Monday, January 22, 2007

paper beads and fabric painting

this post from whipup lead me to natasha's site where i found out how to make these:

origami paper and old sheet music, add gluestick and mod podge and you end up with lovely shiny beads (i threaded them on some metal dpns to dry - they make my hands hurt when i knit with them so it's good to be able to use them for something!)

then i did some playing with linen and cotton fabric and fabric paints - cerise and ultaviolet with a dash of indigo and some gold

then inspired by helen cowans i did some free motion quilting on calico and, liking the result, decided to paint this too. it is obviously a work in progress but off to an exciting start.

i got some lovely goodies in the post today but that will have to wait until next time

and the last photo is my first bunch of "flowers" picked by w this evening and solemnly presented "just for you mama"

Sunday, January 14, 2007


ok i went back and puzzled a bit more then went beserk and filled in the gaps with the herringbone stitch on the machine and then more "pebble" quilting. perhaps some more handstithcing with gold thread and maybe some beading?


yesterday my sister and i went to see the sense of place exhibition at samson hill vineyard in kangaroo ground. dijanne cevaal curated the exhibition and there are works by some of Australia's best art quilters. the exhibition has been installed in the restaruant/tasting area of the vineyard - it's on top of a hill and has the most amazing views across to mt macedon and the city. so on one side you have a fabulous view over vineyards into the blue and then you turn around and are blown away by the colours and textures of the quilts.

I have admired Fiona Wright's work for a long time but it was the first time I have seen her work in the flesh and it is just mesmerising - layers of saturated colour in reds, oranges and deep pinks and purples - you can understand why I would like it :)

Beth Miller's bogong moths quilt was fascinating too - layers of embroidery including big seed stitches in a thick yarn - and done on corduroy too which would have been a real pain

My sister's favourite was by Dianne Firth - curving parallel lines done in olive greens and browns with a curve of deep purple through the middle.

Dijanne Cevaal had an intricate banksia quilt in great acid yellows, sharp greens and deep purples and had a some lovely things for sale - I bought this

pomegranate postcard sized quilt as I really would like the persephone's rug quilt that's on dijanne's picturetrail site but will make do with the little one
my camera can't capture the intense colours in this work but they just glow :)

i also bought this stunning card by robina summers
and this afternoon i was inspired to make this journal quilt reflecting some of the techniques i admired yesterday. it's still a work in progress but it's the first time i had tried the circular quilting and really enjoyed the freedom of being able to go over the lines (sticks tongue out at quilt police). one of my goals is to improve my free motion quilting and this was a great boost to my confidence.

i discharge dyed and painted the fabrics last year - there's corduroy, muslin, cheesecloth, a textured cotton and a piece of felted and dyed blanketing in there. the line down the middle of a piece of jute string couched down with gold thread. i had planned to couch 2 more pieces of string and do some more linear quilting on the right hand side but i think i will let it sit for a while before i decide how to finish it.

go to the exhibition - it's fabulous

Friday, January 12, 2007

bead bling

i went to maria george yesterday and i bought lots of lovely stuff for not very much at all.

maria george is one of the last remnants of the rag trade that used to dominate flinders lane in melbourne. they sell every kind of bead, sequin and bit of bling you can imagine and sometimes they have very good sales...... the long strings of wooden beads were $1 each

and these gorgeous stitchmarkers came from karen at beadmarkers.

and they arrived from the states within a week of my order :)

tomorrow is looking good - i'm going on a jaunt with my sister - first to wool baa so she can spend a gift voucher and then to see Sense of Place, the new exhibition curated by Dijanne Cevaal. It should be fabulous - there are works by some of the best Australian art quilters. I promise a full report...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

2006 reckoning

ok now i don't feel so bad. i just went back through the blog entries and this is the tally of achievements for 2006

  • Steve the Cat
  • first free motion machine quilting
  • needlebook and pincushion for my friend Susan
  • Zoe cardigan
  • binding on E's quilt
  • embroidered seahorse
  • W's knitted nappy pants
  • crewel tree
  • red socks for me
  • convergence quilt borders
  • Lillian's hat
  • huswif, with needlebook and pincushion
  • M's socks
  • New Quilt
  • wool felt pincushion
  • hand quilted the New Quilt
  • wool felt tape measure
  • armadillo embroidery
  • pink tiger rug
  • W's carunculated hat
  • batik triangles quilt pieced
  • A's quilt pieced
  • bag made from old maternity skirt
  • wool quilt started
  • wool quilt finished
  • discharge dyeing
  • journal quilts
  • longing suffused with desire little quilt
  • borders on W's quilt
  • borders on batik triangles quilt
  • bitty bootees for Sam
  • quilted centre panel of M's convergence quilt
  • M's chilli pants
  • foundation piecing - New York Beauty blocks

