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!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Jeanette DeNicolis Meyer Workshop

Renowned international fabric artist  Jeanette DeNicolis Meyer  is coming to Northland.  She will be teaching a two-day course on designing and collage with translucent fabrics.


Quilt and Collage with Translucent Fabrics
Discover the design and color world that opens up while composing quilts or fabric collages with layers of luscious silk organza and crisp cotton organdy. We will begin by producing a gem-like palette of translucent fabric with easy to use paints and then proceed to the design wall, where new colors and shapes will emerge as the translucent fabrics are layered. We will also produce a technique sampler notebook as we experiment with fusing and a variety of machine and hand-sewn seams to explore the design possibilities different finished edges can provide.


Dates:   March 10th and 11th 2012

Location:   Whangarei, venue to be advised

Cost:   $115.00 per person.  $40.00 non-refundable deposit.  Limited places available.

Contact:   Charlotte Scott  09 404 0644


Brought to you by the combined efforts of Whangarei and Kerikeri Patchwork and Quilting Clubs. 

Jeanette’s website: www.jdmeyer.com

Friday, January 27, 2012

Summer





It's meant to rain today.  It's not, yet, but I thought I'd show some pictures that show the beautiful spell of summer weather we've been having so far.  My thoughts go to those in Australia dealing with floods at the moment.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I don't feel lonely.

This year I decided I needed to develop my art quilting.  And so I have several exhibitions and competitions lined up that I want to enter.  The first one is Beneath the Southern Skies, a touring exhibition that is shown in Australia and New Zealand.  The closing date is tomorrow, and today I filled in the on-line application and sent off my photos.  So pleased!


The design brief was for textile artists to explore the title theme using a prescribed size of 40cm (width) by 100cm (length).  

My materials I used were hand-painted silk fabric (heart strings contracted when I cut this, I loved it so much once I had painted it!), cotton fabric, cotton, rayon and metallic thread.  I raw edge appliqued the pohutukawa tree to the silk and machine quilted the piece with a tiny bit of hand stitching done in metallic thread.

The name "I don't feel lonely" came about from the feelings I had as I surveyed the scene that inspired the quilt.




If it's accepted for exhibition I'll be excited, but if it's not, I'm still excited!  I'm excited that I made an art quilt that I really love.  I'm excited that I've taken the first step in developing my art quilting and I'm excited that I can now show it to you.



This is the quilting in the sky as seen from the reverse side - I realise it is difficult to see from the front in some of the photographs.  I wanted Ranginui - The Sky Father*, to be subtle, revealed when you stood closer and took a second look.


The hardest parts of this were - knowing when it was done, taking good photographs and writing the blasted artist's statement!  

"Beneath the southern sky the pohutukawa tree stands silhouetted. It could be a scene of loneliness but I sense mystery, a waiting, perhaps a presence greater than us. Maybe it’s Papatuanuku – The Earth Mother, and Ranginui – The Sky Father. I wait. And watch. And slowly the dusk unfolds to night. Ranginui and Papatuanuku sleep."

* This website has a nice summary of the Maori creation legend that involved Ranginui and Papatuanuku (it's the third one down).

Monday, January 23, 2012

Garden


This is what I harvested for yesterday's dinner, straight from the garden, and nothing tastes better than fresh veges.

Problem is, I seriously lack motivation in the garden at the moment.  I think it has something to do with being the only one who does anything in there.  Hubby works full-time and when he has spare time at home he does other stuff, like mow the lawns.  He does get enthused about the orchard sometimes and helps water and mulch in that area, and he enjoys eating the fresh veges, it's just not a passion for him.  And because it's not a passion for me either, just an interest and something I feel we should be doing, it becomes a bit of a chore when I'm doing it all on my own.

It could be the heat too.  Summer has finally shown itself and the days are heating up.  It gets uncomfortably hot out there if I try and do any work after nine am.

So instead of just moaning about it and resenting it, I'm going to try a new approach.  Evening gardening!  Usually I spend evenings sewing, blogging, talking and watching the news at eight.  But I'm going to try and get out in the garden once the kids are in bed and hopefully Hubby will join me.  Work is so much more enjoyable when there is someone else to share it with.

