Wetlands of Queensland

Today, as the big wet (compliments of ex Tropical Cyclone Debbie) drenches the southeast, I recieved notification that my latest artwork didn’t make the grade for the Moreton Bay Regional Art Awards – no matter! It was the very first time I have entered this competition. I’m not much given to entering competitions, but sometimes they pay off and often in the most splendid and unexpected ways! Just not this time, alas. I ought to have approached this piece with 4 intact sides perhaps, and no empty – literally!  – spaces…. but no, not me, who likes to make it complicated.

I made this to be

1) part of a series I am working on at the moment (Anfractuous Continuance)

2) as a possible entry in the Australasian Quilt Convention Challenge – Fauna and Flora of Australia –  but it transpired that by it’s very nature, it would not fold well, therefore would not travel well, and as a consequence I opted not to enter – clearly I didn’t think that one through…

3) it being not entered in AQC decided to give MBRAA a shot…. never mind, I think it looks good on my wall!!!

I have named it “Cooloola Flight”. Because it’s an aerial view of the Cooloola wetlands and it features a wonderful bird we saw there – a Black necked Stork. An Aussie would call it a Jabiru. We spotted it out in our canoe on Lake Cootharaba, and was the biggest thrill of all of our canoeing excursions. He was just sitting on a little island, minding his own business, then as we drifted closer, he casually got up and strolled away for a drink, and eventually flew off to feed around the corner.

In  this piece the lake and river systems of Cooloola Wetlands are depicted by the empty spaces….. it will be exhibited as one of my pieces at Pine Rivers Art Gallery along with the Reddy Arts Textile Group’s work in December and January…. until then here is a wee sneak peak because I’m too excited about it to save it for a few more months! But you will be able to see it in the cloth there.

Lots of you have seen my first piece in the series – see “Cudgera Creek”  and my previous post for photos. This quilt is now in Melbourne and can be seen at the Bernina   Best of Australia Awards at AQC 20-23rd April 2017.

I am currently working on my third piece, which is based around the Tinchi tamba wetlands, on the Pine River. Now I really must go and sew!!!

2016 wrapped – Happy New Year

 

The last few months have passed in a blur. After doing about 3/4 of the 100 day challenge, which for me isn’t too bad an effort, and completing three lap quilts in about as many months, the art quilting has taken a bit of a back seat lately. Maybe it’s the time of year, after all, it is now the final week of 2016… Christmas celebrations take up a fair bit of time, much as we love getting together, exchanging gifts and eating well!  It seems to me though that time is of the essence when there are deadlines to meet. Creativity works best for me when it is spontaneous, but I do like to have a plan as well…………. sometimes the plan doesn’t always work, and outside pressures tend to inhibit spontaneity….. maybe it’s time for a little R&R, some physical workouts  (read cycling, swimming and canoeing, long walks on the beach, playing with the dogs, even gardening). We are officially on holiday, not a sewing machine in sight. I do have my cameras with me though.

I did manage to make a few little Christmas gifts – (secretly, I have been wanting to make mug rugs for ages! Hahaha! (Binding by machine practise….) Then I saw these great  little fabric stars, which I couldn’t resist making.

 

My last wee completed piece for the year is this wee seahorse which I had much fun making!

Wishing you all a wonderful, creative, prosperous, healthy and happy 2017!

Sue

 

 

Amazing day

This was a day right up there with those pinnacle of your life days – you know the ones, high school and University graduations, Wedding day, Births of the babies days…. today was the day I won the Bernina Best of Show award at the Queensland Quilt Show!!  still on a high, can’t stop smiling!!

Thank you to the judges, Glad Howard, Lyn Hewitt, and Rachelle Denneny;  to  QQ President Judie Bellingham and the management committee of Queensland Quilters Inc; Bernina Australia; all the other many Queensland Quilt Show Sponsors, and Expertise Events –  wow what a day! Thanks to all my lovely friends and acquaintances and fellow quilters and all the ladies(and men!)  for your fabulous support and kind words and admiration today, it was a fantastic experience and you all contributed so much to my brilliant day!

Completely excited that my textile art piece won, and now we are off to Melbourne for AQC and Best of Australia awards early next year, so exciting to be a part of that!! Will be celebrating all week.

