Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Moving to a new blog...

Hi everyone,
Just a boring post without pictures this morning to let you know that I am moving this blog over to a new blog space. Many people have had issues with leaving comments on this blog, and I'm hoping that the new space will work better on that front.

My new blog address is:

I do hope that you will update your blog readers, blog lists, bookmarks as required so that we may continue to enjoy the pleasure of your company!

See you at the new blog... (coming up there soon: all the latest from the opening of 'to be a child' tonight at the Showcase Gallery, Northbridge)

Monday, April 23, 2012

A picture of concentration

Oma taught Hannah to knit during these holidays. It's not often that we see her so engrossed in an activity! Thank you, Oma!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Installing 'to be a child'

Hooray! to be a child is now installed at the Showcase Gallery (Northbridge, WA).

Here are the 24 quilts, all ready to go...
Phil and I spent an intense three hours getting them up this afternoon. I was as organised as possible, with a plan for where the quilts would go. (I drew up the walls to scale, and added to-scale images of the quilts). So I though it would be simple. But we still ended up spending quite some time rearranging - probably due to how the light fell on the quilts, and due to the colours of the quilts not showing up so well in my scale plan. My plan had also left the quilts a little squished so we had to sort that out too - I doubt I would have fit another quilt into this exhibition!

Here are a couple of teaser pictures... I'll share some proper photos after the opening.
And if you are planning to come to the opening, I look forward to seeing you there on Tuesday evening (between 5pm and 7pm)!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Painting the quilt

Well, it turned out that painting the quilt wasn't quite as scary or drastic as it sounded. I wasn't entirely happy with the way the quilt was turning out - part of the 'background' was too dominant; quite distracting.

I bought 'The Painted Quilt' by Laura and Linda Kemshall quite some time ago, and have been quite taken by their use of paint in their quilts. So I figured this quilt was the one to try it on. Unfortunately I can't show you the whole quilt yet - I'll do that when I can. Suffice it to say that, while others looked at it and liked it, I know that 'letting a quilt go' (to exhibitions etc) when I am not entirely satisfied would bug me for a long time.

So I painted. Not much, just enough to mute part of the background.
Although I can't help but wonder how it would have looked if I had kept on going... I have another 'failed' quilt in the back of my quilt cupboard, and now I'm contemplating taking the roller to that one, a little more drastically...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

To the Third and Fourth Generation

Regeneration: Contemporary Quilted Textiles opens at Manly Art Gallery & Museum next week. Check out their eye-catching information page here. If the invitations I received in the mail are anything to go by, it should be an interesting and stimulating exhibition. I wish I could see it in person.

To the Third and Fourth Generation
(c) Ruth de Vos 2012
natural linen, cotton homespun, cotton batting, cotton thread
152cm high by 110cm wide
machine pieced, machine quilted, hand embroidered
Society is built on parents and grandparents teaching the children, who then teach their own children and so on through the generations. The nature of our society may be determined by how and what we are teaching our children. Are we teaching them well? Or can we be more proactive in the learning journey of our children in order to (re)build a healthy society?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

To paint or not to paint

Contemplating the quilt... the book... the roller... the paint...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Quilting my 'stitched and bound 2012' quilt

OK, so I'm cutting things a bit fine with this quilt. My own fault, of course. I have been working on an entry for 'stitched and bound 2012' for quite some time now. However, when the original quilt top was completed, Phil voiced what I was already thinking - that it should be kept aside for the other exhibition I am hoping to enter later this year (right when the baby is due). That was four weeks before the 'stitched and bound' deadline, which translated to four weeks in which to dream up, design, cut out, piece and quilt a new quilt. Add into that an ongoing cough, dislocated ribs, Easter, school holidays, morning sickness... oh, and an upcoming solo exhibition... and the going has been a little bit slow. 
I'm working hard at quilting it this week, and hoping that I can still complete it for the 27 April deadline. It doesn't help that this quilt demanded to be seed-stitched in the background (which means many hours of hand-stitching).
 But actually, sitting in my comfortable chair, hand-embroidering a quilt is possible the best way to calm the nerves and relax in the lead up to my exhibition. Better get back to it now...