And on quilting matters - I'm just hand sewing down my faced binding on my "Beneath the Southern Skies" entry.  Hopefully I'll be able to photograph it properly soon and show it to you.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Work in Progress Round Up

I thought I'd do a little round up of all the projects I'm working on at the moment.  Mainly so that in a year's time I can look back and gasp at how much I achieved is still a work in progress! ;)


My current project that I'm working on almost exclusively.  It's called "I don't feel lonely" and is an entry for the Beneath the Southern Skies exhibition.  Must be finished by the 25th of January.  No pressure or anything!


My 'night shift' quilt.  This is slowly turning into something that I really like.  And the vast majority of it has been done in the quiet bits of night duty.  All the rows except one (the one with little bits of paper pinned to it) are sewn together.  Now I just need to work on setting triangles.


A couple of bassinet quilts for the maternity unit.  A friend made the tops and gave them to me to baste (check), quilt (check) and bind (yet to finish). 

This sucker is just so big, it takes up my whole kitchen floor.

My big blue and white quilt.  No hurrying on this one.  It sat for a couple of years without even being touched.  Then I did a little flurry on it last year.  A few more flurries and the applique on the sides might get done.  Then it will be a marathon of flurries to quilt it - it's huge.


This is my hand-piecing.  I last showed this to you in a completely different layout.  I decided I didn't like it that way, took out all the squares that were part of the design and turned the diamonds into doves (or turtles as most people think they are).  Recently I've decided that I liked it better with the squares but I refuse to unpick all that hand stitching so one day I might cut a whole heap more diamonds and do another of the original layout.....one day.



I need to add another round on both these medallion quilts for a round robin sort of thingee I'm doing with my sister.  No hurry on this one, it's taken us a few years to get to this point!

I have a project that I'm enthused about that is still in the design stages and will use lots of my native bird and plant applique designs I've drawn previously.  I also want to make a quilt using some beautiful Japanese fabrics that my sister in law brought back from Japan with her.

There are other WIPs I have floating around, but writing this down has made me realise that I'm never going to finish those ones so they may as well get donated/chopped up/re-purposed.  It sounds like it's time for a UFO purge!

What have you got hiding away in your cupboards?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Baby Photos

My dear, darling, eldest sister is digging out baby photos of us and posting them for all the world to see.  If you want to be part of that privileged world, pop on over to

http://louisalowry-whatthecousinsareuptonow.blogspot.com/

Just be nice and say how cute we were!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Christmas Day 2011

Well, it's been over a month since I last wrote anything on this blog.  Holiday season is nearly over for us.  The kids go back to school at the end of January and Hubby started back at work yesterday.  It's been an adventure filled month for us.  Camping, floods, visiting relatives.  I'll start with a quick round up of Christmas Day itself.

 We usually go camping around Christmas time and even though the weather forecast this year wasn't brilliant, we decided to go anyway.  Luckily Christmas Day itself was sunny, if a little breezy.  The kids got to open their presents on the grass, in the open air, as usual.  They both got real down sleeping bags so we can take them camping in winter with a little more security.

The delight on their faces as they got thoroughly spoiled by all their relations was priceless.  This year they were the only kids on Christmas Day itself so were the undisputed centers of attention!

Guess what we had for Christmas lunch!  This monster cray was contributed by the Uncle and Aunty whose land we camp on and is being held up for admiration by my lovely Mother in Law.  We also had oysters,  homegrown ham, lamb and lots of home grown veges.

Here's my boy having his ham in a hamburger.  It's such a privilege to spend the day in such beautiful surroundings, sitting next to a creek.



By the time we ate dessert, the kids had been swimming in the creek, hence my wee girl still has her lifejacket on.  Pavlova, fruit salad, Christmas cake, fresh strawberries....heaven.

And to make it a little more interesting we had a couple of backpackers from England joining us.  It was their first summer Christmas and eating outside in sunshine was completely foreign to them.  They ate their first oyster each, enjoyed their first taste of pavlova and got climbed all over by our darlings - lucky they are both primary school teachers!

It was a wonderful day spent with family and friends.  I love the fact that we are building such great memories for our kids and I hope we are able to return here for many more years.