Friday, October 31, 2014

Houston quilts

If you are in Houston right now, at the Quilt Festival, you're very lucky to be surrounded by so many wonderful quilts and great quilters! I am here at home enjoying the coverage of the event via the internet. I have 2 quilts in the Hands All Around exhibit, Shake the Tree, detail above and Flood #1- River Rising, below.
Congratulations to all the prize winners, the quilts look amazing! has details of winning quilts.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bark colour

Out on a morning walk, I just had to stop and take photos when I came across these amazing colours in the bark of the gigantic gum tree, near a local high school.
And lovely scribbly patterns from the insect life sustain by this beautiful tree.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Collagraph preparation

Shellac flakes are dissolved in methylated spirits to obtain the shellac liquid for sealing the collagraph plates I made earlier. Several layers need to be applied. These are the shiny flakes before dissolving.
I strain it and then paint it on. I'll stop at the fifth coating and then print!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Promise of Tomorrow

Above is a working photo of trimming up the vertical edge for my latest Viewpoints 9 challenge quilt, made for the Environment and Ecology challenge which is being revealed today on the blog.
We have worked in a larger size, 40cm w x 80cm as these quilts will be part of the TIQE 16 exhibition in Taiwan.
Using various seed pods and seed grass heads I printed the images. Many seed banks have been set up to preserve species for the future, as man's influence on habitat destruction threatens plant extinction. Seeds hold the promise of tomorrow.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monkey pod

I took this red hand dyed cotton to Hawai'i with me and used found Monkey Pods [ hope I have this right?] for some printing and rubbing while visiting Phyllis Cullen. The design was bland and indistinct until I painted the rubbed pods with white. The black leaf prints are from the Big Island too. Now I'm liking how it is looking and have plans for it.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Seduced by the Impefect series

It was so helpful to have my friends hold up the quilts from this series, as I hadn't looked at them in a grouping of 4, just 2 together at a time on the design wall. They were also generous in their comments and I have a few ideas to fix some "problem" areas.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Viewpoints 9 quilt

After the unhappy first attempt for the Environment and Ecology challenge set by Hsin-Chen Lin for the current Viewpoints 9 challenge I refined my design and focused on getting a strong, clear message. Luckily I still had enough of the blue dyed background. Not wide enough but I really like the solution I came up with to compensate. This photo shows my first step- checking spacing for my word.
I used a black, fine tip permanent marker to get the stencilled letters into position before hand painting. The white guide line is made with a sliver of soap- very easy to remove.
Unfortunately I can't show a full view of my quilt just yet, as reveal is October 27 USA time [Oct 28 here]. I printed and rubbed various seeds/seed pods and used the fabric paint to add the same colour to left over strips. These made a great addition to the narrow vertical side giving me the extra centimetres I needed.
I had also experimented with sun printing and this fabric was my backing piece.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Handy light

This small light, purchased at the recent Quilt and Craft Fair has already proved to be a handy purchase. It has 3 levels of brightness and the head can be turned to shed light upward as well as in the usual downward orientation. Put under my sewing machine, clear Perspex extension table, I had an instant light box. Very easy to trace my drawings onto my fabric!
And after hand painting the drawings, I didn't end up using this piece as the message I was trying to convey wasn't strong enough, so I started again. I'll share part of the new design tomorrow. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hand stitching

Hand stitching adds a different textural element to a quilt's surface but is slower than machining. I'm using a cotton crochet thread that was the right variegated green for this quilt and generally stitch a small section at night while catching up with some recorded TV.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Tempting you

Today I want to tempt you to consider a couple of things. At the Queensland Quilt Show last week I spent a couple of days volunteering at the 2QAQ table explaining that the art quilt group is part of Queensland Quilters [2Q] and membership of 2Q has many benefits. The photo above shows the bookmarks promoting 2Q and they were part of the table display I set up.
So if you are new to quilting joining a group or guild is a good way to expand your knowledge and one of the biggest benefits is the friendships developed with like minded people.
Part of the display of the 2QAQ 2014 Calendar Challenge on the back wall. The other thing I want to tempt you with is travel and more specifically, travel on a Down Under Quilts fully escorted, small group [maximum 16] tour to South Africa ending with 4 days at the biennial South African Quilt Festival. We will also go on safari and visit many worthwhile projects making a difference to lives in this country. Full details available from the Active Travel button on my blog side bar.
And now the temptation of my new quilt is drawing me to the sewing machine!


