Tuesday 28 June 2016

Fibre Arts Winter School Preparation

Last year some friends and I decided to book into a week at the Fibre Arts Winter School in Ballarat. It seemed so far away when we first enrolled and now it is nearly time to go.

I haven't been a student in a class for many years so it will be change from teaching a class. At the moment I am trying to get my head around packing for the week and deciding what materials to take with me.

To help raise money for scholarships all students and tutors have been asked to make a 6" x 6" and 4' x 4" textile piece to be sold during the week for $15 and $10.

Because I have been doing a lot of seascapes lately, I thought I might as well stay with that theme.

I got out some hand painted fabric and ruled up the sizes for 3 little pieces.

Then I put some fusible web behind some fabric, cut out the shapes and fused them to the background fabric. I made them nearly all the same.

I even quilted them as one piece although I did change the quilting on each one to see which pattern I liked best.

This is what they looked like when I had finished them.

I have actually been a tutor at the Winter School in Ballarat before and I remember that you had to be quick to buy these little pieces because they were snapped up very quickly. It's a good way to get some work from an artist that you admire at a very low price.
Last time I was lucky enough to buy a little Caroline Sharkey work.

I'll look forward to writing all about my week in Ballarat in a couple of weeks. I do know to pack plenty of warm clothes because Ballarat in winter is very cold. Luckily the rooms are heated and warm.

Bye for now,

Thursday 23 June 2016

Sydney Craft and Quilt Fair 2016

The Sydney Quilt Show is on at the moment and I flew up for the day yesterday. I had such a wonderful time, seeing the quilts, looking at the shops and all the displays and catching up with friends.

The highlight of my day was when I received 2nd prize in the Pictorial section for my quilt Firelight.

Firelight was a new technique for me; I had made a small version for my crazy quilt and wondered how I would go trying it out on a much larger scale. I started with pieces of wool in reds, yellows and browns and dry felted it with my embellisher machine. I then finished it off with some hand embroidery and machine quilting.

Here is a detail photo.

I like the painterly quality that you get with wool and will definitely try the technique again.

The quilts were absolutely beautiful and I took over 200 photos. Unfortunately you are not allowed to post photos unless you have the permission of the maker, so I can only post photos of my friend's quilts.

Linda Crouch has made a small quilt named Agapanthus and the quilting is amazing.
Agapanthus by Linda Crouch

 Sue de Vanny used all sorts of different techniques for her quilt named Erte's Bazaar
Erte's Bazaar by Sue de Vanny

Here is a detail photo so you can see all those ribbons that she appliqued and her quilting was beautiful too.

Anne Andrews's quilt is called Fruit Salad, it is hand pieced and hand quilted. I am in a friendship group with Anne and I remember her sitting at our group sewing it.

Fruit Salad by Anne Andrews
I was standing in an aisle among all the quilts when Rachelle Denneny arrived from South Australia. I only catch up with Rachelle at quilt shows so after a quick chat I took some photos of her with her gorgeous quilts.

Rachelle Denneny with her quilt Modern Movement

Here is another photo where I hope you can see her wonderful quilting. You can click on the photos to make them bigger. Rachelle won first prize in the Modern Quilts section with this quilt.

Modern Movement by Rachelle Denneny detail
Rachelle had another quilt in the show called Sweet Calliope which won the Domestic Machine Quilting Award.

Sweet Calliope by Rachelle Denneny
These photos were taken before the prizes were announced so she didn't know the good news then.

Here is a detail photo so you can see her lovely quilting.

Sweet Calliope by Rachelle Denneny detail
I don't know how she does such beautiful quilting on a domestic machine. I love the new modern coloured fabrics that she has used as well.

While Rachelle and I were standing around talking Karen Terrens from Melbourne came by and I took a photo of her in front of one of her quilts.

North Country Girl by Karen Terrens.

Karen has a long arm quilting machine and she is master of her machine. She won the Long Arm Machine quilting Award for her other quilt in the show and I think that I forgot to take a photo of that one.
Here is a close up of photo of her quilting. North Country Girl got second in the Traditional Professional category.

