Friday, April 29, 2016

Blue sea and sky, dark island

Life has been busy lately and not much of a creative nature has occurred. However, the Machine Embroidery Group at the Embroiderers Guild is meeting this week and I have a task to complete before then.

I missed the last meeting, being at the Ballarat Fibre Arts workshop, which was wonderful. But I felt that I had to complete the small piece that I undertook to do at the February meeting.

So I have been thinking, thinking.

The task is to use an image that has been provided and interpret it in stitch.
This is the image I was given.

I decided to continue with my current interest, fabric collage.
The original is only small, about 6" by 4" (can't remember what it is in centimetres, quilting happens in inches more often than not. Even though this is not, strictly speaking quilting, it is related. It has three layers, or more, and has pieces of fabric joined together to make the piece).

I used lots of very small pieces of fabric that I had saved from previous works. They were even smaller than I have been using lately. I am not even sure why I kept them.

I used a piece of fusible interfacing and laid out the fabric pieces. I ironed them on and sewed then so that they were secure. I worked on the background first. You would think I would remember that that is the way to go but I had to pick off quite a few pieces that were the foreground, rather than the background, and then put them back on later.

I used the image as my inspiration but didn't try to be exact (so not my thing, being exact). It was enjoyable to be doing some creative work again, even though it is only small.
This is one of the times when the actual piece looks much better than the photo.
I then cut a piece of commercial craft felt to size and zigzagged around the edge to attach it. It is firm enough but also pliable.

The idea of the book is that a person has made the book (some people opted to just have a box), put in an original image that was then taken by a member of the group who interpreted the image in fabric and thread. Then that person put in a related image, which was interpreted by a different person. This has been done many times and when the book if finished the original maker will have a lovely book of works by different people.

It is a great idea. The pieces are small, the techniques are up to the individual person and there is no time limit. Someone will end up with a lovely little book.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Using something I made for my textile and design course

As I posted a while ago, I made some pattern blocks as part of an assignment for my Studio Textiles and Design course. It is quite a few years since I did the course but I kept a few of the things (most, in fact) that I made, despite not really knowing how I might use them in real life.

I have been doing some Home Schooling with a couple of children recently and the Pattern Blocks have been most useful! As I thought when I made them, they make no noise when they fall.

But they are more useful than that, we have had lots of fun making images.  Here a few photos of what they have made.

Most of the images have been inspired by patterns outlined at this site. But using my pieces with the different patterns on each side has added an element of choice to the designs.

It is always great to see  a use for something you have made - despite me being adamant that textile art does NOT have to be functional.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

AQC 2016

I had to go the AQC today, just in case something interferes with my plans to attend tomorrow - is that being too paranoid? (Now I don't need to go tomorrow.)

Anyway, I went today, which means I can post on 16/4/16; how could I resist??

There were so many beautiful quilts on display, I was almost overwhelmed. Fortunately, I decided to go and see the quilts before looking at the stands. Good decision. I only had a limited time to be there and it was nearly all taken up by the astonishing exhibitions.

Of course, I went to the floor talk for A Matter of Time. It was so exciting to see my work on display.
Brenda gave a very interesting talk about the exhibition. It was better than reading all the artist statements, which I had already done, as she added information about her choices about why pieces were included and how they related to one another. It was great to hear how she used the different quilts to carry a theme or colour idea through the whole exhibition.

Then there were several other small exhibitions from different groups. I was going to take photos and put them on this post but there are really good links already online so didn't bother. It was actually rather tricky to photograph some of them as, lovely as it is, the Exhibition Building does have windows up high that let in light and makes it hard to see some of the artworks clearly, especially for photography.

I did have a small piece in another of the smaller exhibitions: one by my online group of Aus/NZ Art Quilters. It is 10 years since the group began and that was the theme - 10 years with works of 10'"x 10" (yes, non-metric).

So here is a selection of photos from various parts of the AQC.
These ones were just as you walked in. I was going to vote for my favourite but the voting was only on the first two day - not really a problem as there were so many good ones.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Not your normal tree trunk

I took our dog out to Yarra Bend Park today (actually, it was the other side of the creek and may have been the Merri Creek Trail). It was HOT!

Poor Penny was panting and we had to rest for a while. She has learnt to go from shade to shade, I just didn't expect to have to do that at this stage of autumn.

That's when I saw this tree - the trunk is growing at a 90 degree angle.
The branch that parallels it is a branch, but the front one is definitely a tree trunk.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Look What I Found!

I have been doing some tidying of my studio recently, partly due to having taken soooo much stuff to the Laura Edgar workshop at Ballarat and needing to put it all away again. I decided to be tidy and put my stuff in 'sensible' places, accessible places. Wonder how long that will last. And if I will be able to find everything.

While I was deciding where some of it should go, I came across an old piece that I had started after an Olga Walters workshop - years ago. So long ago I can't remember the actual date. Maybe the 90's, early 2000's?

It was when I was first taught some of the possibilities of Vliesofix and was encouraged to be more adventurous with free motion stitching.

It has some fabric that has been fussy cut (very fussily) and then placed on the backing. All of it is commercial fabric, I don't do a lot of dyeing of my own cottons. It has wool batting/wadding (I never know what we call it in Australia, I think we use both terms) and backing fabric. It is really a rather traditionally constructed quilt, just not the usual proportions.

It is currently lying on my cutting table, while I think about whether to work on it, to continue to play with some of the techniques I have just learnt with Laura, and which I need to try or I will forget them, or whether to actually get out the tapestry loom.

Too many choices - hope they don't freeze me!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Laura Edgar workshop

I have to post today, the date is so interesting - 8/4/16.

Fortunately, I have been to the Fibre Arts event at Ballarat, so I have something to say.

I attended Laura Edgar's workshop. It was based on seascapes, or so I thought. I don't know if I read it incorrectly or if other people just wanted to do landscapes, but some people did some wonderful scenes.
These images are from the exhibition on the final evening. A lot of them have minimal stitching on painted fabric. They have turned out beautifully.

I stuck with seascapes.
I also stuck with the image I have used before, for tapestry and for a small piece I did recently. I had thought to donate it for the raffle but have kept it as I want to develop more work based on the technique I used to make it. So it is still in my studio.

The work I did in Laura's workshop is rather different. We used a lot of synthetic fabrics, acrylic paints and much more hand sewing than I am used to. The hand sewing produces a different texture. I did do one piece using both machine and hand sewing and the machine definitely flattened the area I worked on.
Machine and hand sewn
The other pieces I produced are hand sewn and much more textural. It was lovely to sit for several hours a day and just sew - I doubt that I will do that at home. There is too much else for me to be doing.
Hand sewn

Hand sewn, some free motion sewing on dissolvable fabric to make small pieces to add as texture.

Laura did some demos of her technique and I can see that I will have to practise it a lot more. The painting of the background, or of fabric that may be overlaid, and perhaps burnt, needs more experimenting. She produces lots of stormy scenes. She says that is because she is from the north of England and the seas and skies are darker. From her work, I assume they rarely see the sun.

It was a very enjoyable week, relaxing and educational.