Many thanks to Bernina Australia for their wonderful and continuing support of the craft of patchwork and quilting, to Queensland Quilters Inc who organise the quilt show, (see the rest of the fantastic and beautiful winning quilts at the link) and their dedicated members who do the most amazing behind the scenes work for many months in the lead up to the show, and to Quilt and Craft Fair (Expertise Events) for hosting the show. It all takes a great deal of planning and plain hard work to bring it all together every year so that the rest of us can not only enjoy making our art but also sometimes reap the rewards, such as I have been blessed to do so, today. I am so happy, so grateful and just plain astounded. Thank you all.

 

Cyclic Tetrahedron aka Tetraspinner, and other pieces

We have lift off! The Panel Kit Instructions are now available from 2Sew Textiles – we have made up a kit and you can order up to 4 colour panels and/or a black and white panel for your own colouring . The direct link to our etsy shop is here. Choose from four colourways: Grape Soda (the original), Blueberry Pie, Lime Juice, and Tangerine Fling. Or of course, Black and White. There is more information on Brenda Wood’s Blog Addicted to Fabric.

My tetraspinners are currently being shown until October 8th 2016 at the Hub Gallery in Caboolture Qld Australia along with works by Textile Art Group members Cynthia Morgan, Di Flint, Brenda Wood, Tricia Smout, Alwyn Bowyer, Elaine Campbell, Rebecca Dundon, Jean Hill, Bernardine Hine and Fran Robinson.

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For my other pieces, suffice to say, I have been BUSY. Making modern quilt tops and pursuing my latest enthusiasm , ruler quilting! My first to be finished is this table topper (hiding my large cutting mat!)

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I have almost completed another quilt-as-you-go lap quilt, which will be dispatched soon to it’s recipient, but first I might show it off to the ladies at Queensland Quilters along with a couple of the others…

By the way, Queensland Quilters annual Quilt Show commences on Wednesday 5th October at the Convention Centre at South Bank, Brisbane, for any of you in the vicinity who don’t already know about it. It is bound to be excellent as usual, and I am really looking forward to seeing all the quilts. It is part of the Quilt and Craft Fair, and there is more information here.  I hope you can make it as I have a pictorial quilt “Cudgera Creek” (Hastings Point, NSW) on display, which I would love everyone to see. I will be there on Wed 5th October. Brenda Wood also has two art quilts on display there, and they are a treat indeed, lots of talent on display!

Here is a preview of some “in progress” detail shots of “Cudgera Creek”:

That about wraps it up for this week. It’s back to the sewing machine for me!

 

 

Tetraspinner instructions…

ARE COMING!!! Meanwhile, today, I have made another one, to check the latest fabrics – I now have panels in not only the original colourway (as seen in the video!)  but 3 others plus black and white outlines for the colourists in our midst. This tetraspinner  below  is a finished size of 8.5″ across (as are all the fabric panels). I have decided not to include individual triangles for printing in the pattern as the fabric prints make life so much easier, much of the construction work is already done, and the time needed to make one up is halved- the more you make of course, the faster you will become. Suffice to say, it’s far easier than having to print and cut out many individual triangles and then sew them all together….. This has been an enormously educational journey for me, learning how to make a large tetraspinner initially was challenging and fun, working it out as I went along. My original large one consisted of all individually traced, painted, embellished and quilted triangles, and was weeks in the making…. My first pattern and instructions were all written, drawn up, and photographed with numerous steps, and pages and pages of printed matter! The patterns all in two sizes… large and smaller…. Once I thought about designing and printing the triangles on to fabric yardage, to save time, it became increasingly more logical to do this whole thing as a panel, sticking with the smaller size only, which keeps the costs down for one thing and to make handling the finished item much easier – making life so much simpler for purchaser.

Hop across to flickr to see a few more photos of the new fabrics I have designed   – four different colourways and a black and white version for those of you who would like to colour it in your favourite colour schemes…. here is a taster or two: how one of the new panels will look made up!

The fabric and instructions with photos and diagrams will soon be available from 2SewTextiles  in our Etsy shop,  just some final tweaking to be done,  the listing to sort out, and a bit of streamlining for purchase of the fabric panels.  Definitely before the end of September. Deadlines are good.

