Tuesday, May 31, 2016

It Shouldn't Have Taken This Long!

I am currently working on a small art quilt for an online group that I belong to. We are a new group and thought we would make up a challenge to have done by early June (not that far away now).

I have finished the main part of the work and was going to finish it off today by putting on the border.
It took ages!!

I wanted to make the binding match the colours of the work and decided to join the various fabrics on the diagonal.  This was easy for the first colour. But, being spatially challenged, I could NOT get the second colour to be the right way round. Then, when I had managed that, I realised that I had not allowed for the diagonal join and it didn't sit where I wanted it to.
After unpicking it, I rearrange the pieces and sewed then together again - in reverse of what I wanted, the join on the top instead of the bottom. Aaargh!

Once I got it sorted, I pinned it and sewed it on.

On to the other side. Same problems! Unbelievable. I had to unpick, rearrange the length of the pieces and fiddle around some more.
Eventually (two and a half hours later) I had put the sides on.

The quilt is now finished. We are having a 'reveal' day, so I suppose I had better not put up the finished image till then.
But here is the back. I had intended to put another piece of fabric on the back to hide all the mistakes and messy sewing but there wasn't any worth worrying about.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Fabric collage again

I have been playing around with fabric collage again.
As I was preparing to demonstrate at the Embroiderers Guild last week, and as I am in an online group that is having a challenge piece due in June, I decided to combine the two events.
The theme of the online group is Gondwana. This is a huge topic! Gondwana stretches from the southern hemisphere to the northern. It is often associated with Australia as we were part of Gondwana but it is much bigger than that.
Still, I live in Australia and have lots of photos of local landforms. So I decided to try to do something relating to geology.
I was in a medical waiting room recently and came across an Australian Geographic magazine that had wonderful photos of Prunululu. So I have decided to have a go at something based on this.

I also found interesting images at 123RF.

As it was part of my demo, I thought I would document the process. I have done some fabric collage recently and have enjoyed it.
This time, I thought I would use wadding in the middle, rather than doing it on adhesive interfacing. I also thought I would put on a backing fabric as I find that the wadding does fluff up the inner workings of the sewing machine if it is the back layer.

The image is rather intricate, so I put a copy of it under the top layer of fabric. I put Vliesofix on the top layer so that the pieces could be ironed on. But the pieces turned out to be tiny and they kept moving around before I had a chance to iron them on.

Then I remembered a product that I had used once before. It is sticky on one side. I ironed it onto the Vliesofix and then the sticky side was up, ready to hold all my little scraps. The whole thing is very well adhered!

I could still vaguely see my outlines under the several layers of fabric and product.

I have spent hours laying it all out. Some of the pieces are very small.

When I measured the piece, to ensure it will fit the challenge, I realised it wasn't high enough. Disaster.
So I decided to make the mountains bigger, higher in the sky. I also made the bottom a bit bigger in case I need to cut some off.

I redrew my image onto Solvy, with the idea of using it to assist me when I come to sew. I am not convinced this is a good idea and may not use it for that. But it was helpful with the laying out of fabric.
It looks like one mountain, rather than a series but I think I can live with that. I found, as I was working on the piece, that the initial image became much more distant from the final laying out of the fabric pieces. It is my inspiration but I have moved away from it to some extent.
The Solvy is over the image, the lines are very hard to see and don't line up all that well with how I have laid out the fabric. Oh well. I was thinking that it would be a nuisance to have to wash if off, so now I won't use it after all. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Old Haunts

Yesterday, I took our dog for a walk at Darebin Parklands.

I haven't been there for months. This is partly due to it being a site for tiger snakes and I don't take her there much in the warm weather.
Summer seems to be LONG these day and it is only now approaching cooler temperatures. There are signs around the place, warning of snakes between October and April, but I know that snakes are often seen between September and May. Even today, it is windy but warm. Roll on the cooler weather.

Anyway …

We went to the park and I took lots of pictures. My brother was visiting and he was interested in seeing how the park has been developed from when he was a boy and had lots of adventures down there.

I am currently working on a piece that is to do with the geology of Australia. I am fairly sure that this is the end of the lava plain that makes up most of Victoria (I attended a geology talk several years ago and think we were told that then).

There is lots of geology to see in the park. So I might be able to use some of the images in the future.

This is the cliff face that I have taken LOTS of photos of, and have even made a tapestry based on it. It is not as purple as my original image. I must have been lucky with the image on that day.

