Category Archives: Textiles

Continuous repeat

I have been doing a little bit of stamp carving at the last couple of meetings of Waverley Art Quilters. For this month I tried a process I knew about in theory but had never attempted before. To make a design that repeats in every direction.

Using a photo of a churning river that I took while on retreat, I drew a simple design.

I cut this in two, reversed the positions of the two halves then cut in two and reversed again. I filled the gap in the middle with more elements of the design.

The next step was to transfer the final design onto a Soft Cut carving block. This was easy as my design was the same size and drawn in pencil. I put it face down on the block and rubbed the back with the rounded end of the pencil and the graphite transferred.  I then went over it with sharpie pen so it was easy to see. I now had a mirror image to cut away.

I wasn’t finished in time for the class but did a quick test print anyway. The design is matching up, but I have a way to go yet. I also need to think about the complexity of the pattern in the joining sections, so I may start all over again.

All in all it was an interesting experiment and I am happy with the design so far.

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Textures

I need to carve a stamp for a printing class tomorrow night. These pictures taken on my weekend away will hopefully provide enough textural material.

 

Interesting bundle

The guest speaker at last night’s meeting of Waverley Patchworkers was Janette McInnes aka The Plain Needlewoman. She donated a couple of packages to the raffle that is run each meeting. The proceeds this month went the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.

IMG_6271And surprise, surprise I was a winner!

On opening the bundle this morning I discovered an interesting collection of pieces from very worn hand quilted quilts, a fancy work doily in the shape of a flower and a penny square. These will find there way into some projects eventually I guess.

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Sheep, Wool etc

The 140th Australian Sheep and Wool show is a really big event for Bendigo. The carparks were almost full and people were still queueing to get in when I arrived early on Saturday afternoon.IMG_6005

Exhibitor numbers were up, apparently things have been good down on the farm. There was a big focus on technology and careers with an emphasis on the younger generations both in primary production and textiles and food.

Beanies and coffee were essential, it was lovely and sunny but also quite cold.IMG_6013

Pavilions were full of all sorts of uses of wool; finished garments, threads and fibres and repurposed creations. Sackville and Lane, formerly of Wangaratta had cute tea cosies to knit. The soft wool garments by Jemima of Tumat are bush dyed in a process she has developed over the past ten years.

Claudine McPherson, originally from Canada is an avid collector of wool blankets and the sheets that are often found in the same cupboard.  She had seen nothing like them until she moved to Australia. Using the name Robeology, she transforms them into very, very warm dressing gowns. I was surprised that she had not heard of the Wagga, so gave her a very brief introduction to this very utilitarian bedding.

But my favourite display was that of all the Ashford spinning wheels and looms. They are beautifully made from New Zealand Silver Beech and just want to be touched.

Outside, the skies remained clear and the sheep were being shorn, judged, mustered and drafted. I found out that sheep will run better in a curved race, and that now there are electronic ear tags, automatic drafting gates are selling like hot cakes. A lot of cooking was going on too, and not only of lamb.

I got the impression the judge was looking at a lot of Sunday roasts. The one second from the left was the best ewe in this class. The sheep with the strange fleece is a self shearing variety, the wool just falls off. The proud breeder said – within the sheep’s hearing – that this is a great advantage as the Ultra White breed is for meat.

Right round the back of the grounds the Bendigo Steam and Oil Engine Preservation Group had their engines fired up. Even some cattle breeds were on display as farming sheep does not preclude running cattle as well. These two Hereford’s were very happy just chewing their cud. I was very distracted watching the Australian Yard Dog Championships in the late afternoon sun and only just had enough time to view the Woolcraft section.

This is spread over a number of small sheds and is full of all sorts of wool enthusiasts. The competition work is beautifully displayed.

Lots of specialist suppliers had everything for dying, spinning, felting, knitting, garment making and every other textile art. I resisted them all as I had to dash back to pick up my purchase made earlier in the day.

Something I had been contemplating for quite a while. It is an Ashford SampleIt Rigid Heddle loom and floor stand. You may think I have been very quick to have it warped and a first piece well under way. After all I did learn to weave on a four shaft loom when I was at school. But no. I bought one of the display looms, already varnished and threaded up. So I will be remembering how to take off a piece before I do any setting up.

Abstract composition

The July task for Waverley Art Quilters was to create an abstract composition. A number of approaches were suggested, so I took bits out of each one.

One suggestion was to look at a work by an abstract painter and focus on one part of that work. Another was to take an image, divide it into nine and using one part simplify the shapes. Changing colour combinations was a further suggestion.

I reviewed photos taken at recent exhibitions and settled on one of a painting by John Olsen. The photo I used was of a detail of this work, showing wattles and birds.

olsen2My second stimulus was photos I had taken recently of my Cootamundra in bloom. It wasn’t just the bright yellow blossoms but also the loud buzzing of all the bees that attracted my attention at the time.

I reduced the  image of the tree to black and white with high contrast and focussed on the rectangle at the lower left.cootamundra2 I then went back to the original photo, enlarged it and traced out just the yellow elements.

I also made simple sketches of the bees and also the stem and leaf outlines that reminded me of the humming. My final colour scheme was the yellow fused onto a dark grey. I drew the bees with fabrico pen and then stitched a wandering yellow line on and off the raw edges, redrew the bees with black thread and quilted the humming lines.

 

Winter sewing

The challenge for the Waverley Patchworkers Quilt In tomorrow is a 12″ block with the theme Winter. As it rarely snows here I tried to think of another way of showing cold overcast days. I found a cute print with people all rugged up on my last visit to Morris and Sons and so combined it with some greys. Once I decided on a unit, the elements were stitched together randomly. Then it was a real challenge placing them in the 9 patch array. And what was I thinking, all those partial seams!

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Other quilting projects have been put on hold because I have caught a Mystery Sampler Stitch Along bug. I saw the pattern being worked at Carrum Downs in March and bought threads to use at the Knox Art Show. The pattern by Linen and Threads is released on the first of the month and I am just starting the April band. I’m working in one strand over one thread of 28 count linen because that suited the width of linen I could find. The Cottage Garden threads are hand dyed lengths so placing the variegations has been lots of fun, although it entails quite a bit of unpicking as I figure out each new pattern.

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The only machine work finished this season so far is a Gift Quilt I started ages ago from a pre-cut design by Krista from Waverley Patchworkers. It is now basted and ready to quilt.

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Recent finishes

Seeing another quilter at work on some familiar piecing I was prompted to finish an appliqué cushion cover started at the 2016 AQC. We had, as it turned out, done the same Make and Take workshop run by Frangipani Fabrics. I stopped at the paper piecing stage in April last year, but thanks to Kathy’s reminder, it is now finished. The background was inspired by my recent trip to Cairn Curran in Central Victoria. The blue wrens were flitting in and out of the dry grasses and thistles, moving far to fast to photograph.

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Shibori

This is a technique I have wanted to try for a long time and had the opportunity to do so on 1 April. Leanne O’Sullivan of Kimono House conducted the workshop for Waverley Patchworkers, read about the day here. It is a resist technique that involves a lot of preparation of the fabric before it enters the indigo dye bath.

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nui shibori – stitch resist on silk

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itajime shibori – folding and clamping

 

 

 

kamo sage – a friction knot and mountain pass pleating

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