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!

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.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

100 Days Project

A creative practice project is something creative done regularly with a certain intent- a journal quilt every month, a zentangle per day, you've probably seen or read examples of them as they seem pretty popular around the blogosphere in recent years.
"Show up, show up, show up and after a while the muse shows up, too."   
-  Isabel Allende, Author. 
I've thought about creative practice projects before.  Like way back in May 2015.  And I guess I have been doing one in a loose way with my little colour compositions, but that particular project doesn't have accountability, or the support of being part of a bigger group.


An artist friend introduced me to the 100 Days Project recently.  She has participated before and found that it was enriching, challenging, frustrating, confronting and most of all, worthwhile.  (Find her work here).  The 100 Days Project in New Zealand started in 2011 and has been running annually since.  Except for last year - I don't know what happened there.  There is a website where you sign up, create a profile, and then when the project starts, you record your efforts there every day.
"The project gives anyone (young & old, artist and non-artist) a framework and the permission to be creative. It challenges you to dig deep into your creative reserves, to rely on your readiness to work in order to achieve creative breakthrough."   
- 100 Day Project, NZ. 
I signed up yesterday.  The project starts on August 24th and you have until the 20th to join up.  I'm nervous and excited because I decided to do something that will challenge me and, hopefully, enrich my textile art in a new way.

I've called my project 'Facing Up' and here's how I described it:

"I'm a textile artist, afraid of faces. So here comes 100 faces, in textiles or not, with the intent of 'facing' my fear."


This is a detail from a quilt about Ranginui and Papatuanuku (sky father and earth mother).  I think it's the only time I've included faces in a quilt.

The great thing about this is that my stitch and bitch group that I run through the studio and gallery is taking part too.  Not all of us, but at least four others.  When it gets hard and when we get stuck, we'll have someone to commiserate with.  When we feel the exhilaration of breakthrough and satisfaction of completion, we'll have someone to celebrate with.

And at the end of it all, I happen to own a gallery where we can have a 100 Days Project exhibition!

If you did a hundred days project, what would it be?

If you want to follow along with me, I'll be posting to Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag of #100DaysOfFaces and I'll probably post here in a digest form with several days all at once, along with my thoughts about the process.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Fish. Mullet to be precise.



I took this photo of mullet swimming near the wharf back in April.  How could I not try and make a quilt from it?

I also knew I had the perfect piece of hand dyed silk organza to work with.


Behind the organza is hand dyed muslin (not quilters muslin, but a very loose woven cotton that might be called cheesecloth in other countries, but I've always called it muslin), and then a white cotton quilting weight fabric as a base.


The freezer paper fish are templates that I use to cut out fish from cotton or organza fabrics.  Then I can place them in the layers to give the feeling of depth and fuse them in place with mistyfuse.


This silk organza fish is on top, but the transparency of the silk can be deceiving, just like water.


And then I've added borders of these two hand dyed cottons.  I wanted a link to the industrialness of the wharf that surrounds us, while showing a glimpse of the secret animal lives going on just under the surface.

And now to quilt it.