Previous month:
February 2017

March 2017

War Quilts

Sometimes you can be lucky.  I was lucky the other day when I was reminded on Facebook that there was an exhibition called War quilts showing out at the Ipswich Art Gallery. 

It is only on for a week and finishes this Saturday 25th March '17, so you will need to be quick to see it there.  It will also be on display at the Australian Quilt Convention in Melbourne in April.  I have to say that I have been to lots of Historical Quilt exhibits around the world but this one was exceptional.  And because it was out at Ipswich there were no crowds and I got to REALLY see every stitch.

Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 7.12.31 am

As I was on the mainland baby sitting and I had a few hours before I had to pick up the girls from school, It was into the car to brave the traffic and the rain to get there.   This is only a small gallery but they always have good exhibits and we visit with the children quite a lot.  They have a dedicated Children's Gallery for under twelves which the kids love.

I don't know where to start with these quilts.  Firstly, there is a wonderful book by Dr Annette Gero, $89 but worth every penny. 

Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 11.12.52 am

Photo Wayne Taylor

I can't find the book in any on-line book shop as yet so she must be selling them herself.

  I will start with a quilt I saw a number of years ago in a dark corner in the Brisbane Council Gallery in the 1990's.  Back then my eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw it.  I knew it was very significant but there was no label on it and it was just part of a 'People of Queensland' display.  I rang the council, spoke to the attendants but couldn't get any information and it disappeared.  Now here it was again and this time all the information was there.

Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 7.42.39 pm

Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 7.43.03 pm

I didn't have my camera with me, it is in for repair, so all the photos were taken on my iphone.  I looked for a sign about photography, but there was non and I asked the attendant who thought it would be fine to take photos.  I still felt a bit uncomfortable taking photos so didn't take as many as I would have liked.  It is the details that I wanted to see.  There are lovely images in the book but not those little details.   Like the embroidery with the applique of the children's song.  All the flowers and grass are embroidered there.  Even the hair on the pig

Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 11.24.06 am

And there is a snake in the tree.  The tree of knowledge?

Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 11.24.22 am

And look at those rabbits and that bird.

Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 11.24.44 am

And this is just ONE of the many wonderful quilts on display.   I am pouring over the book which is full of detail and as I digest more of the information I will post again about this exhibition.  I might even make an embroidery of part of this quilt.

 

Save

Save

Save


WIPW

As per usual I grossly under estimated the amount of work in the borders.  I thought I would be finished by now but I have only finished the inner border.

Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 7.40.51 pm

This inner border is worked in single faggot stitch.  Now, this is normally a drawn thread stitch but if you work the stitch with out pulling it, it makes a great decorative border.  I went to get my text on drawn thread and all I found was a space on the book shelf.  I hope I haven't lent that book to someone.  So it is just a hand drawn illustration of the stitch.  This was worked over 4 threads.

Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 7.41.12 pm

With any luck I might finish this next week.


More effort needed!

Last Sunday friend Janey invited me to an embroidery class that was being held in the Brisbane City Library.  This was an event to celebrate Harmony Day and Nowruz , (Persian New Year).  We joined the Iranian Society of Queensland for a 'hands on' introduction to coin embroidery (sekkeh doozy), traditionally used to make decorative objects.  Let me start by saying I was hopeless.  It wasn't that I didn't know what to do it was just that I couldn't get those threads to stay put on the coin.  But I am not giving up.  I will keep trying till I am an expert.

I made sure that I took some photos on my phone for future reference.  This technique is similar to the Indian 'mirror embroideries' but is more decorative.  There are a number of ways that you can attach those coins.  When it came to keeping them in place on the fabric a spot of glue was used to keep them still.

We were to make this embroidered bracelet.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 7.49.00 pm

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 7.48.41 pm

We started with the dingle dangles and these were the ones I found difficult.  The thread provided was just too slippery and had too much give in it.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 7.48.51 pm

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 7.47.01 pm

The stitches are mainly based on button hole and needle weaving.


Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 7.48.31 pm

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 7.48.20 pm

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 7.48.10 pm

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 7.47.17 pm

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 7.47.26 pm

 

English is a second language for  Shabnam  and she was not a trained instructor but we all learnt so much. (Some more than others.)  There is a series of videos on their Facebook page that I intend to sit and work through.  I am starting to save all those 5 cent pieces now that I have a great use for them, other than clogging up my change purse.