Monday, April 16, 2012

A new workshop for Phil's birthday

The garage / workshop is all ready for Phil's birthday! As promised, here are some pics ... The kids were great helpers sorting out the unbelievable assortment of screws, nails and other little bits we found.

A big thankyou to my brother who gave me the lead for that awesome wooden table, from a boarding school mess hall (yes, we had to clean off decades of chewing gum from underneath it).
Oh, and a big thankyou to Dad and Phil who stepped in with some of the heavier work when my ribs dislocated...
See that large empty wall on the last pic? It's calling out to me to have an artwork placed on it...
Anyway, we all agree that it's all an improvement on this:
The next post will feature sewing again... promise!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Australia Wide Two @ Bunbury Regional Art Galleries

We made an afternoon/evening trip to Bunbury yesterday, in connection with the installation of 'Australia Wide Two' at the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries.
image via 

Here's a little blurb about the exhibition: 
Australia Wide Two is an exhibition of stitched and layered works showcasing original and diverse interpretations of contemporary textile art from Australia’s leading and emerging quilt artists.  Ozquilt Network is Australia’s national organisation of art quilters founded in 1998 to promote contemporary quiltmaking in Australia.  A professionally selected exhibition of members’ work, Australia Wide Two will excite viewers with the inifinite possibilities of ‘the quilt’ in art. 

The exhibition will be on display at BRAG from 13 April to 20 May and is comprised of 32 small (40cm by 40cm) art quilts by members of Ozquilt. Western Australian artists featured in this exhibition include Michele Eastwood, Margery Goodall (who was one of the curators), the late Joan Lock, and myself. Although the works are small, it is a real treat to view them in-real-life.
Grow (c) Ruth de Vos 2010
More information about Ozquilt Network Inc. can be found at www.ozquiltnetwork.org.au

Monday, April 9, 2012

Saturday in York

I hope you enjoyed your Easter break? We had a lovely weekend together. We made a day trip to York on Saturday. It was bustling! We thoroughly enjoyed the York Motor Museum, and then the York Antique and Collectables Fair. I found a few treasures...
...and a few little friends, too. Cute, hey?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Simple squares

 Even though I spend most of my sewing time making intricately pieced quilts,  as far as more practical quilts go, I still think you can't beat simple squares, especially when you have pretty fabrics to showcase. Checkout this beautiful work in progress by Red Pepper Quilts:
(Image used here with permission)

It makes me wish I had a basketful of scraps to play with today!
If you've been visiting here a while you will have seen the various play quilts I have made over the years (one for each child), also from simple squares (albeit much larger than postage stamp size!). The quilts still get used all the time, especially for a DVD treat.
It doesn't get much better than snuggling under the blankets on a rainy day, watching Mary Poppins while we wait for Dad to come home from an extra long day at work!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Little Do They Know

I shared my 'school quilt' on my facebook page this morning, but seeing that many people have asked about this quilt over the last couple of years, I figured I better post it here too!

Little Do They Know
(c) Ruth de Vos 2012
127cm high by 250cm wide

Children can sometimes be hard-pressed to recount what they actually learned during the day. Little do they know just how much learning they are experiencing in every facet of their school day.  

This quilt was a year-and-a-half long project which started with obtaining permission from the teacher, principal, and parents of the students in Aaron's class to take photos of the children. Aaron's teacher let me join the class for various lessons over about two weeks, so that I could capture various aspects of their learning. The students were so diligent - they just kept right on working whenever I came!

Monday, April 2, 2012


It seems that there are various things conspiring to prevent me from blogging here as intended, lately. There has been a very little bit of sewing, but nothing to show you yet. There has been garage progress, but there's still a way to go. Everything is a little slow due to a dislocated rib (fixed on Friday, unfixed again this morning, hopefully fixed again this evening... I guess sometimes that's what it takes to force one to slow down. Never mind, I am thoroughly enjoying the cosiness of being inside on this first grey, rainy day for the year.
Also another little reminder that I am posting daily quilts onto my facebook page, leading up to my upcoming exhibition. All the quilts will also be added to my website and shop following the exhibition.