Monday, June 30, 2008

Bagging it for free - almost

I have been having fun making these bags from the "green" bags you get from the supermarket. Coles have them in wild colours and I have been looking in my stash for complementary fabrics that I can use. I haven't finished the black one (and haven't found fabric in my stash yet for the pink and purple) but here are some of them.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Disappearing Nine Patch

As I wrote a few days ago I had to have a go at this. It is really easy. You start with a nine patch block - either a scrappy one like mine or a more co-ordinated one.

The finished block needs to be a reasonable size (probably at least 10.5 inches) or it gets too fiddly. You cut the block in half horizontally and vertically so you have 4 pieces.

Then you rearrange this four patch in another way - there are several different ways you can do it.

Here is my finished quilt. I plan to give this away, along with others that my friendship group intends to make.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Melville Art Awards

I went to the opening last night and really enjoyed looking at the pieces. As usual, I didn't agree with the judges - especially with their choice of winners for the Textile and Sculpture prizes.

Some great stuff though. I am looking forward to Friday afternoon when I am doing docent duty. I hope to have a more detailed look then.

And the nibblies were well above the usual standard. Good wine too.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


my piece for Dijanne's " My Place" exhibition in the early afternoon. Then I had to take the photos and get the entry form off before 6pm. I hope Australia Post does the right thing by me and delivers to Gellibrand on the opposite side of the continent by Monday which is the closing date.

Taking the photos wasn't a problem, but of course the printers wouldn't co-operate. This time it was getting prints that accurately showed the colour.

Monday, June 16, 2008

More Stitching

I have been stitching furiously on my painted fabric.

I haven't done so much intensive free machining for a while and I had forgotten how hypnotic it is. Just as long as you remember to keep your elbows down . . . The shoulder pain will kick in quick if you don't!

I am pleased with what I have done. Tomorrow I will fuse organza on top and do some additional stitching. I need to take some photos first.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Designing Women

The second week of the month is a busy one and today it was the meeting of Designing Women.

It was an UFO day - we have a couple of challenges to complete. One is to use a stretched canvas for a piece of textile work; the other is an interpretation of the environment surrounding the building where we meet. The two challenges can be combined - or not. (Confession time: apart from a little thinking time and a few sparse notes, I have made no progress on either).

I knew I wouldn't get much done, so I took along my knitting as my activity. I didn't even get it out of the bag! There was some wonderful stuff in progress. Pauline, who is a new member, was embroidering on top of images of paper bark trees that she had printed in several colours - very effective. Marlene was hemming fine wool scarves she had dyed - and she gave me a bundle of threads she frayed off the ends. Other members were in full flight on various other pieces. All this augurs well for our exhibition in November.

Show and Tell had a different twist. We spent some time evaluating possible selling prices if the item were to be offered for sale, either at our exhibition or at a gallery. This was an initiative of the Exhibition sub-committee and I think will prove very useful to members in putting a price on their work.

Dale was a visitor today and showed some samples of the work she has prepared for the online embellisher workshop she is running. She has 150 (+1) in this first class and already a waiting list for the second which starts in August. Her samples were wonderful and I think the workshop participants will benefit greatly.

Friday, June 13, 2008

If it's the second Friday

of the month it must be the Contemporary Quilt Group meeting. And it was.

Rather sparse attendance (and very little Show and Tell) but an excellent meeting. Janet has been playing with fusing fabrics using a soldering iron (ref: Fusing Fabric by Margaret Beal, Batsford, 2005) and demonstrated some of her results using techniques from the book.

They were so delicate, especially her Seminole type pieces in organza, that I am inspired to revisit this technique. I confess that in the past I have been more interested in deconstruction. I took along a couple of pieces that demonstrated that.

Then I went to visit my elderly friend Jean who is still very alert, despite her physical frailties. She is legally blind, but has discovered that if she uses morning sunlight she can complete the crossword. By the afternoon the light is insufficient. I am in awe - the crossword she does is the cryptic version. I doubt I could get more than a couple of the words.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Started stitching

on the piece I hope will become an entry for the My Place exhibition.

Here is the painted background. I have fused stabiliser to the back and am now planning to free machine stitch all over it.

Watch this space.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My Place

As usual I have procrastinated. Entries for this exhibition, curated by Dijanne Cevaal and involving quilts by artists from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, close next week.

I have decided that I will attempt to replicate my fan on a larger scale: paint some fabric, machine embroider it, cover with organza and fuse. I need to do some quilting too, because this is a quilt exhibition.

The base painting is finished. Tomorrow I will start the embroidery.

Helen rang tonight. Once again she has missed out on a unit she really liked. In consultation with her flatmate she has decided to defer further flat hunting until she has finished doing her reports. They still have a few weeks before they have to move out.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Disappearing Nine Patch

There has been a lot of discussion about this pattern on the Scquilters' list, so today I decided to try it. As if I needed to do something else - the deadlines are becoming more and more imminent for some exhibitions I have entered and plan to enter.

The block is really easy and I have used up some sample fabrics that I acquired some time ago. They were intended to be used to make charity quilts.

I have made eight blocks and turned six of them into a cot size quilt top. I plan to take it to the sewing group tomorrow and see if we can get started, as a group, on making some quilts to give away.

I went to take a photo and the camera was out of batteries. I will add a photo tomorrow.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Could I resist? There on the library shelf was a book with my name on it - literally.