Screen Shot 2017-03-19 at 7.43.48 pm

You know, we are so lucky to live in such a culturally diverse society.  We have access to so much of other cultures all of  which enriches ours.

Save

Save

Save


The weather is still a problem here.  We haven't had decent rain since before last Xmas.  So wouldn't you know, it rained on the day my new book, Inspired by Islay, was delivered.  Luckily I saw it out there in the rain and rescued it before there was any damage.  Normally books are put on my doorstep not out in the letter box.  And this one wasn't delivered until late in the afternoon instead of the morning.  The post lady must by sick.

Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 7.31.56 pm

This is more than just a book of knitting patterns that Kate has compiled, although these are in the book.  They include patterns for both men and women.  It also features  some really well written essays by other writers.  I found the essay "The Language of the Landscape" by Anna Mac Quarrie very interesting.  Both my husband and daughter have decided to learn Gaelic (I am still ploughing on with the Italian.)  They are both very good with languages but are finding this one challenging.    This essay gives an insight into why they are having difficulty.

Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 7.54.19 pm

The other memorable essay is by Gordon Yates and has some of the best wild life images I have seen in ages.  Oh to be able to capture images like these.  Now this isn't to say that the essays I haven't mentioned are no good.  They are all very good.  It is just that these two impressed me more than the others.

Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 7.54.33 pm

I have a complete set of all Kate's books and I treasure every one.

Now to the knitting.  No, it is still too hot.

Save

Save

Save

Save


Out with the Old - In with the New.

I don't know about you but I have a variety of containers on my desks to hold stuff.  Tins, glass jars  holders from desk sets.

The middle desk

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 12.29.32 pm

It wasn't until I started to photograph these that I realised how much stuff I have around the place.

The computer desk

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 12.29.47 pm

The cutting table.

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 12.38.26 pm

What I had been looking at was the end desk where I sit and embroider and do my hand drawing.  Here I have been using the plastic water containers I use when doing water colours.

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 12.30.02 pm

Everytime I want to paint I have to put this stuff somewhere else and I loose it.  So, I decided I needed a new container.  Something that spoke of where I live and I found it in a hand woven basket by Jackie Cresswell.

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 12.30.14 pm

I often run into Jackie out in the bush.  She goes into places I wouldn't go to collect her vines for weaving.  I'm too afraid I will run into a snake. 

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 12.47.15 pm
http://www.redlandcitybulletin.com.au/story/4501647/its-weeds-to-art-on-coochie/#slide=1

So now I have a new container.  I really must look at rationalizing all the others.

Save


Mary's Bag

Mary from my cottage patchwork group is a great vintage and op shop shopper.  (That was a mouth full.)  She came to the meeting the other night with a carry bag she had picked up from St. Vinnies.  Boy it took me back.

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 12.54.44 pm

This type of bag was popular in the 1950's and 60's but from the photos on the outside it must have been made in the 1970's and I would say it was made in New Zealand.  The Moaris in the pictures kind of give it away. 

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 12.54.31 pm

But just look at these old prints of the Royals.

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 12.54.15 pm

I remember as a small child the first visit to Sydney.  We came down from the country specially to see the celebrations.  The Royal Yacht came in through the heads and the place went mad.  You could hardly get another boat on the water in the harbour and the love and respect shown was genuine.

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 12.53.54 pm

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 12.53.20 pm

And it is lined with old wall paper.  I haven't seen that print since my Grandmother was alive.

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 12.53.34 pm

We dismissed this kind of thing as old fashioned and cheesy but it does have a certain charm.  I always wondered how thy got those holes so even for the crochet?

Save


WIPW

Lately the creativity bug has got me and my mind is racing with ideas so I thought it needed to calm down.  What to calm it? Back to an old cross stitch that I started in 2005.  I will finish this, eventually.  In fact I have now got all but the outer border finished.  I have enjoyed learning all the different types of stitches that have been used in Asissi embroidery and even though this piece has taken a long time to complete to this point I'm glad I kept at it.

