Sunday, April 17, 2016

Workshop for beginners

Thinking about what I could teach beginners, I dug up 'Rose Window'
Designed and made in 1993, until I stopped teaching patchwork, it was the most often requested workshop.I often went back to places like Dalveen, to teach it again to a different group of quilters.

Size: 40" x 40" , approx. 1m x 1m
This one is all machine stitched, but the strips can be hand stitched if preferred.
In 1993, how to make the strips out of black lawn was part of the workshop, now we can buy Fusible Bias Tape in all colours which will give you a flying start. There are also some tools now to make your own. 

Over the years, people have made the flowers in different colours, all gorgeous.
Some quilters used this as a start for a bed quilt.
Full size pattern will be available.
It will be quite easy to arrange these blocks into a runner for bed or table. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Retrospective opening, Rainbow Maze, writings

Councillor Elect Cheryl Gaedtke opening my 'Retrospective of Patchwork and Textile Art'.
I was excited to see so many friends there.
More photos

Rainbow Maze

This is Brigitte's Ring.
How beautiful is that!
Such gorgeous colours and great workmanship!
I can't wait till my Test Team has caught up to where they are ready for me to teach them Machine Trapunto Appliqué!  I'll do the demo at one of our weekly Glen Rock Stitchers days. All welcome!

Added to my To Do is a How To on Shadow Appliqué for this blog. 


Sometimes my words fly out of my mouth without going through any kind of thought process.
'I'll write you a manual for the next Art Awards' I said to my SASI committee colleagues. 
This was while still on a high from the incredibly successful Somerset Art Awards 2015. 

To be honest, it doesn't seem such a fun thing to do at the moment. Part of it is that I am not totally happy with the format but I don't know how to fix it.
Maybe my graphic artist friend Ros can help when she gets back.....

My Novel

Gosh, I was so pleased to have found Aeon Timeline to keep track of  events and characters. The programmers have brought out a new version and I am getting tired of constantly having to relearn updates of programs. I am not even sure the new version will suit me as well, but unless I learn, how will I know? 

Bought the paperback version of:  Hex, Vex, Smash and Smooch.

Most surprisingly was the speed it arrived: one week from the US. It is a great book for anyone who is interested in the English language, how it developed and how to use it.
Re rules:in a living language(unlike Latin) the spoken word happens first, rules are created i to try make sense of it. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

A leap of faith into the washing machine

Talk about mixed metaphors!

This is 'From my garden, with love'
There is a long history with this quilt, suffice to say I got the book published with Martingale "That Patchwork Place' in the nineties, after self publishing a different version when I couldn't find an Aussie publisher, 

 The book is no longer in print, although there  may be copies still floating around....

Back to the story: the quilt was made nearly 20 years ago, travelled to Alaska US for an exhibition when I was teaching there in 1999 with Cynthia Morgan, came back to Australia,  travelled again to the US for the gorgeous photography for the book, returned home  and went onto the bed in my spare room.

When a window was left open, it rained on the quilt and in spite of always pre-washing my fabrics, the red of the sashing bled into the blocks.

I tore out my hair, stamped my foot, thought unkind thoughts about the person who left that window open, but wasn't game to try anything to get it out, fearful to make it worse.

But it has to take pride of place at my exhibition next week and really, was looking a tad tired.  I bit the bullet, put it into my washing machine, added diluted Orvus Paste which had lurked in my cupboard for many years and I not only crossed my fingers, I crossed my legs, eyes and arms as well. Which worked!

First the water that spun out was a bit pinkish. Oh-oh what did that mean?

But the quilt looked OK when I pulled it out of the washer.  I put it over two wires on my Hills Hoist and not only was there no further running of colours, the previous pink blotches over the pristine cream had come out too! 

I breathed again....

 I got it in just before a rain storm struck, laid it on the bed with the ceiling fan on to make sure it got perfectly dry and now I am making two rod pockets that have  to go on  the long side of the quilt, so it can be hung 'landscape' and not 'portrait' because of where the picture rails are in the venue. 

It can't believe how fresh and new it looks!

The quilt blocks in this quilt use a technique called 'Shadow Applique' which reflects the layer of sheer organza that covers the appliquéd squares. 
I love this technique because,  while the appliqué is done by hand, you only use a tiny running stitch, much easier than needle turn, which is traditionally used for hand appliqué, 
Will put a How To on this blog soon.

Friday, March 25, 2016

First Ring, Frankie Mag, books

Here is the first progress picture from my Rainbow Maze Test Team.
Mary has chosen a monochromatic colour scheme that goes from white to black on a grey background. Flowers will add red to it later. Can't wait to see more.

Finally bought Frankie magazine. I have picked it up many times, always putting it back because it is more expensive than most and I wasn't sure if it was worth it.

I love it!
It is very different to any other magazine and takes a little bit more attention. 
A bit like the difference between ice cream and a perfectly cooked steak,
One you can swallow without further effort, the other needs some chewing, but then you can enjoy the flavour and texture much longer. 

I left the article on Data Visualisation for days, it looked too complicated and what the hell was this?  Art? Technology?

This was Mr. Google has to say:

Data visualization is the presentation of data in a pictorial or graphical format. It enables decision makers to see analytics presented visually, so they can grasp difficult concepts or identify new patterns.


Except, Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec did the visualisation, which is really a fancy word for drawing, by hand on postcards in coloured pens and pencils..
No link in the article, but here it is 

I'll keep watching the progress and put the book on my wish list.

Friday, March 18, 2016

What a beautiful invitation!

 Designed by Ros Rowett!

I have two large quilts I want to include: 'Crotons in a Blue Pot' and 'From my garden, with love'. They will be too long to hang the normal 'portrait' orientation.

I can hang them 'landscape', I checked at the Hardware store yesterday, they have rods long and heavy enough, but it needs me to stitch rod pockets on one of the long sides and then make sure the weight can be supported by more than two hooks....

No promised photos of the Rainbow Maze works-in-progress by my test team. I only wanted a photo of one ring and will see if I can chase it up.

Sunday, March 13, 2016


I do have a working title for my novel, but it gives away too much of the plot.
So here is the new working title: 'Choices'.
However it started, it has become the stories about women, the choices they have, the consequences of those choices. Of course, there is a connection between these women and the connection is my antagonist Nick.

Was surprised this morning, 1000 words and one of my heroines made a choice I had not expected. 
But that's the fun about writing: that you only have to nudge your characters and you can see what they are up to. 

I've started working on the flyer for the Retrospective Exhibition of Patchwork and Textile Art that will open on 2 April. 

Thank you to my friends Ros who will design them!

Going through my images, gotto love this bit of stitching I did on my Tibetan Panel Coat, which will be on display during the exhibition,

A lovely surprise in my inbox from someone I had given a wall quilt to in appreciation for what she had done for me and my husband during his illness.

Here it is: beautifully framed:

Fantastic to know the work was appreciated!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

What about my writings?

I've written lots of non-fiction
I write a newsletter for Somerset Art Society Inc, I write a long weekly email update to family in Australia, PNG, Canada and The Netherlands and last year's personal journal had 200.000 words.

About two years ago, after some courses with the Australian Writers Centre  I started a novel. Early this year I learned how to get to the finish from one of my favourite authors:  Jodi Picoult, 

"And – here's a critical part – when you finally start to write something, do not let yourself stop…even when you are convinced it's the worst garbage ever. This is the biggest caveat for beginning writers. Instead, force yourself to finish what you began, and THEN go back and edit it. If you keep scrapping your beginnings, however, you'll never know if you can reach an end."

I use Scrivener to write my novel and here's is yesterday's effort.