Wednesday, March 7, 2018

My Own Unfinished Business Finished!

Feeling inspired by the Unfinished Business ... Finished exhibition, I dragged out a quilt that I had started many years ago.
It is a kaleidoscope quilt, using some rather bright floral fabric. I know the book  (Magic Stack-n-Whack Quilts) was published in 1998, and I think I may have started the quilt around about then, maybe a few years later.
I got as far as putting it all together and even started quilting it. Then, who knows why, I put it in a quilting bag and have not taken it out since.

I found that I had started some rather tight stippling all over the blank parts of the fabric (that may be why I put it away, there was a lot of stippling to do). It is now finished off with much looser stippling.

I also found that the fabric pencil marks I had made were, mostly, still there and was able to use them to do some patterning amongst the stippling.

All that was left to do after that was to put on the binding - which I have now done. Very satisfying.
I even have a good  home for it to go to.
I tried to do a random, asymmetrical back, using the fabrics from the front. I rather like that, might try that again - if I ever do a another quilt.

Now I have the quilting bag available too, ready to take bits and pieces to various classes and groups.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sample tapestry

I've been told that I have to post today because it is 18/2/18.
It has been a while since my last post, I am being sucked in by Facebook. I belong to three closed groups that take up a lot of my computer time. (That, and playing games.)

One group has a challenge for February, to post every day (eek) and to have a sketch or experiment in textiles. That is a big ask. But it has made me do some rough sketches and is also making me work on several ideas that are coming up.

I have done a small tapestry for an upcoming exhibition - and I have lost it!! Hugely annoying!!!
It took hours to sew in the warps, put fabric on the back and finish it off - hours.

I am also trying to develop an idea for another tapestry theme and spent the weekend working on a sampler. It may now become my piece to replace the other (much more interesting) piece. The theme for the lost one is Growth. The theme for the upcoming one is Transformation.

My idea for transformation is to do with acorns splitting open and having shoots and roots emerging.
I did a small doodle related to the theme - one of my nightly little doodles.
Now I have made a sampler with that doodle as my main image. I was more interested in the background than getting a great image, which was lucky as it looks rather like a strange rabbit.

But I think I can use the ideas in the background in my larger one, so that is a plus. I used different techniques and yarns to give me texture. I had a whole lot of thrums left over, so only used them. It made it quite a random background in terms of colour and how large the areas were. I just changed to some more wool when the pieces ran out.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Exhibition opening

Unfinished Business ... Finished opened on Wednesday evening. It was a hot night and there were lots of people there!
I think that the crowd was large because it was two groups of people exhibiting together. There were the textile people (Textile Art Community) and the woodworking group (Victorian Woodworkers Association).
Then there were the donors whose work was repurposed.
Then there were family and friends.
And supporters of the arts in Banyule.

I will have to go back to see all the works properly - it is always hard to see the works on an opening night but this was exceptionally busy. The vibe was very good, lots of creators happy to see their work on display, donors happy to see their contributions used, happy people.

It was quite amazing to see how some of the original pieces were used. Some were still quite recognisable (mine) and some had totally re-visioned the pieces.
I deliberately decided to make my two vessels recognisable because the donors had had to stop making because of failing eyesight. So I wanted them to be able to recognise their pieces if they attend.

It was great fun to be there, to meet up with friends, to meet people from the very distant past (it being in my neighbourhood and a city function) and to meet new people. It was a community event that highlighted 'community' for me.

It was also very exciting to see some of my donated pieces being used. I am extremely pleased to see them so creatively used.
The abdomen is my blackwork.

Some naturally dyed fabrics and minimum, random stitching.

Tapestry samplers.

Rejected Mr Johnston tapestry. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

A New Year

My machine embroidery group, at the Embroiderers Guild, Victoria, has come up with a new theme this year. It is still Inspired By ... but this year the theme is song and music titles.

This last month was Rhapsody in Blue.
I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. However, late last year I was at the fabric shop and did see small pieces of fabric that reminded me of music and sound recordings - and they were blue.

Our meeting was on Sunday. On Saturday I decided that I could come up with something if I didn't stress too much about how wonderful it would be.