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 7.22.14 pm

That border is repetitive stitching, so perfect when I sit with friends and chat.  I managed to have less than 1 metre of stranded cotton left over from the central design.  Just enough to sign my name and put the date on the piece.

I have to admit that yesterday I took time out to make jam and

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 7.22.00 pm

Potato and Leek soup in which I will add bacon when it is served.  I left the cream out of this recipe and made it on a light beef stock rather than chicken.  That will be great for lunches.  I also got to and made 6 lots of vegetables au gratin along with cooking some beef.   If I hadn't done that I might have got more of the border completed.

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 7.21.49 pm

Save


Heads. (These ones don't talk.)

There is a Pottery business here on the island that has been here for years.  Wright's Pottery.

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 7.46.32 pm

I have often bought plates and other odds and ends but they also makes flower pots and bird baths.  I would eventually like one of the bird baths but for now I have a new collection of flower pots.

 I want them for my upstairs rear balcony. 

Screen Shot 2017-03-11 at 2.13.48 pm

It is very bland at the moment and I have to be careful with pots in as much as there can't be too much water used up here.  (It will rot the balcony timber over time.)  These pots will all be planted out with succulents that need little water.  I am going to have to design a special stand to put them on under the window.

Screen Shot 2017-03-11 at 2.14.03 pm

I couldn't decide which ones I wanted so I bought the lot.

Screen Shot 2017-03-11 at 7.30.10 pm

They are not the most beautiful but they are unique.  They speak of where I live and everyone has it's own character.  I have started planting them out and each one is to be named.  I'm testing the names, they may change as I get used to them.

This is a mother and son pair and she looks a bit South American.  He is a Rafael, not sure about her yet, but it could be Carmen.

Screen Shot 2017-03-11 at 7.31.16 pm

A woman with presence.  Agatha?

Screen Shot 2017-03-11 at 7.30.50 pm

This is my sister and I.  One dark one fair. Carolyne and Glenyss.

Screen Shot 2017-03-11 at 7.31.02 pm

A husband and wife pair.  Brian and Margaret.

Screen Shot 2017-03-11 at 7.30.39 pm

That leaves just one. A mystery man.  I wonder who he is?

  Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 7.03.10 am


 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save


Peace Embroidery No 3 March 2017

This design offered so much promise but I did it all wrong.  I think it would have been a lot better if I had just used a simple outline stitch instead of arguing with this #*% of a piece of embroidery.  (I might still do that just to see if it would work.)  Don't get me wrong, it isn't that bad, I just think it is worse.

Screen Shot 2017-03-11 at 1.31.34 pm

The other thing I am struggling with here is the light.  In my old home the light came at just the right direction, not so here.  I think that I am going to have to construct a light box for taking photos.  More research needed.

I took another photo of the piece hanging on the wall but the light was even worse.  That is really a fairly light coloured grey linen from Ikea backed with Amourweft interfacing to give it some body.  I used 2 stands of a DMC cotton.  And that is a whole other story! I used thread from my stash but didn't have enough.  Went to buy more, but, the colour has been discontinued.  So I had to use something close in colour. (The embroidery complained.)

Screen Shot 2017-03-11 at 1.31.21 pm

Still there have been some positives.  By the time I got to the final few leaves my satin stitch was smooth.  Now that has to be good news.  It has taken me a life time to get to this point.

Screen Shot 2017-03-11 at 1.53.01 pm

 

Save


Where I live

I am stitching but I just can't show anyone what I am doing at the moment.  Secrets, secrets.

But I am doing other things.  I went to a book launch in which I am one of 50 women featured in the book.  That was exciting.


Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 12.39.51 pm

I also attended An International Women's Day event, where some one questioned the day's relevancy.  That had be be spoken to and now I have quite a sore throat.

A magpie also turned up and started singing "where is my coffee?"

Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 12.44.42 pm

I hadn't realised how loud that bird song would be in an enclosed space.  He certainly got everybody's attention. It has been very windy here with a 30 knot wind blowing in.  And during this time the raggy lillys have bloomed. I don't know their botanical name but they are a bit more ragged after the wind.

Screen Shot 2017-03-08 at 12.50.06 pm

I have been trying to work out how they could be stitched.  Not easily me thinks.  I think I need to go back and get some more close ups of them.

 

 

 

 

Save

Save