Wednesday 26 November 2014

One Step Further 2014

The Victorian Quilters Art Quilt Show called One Step Further is on in Box Hill, Victoria, Australia at the moment and I had a delightful visit the other day.

It was a really lovely exhibition and all the quilts were beautifully displayed and lit to their advantage.

Lucy Carroll won first prize in the large category with her quilt named Yellow Box. It is hard to see in the photo but the quilt was quite wide and measured 180cm wide but only 60cm long.

Yellow Box by Lucy Carroll

Yellow Box Detail 
Maxine Quinlan won the Small Art Quilt Category with her quilt named Urbanscape.

Urbanscape by Maxine Quinlan

The Packers Choice Award went to Neroli Henderson for her quilt called Coco (the quilt).
Coco (The Quilt) by Neroli Henderson

You can see this quilt from across the room as you enter the exhibition and it really looks quite lifelike. Neroli made this quilt by cutting up lots of different fabrics into tiny pieces. Here is a detail shot that gives you an idea of how it was done.
Coco (The Quilt) detail

Button Grass Plains by Sandra Champion was runner up in the Large Category and it had a lot of hand stitching on it to provide the texture.
Button Grass Plains by Sandra Champion
Here is the detail photo that shows all the wonderful hand stitching, it must have taken ages to do.
Button Grass Plains detail

Janet Kidson had used a discharge technique for her quilt Autumn-Winter.
Autumn-Winter by Janet Kidson
I really liked Phyllis Sullivan's quilt Foliage.
Foliage by Phyllis Sullivan
There were cut-outs and all different kinds of  techniques for the various leaves but it was hanging very flat.
Foliage detail

I also loved Billy Buttons by Linden Lancaster, once again there was a lot of hand stitching that added texture and depth.
Billy Buttons by Linden Lancaster


Billy Buttons detail
The last quilt I have to write about is Summer-Kangaroo Paws and Billy Buttons by Susan Mathews.
Summer-Kangaroo Paws and Billy Buttons by Susan Mathews
Susan Mathews quilt was large and it really glowed. She had used hand dyed fabric and used screen printing and applique for the flowers. Her quilting was absolutely beautiful as well.
Summer- Kangaroo Paws and Billy Buttons detail
What a coincidence that two quilts had Billy Buttons as a theme.

I have tried to find websites for all the artists that I have mentioned and if you click on their names it will take you to their sites. A couple of them do not seem to have a website though.

I have only showed a small number of the wonderful quilts in the exhibition, there is so much more to see. Luckily the exhibition is on until 20th December and so there is still plenty of time to get to see the quilts.

The display is on at the Box Hill Town Hall, Whitehorse Road, Box Hill. Tuesday - Friday 10am-4pm and Saturdays 12pm-4pm.

Bye for now,

Wednesday 19 November 2014


In all the excitement of my new granddaughter I forgot to mention the latest classes that I have taught. The classes were both booked last year well before I had any idea that they were going to be near my granddaughters birth.

Two weeks before the birth I taught a Beginners Machine Quilting class for the Strathdale Quilters in Bendigo. They were a great group of enthusiastic ladies and they all brought plates of wonderful food for morning tea and lunch to keep us all going.
The class was going well when I got a text message and my first thought was that my daughter had gone into labour and I was 2 hours away! It was only my son asking if I was going to bring home lunch!!

Strathdale Quilters

The next booking I had was for a Crazy Quilted Journal Cover with Kilmore Quilters. About a month before this I happened to look at my diary and realised that I was supposed to be teaching this class on my daughter's due date. As my daughter had paid me the kind compliment of asking me to be at the birth, I was devastated to realise that I had a double booking.

Kilmore Quilters were very understanding and said if my daughter went into labour that morning they would happily postpone the class and they would have a sewing day together.
As it happened my granddaughter Savannah-Marie was born three days earlier and I could go to the class with baby photos to show them.

Kilmore Quilters
Kilmore Quilters also had a wonderful selection of food and they said that if you want to diet don't come to Kilmore! I certainly didn't go hungry.

