Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Top of the Line, You Beaut, Dazzling Diamond . .

Yep, it's unveiling time.

The new ToL Husqvarna Diamond Designer was briefly demonstrated at the Bestway club meeting this morning. The full unveiling will be next week.

I have had an email to alert me that there will be a new ToL Bernina machine released next month. I think there may be a new Janome and a new Brother . . . . HOWEVER, these ToL sewing/embroidery machines cost as much as a good secondhand car.

As computers become more and more powerful the purchase price drops. We bought a Macintosh 128k computer, secondhand, in 1988 for $2200. We have continued to buy Macs. The last one we bought (8 months ago - a laptop with a dual processor that will run Windows XP and my sewing machine embroidery software) cost quite a bit less than $2000.

But the cost of ToL sewing machines keeps mounting. OK, it's a niche market, but consider the buying power of the dollar 20 years ago. And a ToL machine then cost less than $750.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Designing Women

At least once a year the DW Group organises a workshop with a tutor from outside the group. The aim is to extend the skills of the newer members and boost the creativity of the others.

This month we had a great workshop with Annie Rawle, who is almost an ex-officio member.

The DW Group actually started as the result of workshops at Heathcote held by Annie, Carol Redlich and Elizabeth Morley, and we are conscious of the debt we owe to them.

It will be interesting to see what is produced as as a result of the workshop. Our exhibition is drawing nearer.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Expedition to the Hills

In fact, Mundaring isn't that far away.

When my father and stepmother lived at Sawyers Valley (the next village up the highway from Mundaring) and we lived in Safety Bay (30 minutes south of where we live now) it didn't seem all that big a deal. We drove up at least every month or so.

Now I need a push to go there. The goad was applied yesterday when the Contemporary Quilt Group's meeting was an excursion to the Stitched and Bound exhibition. I carpooled with three others who live south of the river and I really enjoyed being driven rather than driving. Thanks, Stephanie.

The exhibition was interesting. As usual, I couldn't really see why some pieces had been selected, but I was most impressed by others. We were given a floor talk by the convenor and some of the artists.

Then we went to a little tearooms/restaurant a few kilometres down the road for lunch. They had been warned of the influx, but the speed of service and the quality of the food was impressive.

We arrived back in Mt Pleasant about 3pm. It had been a very pleasant day.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


It's over, I think it was a success and I am worn out. I can't imagine how I used to teach five days a week and still be able to do some extra bits - family, study, quilting . . .

I have made some notes for myself about things that could be better, and I hope will be, when I do the second workshop in October. I have also asked for feedback - hope I get some.

I took my camera but didn't take any photos.

Monday, July 7, 2008

All Ready

The stuff I need for tomorrow's workshop is all packed into a couple of rolling trolleys, except for the computer hardware. I had hoped the printers would fit in one of them, but they don't, so there will have to be a couple more trips from the car to the venue. At least there are no stairs to climb this time. My checklist is HUGE, but I think it will pay off when I am setting up. I plan to load the car after dinner.

I finished sewing the sleeve and label on my piece for the My Place exhibition and put it into the mail this afternoon - eight days before it is due at Gellibrand in Victoria. So I have met all my current deadlines, but I have a few more coming up.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Lots of fiddling

As I said in my last post I am teaching a workshop on image transfer to fabric on Tuesday, so I have been working hard on lots of samples for the more esoteric techniques.

Today I cut 15 (actually 30 because I didn't realise it was doubled over) bits of plastic and then glued 15 pieces of printed paper to 15 pieces of fabric on 15 of those plastic bits. Did I mention that there are 15 participants?

This is a glue transfer activity - glue transfers need to mature for at least 24 hours before rubbing off, so it cannot be done in a one day workshop. Actually I did a few extra because I want to be able to demonstrate the stages.

I have printed a pile of copyright free images (from a Dover book) onto transparencies and have done some samples. The rest are for the students to play with.

And I have been playing with using citrus solvents to transfer toner to fabric. I don't have a photocopier, but I do have a laser printer. The results are mixed. There will be a photocopier at the workshop so we will play with that then.

Tomorrow I plan to collect everything together. I also plan to finish stitching the sleeve and label on the My Place quilt and get it sent off.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Copyright concerns

I have started to make lists of stuff I will need for the image transfer workshop I am teaching on Tuesday. Because the participants are teachers I feel I have to be really well prepared, so I have been making copious notes.

I have done the workshop notes as an outline: participants will have to make their own notes. It is sad, but you cannot supply detailed notes for any workshop. I have been caught before on several occasions - notes I had written being circulated without acknowledgement.

The introductory session will emphasise copyright, both for notes and images. Then we will explore a range of image transfer techniques: packing tape, solvent and glue transfers before moving on to printing on fabric from a computer.

The participants have been asked to send me images. So far I have had 5 responses. There are 15 doing the workshop - just as well I have a file of additional images already prepared.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


My quilt "Down South" has been accepted into the My Place exhibition. I am thrilled!

Now I have to sew on a sleeve and a label and send it off. I also have to supply a photo of me. This part is really scary!