Thursday, July 26, 2012

Craft and Quilt Fair Melbourne 2012

I was supposed to meet a friend today for lunch, we were going to browse the stalls and exhibitions at the Craft and Quilt Fair.  My friend didn't come because a crown fell off her tooth but I decided to go anyway.  It might have been better if she had come, I might have been more restrained about the tools that I decided I must have. ... just in case I ever do get around to making that celtic design quilt, the one that I bought a design book for, about three years ago.

And the scissors you can use on a plane - not that I have any intention of taking embroidery on a plane.
But I didn't buy any fabric or yarn even though there was some wonderful stuff there.

I did meet some people I haven't seen for a while while I wandered around.  That was an unexpected bonus.
Then I decided that I really should go and see the quilt exhibition.  There were some I had seen at the AQC earlier in the year but there were also quite a lot of new ones, all wonderful. I got inspired to investigate doing more quilting and maybe joining a group.  I'll have to see when they meet and suchlike. Maybe I will use those tools I couldn't resist.  Some people are really good demonstrators!

As I was wandering (and getting rather sore feet) I came across a very interesting quilt - I was taken with the way the diamonds were made, the fact that it had see-through parts ( a particular love of mine) and that it had been joined in an interesting way.
The colours are not right as I used my phone.

Then I looked at who had made it and saw that it was Deb Layt - again!

I wandered away but decided that I really did need a photo of the complete quilt and lo and behold! there was a blue ribbon on it.  I had heard someone speaking and lots of clapping but hadn't realised that winners were being announced.
Innovative Quilts

I couldn't get a shot of Deb with her quilt, she was busy being a quilt angel elsewhere.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Circles and Squares Travelling Tapestry Exhibition

Well, the day finally arrived.  We put up the travelling exhibition  of the AuNZ tapestry group, at the Handspinners and Weavers Guild rooms today.
I was so excited when the box came and I opened it to see the wonderful works.
What a treasure trove.
I can't really express how different they look in real life, compared to photos.  The colours are so clear, the textures enticing and the whole 'reality' of the works is special.
We are really lucky to have the opportunity to see them and have them for a couple of weeks.

It took quite a few hours to spread them out, decide how to group them (they had come in fairly well-organised groups) and then to hang them.  But it was fun.

Decisions, decisions
They look really great with the spotlights on them.
We have already had lots of complimentary comments from passersby as well as ladies from the guild.
So come along to our 'opening' on Saturday morning, or call in to the guild rooms anytime (check opening times here), and see them for yourselves, if you are in the vicinity.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Willingly sidetracked by unfinished quilt top

I am in a creative block at the moment so decided to try that trick of having two things on the go at once.  As I was rummaging through my drawers, I remembered that I keep unused blocks and thought I would get them out and see what was there. Nothing inspirational.

Then I came across my ufo (UnFinished Object) drawer and found the main part of a quilt that I started years ago (one of those quilt tops I mentioned previously and, yes, it was one of the classes I did at The Patchwork Gallery).

I had put it away as I had started the border in the class but still had to finish it at home and I wasn't sure I liked how it was going.
So I laid out the top and realised that it would be good for a lap rug or throw for the couch.

I have been working on putting the quilt together, quilting it and then sewing on the edging. This is quite relaxing and takes my mind off the creative block.  I am still creating, I am just not at that angsty stage of not knowing what direction to go and trying to make too many decisions.

I foolishly left the quilt out on a seat when I went to bed.  I was warned to take it off the chair as our dog thinks that having a quilt on a seat or couch is a signal for her to be allowed on the furniture - which it is, just not with a new quilt that was still full of pins!!
You can see the pins above her head.  You can also see her quilt on her bed.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Deb Layt's quilts

Wangaratta had  the Stitched Up Festival last weekend, of which the shows we visited were part.  There was also a display of Deb Layt's quilts in a local quilt shop (My Little Patch).  I had to go and see that as I did many a class with Deb and have the quilt tops to show for it - and a few finished quilts.  She taught me machine piecing, machine appliqué and machine quilting.

She has won awards with this quilt.

This is done on an ordinary home sewing machine!!  Freehand.

I also saw one of her quilts at the AQC in Melbourne, earlier this year. At first, I didn't see the design all that well but as I looked through the camera lens it became very clear.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Visit to Wangaratta

After a few days in beautiful Bright, we returned home via Wangaratta.  Of course we went to the Petite: Miniature Textiles exhibition.  I wasn't allowed to take any photos inside, boo hoo.  I knew about a dozen of the exhibitors which was rather exciting. The works are amazing and of a high standard.  It was also beautifully presented, in the front gallery.

In the back gallery there was a lovely exhibition of embroidery - put on by the local embroidery guild branch and groups in the area.  Also well worth a visit.  We met one of the embroiderers whose work we had been admiring.

This was part of the Stitched Up Festival at Wangaratta.

We also heard about the Strictly Quilts 6 exhibition at St Bernard's Primary School.  There were some wonderful quilts on view there too.
And I was allowed to take some pictures, so here are a few.
There were several of this design, the different colours chosen made a huge difference to each one.

I like the design and the main fabric on this.

The appliqué over the patches was very interesting.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Doodle sewing

I am combining my interest in doodle drawing with free motion machine sewing.  I used a drawing I had done of a tree trunk (another that seems to have the pattern of the bark going up the tree from left to right) and traced the main outlines onto soluble fabric.  Then I tried doodling it in a similar way using the sewing machine.

Surprisingly, it is not much slower than the drawing.  One of the main drawbacks is that you can't alway see where the needle is going, as you move backwards and forwards.  But that didn't matter to me in this instance.
I need to practise more and see if I can come up with more patterns that will hold together when the soluble fabric is gone. I couldn't get it quite the same as the pen doodling, not that I was trying all that hard, but I was quite pleased with the look.

Then I dissolved the backing.  It shrank much more than I expected.  I used rayon thread this time and now I will have to do some samples as much the same as I can make them to see what the difference is between cotton and rayon.  I might even lash out and get some polyester and see how that compares.

The shrinkage means that the darker, more heavily sewn areas, are quite dense and my variations in tone are less clear. Oh well, live and learn.
The final piece over the picture I had traced it from.  Quite a lot of shrinkage.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tree trunk directionality

Is it just that I am drawn to trees that have their bark going in a certain direction or do the majority of eucalyptus trees have their bark going from left to right up the tree?
I have found some where the bark grows relatively vertically, but there sure seem to be a lot that don't.
Maybe it's the way the world spins.