Thursday, September 29, 2011

Caleb prints

My sister sent me some pics which she snapped with her iPhone when we did some screenprinting during the last school holidays. I thought you might like to see them. Did you know that screenprinting is best undertaken in your underwear? (I didn't have painting clothes handy so I made him strip).

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

This morning

This morning was spent speaking with students at a local primary about my artwork. They are having an 'artist week' this week, and I was invited to share my work with preprimary, grade 1 and grade 2. I took some of my childhood quilts, completed ones as well as quilts in progress, and described the process I go through. I also demonstrated screenprinting, which showed up in several of the quilts.

I don't have any photos, but it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I loved their observations and was impressed by what they all noticed and asked. One of the grade 2 students asked why I quilt instead of paint, which is actually quite a deep question. (Speaking about my work like this helps me to verbalise what I do, and is a valuable learning curve for myself). I answered that I have always loved to sew, and also, more practically, that paint is much messier so that it would be more difficult to manage with small children around. Not a completely satisfactory answer (well, it satisfied the student but wouldn't hold up so well in arty circles), but it's better than 'just because'. I should probably dwell on it a bit more.
For now though, I have left everything down by the front door and am going to put up my feet and work in a running-way-to-far-behind-to-get-it-finished-on-time birthday present for a soon-to-be seven year old.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sewing in the sun

I found a new sewing spot today. Daniel was determined to play outside with the other children, and because we don't have fences yet and he has a tendency to wander, I need to supervise him closely. So I had no choice but to be outside with him all day. And thankfully I found the perfect place - out on the new (nearly) finished deck, on my recently thrifted table, behind the sewing machine, overlooking the whole yard as well as the valley beyond...
I barely touched the housework today, but I do have a mostly finished quilt top and some sunburn to show for my efforts - and the kids had a wonderful day outside altogether. I think we may be onto something here, for the upcoming school holidays!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A blessed life

I don't think that I will ever tire of watching low cloud roll in through the valleyor of the fact that every window here looks onto a eucalyptus tree
or the fact that Caleb brings me daily treasures from outsidelike this beautiful wild grass.
I live a blessed life and thank God for every day in which
I may enjoy this awesome creation of His!By the way, I am convinced that the best way to really see
something is to sit down and draw it, no matter how
good or bad ones drawing skills are!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mastering the scissors

When you are the youngest of four, no one needs to teach you how to use the scissors. You just know.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Quilts on the go

Just in case you were wondering (as if you haven't got anything better to do...) I thought I'd let you know that even though I haven't shared any progress here lately, and even though I have been quite distracted by our tadpole-turned-frogs, I haven't been completely idle.

I keep getting asked about the progress of the school quilt. I haven't made much - usually my quiltmaking slows right down at the thread-burying stage. Not because I don't enjoy it, but because it feels completely too relaxing to sit in my armchair with handwork during the day when I could be busy at the sewing machine (and yes, it makes me look like a granny). So I save it for lazy evenings or other times when I feel like taking it a bit easy (now I sound like a granny too!).

I did manage to quilt a series of small quilts which I've had sitting around for a bit. The binding has been sewn onto these and the school quilt so that all the machine work is completed on these.And today I started piecing a new quilt. Piecing is always the 'funnest' part of the quiltmaking process! You're probably thinking that that's a lot of quilts to be working on at once. I actually still have several more cut and ready for piecing as well as some new designs in various stages of being drawing up. So, yes, that's a lot of quilts. However, I have a couple of venues lined up for a solo exhibition of my childhood quilts next year, and I'm always well aware that anything can happen between now and then to throw my quiltmaking plans aside. (With four kids in the house, I'm often amazed that we don't have more sicknesses or injuries to deal with!) I'd rather work ahead than be caught short in the last month.
Lastly, I've noticed a lot of extra traffic here in the last few days, so if you're new here, welcome, and thanks for reading along!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Too busy watching my babies

If I don't have any sewing progress to show you it's because I'm too busy watching my babies metamorphose.All 19 of them.I don't know if I've ever been so distracted before. These ones are teeny tiny, and play a great game of hide and seek. Everytime I walk past the kitchen (about every 10 minutes) I find myself stopping to check up on them.So my advice to you today is, if you need a reason for not getting anywork done today, go and catch some tadpoles! (Or get your eight year old son to catch them for you.)

Friday, September 9, 2011

My beautiful necklace

While I'm blogging about other people's projects, here is a very classy looking package I received from a friend yesterday. My first thought was, 'hey, this looks nice, how come I've never heard of poppy street before'. And then I opened it and found a beautiful grey (not purple as shown above) necklace. I knew that Leanne had been doing some clever crocheting, but I never realised one could actually crochet something this fine and beautiful. Well, I can't, but Leanne can. And the reason I hadn't hear of poppy street yet was that I was being deliberately kept in the dark. Secret's out now, though!
I love it, Leanne, and can't wait to wear it.

Brooom, broomm!!

Here's a project I know some of you will be interested in making with your kids. This is actually my mums work (although I was a contributor) so I got her permission to post it here. Right up until about last year, Mum had a couple of boards with a road map drawn on with thick black marker for the kids to play on. Apparently I drew it way back when I was about as old as Aaron and Hannah. As you can see, the boards have been updated to a full-colour mat/blanket, though still with most of the original design. It's soft to sit on, and nice and colourful to look at, and it packs away easily when it's bedtime! I think it's made mostly by applique, with the road markings stitched on. It has non-slip rubbery stuff on the back (the kind you put under rugs to stop them slipping). It also has an inner padded layer, which might be batting, although seeing as Mum made, it could actually be anything in there ("make do with what you have"...).
Caleb and his cousin don't care what's inside - they think it's perfect.
And I love any sewing project that incorporates children's drawings!

Monday, September 5, 2011


For all you east coasters, please note the upcoming exhibition shown above. It should be an awesome exhibition and I'm more than a little bit excited to be included with all those great quilting names. And they're not just wonderful artists, they are wonderful people too.