Tuesday, June 24, 2008

gratuitous cat photos

the extremely handsome and aspiring textile artist cat, toby....

he knows he looks good in organza

when shall we three meet again?

no i haven't scalped macbeth's witches but isn't this stuff skin-crawlingly stomach turning ????

erky perky!!! undyed english leicester looked much more appealing when squished into a plastic bag. it burst open to reveal the most revolting fibre i have ever come across - just like old person's hair. it was marginally improved by seething in the dye pot for a while but i can't wait to get this stuff out of the house and given to a more appreciative owner

i'm sure there's someone in castlemaine who might put it to good use??? and with a ringing endorsement like the one above, who wouldn't leap at it?

tree quilt phase 1

it must be the prospect of a deadline for another quilt but i finally made a start on a tree quilt. i started just playing around with the idea of a horizontal piece to try and reorient my mind to horizontal creating if you know what i mean.

i had a swag of teabags drying with the vague plan of making a piece combining paper and fabric and had soaked some ancient bits of curtain lining (so old it practically disintegrates in your hands) and a piece of cotton in the tea bath. so i emptied the teabags of their contents and tore them into squares and played around with them on a strip of linen. then i ironed some vleisofix on the linen strip and fused the teabags into place.

i assembled the the tea dyed pieces and then went over both panels with textile medium. the photos show the panels drying on my kitchen table.

next step - perhaps draw a stylised tree on the plain panel and do some rows of handstitching on the teabag panel.

not sure how it will end up but i have broken the mental barrier of horizontal composition :)

(cross blogged at www.aroundthe world in20quilts.blogspot.com) )

Monday, June 23, 2008


sionwyn is right - it is a copper pot scourer unfurled and stretched so that it looks like a sea anenome.

sionwyn - email me your address and i'll send you some silk :)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

instant art

a fat quarter size piece of my eucalyptus dyed silk to the person who can guess what this is or rather once was..... leave a comment if you recognise it

nope it's not a fishing net :) i'll give you a clue - i bought it at that happy hunting ground for the textile artist, the hardware shop...

my weekend.... and a gratuitous picture of toby

Sunday, June 15, 2008

my day in the sun

this afternoon i was given my awards for the buda inaugural textile competition - mixed media and overall award. i was and am still thrilled to bits and can't quite believe it. here are some photos

and here is the artist's statement that went with the quilt:

Glimmer – such a shame she never married was inspired by reading Dorothy Leviny’s diary on the Buda website. I have always been struck by unmarried women’s uncertain place in society – the emphasis on accomplishments and talents and as the years pass and the prospect of marriage and a certain role in society recedes – what then? And of course the more accomplished the young lady the more shame it is that she never “fulfils” herself through marriage and children – or so it would have been said.

Glimmer is made of recycled wool blanketing, part of a sari pounced on at the local op shop, bits of organza, a pieced “quilt” made of ribbons and 3 doilies made by my grandmother. The doilies and the “quilt” symbolise the approved role of women with neat stitching and orderly rows – making useful and decorative things for the home. Both the quilt and the doilies start to disintegrate towards the bottom of the quilt – the prescribed role of women cannot hold if they don’t hold together, marry, do what they are expected to do.

The “role” of the doilies and quilt was further subverted by layering organza and brocade and then free motion stitching over in swirls, spirals, and big dahlia shapes that also suggest sharpness and possibly flames. The quilt was then burnt with a heat gun to further blur the edges and confound the expected.

The colours of the quilt also reflect this – purple and pink suffused with gold. The word ‘glimmer’ in the title refers to the use of gold throughout the quilt in subtle ways (the paisleys on the sari, the sheen of gold through the organza and ribbon) and to the history of gold in the Castlemaine district and at Buda. Not foregrounded but always in the background, woven through the life of the Leviny girls.

Felicity Hopkins

May 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

mosaic meme

1. Purple felicity, 2. Haigh's Chocolate Cross Bun Truffle, 3. Beech Roots, 4. "Crimson Sunrise" Gunung Rinjani,Lombok,Indonesia, 5. SC Wet, 6. Sapphire, 7. Red boat - Venice, 8. szechwan peppercorn creme brulee, 9. MISTY DREAMS..., 10. daffodil, 11. Sensitive plant, 12. silk painting

like many other people i finally succumbed to this meme - usually i can't be bothered navel gazing for long enough to do one but this has a subtlety that appealed to me. with some possible exceptions it would be hard to guess my answers to the reasonably pedestrian questions (first name, favourite food, where you went to school, favouite colour, celebrity crush, favouite drink, dream holiday destination, favourite dessert, what i would like to be when i grow up, most beloved, self-description, flickr identity) bella dia has great instructions on how to... it's fun if agonising

perhaps it's a sign of age but i found it extraordinarily difficult to think of a 'celebrity crush' and fell back on that timeless heart throb sean connery now there's a real man for you - today's pinups look like milksops next to him :)

Monday, June 09, 2008


yesterday we went to buda and saw the exhibition - some amazing pieces including a shimmering susan mathews' quilt and a beautiful piece by susan fell mclean 'palimpsest of a golden country' which won the pigment, painted and dyed fabric award.

and then we had a look at the house and garden which is just stunning. there is a large bunya pine in the garden which has inspired my quilt for the around the world in 20 quilts group's first challenge which is 'trees'

the sap oozing out of the rough hooped bark looked like rubies:

and there was an amazing elephantine root, surfacing like some subterranean behemoth:

and inside the house (which was authentically freezing cold - much colder than outdoors) there was a vase of honesty and a flower i didn't recognise, glowing warmly on the windowsill.

then lunch at the empyre cafe and a friendly cup of tea at the lovely susan's house. she has been spinning such soft and fine yarn in luscious ripe colours. go and have a look at the beret she made from her fine handspun. just gorgeous. as is the sweet little mr bear (no hints you'll have to go and see for yourself - scroll down a couple of days)

and then last night i sat and quilted a piece that i can't show yet but it involves eucalypt dyed blanketing, synthetics, tulle and yes the blowtorch....

Friday, June 06, 2008


well you can see the effort of trying to be positive rendered me speechless for over a month..... but i return with exciting news. so exciting that i'm still running around with my undies on my head.


i won the buda contemporary textiles award!!!! i won the mixed media section and the overall award. i still can't quite believe it and haven't recovered from the phone call i got at work yesterday. when the email arrived this evening it started to feel real

i'm not sure if i can post a photo yet but i can tell you that it was/is a burnt quilt made of wool blanketing, a piece of sari pounced on at an op shop, three of my grandmother's doilies recently salvaged along with a cache of other linen from my mother's cellar, a panel of 45 degree squares and a piece of brocade, free motion quilted and then attacked with the trusty blowtorch.

i'm going to castlemaine on sunday to have a look at the exhibition - if you're there and see someone with a wide grin and a pair of knickers on their head - that's me :)