Monday, March 24, 2008

more productivity

today i also:
  • did some eucalyptus dyeing from the india flint book revered below. hot eucalyptus dyeing makes the whole house smell clean
  • this is my favourite piece - the pattern reminds me of cuttlefish eyes. i wrapped a shell in a strip of white silk and bound it with a rubber band before putting it in the dye bath
  • made the christmas cake (lent is over, after all). the fruit has been wallowing in a cocktail of brandy, whiskey, cointreau and grand marnier since the week the before christmas. it has another hour to go in the oven and smells wonderful


the catharsis quilt used a piece of cotton that i had painted a while ago, fused the triangles, then scattered chopped up bits of purple, blue and green synthetic, a us airmail envelope that i painted at the same time as the cotton cut into triangles, a tangle of dark purple beading wire (it's at the bottom of the quilt), some off cuts from a 45 degree ribbon quilt and black tulle laid over that.

then free motion quilting - spirals, claws and fronds and zappo with the heat gun.

more catharsis

there were plenty of poignant moments on saturday for the recently discarded and so, not unnaturally, yesterday i slid into a bit of a melancholic slough.

young w went off to spend a couple of days with his dad so i had planned some restorative quilting. but i was too sad and heart-torn to play.

so 'catharsis' i thought and tore a 4 foot long strip (btw why don't we say 'four feet long??) of homespun, ironed some freezer paper to it and then set down all the words and phrases that characterised the late relationship. it was a love affair founded in words that foundered on words: we bonded over a love of poetry and word play and etymology and we built a small universe of phrases and love names and created words that would make sense to no other being. and yet we foundered on the gap, the unbreachable gap between words and action - what is possible, desirable, yearned for and what is on the plate in front of us.

as i wrote there were phrases that wove in and out of the months (i laid the cloth out and wrote in time sequence like a bayeux tapestry) i love you, i can't live without you, passion, desire, we must be together, caro, carissima: these were partnered inevitably by i miss you, hurt, humiliation, abandonment, alone, why. and the word trinities tolling like bells across the cloth: love love love, loss, loss, loss.

then this morning i cut the strip into squares thinking to make a nine patch - but i had miscounted and had eight, not nine, squares - the block could not be completed.

but cut into squares the words and phrases were still too legible - they still had life. so i sliced into them with my cutter and made triangles that each had a word or two but could not be put back together to make sense. only those who know the story can read it.

i fused the triangles onto fusible web and it awaits the next stage.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Wedding

yesterday my baby sister married the man of her dreams - a charming and erudite poet from montana.....

the weather was perfect (and sandwiched by 2 grey and unremarkable days),The Dress arrived in the nickest of time (4.30 on maundy thursday -can't get much eeker than that), nothing went wrong on the day and they were so so happy.

(more photos on my flickr account)

Friday, March 21, 2008


as if to compensate for the recent set of backhanders (see below), the Universe frogmarched me into dymock's last week and put into my hands one of the most inspiring and beautiful books i have ever experienced. i say experienced and not seen or read or looked at because you find yourself immersed in being in this book (not as tautological as that sentence might suggest)

india flint's eco colour botanical dyes for beautiful textiles is franciscan in its simplicity, beauty, feel for nature and practicality. it is almost overwhelming in its almanac of ingredients and techniques. it is tactilely lovely to hold and leaf through even to the cunning book-mark on its cotton tape.

and it is friendly! often when i buy a book or magazine that is full of beautiful things and wondrous techniques i will feel momentarily inspired and then felled by a deep seated feeling of inadequacy - that i am not good or experienced enough to be able to make stuff like that.

but eco colour is written and presented in such a friendly way that you feel that just possibly you too could do this, even as a novice..

i wasn't looking for it, hadn't been yearning for it on amazon but it was just placed in my hands by a friendly providence - go and buy it - you'll feel better :)

(btw i don't know india and there are no kickbacks or free leaves being provided for this evangelical review - i just loved the book)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

quilting well is the best revenge

here is stage 1 of a small quilt that is part of my right of reply.

over the last couple of weeks my ex-lover has thrown me over twice and my father has died. i had a problematic relationship with my father and i thought my ex-lover was the second love of my life so my feelings of grief, abandonment and ambivalence have become confused and entwined. but with both of these life shattering events i have felt i have had no right of reply - no opportunity to put my side of the story, to have any influence over the way these two men have affected my life and i have had no advocate.

so i am writing a piece in my journal called no right of reply (which i won't put on my blog) and i am making some art quilts which i will put on my blog.

this quilt is small (roughly A4 size) and is made of a black wool base, purple shantung, a piece of freeform knitting (can't find the ball band but is is cotton or silk and viscose) which represents my heart, and black organza with free motion quilting holding it together and then zapped with the blowtorch. (i only seem to make burnt quilts when it's a gazillion degrees - see previous post for some carping on the weather)

in one of his email manifestos my ex lover declared that he had to make a choice whether or not to break my heart - this quilt is a reply that my heart may be stretched, have holes in it, be rent and attacked but it is not broken. who was it who said that the heart was a resilient little muscle?

i think there is some potential to do some hand stitching - especially around the claws part which needs more definition and perhaps some foiling or beading.

will keep you posted and i will keep the aspidistra flying

Thursday, March 13, 2008

i demand a climate refund

it's sooooo hot and will be sooooo hot until next thursday :(

it struck me this afternoon as i toiled my way through the viscous heat to the station that when i was a kid in the seventies there was great gloomy prophecy about the dire consequences of pollution - we were shown grainy flickering films in the school library of pipes disgorging filth into rivers and lakes, smoke pouring into the sky and assorted dead wildlife. all this has come to pass BUT the big killer prophecy was that this would all lead to an ice age. An Ice Age. not global warming but an ice age. not days and days of 35 degrees and hot nights but an ice age. and if the pollution didn't cause the ice age there would be a nuclear winter.

where is it????

(btw i do not want any vexatious correspondence from adelaide where it has been 60 gazillion degrees for weeks and will continue to be 60 gazillion degrees for the foreseeable future)

if it ever cools down i will make something and write about it - promise

Sunday, March 02, 2008

E's quilt

E's quilt
Originally uploaded by textileseahorse

bit lazy, blogging from flickr but it is convenient...

this must be the easiest quilt pattern ever - i suppose it's more of a comforter than a quilt. the quilting is minimal but it makes the most of the big patterns on this fabric.