This blog is a bit of a ramble through my life. There's a lot about quilting and textile arts, a sprinkle of my family life and some of my thoughts and ponderings. We currently live aboard an old wooden 1945 Navy boat, called MV Cerego, so you'll find me writing about that too. Welcome aboard!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Interview with Annie White - Podcast

Annie with her Klimt Kiss quilt.
I first met Annie White at a workshop in Auckland.  It was run by Hollis Chatelain and Annie, her sister Mary, and I were attending to learn how to paint on fabric with thickened dyes.  I've met Annie again several times and watched her quilting star rise, so it was lovely to have a good chat with her about her unusual quilts, her creative practice and how she fits quilting into a busy life as a teacher librarian.

Annie professes to getting bored easily and wanting to try many different techniques.  Her white textured quilts (above is 'Korowai Ma' and you can read more about the making of it here) show a willingness to take risks and experiment with shape and form till she gets it right.

This photo shows the underside of the petals of 'Korowai Ma'.  You can see the multicoloured fabric and the cording that we talk about in the podcast.

You can see Annie's first white quilt called 'White on White' here, as a prizewinner at the Auckland Festival of Quilts 2013.

Annie has a blog that she shares with her sister, Mary, called Two Sewing Sisters.  She writes here about her processes and about her life, although she admits to finding it difficult to update regularly with her busy working schedule.  If you head on over, you will find more photographs of the quilts we talk about, such as 'Songlines', Annie's quilt that was selected for the travelling textile exhibition, 'A Matter of Time', curated by Brenda Gael Smith

Annie also had a work selected for the previous exhibition curated by Brenda, called 'Living Colour'. This work was titled 'Unfurling'.

Annie has also had work in the Dorothy Collard Challenge run by The Auckland Quilt Guild, and you can see her prize winning quilts here and here.

It was a pleasure to talk to Annie about her life here in New Zealand, her connections to Australia and how she translates her stories into fabric and thread.  I hope you enjoy listening.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Aotearoa Tote Bag Class

It's Spring time here and I feel like coming out of hibernation.  So to ramp things up a bit, I've decided to run a bag making class at Opua Arts Studio and Gallery.

My Aotearoa Tote is fairly straightforward if you have a bit of appliqué and quilting experience, but you'll learn a great positive/negative appliqué method and lots of tips on binding and quilting to make the whole thing come together smoothly.

Here's the ad I've written up:
Want to learn how to make your own Aotearoa Tote? I am running a class at Opua Arts so you can learn how. October 12th and 19th (Wednesday mornings), 9am till 12.30pm. 
Your own sewing machine and some basic sewing, quilting and appliqué skills required. $60 pp.
This is a project-based class where you will learn the ins and outs of positive/negative appliqué and come away with a funky New Zealand styled tote bag to show off!
This class includes machine quilting and binding, so plenty of tips and tricks are included to help you get great results with these skills.
Different applique designs will be available for the bag sides so you can customise your layout, and a full written pattern is included in the cost.
Students will need to provide their own fabrics and materials. A needs list will be provided on receipt of a deposit of $20.

What I like about this bag is how customisable it is.  Students get to pick their own mix and match of patterns.  And they can make them simple or trickier depending on how long they want to spend appliqueing. 

So, get in touch if you want to make your own eye-catching version of this bag.  I'm looking forward to seeing some different colour ways and pattern choices!

Friday, September 2, 2016

100 Days Project 10%

I wrote recently about starting a 100 Days Project.  Luckily there was a group and a website and someone had done all the thinking and all I had to do was sign up and join in.  We are now onto our tenth day, which means we are a 10% through the process.  Put another way, I've got 90% more to do!

So how am I feeling about it?  I wrote a little summary of how I've been feeling day to day.  I'm wondering how I'll feel at day 50.

Day One - nervous and excited, so much to live up to!
Day Two - well that was easy, too easy perhaps?
Day Three - this isn't so bad, but am I getting anywhere?
Day Four - Ick, what a stuff up, now I'm nervous again.
Day Five - I think I'm onto something.
Day Six - I really like this.
Day Seven - I really LOVE this.
Day Eight - I've got so many ideas, I'm bubbling over!
Day Nine - how do I work on all these ideas?!

The photo above was day five.  That was a spread in my sketchbook with a silhouette cut from the edge of one page so it appeared on two page spreads.  It's the day that I felt I had a little breakthrough.

And today is Day Ten.  Today I'm wondering how I can spread out my ideas a little.  Can I work on the same face or quilt two days in a row?  Will I be cheating if I do that?  I've got so many ideas but some I want to work on more deeply than others.

Above is the spread of all my days so far.  Day four was a scary one, I felt like hiding it, but that wouldn't contribute to my process, so there it is in all its glory!

I'll share more in another while, but in the meantime if you want to follow my progress, this is the link to my project:

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Yellow Challenge Entry Finished!

The Aotearoa Quilters colour challenge this year was Yellow.  I found the colour harder to work with than other colours have been in the past - and when you look at the yellow pile in my fabric stash, it's obvious that it's not my favourite colour!

I had lots of ideas, but none that really grabbed me until I was hanging out this piece of fabric that my daughter (aged 9) dyed.  I saw fire and flames and immediately thought of creating a phoenix.

I drew out a bird, using photographs of falcons as inspiration, and then used freezer paper to cut corresponding pieces of hand dyed silk organza with mistyfuse on the back.

It's easy to see my pattern under white fabric and the white as a base made the colours of the phoenix really glow.  Once all the pieces were in place I could iron them to hold them there before cutting very carefully around the edge.  You can see where I had a little more to cut in the photo below.

I use a brown paper frame to crop my design.  It's brown because that's the colour of the large roll of paper I have - white might be better, but you work with what you have, right?!

I added legs with solid cotton fabric, stitched the phoenix in place onto the background, then layered it and quilted it.  The binding was a bit of an experiment.  One layer of fabric, raw edge and two stitching lines, one of them using a heavy, hand dyed thread in the bobbin.  I think I like it.

'Pray' 12" x 12" by Charlotte Scott
I called my quilt Pray because of the references to resurrection that a phoenix has, and I liked the connotations of being prey of that fierce looking bird.  

The closing date for entries is tomorrow.  I got mine sent off at the beginning of the week so it should get there in time.  The quilts will be initially exhibited at the Orchid Show in Auckland in September and then will be a travelling exhibition after that.  All quilts are for sale at $125NZD.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Stitch and Bitch

This is happening tonight.  Have you considered starting something like this in your own community?  It's worth it - friendships form, collaborations evolve, inspiration abounds, laughter erupts, stimulating and sometimes lively discussion happens.  It's one of the best things I've ever organised.