Thursday, September 28, 2006

Where to go with this?

This is a quilt that I have started. I think that it is for a local challenge with the theme of elements, but I'm not too sure where I am going with it. I like it...I guess, but it is not very interesting to me just now. My husband was glowing in his respnse to it, which is very unusual. Generally his comments are in the form of constructive criticism; lots of suggestions for improvements. Maybe the fact that he seemed so accepting of this work is the reason that I am not so trusting of it. Now that's reverse psychology!!!

I am thinking to quilt this in big circles and shading. Maybe I'll add some more applique after the quilting. It needs some other colours, it's a bit too monochromatic.

On another note I have been pondering the notion of the textile artist. When does one stop being a quilter and become a textile artist? Generally I refer to myself as a quilter. I design quilts, they are original designs with influence drawn form all that I see around me. (Even though I said original I know that there is nothing new under the sun) I create because I like to and I usually like what I create. I was drawn to consider all of this when someone referred to me as a 'crafter'. I found that a little offensive to my sense of art, but it seemed pretentious to say 'no, no I am an artist'. Maybe I'm nothing but completely self indulgent to my own desire to create! Whatever it is, whatever label is attached: I'm having fun.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Family Joy

Tomorrow my sister, her husband and their daughter fly to Taiwan to pick up their new son. Joseph has been in an orphanage since his birth in February. Our family has been waiting for many months for court processes to finalise to allow Joseph to come to Australia. We are looking forward to meeting him next week when they return home.

I have made some postcards for my sister to take with her as tokens of thanks for various people. I kept them very simple as I needed to be culturally sensitive. I am interested in further exploring the negativ space flower which is on top of this pile. It might feature in another quilt somewhere.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Border of the Month

I had to finish my quilting fast today so that I could get to my Border of the Month pattern for Sails by the Sea.

I spent far too long on photoshop trying to get my page set up just right. It was worth it though. I think it looks pretty darn good! Each page has a blue sea like section at the bottom, with an overlaid ship's wheel and fish. These were cut out from the photo...very time consuming. I am adding little pieces of interesting, but probably useless information, to each page of the pattern.

Now that I have the page layout and month one completed it shouldn't take me too long to finish the rest of the pattern...should it?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Jan's House

This little quilt is the result of a workshop with Jan Mullen of Stargazey Quilts. We were so lucky to have her visit our shop in Townsville. Fortunatley her style doesn't require exact measurments because I was terribly ill with the flu both days that I worked with her! These two blocks were the ones that Jan cut as a demonstration and I stitched for her. I randomly added bits and borders in a 'log cabin' style to finish this quilt at 19 inches by 20 inches. I still need to hand stitch the binding in place.

The ladies who attended the workshop were very keen to continue working in this style, so this weekend, with Jan's permission, I am teaching the first gathering of the Jan Mullen club the Christmas Treez block. Should be fun!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

First Challenge Results

This week the challenge that I set for myself was to represent a fossil. After lots of thinking...the most time consuming part of the creative process...I decided to represent an ammonite. I like their spiral structure. They were once plentiful in the oceans and many fossils in various sizes have been found.

My first point of call was the internet to find a suitable photograph.

This one here is the one that I chose. I like the detail that it shows. I can follow the shape with my eyes. When I printed it out I forgot to change the orientation of the paper and only ended up with two-thirds of the image. I wasn't disappointed though, I found that I rather liked the partial image and decided to use that in my quilt.

Ammonite 11inches by 16 inches Ammonite - detail

I selected some beautiful hand-dyed fabric for my quilt. I bought it earlier in the year, but it is inspiring me to consider dying my own fabrics. I free hand cut a curved shape into both fabrics and then pieced them together. The quilting lines were used to 'draw' the ammonite shape in a brown thread. These were done free hand, without marking the fabric first, but using the picture as inspiration. The lines quilted into the brown background represent the cuts and gouges made by the paleontologist as they work to release the fossil from the rock.

Overall I am pretty happy with this quilt. I don't think that I am finsihed with ammonites just yet though. I would like to represent an ammonite in a more abstract way using applique. Maybe that should be my next challenge!

Delightful Distractions

This week I have been a little slow to complete my own challenge. The reason for my delay is the quilt that you see above. It looks small and delicate, but in truth this quilt was an absolute monster. It was over 3.5 metres long and was 2.7 metres wide. It was made by a dear lady who had redecorated her entire bedroom in hot pink and crinoline ladies in prepatation for the quilt. It took many hours to mctavish and left me with well developed arm muscles!! All worth the effort. My client was delighted with the result. She will have it bound and on the bed by now.