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Lampshade making

Didn't know I could do this as I had never tried before, but the class with No Chintz at the recent Quilt and Craft Show gave me an opportunity to test my skills. Just need a base now.
My friend Di was the one who got me into this hour of fun. Here's her lovely shade.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The beach

A short weekend break on the Gold Coast was a welcome treat for us both. Just walking on the sand was relaxing.
And we became familiar with some of the older landmarks of the area. Main Beach is a short distance north of Surfers Paradise and a step back in time, almost.
We saw lots of these 'duck' vehicles on tour around Tedder Avenue, where we had stopped for a coffee.
Even though we were on the 11th floor the roar of the surf was constant. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Collagraph making

A recent session with friends to make collagraphs was fun. Various bits and pieces were glued to cardboards. We need some texture on the cardboard printing plate for this to work. It reminded me of making rubbing plates and these could be multi-purpose.
These are the results from various group members.
I am going to seal mine with a shellac finish to help longevity of the plate when printing. This waterproofing is not necessary if a very temporary plate is wanted.

Monday, October 13, 2014


This great big mess of stuff was the starting point of a recent burst of using small strips cut from fabrics, surface design demonstration samples from classes, trimmings from quilts and other bits and pieces.
They were used to make interesting new quilt sandwiches, which when recut to size would fit the front of blank cards that had sat idle for many years.
So much more interesting and useful now. I could also have made these bits into postcards or journal covers [which I have in the past].

Friday, October 10, 2014

Queensland Quilt Show

This week the quilt show is on at the Brisbane Convention Centre at South Brisbane and I was happy to be awarded an Highly Commended for Not your usual Souvenir- Hawaii a quilt made from fabrics printed in Hawaii at the studio of Phyllis Cullen. I visited Phyllis on the Big Island in January and we had a lovely arty time together.
Another of my quilts Holiday Flags is in the State of the Art quilt 14 display. This touring exhibition promotes 2QAQ, the Queensland Quilters Art Quilters of the guild. I have been volunteering on the 2QAQ table and catching up with lots of friends and meeting interesting new people too.
I get to play on a Bernina 550 sewing machine so do drop by and say hello- I will be there today.
Brenda Gael Smith is also giving a great floor talk about the Living Colour exhibition, each day at 1.30pm. Here she is talking about Caroline Sullivan's work.
The very talented Jane Rundle is also demonstrating machine quilting on a Bernina. Jane was awarded the Best Modern Quilt prize for Grated, detail below.
And this is another of her gorgeous quilts, made using an old linen, embroidered tablecloth.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014


My blog site is now archived with the State Library of Brisbane. I am very pleasantly surprised by it  and the polite request I received from them.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Living Colour arrives in Brisbane

Living Colour! is next on display at the Brisbane Craft & Quilt Fair 8-12 October 2014 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (9am-5pm) with a curator floor talk each day at 1.30pm.
This image features works by artists from the greater Brisbane area (left to right):  Brenda Wood, Sue Dennis , Sue Duffy , Di Flint and Christine Dowell:
Living Colour in Brisbane
Thanks to Brenda Gael Smith, Curator of Living Colour for this timely update. I can't wait to see it in person!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Rod pocket

For my rod pockets I stitch a 10"wide piece of fabric into a tube. The length of the piece is cut 1"less than the width. The seam allowances take up another inch so there is a clear space for the gallery hanger to sit behind the quilt. These days I stitch the rod pocket on, gallery ready. There is  little extra, usually a quarter of an inch in the top section to accept the hanging rod allowing the piece to hang straight in the front.
The back of the tube with the seam allowance pressed open.
The top of the tube is pinned one and a half inches down from the top edge, once again to accommodate the gallery hangers.
Pinned into position and when stitched the extra allowance sits to the upper edge.
I am going on a mini break and will be back later next week with photos from the Queensland Quilt Show.