So here is my Rhapsody in Blue.

I used the notes from the score, not that you would necessarily know that.
Once again, the size is A5, which suited me down to the ground this time.

One month down, many more to go.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Inspired by ...

This time, I am working towards the online group's Inspired By ... theme. We have set ourselves the challenge to make 4 pieces in a year. It isn't a calendar or financial year, just an arbitrary year. We are up to number 3. (Here are 1 and 2.)

I am sticking with Van Gogh and Kathryn Harmer Fox.
The Van Gogh influence is the choice of subject, a sunflower. It is seen from the side, which I don't think he did. But I am still influenced by him.

Part of the reason for the sunflowers is that we have been growing them in the backyard and we put thm in a spot that was off the ground and just outside the back door. They were perfectly situated for me to take close up photos, albeit not front on.

I chose one when it was opening up and pointing east.

The Kathryn Harmer Fox influence if from the workshop I did last April. I have also done my other two for this challenge in the same technique. One more to go.

It starts off looking relatively easy, then the making adjustments, shading, corrections, etc, comes in and there is a lot of sewing. But it is a very enjoyable technique that is also a bit forgiving.

Today I have spent a few hours mounting it onto foamcore.

I decided to leave off the ladybird because I had a bit of trouble with the background and it is now very thick and I thought I might just mess it up.

Now I have three of them, all the same size. Once I have made the next one, I will have to think about how I am going to frame and hang them. But that must be 3 months away, which may not be that far away, actually.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018


We planted some sunflower seeds in late October - 6 seeds, of which 4 grew.
They have been fascinating to watch.
The rainbow lorikeets have been interested too!! They have pretty much eaten all the seeds now.

Luckily, we weren't planning anything special for the seeds. But they are eyeing-off the nectarines now, and have had a wonderful time with the plums. So we may have to pick the nectarines just before they are ripe, in the hopes of being able to eat some ourselves. We did manage to get some plums that way.

I have been working on a series of Inspired by ... for one of my online groups. So far, I have done two Inspired by Van Gogh. Seeing I have soo many pictures of the sunflowers, and seeing Van Gogh did some gorgeous paintings of sunflowers, I have been inspired to have a go.
I am not trying to emulate his images, just his topic.

I loved the patterns on the flowers before they opened.

I have chosen an image of a flower that is still opening so that I could get the interesting patterns. Not sure I am getting it how I wanted but it is developing and I will try to improve the image further. That is the advantage of this method, you can overlay fabric and put more sewing onto it to disguise any areas you don't like.

Still lots of work to do but it is coming along.

I have so many gorgeous photos that I may have to do another later on.

Friday, January 19, 2018


It was hot today and yesterday, and overnight, which seems to be worse as you don't sleep as well, making it harder to cope with the heat.

It was forecast to be very hot today so I got out all the old fabric that I did in my textile course. It has very ordinary (as in ugly) printing on it. I also found that my fitted sheet has a hole in it, so that got used too. I took all the fabric out and put it on the two camellias that we have had for years. They tend to burn in the very hot sun (scroll down for the poor, burnt camellias from the past).

I am not sure what the forecast is, so will probably take them off again tomorrow. I do know that it was forecast to drop 10°C , which means it might go from 42° to 32°, which won't be all that cool.
(I have just looked up how to get the degrees symbol on the keyboard - Mac: option, shift 8).

It being too hot to do much, I decided to do another small image for the Unfinished Business ... Finished exhibition.
I found an old photo of the backbeach at Rye,

printed it out A4 and did a rough estimation of the areas of colour onto some adhesive interfacing. I cut some small pieces of the donated blue fabric as my base.

Then I got out some tulle, some of the DMC threads that had been donated by a different person, and some old bits of novelty knitting yarn.
In the course of things, I came across some old dyed silk rods which. I discovered, pull apart quite easily and give nice texture.

I had a picture frame that I had rescued just two weeks ago from the scrap-heap and have cut the embroidery to fit.
All in all, not a bad day, despite the heat. You might as well be doing something, rather than sitting around feeling hot.