Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Textile Fibre Forum And Pukka Treasures

I will be attending the Textile Fibre Forum at Geelong the next four days selling  Fiona Wright's Pukka Finds & Stitching Project -clothing and sari silk scraps. Some of the stitched jackets are to die for- luscious colour all stitched and so wonderfully soft. I will share some photos next week!

I have also been working on my travellers' blanket again- I want to get it finished. I am on school holidays at present but  went up to my mothers for the weekend ( hence the flower photos) and by the time I got back and attended to some necessary administrative tasks it's Wednesday already.The cloth that I am working on for the travellers blanket was only partially tie dyed - and the tied areas leant themselves beautifully to being stitched. For the rest of the blanket I am using sari silk scraps and the effect is quite different- though I have been working on  blending them in with the stitched tied areas. See what you think...

I can't wait to see what the whole blanket will look like- there is so much stitching happening on this blanket and I haven't yet decided what I will do for the "quilting" stitching and what colour.

I have also decided to do one more online linocutting class for the year.It will commence on 14 October 2011- so you will be finished before the madness of December. Here is a description:
 The course is  3 lessons ( with various exercises) delivered fortnightly with the  intent of building your skills with the tools as well as your design skills, looking at how to use  your photos,three colour printing and various other things like simple repeats, alphabets etc. The cost of the course is $55US. Lessons are delivered as a pdf file and number approximately 100 or so  pages, with exercises and tips and  inspirations. I also organise a discussion group to troubleshoot problems or discuss discoveries and to share work.
If you are interested in enrolling and learning how to make your own linocut and stamps please contact me.

And last but not least some flowers for you from the garden of my mother:

And of course a great favourite- an uncurling tree fern frond- I am not sure why I love these so much, but  love the idea that the whole fern frond is contained within that spiral- and the shapes.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Poppy Quilt is Finished!

I don't know where the time is flying but I have managed to finish the Poppy Quilt finally- even the bindings are done!Thank you for all the positive comments on my last blog post about how it was looking- I really appreciate your feedback even if I don't get back to you individually. I think I need to make another one as I find the colour combo quite pleasing in the end.

I did toy with hand quilting the sky but decided against it as it did not show enough and I did not want to spend hours and hours making the stitching dense enough- so I opted for machine quilting the sky in skipping meander - sort of. I did however hand stitch/embroider some wheat in between the long stems to add contrast and just a bit of play with the lines. So it's done.You can click on the images to get a larger image.

The next thing I have to make is en elephant cot quilt.I haven't made cot quilts in such a long time and it really does not sit all that well with my other work or the series  which I am working on and developing to get  another kind of sentinelle shape happening- so part of my problem in getting these done is how to make the work mine and not make it look like some premade panel that could have been bought in Spotlight or some other cheap and nasty department store.

I also got the little list books from Margaret Cooter one of her books du jour- I do keep lists of things I have to do but I like the idea that a list book can both record things that need to be done and things that have been achieved without the crossings off. If you email Margaret she can send you a book or a pdf file for the booklet. You will need to scroll down her blog page to find the little books( i couldn't get the post to make a direct link so sorry about that). I will share an image of mine in my next post. I am writing this post before I have to go to school- which is keeping me out of lots of trouble I can tell you!!lol!

I have especially been enjoying the typography part of the course ( and other bits as well)  but typography is so much about pattern and shape that it suits my patterned heart. I love that we are making our own fonts for things and even though mine are far from polished I am enjoying the process immensely and can see all sorts of  uses for it. It has also opened up a whole new world of more books ( as if that was needed) and I could not resist getting Marian Bantjes I Wonder. I set aside a few hours on Sunday afternoon  to just absorb and  read and really study all the patterns and typography she uses. I love the section in her book  Notes on a Life- which were the lists her mother kept all through her life and which recorded the daily chores, interactions and little things of life as well as big ideas- her mother was  a political activist and early recycler- and so amongst lists for shopping or reminders to call friends you will find a note that says the Politics of Altruism. Marian and her siblings called the lists Mum's Brains and they were not allowed to tear a page from it though they inevitably wrote notes to each other on it. It looks scrappy when the rest of the book is so much about pattern but it is all about the pattern of life- the little things that we do every day, and years after her mothers death - she has a immediate link with the everyday of living with her mother- precious really, really precious. The book itself is a study in richness- there is gilt on the cover and the pages are gilt edged- something extremely rare these days but done originally to protect books form dust and moisture.... I am looking forward to next Sunday!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011


