Thursday, 2 April 2015

Life is beautiful ...

Rebecca Staunton Coffey and I recently spent four days at the Brisbane Stitches and Craft Show running workshops in hand stitching and using our Aliquilts fabrics. There were so many people - and we got to share our love of cloth and stitch with many of them. Our workshop classes ran three times a day and were full of interesting participants - some we knew and others we met for the first time. Not long after a totally different workshop had finished further along the aisle, a lady came and sat at one of our tables so she could finish stitching a small purse. We didn't mind at all - we share our love of textiles with everyone and our next workshop was still half an hour away. Rebecca was taking some more bookings and we hadn't done the final set up so please - sit at our table for a while.
The next workshop started like a charm - lots of questions and opportunities to learn from each other. We had two sets of tables - one for 8 participants and the other catering for about 7 more. I worked mostly in the small space  between them which, when workshops were not in progress, allowed people to walk through to the back wall and look at our quilts, cushion covers by Jane and other samples.  During workshops there was only room for one person to move in that narrow space - me.
So I'm mid-sentence showing the two groups a quilt where I'd used chain stitch and whipped running stitch to create texture when "BANG" -  a person who (to be fair)  may have simply overlooked her medication at breakfast, swoops into the space where I'm standing, bumps me out of the way and snatches the demonstration piece from my hands to examine the stitching.   I was too stunned to say anything and proceeded after a moment as if nothing had happened.
We were almost 40 minutes into the same class when a small voice  from one of the tables said  "Hmmm ... we're not making purses in this class, are we?"  Life is beautiful and all credit to the three ladies who never did get to that purse workshop.Welcome to the land of stress free hand stitching!

Monday, 23 February 2015

Making the most of each day ...

When writing "just a minute" for Down Under Textiles, I focused for a year on what can be achieved in small amounts of time. Just how many minutes each day are opportunities to progress something - perhaps in the rise and fall of hand stitching, completing a binding, sketching, embedding knots? Making a to do list to remind me of those things I absolutely must get done .... today.
Ruling out time spent at traffic lights, using moving walkways and stairs, there are likely to be 15 minutes in every day that can be claimed in the name of art. We decided to take back a few important hours at day's end - usually spent in front of a television set. Most evenings there's now a space between end of meal and the cryptic crossword to work on something substantial. However it's those 15 minute grabs, here and there, that enable me to get the most out of each week.  They are often unplanned - the trick is to be ready to respond - oh, and to check that must-do-to-do list!

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Shimmering at Brisbane Stitches and Craft Fair

I decided to make a second quilt using  Jenny Bowker's Shimmering Quilts pattern, this time using our Aliquilts hand printed art fabrics. This little quilt measures 33 inches square and will be on display at the Brisbane Stitches and Craft Fair between 19-22 March.  Can't wait!!!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Shimmer ...

I recently had reason to purchase a quilt pattern - only the second time I've been seduced (in that oh-my-the-possibilities- fabric sense) and Jenny Bowker's Shimmer pattern lived up to its title. Jenny has also set up a page where all the Shimmer-ers can congregate and share images, interact with Jenny and generally get inspired - click on the link above. I love the way we can interact across the miles ... and I got to use some of my most precious commercial fabrics - including a few from Judith Baker Montano.
I'm really glad my one traditional quilt a year for 2015 is ... Shimmer!

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Living (loving) linen

Linen and I don't go together in that classic dress sense - maybe because I travel a lot to get anywhere I always end up looking crumpled - so linen invariably is something I love to stitch rather than wear ... this is a section of my latest work, using layered Aliquilts hand printed art fabric, hand stitched and embroidered with silk threads.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Clearing out and creative space

I am  not good at the de-clutter thing - although I greatly benefit from the creative space left after the event. The WMBM is ready to assist with the disposal of excess "stuff" .... and in between the exertion of 5+ bags of "I've only got 30 years left so what was that about?" I've managed to do a little stitching .... thanks to Jenny Bowker's Shimmering Quilt pattern   - a great exercise in colour and contrast and the ability to use what I had ... thank you Jenny B.

Monday, 19 January 2015

This is a quilt ...

 I am making an unusual quilt and exploring  SAQA's (Studio Art Quilt Associates) definition of  a quilt as "a creative visual work that is layered and stitched or that references this form of stitched layered structure." And so, the plaiting of the fabrics creates one type of layer, the joining of the new to the existing creates a series of layers ... recording the source of each different fabric creates layers in my journal - of friendships and memories and of experiences shared and intertwined ...this is a quilt.