 

Project overload – or when you can’t find your scissors

Lately I’ve been engaged in several textile projects concurrently….  Somehow I seemed to keep adding more to the pile…not quite sure how it happens but I think it is because sometimes you are waiting for something to arrive, so in the meantime you start something else…. and so it goes.  The consequence of course is that eventually I become engulfed in a deluge of fabrics, battings, off cuts, threads, papers, rulers, and quilt sandwiches….. It was difficult once again to find even one pair of scissors,  and I have several….they are always under something, but which something is it?  What to do, what to do? Trying to find stuff slows up the creativity, and the pressure to complete things was building, building, building…

All this despite a post  I wrote last year,  in which I concluded that tidying  up after myself was the solution to avoiding being snowed in yet again by textile flotsam and jetsam – at least in theory. Actually, I still believe it’s a sound strategy, although I have in reality been less than successful. How can this be made to work, I asked myself? My conclusion was, that every project (currently I have 6 upon which I am working, and several more that could be added to the list)  needed its own box, into which it can be tidied, before I tackle the next bit of the next project, and so on! The short way would be to rush out and buy 6 new boxes. Easy you think? Sure. But wait. Where will the boxes be stored? Every inch of space in the tiny sewing studio is taken… And it overflows into the bedroom….. And the art studio is also full of things…. The store room is chockers, and the spare bedroom is overwhelmed by artefacts and equipment and books and boxes of things – all belonging to various offspring…

I sent out an SOS to a very good and patient friend…

Who said, “no, you don’t need new boxes.” Who said, “throw out some stuff.” Who said, “donating is good”. Who said, “throw away 20 things”. Who said, “start with the plastic bags” ….. “what plastic bags?” I cried. They have important stuff in them. They have useful stuff in them. There are only two…. Or three…

“I have to make a list,” said I. “No lists, ” said she. But I did have to have a list. It calms my mind, to make a list. So I made a list. Of my current projects. Then I knew I definitely needed at least 6 boxes.

“No” said she. “Just start!!”

It took me two days.

The payoff is – I can find all of my scissors, see my ironing surface and cutting mat…. and I have repurposed 6 boxes into project containers!

ps: to my lovely friend – here are the photos you requested (see comments in the post referred to above) !!! there is even room for Bailey.

pps: Oh and did you notice the tetraspinner fabrics have arrived? that is a fat quarter which will make one tetraspinner ) Not long now! That is project priority number one.

 

 

 

Deviant (quilt) art

Lately I have been doing a bit of machine quilting…. In daily doses. But when you work for a while in those bland neutral fabrics, beige and white and taupe, a craving for colour develops, especially on dull and cloudy days such as today… One deviates from the task at hand (mastering  rulers ) and springs into temporary insanity… There is a new quilt in the pipeline, and the top is almost finished… But I have to be a secret squirrel on this one for a little while as I don’t want to show it off until the recipient to be has had first look! decisions needed to be made as to the back of this quilt. I needed to use up some of the “stash” and the front didn’t consume even half of the designated fabrics…. the remainder, I thought, could provide the back…. For a week now, I have been toying with ideas – I have a vast number of trial designs (now mostly deleted – there were more than 90…)  in my EQ program…. But nothing was satisfying…. And ok I could just throw the leftover rectangles and squares together – big blocks of leftover fabric, to keep it simple and quick, after all no one really looks at the back unless they are the quilt police! That was the logical, practical and sensible person’s solution. But I’m dealing with myself here, nothing too simple … Today I cut out and pieced  24, 9″ 9 patch blocks, black and white and coloured….

Tomorrow I am going to join them up with 24 9″ squares, (this actually looks fairly horrible)image

Then I am going to cut them all up again into 16, 12 inch blocks, and sew them back together….. This will be the back of the quilt…..

If in the end I don’t like it, or decide it’s actually too awesome to be the back of a quilt, I will simply turn it into a second quilt, and go out and buy a few yards of wide backing and be done in no time at all!!

Tetra spinner fever

Loving Illustrator! Designing fabrics! Starting with the basics, moving through a sequence from a simple idea to a more sophisticated end product, learning so much about what can be done …. Developing a pattern and instructions is an interesting journey – I love a challenge!