North Country Girl by Karen Terrens detail

While I was talking to Rachelle and Karen, Amanda Daly who is the President of the NSW Guild came up to speak to us. When she told me that she also had a quilt in the show, I just had to take a photo of her in front of her quilt.

Out of the Box by Amanda Daly
Julie Adamson won second prize with her beautiful applique quilt called Time, Sand and Arabesque. Julie uses silk for her fabrics and she hand appliques and hand quilts, she is a popular teacher.

Time, Sand and Arabesque by Julie Adamson.
Vicki Jenkin, a long arm quilter from country Victoria won a Judges Commendation for her beautiful quilt named Pointy Plates.

Pointy Plates by Vicki Jenkin
Here is a detail photo so you can see Vicki's beautiful quilting.

Pointy Plates by Vicki Jenkin quilting detail
I met Lynn Hewitt at the very first AQC (Australasian Quilt Convention) in Melbourne 11 years ago. We have been catching up at quilt shows ever since. Lynn has been the President of the NSW Guild a couple of times, she has run quilting tours, taught and you name it Lynn has done it. If you want to know anything you ask Lynn. She also had a quilt in the show and let me take a photo of her in front of it.

Well Spotted by Lynn Hewitt

Now I look at the photo of Lynn Hewitt I see that she is wearing her white gloves and has papers in her hand, of course she was working! People like Lynn are so valuable to the quilting industry.

It was getting late in the day when I came across Katrina Hadjimichael, we have been Facebook friends for a while so it was good to catch up in person. Katrina has been designing and making quilts with a Jane Austen theme and her Wentworth quilt won a Judges commendation.

Wentworth by Katrina Hadjimichael

My quilt was hanging close to the miniature quilts and so I was there when they went to put their ribbons on their quilts. I asked permission to post photos of their quilts.

Here is Jan Cardie who got 3rd prize for her Mini Grandma's Flowers quilt.

Jan Cardie with Mini Grandma's Flowers

You can see how small those quarter inch hexagons are because the ribbon is nearly bigger than the quilt.
Mini Grandma's Flowers by Jan Cardie
First prize in the miniatures was won by Felicity Scott for her quilt, Who Stole the Moon?.

Felicity Scott with Who Stole the Moon.
Here is a closer photo.

Who Stole the Moon by Felicity Scott.
Those little log cabins were certainly miniature. Felicity said that she went to a lot of trouble to make sure that the Japanese writing was correct, apparently it is all about the dragon.

Best of Show was won by Rachaeldaisy for her quilt Whizz Bang. Her name is all one word, I haven't made a mistake. She was absolutely thrilled and could not believe it.

Rachaeldaisy with Whizz Bang
Here is a photo of the entire quilt.

Whizz Bang by Rachaeldaisy
Photos do not do this quilt justice. It must be very heavy because it is all layers of 3D fabric.

You might be able to get an idea in this detail photo.

Whizz Band detail
How lovely to see a modern, young quilter win Best of Show.

I think there were nearly 400 quilts in the judged show and every quilt was beautiful. Photos do not do them justice, so if you get a chance to go to the show I highly recommend it. The show runs everyday until Sunday.
The show is  held at the Sydney Exhibition Centre. Glebe Island. 41 James Craig Road, Rozelle.

As I left the Exhibition Centre yesterday I looked up and saw the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It was a different view of the bridge and so I had to take a photo. You can see that beautiful blue sky, we had sunny weather of 20 degrees.

Here is the link to see all the prize winners and their quilt photos.

Bye for now,

Tuesday 21 June 2016

Elements of Design- Space

The Waverley Art Quilters are studying the Elements of Design this year using the Sandra Meech book called Connecting Design to Stitch.

In May we were looking at Space and I don't mean the planets and astronauts!

The space around a shape is known as negative space. Varying negative space in a textile work is very important for creating an interesting composition.

