how did the thread know it was going into a quilt called All the Sweet Perfumes???

The lutradur has been transfer dyed with papers and the lighter spots are actually copper coloured foil which i have foiled on.I had this lutradur sent from Holland from Zijdelings in fact because it is lighter weight- therefore softer to the touch and als more transparent- as i wanted the background turquoise/ purple fabric to deepen the hue of the orange in the lutradur. I was looking to get the rich effect of byzantine tiling and colouring and a sense of depth and feeling. The thread is actually much richer in colour than suggested by the photo and there is a lot of it.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Sweet Perfumes

All the machine stitching has been done and now I want to hand stitch in the blank spaces. Of course the perfect rayon hand dyed thread I bought from Oliver Twists in England in 2001 is nowhere to be found- packed away somewhere in the shed in a safe spot no doubt. So it's come to a halt- whilst I rethink ( is the thread really perfect or is my memory making it perfect) and what else can I use?This piece is 30 inches wide and 60 " long.

I have started my walking again- since being back it came to a screaming halt- went for a few walks but not every day like I was doing.It feels good to be back to daily walking

Saturday, August 12, 2006

A Spring Bouquet For You

I love getting flowers ( but I rarely get given them) and even when we go camping I will try and find some flowers and put them in a jar. I know that sometimes they are more lovely in the ground but somehow a bunch of flowers is like home. So here is a bunch of flowers out of my garden for you! I know up in the northern hemisphere it's still high summer but here thank goodness the signs of spring are appearing and the days are stretching. I am not a good cold weather person.

I saw on Margaret Cooters Blog that Sandra Meech's new book Creative Quilts is out. One of my quilts is in this book- If Hundertwasser Had Lived in the Otways in the section about inspiration from other art- so I am looking forward to seeing the book. I enjoyed Sandra's last book very much and the production on it was beautiful. Check out Margaret's photos of the Summer workshops she attended- wish I could have gone!

And Margaret from Wales thought I was working in different colours- this is partly true- the warm colours are still there though- and these colours are very much inspired by my Middle Eastern travels and in particular a textile shop in the suq in Damascus- I hope i can get back there next year when I go to Syria for the exhibition I am curating for a gallery there. I want to indulge in some more of these wondrous pieces with their vibrant colours. And check out some of Margaret's photos on her blog- she lives in a wonderful place and her photographs give you a real sense of place.

Friday, August 11, 2006

My 500th Post

I just noticed this is the 500th time I have posted- it does not seem so long. I also meant to notice my 60,000th visitor but that has also been and gone.

I have started putting in the stitching to what i am temporarily calling " all the sweet perfumes of Arabia..."- it is an allusion to the Lady Macbeth scene in the play of the same name by Shakespeare ( i did this play four years running- my last three years of high school and then in English literature at University, however this and the witches Double double toil and trouble-fire burn; and cauldron bubble, are about the only things that hang in my memory except ofcourse the plot ) . I am always amazed at how much stitching changes a thing. The unstitched spaces will probably be hand stitched. I like combining machine and hand stitching.

Debra asked what i meant by Alternative Visual Tradition- it was a phrase I picked up out of my previous post that was reviewing a book which discussed visual hapticity in relation to film- it said that visual hapticity was something more commonly associated with the alternative visual tradition- which included weaving and embroidery ( and other things) and by extension no doubt quilting. I thought it was a neat phrase as so many quilters/quilt artists and textile artists are desperate to be part of the mainstream art world or "the" visual tradition ( though it is splintered in so many directions that to say mainstream is not a very accurate description)- to be practising in an alternative tradition can be played up and used- as something desirable - we need a spin doctor LOL. Another aspect of this is I like textiles for what they are and the more I think about it, that is what is important about the way I make things- I don't necessarily want to make paintings or visual images- although I do work with images-i like what happens when I work with cloth/fabric and stitching and combining cloth for effect, and it is part of the reason I have returned to hand stitching- that was how I started - it feels right to use the things I have accrued and to use the things I started with together.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Alernative Visual tradition ( AVT)

Now that I have discovered that I am actually practising in an alternative visual tradition, i thought I would share a little of the latest thing I am working on- it i son th elighter weight lutradur which allows the background fabric to pleasantly shine through and gives a patina to the surface. I am still tweaking elements of it but am getting closer to being able to sit down and do some sewing on it- I think I shall also do a fair bit of hand stitching on it. I dyed the background fabric today - it needed the right amount of turquoise to come through to give it life but yet be purple enough to deepen the hue of the orange/red to a burnished deep terracotta colour.Not entirely sure about the foiling I did but stitching can do something to that or not.

Still the dreaded cold lurks on- doesn't make you feel like cooking or doing anything much. Did spend a pleasant hour in the sun with the Matisse biography getting some vital vitamin D. When you read who his painter friends were you realise how few actually make it into the big scheme of things. I have never heard of Etienne Terrus said to be Roussilon's greatest painter. I can understand why Matisse was drawn to Rousillon- I love the country side there and both its neighbours, Languedoc and Cataluyna. Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 07, 2006


My wish is that everyone should have a day in the sun without bombs or attacks or violence.Here is a link for a ceasefire in the Middle East- if you feel inclined add your voice to the growing discontent with our political inadequateness to save human lives.