One month ago I showed you some fabrics I was preparing for a poppy quilt which is for a little girl with that name. Then I did not get much further than the fabric, partly because I have been busy and partly I  am not sure why. I liked the colours , I knew what to do but  somehow nothing would come out of my hands. Last Sunday I decided enough is enough with all this procrastination- it's not getting the quilt made- it's simple really - "you have to make a poppy quilt". When I started to work I suddenly realised why the ennui- the poppies made me think of France- of missing France- of missing the summer there and the poppy strewn fields- I was feeling homesick for something that is not my home at present- how can you be homesick for not your home?

So the only way is forward with the quilt and  realising the dream- somehow by hook or crook. Maybe my block of land will finally sell so I can move on with my life and start something new!It's too much of a waiting game at the moment- if the block sells I can go do other things and maybe buy a house in france.

So here are some photos of the layers for applique- stitching and quilting has to be added- and I am still contemplating whether it needs a small pieced border or maybe not.Any thoughts?

I dyed the background fabric especially- it looked fabulous out of the dye bath but greened up a lot once it was washed ( sorry i forgot to take photos). I was trying to get the effect of the wheatfields in the background, looking up to the sky , like the photo below- though I did not quite want so much blue stunning though it is.I have a better photo of this but I can't find it at the moment.

I had to piece the transition between the blue of the sky and the blueish green of the dyed fabric as the  top of the fabric was too green and the blue too blue to  make a pleasing transition- eek I have not pieced in a long time!It starts to look better with more stems.

And last- I think that's as much as I am going to do in  layering pieces- I don't want it to be too busy, and more lines can go in with stitching in any case. the piece is finally starting to speak to me- it's calling me to another place.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Time is Flying and How!

My course is keeping me very busy, though I am enjoying it a lot and learning a lot. Last week it seemed like  some of the things had finally sunk in and I feel as if I may be able to get my head around illustrator after all. I am also doing photography as part of my course (will photograph something textile in the studio on Thursday and share it I hope) and am really enjoying that. I have found out things about my camera  that will make life easier photography wise. So I will share two of my "urban" photos we had to shoot this week. When you think of an urban environment  buildings come to mind, but I tried to focus on the multiplicity of signs- so many that it can be confusing as to what you are asked to read. Some businesses have so many signs it's difficult to know what they sell. We had to frame the photos with two frames and convert them to black and white. You can't see the white  frame too well because my blogger background is white.

I was quite pleased with the way these two photographs turned out and it will give you a little urban glimpse of Geelong.

Last Saturday I went to a artist talk by Mario Luccio and his new exhibition called New York Found 2  at Metropolis Gallery in Geelong. I have written about this artist before and found his talk very illuminating about his work- the layers and the metropolis,the pentimento below the surface and the cracks of civilisation.Below is a scan of an invite to an earlier exhibition of Marco's where his concern was the urban landscape and the representation of urban icons .

Today my eldest daughter and I went to see Reflections of the Soul- Contemporary Chinese Inkwash Painting.There was some beautiful work in this- soulful as you would expect and really large. It was well worth the visit!

And watch this space........
Next year in April 2012 I will be conducting a tour to France which will take in The Quilt Expo in Beaujolais, Lyon, Paris and major museums and some quirky and interesting ones that not all the tourists go to, and Giverny and Monet's garden and Normandy and the fabulous Bayeux Tapestry, the Landing beaches, chateaux and Le Mont Saint Michel. We are finalising the itinerary now, so when I have it to hand I will share it. if you think you may be interested or you may know someone who is interested please email me . The tour will include plenty of things to  interest husbands or partners- I can even write postcards for you a la Frances Mayes style ( Under the Tuscan Sun)... nah I just said that but hopefully you will get a wonderful taste of France!