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August 2013

July 2013

A serious miscalculation

I have now finished enough blocks that they reach from one corner to the other on the diagonal.  This quilt is seriously a lot bigger than I had imagined it.  But on the up side my daughter-in-law has said she wants it.  Thank goodness!  Seeing as how I was making it for her or the children.


I am still on task, having made as many blocks as there are days passed this year.  But I would like to get ahead just incase I come down with another virus.  So, nose to the grind stone.

World Embroidery Day

Over at Queenies Needlework she alerted me to World Embroidery day. You can find out all about it from this Swedish blog.

Peace Dove by Ingrid Malmberg

A translation of the page reads:

Whether you are celebrating with sewing on an old embroidery or start a brand new day in honor hope we Embroidery Academy that you take the time to embroider in the summer, and especially today. Today on July 30, it is namely the World Embroidery Day , a day when we feel a special fellowship and joy through our stitches.

We embroider because it's free, creative and fun. We embroider against war and for peace. We embroider small stitches that form a common area, like little people together to create something bigger. Or as it says in the manifesto:

"We want to pay attention to the design as a free creative act, which may lead to free, creative thoughts and ideas. We want to link our embroidery threads from a northern privileged part of the world with stitches sewn by embroidering sisters and brothers around the world.

We want to be part of a pleasurable building peace movement.

Make July 30 to a creative day for peace, freedom and equality. "

So today my friends and I stitched together to celebrate the dayNext year we intend to do something more significant and celebrate in style.

More dangerous than what?

There is a huge public debate about assylum seekers here at the moment.  The dilema is that those people who apply by legal channels are not getting to the top of the list because of all those who choose to come by boat, paying people smugglers.  The government has run lots of adds in those countries where people are comming from saying how dangerous the trip is.  We have seen lots of people drown trying to get here.  But when you see images like this, with the add saying don't come by boat it is too dangerous on the billboard behind, you have to ask "More dangerous than what?"


Another Australian Government anti-boat campaign billboard (see the circled sign) over Hazara massacre, Quetta 2011:"Don't come by boat; it's too dangerous".

Still that is very simplistic.  Australia just can't resettle the number of people who want to come here. I'm glad I don't have to make decisions about these peoples lives.

Sewing activities at the Quilt Exhibition

On Sundays at the at the Art Gallery they run hands on activities to compliment the Quilt Exhibition.  This has been organised by the Stitchery Collective which is part of the degree course for Creative Industries at the Queensland University of Technology.

This activity is SUPER popular. 


There wasn't enough room to fit everyone in so they overflowed into the garden on the day I was there.



They started with the same fabric in various colours all cut to the same shape.  A range of stencils that people could choose from and trace onto the fabric with a pencil.  There were (cheap) embroidery hoops, (cheap) embroidery cottons, all or these seemed to be just stranded cotton in a limited range of colours, and pieces of felt with (cheap) needles.


There was also a selection of stamps to choose from.


On each table they had a central caddy that held scizzors, pencils, threads, needles and laminated cards with 5 or 6 basic embroidery stitches.  Then you were invited to stitch.


So I stitched and added a few beads as well.  It was an eye opener to see so many people in there stitching.  I have some ideas of how I will use this for a children's class in April 2014.  When I get it together I will post it.

Not a good sign

It is still cold here, although the sun is warm during the day and those possums are out there in numbers.  But by the look of this so are the snakes.

I found this on the patio this morning.  It is a bit early for snakes, they usually don't come out until about September but by the look of this they are out there and after the possums or anything else that is edible.  Like my little dog Charlie!

We only live 2 kilometres from the heart of the city but there are lots of phythons around and they can get really big.  Jut looking at it gives me the shudders.  I will have to be careful going into the garden after dark.


Using your photographs as prints on fabric


I went to see a small exhibition at the Artisan Gallery which is just up the road from where I live.  The exhibition is a collaboration between a visual artist Ann-Maree Reaney and a textile designer and artist, Jill Kinnear.  Because jill is now based in the USA these two decided to  meet each year in a chosen location and then they would collaborate on a work that combined what they experienced.  They focused on the journey being an artistic activity.  The result was a collection of garments on which they digitally printed the photos they took.  Each image was changed, although many are still scenes but the results are impressive.These are from their road trip in the USA.






The next group are from a trip in India.


They are printed onto cotton voile and are quite stunning.

And how about this for beautiful bling.


This embroidery is .. well it just is.

This image shows how they used the colour patterns of their photography to create a fabric design.


 I hope I'm around in thirty years or so to see where digital printing goes.

Is this over engineering?

This is an engineer's solution to  growing herbs and keeping the local possums at bay.  A bit excessive.  But the engineers don't agree.

I can see a design fault.  Those pesky possums could put their paw through that wire mesh, I think.  We will have to wait and see if the herbs survive.  Looking at it again I think it would even keep out kangaroos!

More from the exhibition

Looking at the exhibition of Ruth's work I don't think I fully appreciated just how innovative she was.  Back in 1983 she was producing quilts that would fall into the 'modern' category more than 20 years later.

She was also quilting using No 8 perle cotton.

Using non traditional fabrics,



and quilting patterns.

She also included printing and painting in her quilts long before it was fashionable.


And embroidery, not just in crazy quilts but just because it expressed what she wanted to say.



I know she was very supportive my students and I, coming to the school on a number of occassions to talk to them.  I feel blessed that our paths went the same way through part of this life and am still inspired by her work.

A day with the girls

My cottage patchwork group decided to go to the V&A quilt exhibition at the Art Gallery and have a light lunch together.  The weather was beautiful and I think most of Brisbane was there.  It was great to be with friends and we were all hanging out for a glass of champane ....

and the food.

This visit my opinion hasn't changed, I don't think that some of the quilts were displayed well and that the curators have no idea who their audience was going to be or how informed they might be about the subject matter.  A serious miscalculation I feel. 

All that aside, there was a small exhibition of the work of Ruth Stonely.  Ruth started quilting in the early 1980's and travelled on a Churchill Scholarhsip to deepen her knowledge of quilting.  I had known her since about 1984 and greatly admired her work.    Ruth died in 2007 of breast cancer.  One of her passions was crazy quilts and the last piece she worked on, unfinished, was in the exhibion.  I had forgotten how lovely her embroidery was.




I remember that she was one of the first people to construct a memory quilt.  She had a stunning one of these hanging at an exhibition at the cathedral and it was stolen.  Who ever took it would never be able to display it or show it to anyone.  I hope one day her family will recover it.

A cold snap

It has suddenly turned cold here.  It didn't get above 14C all day.  Thank goodness there wasn't a wind to go with it.   I have been babysitting for the day and found all the children's winter woollies in the wash so I washed them all by hand. Then wrapped them in towels and stomped on them to get as much moisture out as possible.  I still don't think they will be dry until tomorrow.  Just to get them through until then I walked to K Mart and got a couple of fleecey tops for the girls.  This baby is so cute but I think those ears should be horns.  She is a little devil.