Purists might prefer to stick with a more traditional method printing to fabric sheets and  piecing the tetraspinner, or painting and embellishing at their leisure, taking time to put it all together for fun;  kids can make them from paper and coloured pencils and card; those short on time might rather enjoy the speed of construction aspect with purchased pre printed panels! So I am offering all three, and two sizes. Overkill you may think, but these are going to make great fete items, gifts for those hard to buy for folk, party icebreaker entertainment, diversional therapy! Not to mention the fun to be had making one, or two, or three….

Fabrics will be available in a small selection of colour ways, once I check swatches! Keep an eye out for them on Spoonflower

image

Original hand painted and beaded, cotton printed panel and cotton printed triangles designs, Spoonflower fabric print made up.

 

 

Tetraspinner update

I have been working on this, I promise!  Half a day at the computer and  my tetraspinner pattern and instructions are almost ready for proof reading!!!! (well I did the bulk of it a few weeks ago, before mishaps and unexpected travels and other textile art got in the way!)

Also, yes! the fat quarter panel fabric arrived, and I have finally made it up – super quick to do, one afternoon, just the finishing touches of hand sewing to do… could have done that whilst I was watching a movie this evening but did not give it a thought, I think I am a bit spun out…  the pattern will have instructions for making fabric and card versions in two sizes. The original colourways will be printable, and there are also black and white outlines  to do your own colouring if you so wish.

Today I spent some time working on a black and white fabric design which hopefully will be available for purchase from Spoonflower along with the original colourway design. I need to test out the black and white fabric once it arrives, that will probably take me about a month to complete I should think. After that, the fabrics should be good to go! The pattern might hit the 2SewTextiles shops earlier than that… 2Sew Textiles website

outline morsel

an outline morsel…. fabric print to come! 

TETRASPINNER

Beginning to think it is easy to take leave of one’s senses and to become completely obsessive…  I have been exploring 3 dimensions as a mild diversion from the landscape art quilts, precipitated by a void as I had run out of the wide stiff bag wadding which I use as a base for that work. Since I had to wait about three weeks for it to come in to my local patchwork store, and the fact that it also coincided with the sudden and irrevocable demise of both of my vacuum cleaners (yes I had two!)  within days of each other, which then negated all possibility of my filling my time with housecleaning, AND of course I had to do SOMETHING. I am not a gardener. I wish I was sometimes, it would keep me fit and think of all that lovely fresh air in my lungs…. but the dog likes to ‘help’ and she is more of a hindrance.

Having been somewhat fascinated for some time by cyclic tetrahedrons, and as I always relish a challenge,  that is what I thought I would tackle next….  having enough stitch-n-shape on hand as an ideal stabiliser, I set to work figuring out how to do this. My other great love affair (the one with the computer) had me thinking I could do this and print all the 24 triangles I was going to need…. on fabric, just need to work out how the design would need to be…. but that was taking a long time, and eventually the upshot was, as I couldn’t at that point get my head around how to actually get my designs ready to print as a pattern on to fabric, (well I did my head in trying to master kaleidoscope patterns… which was a deviation from the tetrahedron idea…) I concluded it still might just be quicker and simpler to do it all by hand…. as you do. Sometimes I am quite old-fashioned. After all, I only wanted to make one….

Th process:

  1. draw the designs
  2.  trace and redraw them in Illustrator – just to get everything nicely symmetrical, (and it’s playing with magic)
  3. print out and trace them on to fabric
  4. back with stabiliser wadding
  5. quilt
  6. colour
  7. embellish
  8. stitch together

EASY! So I thought… 4 weeks later, I do have the finished article, and I did have a lot of fun on the way. It satisfied my desires to piece, to paint, to quilt! It’s really an art quilt form, this cyclic tetrahedron that I call a TETRASPINNER… This one is approximately 17 inches x 17 inches, and 8 inches high – really rather large but it seemed to me it might be easier to make at these proportions. I was actually wrong in this. It gets a bit tricky at the end…

You can see a VIDEO HERE of the finished item.

I have a fabric print in the pipeline for making a smaller version that would be much easier to handle, and will save anyone wishing to make one the hassle of designing and painting the triangles needed to make it up. While waiting for a proof swatch to arrive, I am working on a pattern that will be downloadable and printable on A4/letter size paper, and which will be available in at least two sizes; similar colours to those you see here, and also the black and white outlines so you can choose your own colours. Instructions for comstruction in fabric and on card will be included.

In the meantime, these are some progress photos…  (the last one is a fabric design I am experimenting with… )