I have caught the flue that my children had- so all is inert apart from the dripping nose. I do have to wait for the glue for foiling to dry on the lutradur I am working on- which is taking longer than expected. I did do a little more poking around about the art and memory thing ( I am still compiling a document of internet sources for those interested - but there is some way to go) but for some unknown reason ( well to me anway) keyed in the word haptic visuality ( now I wish I had done this when I did my masters- I never thought to associate the cinema with touch or haptic though I was aware of exploration in the area of computers, having a friend in Paris who has just done a Phd in this area)- and can now see I might have done better to take digital images or digital video of the work I was doing and somehow playing with that. I am still thinking of this as an option for some of the work I intend to do- it seems that the just if, ie not quite textile but the impression of textile on digital may be more than what the real textile can offer,which I can drape around me, lie in, clothe in, actually totally submerge in , if I realy wanted to. The reviewer Donato Totaro, of the book Deleuzian Film Analysis; The Skin of the Film by Laura U Marks says at the end of one paragraph of the review "but(she , the author) makes the more sensible claim that haptic visuality is a strategy more common to alternative visual traditions (tapestry, weaving, decorative arts, textile arts, embroidery, decoration, metalwork, etc.)." So ok- we practice in alternative visual traditions but actually doing it in that tradition is somehow not acceptable? I must admit to feeling a similar sort of response when looking at the work of Nancy Friedemann who is drawing lace on mylar as metaphor for her cultural heritage( stated simply I realise)- that somehow that is better than making the actual lace- and I really do like her work. Do I sense a touch of the emperor's clothes in these examples? Can the virtual world really replicate the phenomonology that Merleau-Ponty had in mind - the responsiveness of touch as perhaps memory? I don't know- what do you think?

Friday, August 04, 2006

And the Whole Shebang

Here it is- the whole 72 squares in one big piece. I decided to satin stitch the lines between the squares for better definition.Please respect my copyright .I will be working on making it inot a booklet on the weekend, once I work out the best way tocapture the images.

I have been treading water waiting for the muse to arrive since coming back from Europe in late May- doing things, that would hopefullybring her out- but not a thing really appeared until yesterday- and then she arrived in full regalia- insistent and impatient too- but I wanted to finish the 72 squares entirely before moving onto the next piece which will be on a lighter weight lutradur. The papers are painted and the lutradur is waiting. It arrived from Holland during the week as I only have 18" wide lutradur left- so I ordered the 50" wide from the Netherlands.The muse was most insistent that I pay good attention in the middle of last night- anyway onward tomorrow and maybe later today.

Had to take a sick child to the doctor- her throat wasn't getting any better- we had to sit there for ages as we had a 'sit and wait' appointment- and sit and wait we did, so that cut a hole in the day and the signs are here that i am on the same lurgy path- better go and make some lime and honey drink .

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The 72 Squares are done!

The week did not improve- still have sick children at home , although they do seem to be getting better- but it meant less time to work. I did finish the 72 squares that measure 5"x5" and I am afraid I am going to be a little coy in showing them all as I really do want to make a booklet to sell. Sharing on the internet is a great thing and I really appreciate the comments people leave,however there are bills to pay and kids to feed as well -it's a fine balancing act! I also decided to make this a booklet myself rather than find a publisher as I have done the work in black thread on white cotton for ease of photographing or scanning as the case may be- I will see which works better. I tried to make the squares without reference to the way others quilt, though I did look at a couple of books as follows ( well I looked at the books once I got to 55 squares- the imagination dimmed then- it's a lot of work doing so many 5" squares!): Creative Drawing ;Point and Line by Rottger and Klante, The Self-Made Tapestry;Pattern Formation in Nature by Phillip Ball ( author of the Bright Earth;Art and the Invention of Colour a more scientific approach to colour than Victoria Finlay's most enjoyable book Travels Through the Paint Box) and Icons; Karl Blossfeldt- a Taschen book. I like the sample I did in the photo because of the illusion of dimensionality.

And I heard from my friend in Palestine- they are all right, thank goodness, but very frightened and worried of course, especially about their children.- So sign United Nations petitions- there are several around - let the UN know you care about these people. Someone in New Zealand has been helpinhg me clarify ideas around the Peace Boxes idea I mentioned some months ago ( it's been on a go slow with elderly parent illnesses and now kids)- we decided it would be too dangerous to do anything physical like sending actual boxes- who knows what idiot would put something dangerous in such a thing- but there are other ways- like the internet for example!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hope Tomorrow is Better

The photo is of some of the stitching I did on the weekend. I started on a larger piece today - deciding to expand it into 72 squares of different free machine stitching which I will make into the booklet. However apart from setting up even sized squares and doing a bit of stitching, most of the day was spent tending sick children, two of them were home today one throwing up, the other coughing and the third came home disgrunteld and wants to change schools- oh boy!

Matisse the Master by Hilary Spurling arrived today arrived -so can't wait to delve into that- normally Amazon orders arrive more quickly than that!

I have booked my flight for Carrefour Europeen du Patchwork- one way, Qantas won't let me use my frequent flyers for the return leg- so I will probably get that when I am over there ( hope I don't get stranded- airfares from Europe to Australia are cheaper than from Australia to Europe- they know its a long way- but I do want to get home for the last week of the school holidays in September) Unfortunately the plans to teach in Ramallah have been put into abeyance- given that I can't even get in there. And for those of you who asked about my friend in Ramallah on the weekend- I still have not heard from her- nor from anyone in Ramallah- I guess surviving is the number one priority, and I am praying that is's all that seems possible because in all the shuttle diplomacy that has been going on these last days I have heard no mention of a cease fire for Palestine or Gaza- it is like a Superdome- no water,little food, no electricty and it is raining bombs daily........and there is nowhere else to go.