The novel is set in the 1880s and is the fourth in a series of crime novels set in that time period. I am having some difficulty in getting into it. I am not sure why - the author (according to a Google search) has published 8 books in this series, so she definitely appeals to a large number of readers. I will try again.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Showing Off

The exhibition title is actually Show Off 4. It is an exhibition of works from artists who live in the Cockburn Council area and is being held at the recently refurbished War Memorial Hall in Hamilton Hill.

The venue is fantastic. The original hall has very high ceilings with some interesting plaster work and polished jarrah floorboards. This is now connected to a purpose built exhibition space which is circular and has 2? 3? sets of windows at almost floor level. Each set of windows has a polished wood "window seat" which makes a wonderful display area for 3 dimensional work.

I loved the venue, but the exhibition was patchy. There was some fabulous work by well established artists like George Haynes and Miles Carpenter as well as interesting work from others I had never heard of. I loved a piece by Joromi Mondlane who is originally from Mozambique. Just as well for my bank balance that it had already sold. Some of the work was embarrassingly amateurish, and unfortunately there were usually two or three examples of it.

The criteria for selection was purely geographical. I think I will make an effort to be included in the next one.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Tragedy, Treasure and Trade

I went to the opening this morning - very pleasant to catch up with people like Elizabeth and Annie whom I haven't seen for a while. The catering committee outdid themselves, and the exhibition itself is wonderful.

This afternoon we met up with Helen and viewed a couple of units in South Perth. The first one was impossible - a fantastic view across the foreshore to the city, but bedrooms so small you would have to walk sideways around a double bed. The second was much better. 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, larger rooms, a secure complex with a swimming pool, gym and spa, a balcony with river views and a very nice kitchen. She likes it too, so we hope she is successful with this application.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Printing photos on fabric

I conducted a workshop on this at Bestway twice today, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. There were 9 people in each group. I brought in my 2 laptops and 2 printers and Pam helped with another laptop and printer.

The first part of the workshop was a talk on the process and a display of the media that you can use - transfer papers, commercial ready prepared printable sheets and DIY sheets. Then I demonstrated how to prepare your own using Bubble Jet Set and freezer paper. It is less expensive, but definitely more time consuming.

After a break for a cuppa, we printed an image on fabric for each person, using the commercial ready prepared sheets. Most people had emailed an image beforehand, and I had edited them in Photoshop, basically cropping and enhancing brightness/contrast, before enlarging to A4 size. They were offered the option of printing their original image or the edited one. If they hadn't sent an image I had prepared some extras for them to select from.

Everyone seemed very pleased with their printed images (no-one chose to print their original, which was rather flattering!). There was a little time at the end when Pam and I demonstrated some of the effects you can obtain with filters. I think this could be another workshop.

Here is an image with inverted colours.

Then the same image has had the liquefy filter applied. Rather spooky - can you see the little imp?

I have learned quite a bit from this workshop too. When I did a similar one for Designing Women all the images sent (by chance) were reasonably high resolution so they could be enlarged without falling to pieces. One of today's images was originally only 2.5 by 3 cm with a ppi of 150 so it was very fuzzy (pixelated) when enlarged. She liked it, but I now know that people need to be warned to make sure the images are high resolution.

I am very tired. I know I used to teach all day as a matter of course, but I am 7 years away from that. I still like teaching - but I doubt I could cope with adolescents again. Preschoolers (in small amounts like the bread making episode for Helen's class last week) perhaps, adults definitely. Thanks, ladies.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Fungi no go

The silk didn't work either. The outside is stained a dirty brown, but the colour didn't penetrate at all.

I will attempt to wash out as much of the stain as I can, then this square will go into the pile of fabric bits that I am planning to dye with lavender (which I know will work) or pomegranate fruits (which I hope will work).

And Helen didn't get the unit, so she is very disappointed.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A mostly wasted day

Had to go down to Orelia this morning to take Martin food shopping - he has messed up again and has no money. Then I took him to a doctor's appointment in Nedlands - about 45 minutes by car, an hour and a half plus by bus. He would never have made it if I hadn't. I waited for him and amused myself very well looking at books in the newsagent. Nearly bought one but decided I didn't need it - is this a first?

When I came home I removed the mushroom bits from the pot and boiled up some silk that I wrapped in a doughnut. I also unwrapped the wool I attempted to dye yesterday. Though there is some colour the resist is not very distinct, so I think I can say that these particular mushrooms do not dye wool. Still need to see the results on silk. I will leave it in the pot overnight.

This afternoon we went with Helen to look at a unit in East Fremantle. While it has definitely suffered under its previous bachelor tenants it should clean up OK and it is a much better unit than the previous one she made an attempt to rent. Should be - it is quite a bit more expensive, but Helen is working out an arrangement with her co-tenants that won't cost her much more than her present rent. I hope she gets it.

Monday, June 2, 2008

An attempt at dyeing with fungi

While we were walking at Manning Lake this morning we saw lots of fungi we had never seen before, growing under the huge Rottnest Island pines. Because the colour was so intense I decided to collect some and attempt some dyeing.

For my first effort I broke up the caps and boiled them in an old aluminium stockpot along with a bit of cream coloured blanket.

After three hours the fungi had gone to mush and the blanket had turned a dirty yellow. Not a success. I emptied the pot and boiled up another lot of the caps, this time without fabric. I am planning to drain off the liquor tomorrow and try dyeing some silk in that.