  • journal quilts
  • finish journal quilts
  • shibori scarf
  • little fabric Cmas tree
  • Japaneae fabric notebook holder
  • knitted cloths
  • finish A's quilt
so i feel a lot better :) and i even met some deadlines (for the Wool Quilt competition and the journal quilts)

Friday, January 05, 2007

i have just spent 2 wonderful days at susan's house near castlemaine in central victoria, about an hour and a half drive from home. i don't think i have ever spent so much time with uninterrupted stitching, knitting, chatting and just having fun.

and, momentously, it was the first time i have spent a night away from w. we have slept together every night since 13 october 2004 (and of course the nine months before that - although there was less choice about it then) we both slept well with minimal fretting so i think this is the beginning of something new :)

i was so busy relaxing that i only remembered my camera at the very end of proceedings so there are not many shots and none of susan :( there is however evidence of her crocheting and beading prowess : i was a very lucky girl and susan made me some beautiful stitch markers right in front of my eyes :) sorry for the blurry photo - that's how relaxed i was....

here is megan hand quilting her lovely colourwash quilt with teeny tiny stitches:

and here is my booty from the bendigo woollen mills (alas they have no website but great mailorder service and a wondrous factory shop in bendigo with the fabled back room full of bargains) and the back room yielded the following bounty:
  • a jumperweight of soft dark chocolate 8 ply (DK weight) and a heathery brown/nutmeggy wool, also 8 ply. this could become the Winter Star Jacket from Interweave Knits Winter 05
  • a fine collection of soft 8 ply in cream, red, orange and emerald to make the 'clark and lily cardiga'n from leigh radford's alterknits for w
  • another softer green that could be another w jumper or a wrap or sim for me
there wasn't anything suitable for the jawbreaker cardigan from the current interweave knits (ghastly name but a nice looking swing jacket)

and i had time to finish:
  • another hexagon for my hexagon strippy quilt (must go looking for the fabric for the rest of the quilt)
  • the second sleeve of the interminable cardigan... which is looking huge, by the way - it's the right yarn, gauge and size according to my measurements but it looks like it's built for a grid iron player :(
  • another face cloth - this time from a ball of ramie/wool blend that i found in the stash - a bit fluffy for a cloth but i'll see how it goes
  • some more embroidery on the luxe calme et volupte quilt which i hope to finish this year.

speaking of finishing things this year - i was appalled by the number of projects i still had on the go at the end of 2006 :( doing the journal quilts really brought home to me how much i really hate finishing, so much so that's it's almost phobic. so my main resolution for 2007 is to finish and not leave things until the last minute.

perhaps more castlemaine breaks would help? :) thanks susan for a fabulous couple of days

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

6 weird things about me

tagged by susan
  1. i over-analyse everything - for example when susan tagged me with this i went into analysis mode - how do you define weird, if it's weird but i do it how do i know it counts as weird when it's normal for me, what if i can't think of anything, what if there are too many things etc etc
  2. i find being in the company of other people tiring, even exhausting and i need time by myself to recover
  3. i had dirt and ice cravings with each of my pregnancies
  4. i actively resist finishing things viz the painful process of finishing my journal quilts
  5. on my breakfast toast i always have vegemite on one slice and "other" whether it's marmalade, honey or jam, on the other
  6. i go for comfort rather than style in clothes - tight clothes are an anathema...
i'm still not sure whether these are weird or not - does neurotic count as weird or just 21st century? or just neurotic?

Monday, January 01, 2007

A's quilt

here is A's quilt. Designed by A himself it is a large nine patch with a split middle block. I pieced the back from the leftovers and there is still enough fabric for a cushion at least. it is as large as a single sized doona.

as you can see he likes it so much he will wear it on a warm summer's afternoon....

stir up monday?

well, call it a new tradition:
  • buy all the fruit for the cmas cake in september
  • allow it to mature in the pantry for at least 3 months
  • pick over for stalks and seeds on boxing day. mix it all together with grand marnier or rum or whatever booze you choose
  • suddenly remember about it on new year's day and start turning it into cake. discover at the worst possible moment that instead of the 2 cups required, you have a scant half cup of plain flour. send partner out to track down plain flour.
  • find the biggest mixing bowl, that gets used once a year for this purpose. remove dust.
  • get everyone to stir the mix. here is E stirring like a dervish...

  • cook in the oven for a ridiculously long time on a warm and steamy summer day.
we plan to eat this cake on saturday as part of our epiphany dinner and to celebrate the end of the cmas season. so far the menu will include beef wellington and summer pudding. and epiphany cake.

happy new year!