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October 2008

Jet Lag

My body clock is all out of alignment and there is so much to do!  I don't think there are as many people here this year at Quilt Market but it still takes more than two days to look at all the stalls.

I love the new Bernina sewing machine.  Idon't know if I can afford one but they are just fantastic.  Shame they are going to be released in the middle of an economic crisis but they look as though they are almost industrial quality with so many new features.  You couldn't carry this one to classes but, oh what you could do on it at home.


There were also a couple of interesting 'bling' versions of the Activa machine to look at.


Houston Quilt Market

I have finally arrived after a 38 hour trip.   The flight from Brisbane to LA was uneventful, there was even room to stretch our and sleep on the way over.  It was getting from LA to Houston that I and 100,000 travelers ran into trouble.  There was a big storm and flights into Houston were diverted all around the place.  Then George Bush airport was reduced to only one runway.  I got into LA at about 7am but didn't get to my hotel until 2am the next day.  It was a sleeping city that first greeted me.


Today has been "Schoolhouse", where delegates are able to choose 15 presentations from the 300 offered.  One noticeable trend has been the number of quilts using big prints.  This usually results in quicker piecing and assemble. Karen Snyder has a great book called "Make Big Prints Work for You" published by Krause Publications.

2008_1025Houston 1

and Nancy Johnson-Srebro  also had some great ideas in her book "Big One-Star Quilts by Magic" published by C & T Publishing.


This large block theme was also to be seen in quilts at the Andover Fabrics presentations.



I just want to sleep.

I need to get ready to go away but all I want to do is sleep.  I think I must have pushed myself too hard over the last few weeks.

Whilst I at the conference at the weekend I ran into my friend Angela and I now have some photos of her Prep grade quilt.  She had the children draw onto fabric with fabric crayons and then made them into a quilt.  The kids love it and so do I.

46 Prep B 2008-1

47 Prep B48 Prep B

A Happy Coincidence

I am off to Houston next week and getting through the first two weeks of term and have been busy making sure that my department will run smoothly while I'm away.  This was a big ask as I have only just returned returned to this school two weeks ago.  A lot to learn in a short time.

Part of my school preparations has been looking at curriculum changes for next year.  I was perusing a unit I had prepared which examined sustainability and found some photos of a quilt my class had made.  I bought a bag full of old jeans for $5.00 all you can fit in a shopping bag and this quilt cost less than $10.00 all up.  The boys love it.  I backed it with a flannel fabric and didn't put any wadding in between.  Old jeans are really warm and heavy!  Somehow though I think this quilt suits this room.



My traveling companion, Pam was giving a lecture at  the Quilt Study Group's Conference, "Sharing our Legacy"  which was held in Brisbane this week end.  I hadn't planned to go to this conference but am so glad that I did, It was great.   Some personal resolutions have been taken as a result of the happy coincidence.  These are;

  1. To join the group.
  2. To start my PhD.

The first decision took only a moment, the second I have been agonising over for quite a few years.  After talking with Dr. Michael Marendy, who was a speaker at the conference, I have found a topic which I know I will love and it will dove- tail with work that Michael has done.  I will get onto this as soon as I return.

Ely Cathedral

When I was looking at church embroidery I found the Ely Cathedral web page.  What a treasure.  This page has the most beautiful visuals.


I have spent ages looking at the videos on this page.


There are 8 separate short videos here showing the work and life of the Cathedral.

Then the picture gallery has the most wonderful set of high resolution photos for download.
The tile work in the floor must have been used as inspiration for patchwork in the past.  It is an inspiration today.



I should be doing the ironing!!

Yes I should.  But, my computer is next to the ironing board and I had mail.  (Don't you think that is a good excuse?)

I am trying to come up with some inspiring ideas to get my staff to think like teenagers and what teenagers would find interesting when it comes to textile manipulation.  Yes, it is great to sew garments, I love it, but,  kids have problems with learning skills in only one semester.  The world has changed and our teaching needs to change with it.

So, I am surfing the net looking for ideas to put into a 'Textile Design Inspirations' for my staff.  I usually do the same kind of thing for my students and put it on the intranet for them to refer to.  I'm stressing about finding the right key for adults.  I have no trouble being Inspired by the work of young textile artists. 

I think that kids would find the work of Kajsa Wikman interesting.  I do.



Religious Embroidery

Looking through the V & A Embroidery page I came across a link to the New Embroidery Group.    I found the links to Members Work a great source of inspiration.  Intuitively clicking around in these sites I came upon a link to Church Art.    Whilst traveling in the U.K. last year I made a point of looking at the embroidered textile in the churches and cathedrals that I visited and rarely was I able to find any information on the makers of these pieces of art.

It was whilst looking through the Church Art site that I came across their page, find an artist.   This is divided into 25 different categories with the work of over 300 artists displayed here.  There I found the work of modern day textile artists creating religious embroidery.

One of the companies, Croft Designs,  is creating work for Hereford Cathederal  for their local Saints project.


Religious Art is still a viable area for Artists today just as it has been in the past.

Back to school

So the holidays ended and school has begun.  I have all cookery classes and no textiles.  Oh well, that's how it goes.  My year 12 Hospitality class is doing cake decoration so that will be interesting.

A few posts ago I reported on the quilt show at Toowoomba.  I missed talking about the work of Robyn Ginn.  Robyn received an Order of Australia this year for her contributions to patchwork and embroidery.  For those who do not know Robyn's work it is hard to catagorise.  She had a bad accident which left her in a plaster caste for 6 months and she was left with residual movement problems.  This has meant that she can not sit at a sewing machine but can sew by hand.

Her first quilt was stitched whilst she was in the caste and is a large quilt composed of Suffolk Puffs or Yo- Yos.  This was followed by some wonderful crazy patch quilts.


There have been some wonderful Australiana quilts and some patterns are still available today.


Her quilts on biblical themes are full of detail.



Her latest work has been on quilt tiles


Yet when I did a search I could find few examples of her work and the only reference to her was in the Australia Day Honours list.   The one link I did find was at The Queensland Quilters 2007 Quilt Show  winners. Three separate quilters had won prizes using Robyn's designs.


One website that I really enjoy is TED Talks.    This conference brings together some of the best minds on the planet, (in my opinion) and I enjoy stimulating my mind and imagination watching the presentations.  If I really like a presentation I will download it through ITunes to watch on the full screen or put on my IPod to watch while traveling, all downloads are free.  This is where I first saw Al Gore  talking about Global Warming

At the moment the presenters have moved their focus to a pressing health/social issue.  They state;

"I thought you should see these photographs. They're both powerful and moving.  They highlight the awful disease XDR -TB, a new and deadly form of tuberculosis that is threatening to become a global pandemic.

By viewing and passing on this link we can help to spread awareness, which is the first step to halting the disease. XDRTB.ORG.

Anyone can be at risk from this disease.  You only have to travel on a plane with someone who has it or be in a cab up to 1 hour after a sufferer has been in that cab.  It is carried on the air that is around us.