Sunday, 29 August 2010

Crazy and New Mexico

I'm about to head to the US with my friend and neighbour, Lorraine, to visit Judith Baker Montano where we'll participate in one of Judith's residential workshops at La Veta, Colorado. We've already been emailing two of the other participants, Susan and Sarah from Boston - and we're all looking forward to meeting on Friday.

From  1992 Jacket panel
I did a workshop with Judith Baker Montano in 1992 - through Ruth Stoneley's shop Patchwork Supplies. I'm doing the same course - and debating whether or not to take the jacket I made out of the 1992 panels - I'll make a decision pre-Wednesday morning. So why do it again? I've come to the conclusion that the evolution of my sewing and stitching has been like learning to drive. I'd only had needle and thread together for 5 minutes before I had enrolled in and completed a "Sampler" course with Ruth Stoneley, a Mola Applique course with Denise Lawson, Crazy Patchwork with Judith Montano,  a colourwash course with Judy Turner ... oh yes and a residential weekend with Ruth Stoneley for my first art quilts in 1991 and then there was ... Looking back I can see I was exposed to and was taught by some of the absolute greats- I was part of something rare and beautiful but hardly aware of it, nor able to appreciate it fully. And my piecing skills ... sucked. I had my Leaners / P Plates and was offering to drive everyone everywhere just to get behind the wheel. It was all about the car, rather than the trip. It's 20+ years since I first rang a shop I found in the telephone directory and asked "do you sell stuff for patchwork so I can make a quilt?". The response was the husky laugh of the beautiful Ruthie. I can still hear that laugh, see the champagne glass raised and that mane of tustled silver framing an enigmatic smile. I need to re-visit - now that I've got a quite a lot of miles and kilos under the belt I want to go back - and this time take it in  from an art quilt perspective. I want to say a proper goodbye to Ruthie. I want to sip champagne in Taos, New Mexico - a place Ruth adored. I want to absolutely let go and soak it all up .... and be a vessel rather than "that" student in a class. I want to have a yum-gasm in a thread shop and intravenous creativity for the next 3+ weeks ...  and I can't wait.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

State of the Art Quilt 2010 @ Boonah Gallery

Last evening was the opening of the State of the Art Quilt 2010 at the Boonah Regional Art Gallery. After an introduction by Sue Dennis, the exhibition was opened by the flamboyant Janet de Boer OAM who among her many talents, is the editor of Textile Fibre Forum and a leading light in TAFTA (The Australia Forum for Textile Arts Ltd). Janet's opening speech reflected her journey to Boonah from Brisbane and that time as evening approaches when the mountains absorb last light.All the entries were quite different expressions of the quilt as art and the art as quilt.
I was privileged to have a quilt selected on SotAQ10- Dreams Debris - and its creation is so connected to our travels next week. All the hand embellishment is based on Judith Baker Montano's book "Elegant Stitches" . As each of the three pieces was created, I incorporated another stitch or technique from Judith's book. I'm happy to call it a modern day "sampler". The exhibition continues for another month before heading north to the Childers Gallery. Today is the 2QAQ meeting at Greenslopes - my last before Lorraine and I head across the pond - can't wait to catch up with everyone.