That was the last of my teaching for the year and I have a very limited number of classes for next year because it looks as if I will be required to baby-sit when my daughter has to go back to work next year.

Bye for now,

Thursday 13 November 2014

An Exciting Event

After waiting all year my first Grandchild has arrived and I have been in a whirl ever since.
My daughter Alison gave birth to Savannah-Marie Jean on Wednesday 5th November at 6.59 am. It was a long labour of 28 hours but that was all forgotten as soon as little Savannah was given to her.

My daughter went on maternity leave two weeks before the baby arrived and we spent a few days shopping and preparing for the big event.

Alison got married last Christmas and you can see that blog post here.

Alison invited me to be at the hospital with her and her husband while she was having the baby and I felt very privileged to share this exciting moment with them.

Here is a photo of me holding Savannah-Marie when she was only one hour old.

One Hour Old
I am still smiling but I have been up all night in this photo, I finally got a couple of hours sleep after being awake for 32 hours straight. I didn't even do that when I was a teenager.

They go home from hospital much more quickly these days and here she is all packed up to go home when she is two days old.

Going Home
That white shawl you can see at the bottom of the photo was bought for me by my mother and all four of my children came home in it. It's lovely to see the tradition continued.

They go home early but they are not neglected and Alison has had a visit from a midwife or nurse every other day and she has been very pleased with the service.

I have been lucky to have spent every day this week with Alison and the baby and we are certainly counting our blessings that she has been an easy baby so far. She has been up a couple of times a night but going back to sleep after being fed.

My daughter has been doing the right thing by having a morning and afternoon sleep herself and the baby has been going 2-3 hours between feeds.

Savannah is only a week old and we hope this easy behaviour continues. Most of the time this is what we see.

Savannah-Marie sleeping
Yesterday she was a week old and I managed to get some photos while she was awake.

Savannah-Marie one week old
She was 3.35kg and that is 7.38lbs in the old way.

I haven't done any sewing for a week and it's hard to believe that a baby can take up so much time even when she is such a good baby. But we do spend many hours staring at her saying how beautiful she is!

Bye for now,

Tuesday 4 November 2014

Unity Challenge

Earlier this year I joined SAQA which is an international art quilting group. Although I am known for my traditional quilts I do a lot of art quilting on the side especially with the Waverley Art Quilters. I decided to take the next step and join SAQA. Most of the SAQA members live in America but there is a growing number of members from Australia and we are in the Oceania group.

The Oceania group opened a Facebook page where we could connect with others in the group and get to know each other. A challenge was decided upon and the theme was Unity. Luckily it only had to be a small 8"x 10" because like everyone else I don't have a lot of spare time.

I have done quite a bit of study on the principals and elements of design and Unity is not mentioned very often.

The book called The Quilters Book of Design by Ann Johnston has an entire chapter on Unity and she says that Unity is achieved by the lines, shapes, colours, values, texture and patterns that are used.

Sandra Meech in her Connecting Design to Stitch book says that unity makes everything work together and until there is Unity the piece is not finished.

I am still having fun with my Gelli printing and decided to use those fabrics. I pulled out some blues and yellows and decided on a music theme. I had some  stamps, stencils and thermofax screens with music motifs and used them with the Gelli plate.

Some of my fabrics were a strange shape and I wondered if crazy patchwork would work in an art quilt and thought this was a chance to try it out.

I pieced the fabrics together and this is what I made.

Music- 1st Attempt
As you can see I had quilted it and although I was trying to achieve Unity with the complimentary colour scheme and the music theme I thought it was unbalanced. I felt that there was too much blue in the top left corner and not enough in the bottom right.

I fixed the problem by adding some blue to the bottom right corner and quilted over the top. Quite an easy fix really.

Music balanced
I added some white dots of paint to give the piece some movement.

A few days later when I looked again at my music piece I thought the treble clef stamp that I used in the middle was not dark enough, so I added some Lumiere paint to add a bit more colour.

Bye for now,