For example, putting a row of tree in a landscape with the same space in between each one can look static and boring even if it is what you see in real life or a photo. Interest is created when the space between each tree is varied and some trees are in front or behind one another.

Varying the size or scale of an object in a composition also creates interest.

I drew up four different sketches of Pennant Coral Fish and chose the more interesting one that had varying shape size and a more interesting negative space.

I chose the top left sketch and made a little background for them with a pretty batik blue fabric and some batiks that looked like rocks.

When I usually create an art quilt, I add all the embroidery and embellishment before I baste and quilt but seeing as this is really only an exercise in space, I basted it and then sewed around all the shapes as part of the quilting. It is much quicker but I don't think the result is as nice.

Here is the finished quilt.

 Bye for now,

Tuesday 14 June 2016

Design Elements-Shape

This year the Waverley Art Quilters are studying the Elements of Design using the Sandra Meech book called Connecting Design to Stitch.

Shape was actually our topic for April but I am just catching up after such a busy year so far.

When a line joins itself it becomes a shape. Shapes can be geometric or organic and they are everywhere around us. Leaves, rocks, windows, phones or even buildings are all shapes.

Shape when repeated becomes a pattern but can look static if repeated at the same size in an art quilt.
Various sizes create interest.

At first I fused many little fabric squares that looked like water in a geometric pattern.

Geometric shape

Although I really liked the shapes I couldn't get it to work with my more organic type underwater theme.

I've been meaning to do some strip piecing for a while so I chose many blue and green fabrics that could be interpreted as water and pieced them together.
Then I cut three gentle curves horizontally through the stripes which formed shapes from the striped fabric. I restitched the fabric strips together in a different order to create interest and slight tension.

I was so involved with the process that I forgot to take any progress photos.

My theme in Art Quilters this year is Underwater, so I added some fish onto the background.

 When you fuse shapes onto piecing it often forms little ridges and so I put a little bit of felt behind each fish and it gave them a rounder shape.

I discovered that there is a reason I do so much applique work, I find piecing quite tedious and I really hated pressing all those seams.

Bye for now,

Tuesday 7 June 2016

Quilting Time

It has been a very busy April and May for me, I am glad that June is here and I can have a bit of a rest.....maybe!!

During April and May I have had AQC, my birthday, my son's graduation, a quilting retreat with friends, Mother's Day, a guest speaker engagement, making a project for Quilter's Companion Magazine, the Waverley Patchworkers Quilt Show and my duties as President of Waverley Patchworkers and the coordinator of the Waverley Art Quilters. While all this has been going on I have been trying to get my quilt finished for the end of May deadline for Victorian Quilters Showcase and Houston Quilt Show.

It has been a very busy couple of months and there were times that I thought I would not finish my quilt in time. Here is a photo of me in the middle of quilting. There was still a long way to go when I took this photo.

It's tricky to quilt a crazy quilt and while I am doing it I realise why crazy quilts were always tied and not quilted. I am always dodging embroidery stitches and beads.

In this photo I was quilting some snow flakes.At first I just quilted around the snowflake (Bottom snowflake) but it stood up too much and I ended up quilting further into the embroidery to flatten it a bit more like you can see in the top snowflake.

It was a hard slog and the quilt ended up taking 110 hours to quilt. I felt absolutely exhausted but I got it photographed and entered into the Houston Quilt Show in time. I won't find out for a couple of months whether it will be accepted or not. The entries come from all over the world and it is a privilege to be accepted.

There were always welcome distractions. Savannah dropped into see me one morning and had a little feast in Poppy's chair. She's 18 months old now.

My quilts that were travelling around America for the 500 Traditional Quilts book exhibition finally arrived home.

I haven't seen Scottish Dance, Naturally Crazy and Crazy about Ballet since 2014. They arrived home beautifully packed with rolls of paper in each fold. The Houston Quilt Show people certainly know how to look after and care for quilts.

I'll post a photo of my latest quilt as soon as I am able. Some shows don't like photos of the quilts shown until after judging.

Bye for now,