One interesting thing was that there is now a path under Heidelberg Rd. It is only recently opened. I hadn't realised that they must have narrowed the creek until I compared photos from the past with what it looks like now. 
The path under Heidelberg Rd at the moment.

The path didn't go under the bridge in 2011. 

The path didn't go under the bridge in 2011.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Creative Play Day at the Embroiderers Guild

Today was the monthly meeting of one of the Creative Play day groups. We were reminded that there is an exhibition coming up that will feature some of the works we have done at these sessions. So I was inspired to finish a piece I started at one of the sessions.
It is based on one of my sunset photos but done strictly from memory. And it was heavily influenced by the threads I had to hand. It is mostly silk threads, sari silk yarns and some dyed silk ribbon. I loved working on the hessian and just randomly sewing the threads. Not too randomly, I was trying to convey a sunset scene. But I wasn't being too precious about stitch length and other such pedantic notions.

I was invited to lead today's session. I decided to do it on fabric collage, seeing that was what I have been playing around with lately.
I don't have any images from today as I forgot to ask for permission to show other people's works. But it doesn't really matter as they are all works in progress. And the progress may well stop at the end of the session. The advantage of the play days is that we are exposed to things we don't usually do, and we may choose never to do them again. It absolutely doesn't matter.

I had thought to demonstrate on my latest idea. That didn't eventuate as it is much more fiddly than I had anticipated. I am doing another torn (or cut) strip collage, based on the Bungle Bungle mountains in Western Australia.

My design is relatively detailed and the pieces needed for it are all tiny. So it is taking much longer to do than I had anticipated. Not to worry, I was able to talk about the process so far and about some of the products I am using to assist me with the development of the piece. More on this later.
It was a lovely day. I didn't feel too threatened about demonstrating as the group is full of receptive listeners who will have a go, even when it is not a technique they are particularly interested in doing. It is just a lovely play day with people of like interests.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Autumn Artistry exhibition

Tonight was the opening of the Alcove Art Shop's exhibition and sale.
The works were varied, as usual.
A good crowd came along and an enjoyable evening ensued.

I got there a bit early so the pictures don't have many people in them - none, actually.

The exhibition is on till Saturday May 28th at the Box Hill Community Arts Centre.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Seeing faces in places

I think I have posted about something similar to this before. But I just had to do it again.

I was at the Australian Quilt Convention recently. As I was leaving, I spied a possum asleep in a tree in the park outside the Exhibition Building. I took a photo.

Then I decided that I often see faces in places and that the tree vaguely resembled a face. But when I got home I decided that it wasn't all that face-like.

Yesterday I was browsing my photos and came across the photos again. One thing I noticed was that the plastic around the tree, to stop possums climbing, didn't seem to be that effective (unless the possum can't get out of the tree).
Then I saw a little dog's face in the tree. It is right in the middle of the photo.

I have zoomed in so you can see it more clearly (in case you didn't notice it in the photo). It is rather pixilated but I think the dog's face is really clear.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Trying hand sewn fabric collage

I thought I'd try a slightly different take on the fabric collage.
I chose some pictures I took while I was overseas last year and eventually chose one from Saugerties, in upstate New York. It was right at the beginning of autumn, not many colourful leaves yet.

I used a piece of calico as the background, then laid a piece of green fabric over that to be most of the background.  A piece of black cotton was the ground for the image.

I ripped up some more of the black fabric. I had tried using bleach on it, years ago, to see what I would get. It was ok for the tree trunks, not being just a flat colour.

Then I cut up some of my green scraps and laid them around the piece, trying to make them look like leaves.

As I was doing it by hand, I had to pin them all on. Then sew them. This is quite a different way of working for me.

I had come across some of my 'stuff' while looking for my fabric scraps, so I thought I might try to incorporate them. I am not sure this was a brilliant idea but I have given it a go.

Working out how to attach these filmy, flimsy bits and pieces is quite a challenge.

I am not sure if I like it but I will persevere for a bit longer and see what eventuates.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Not a good place to build

A few days ago I went to hand out the washing. It was intermittently sunny and breezy, a good drying day.

I found a spider web on the clothes line.
Fortunately, I only had a medium sized wash, so I could leave the spider there for a bit longer.

With the thunder storm a couple of days later, a tree fell down and seems to have brushed the web away. Fortunately, again, it didn't damage the clothes line, the fence or the house.