5 things… I’ve been up to this week

Apart from the cleaning and cooking and watching my son play sport and playing with the puppy, here is a list of the top 5 things I’ve done in the past week.
1. On Tuesday I spent the day with a group of friends for a sewing get-together. About once a month we take turns visiting at each other’s place. All of us did hand-sewing in between chatting and laughing, as well as a beautiful morning tea provided by our host, K. A bonus is that we get to see each other’s latest projects, and K had so many lovely quilts to show us that she has made over the recent year or two. This photo below is my little wool applique hanging that I started in Sue Spargo’s workshop a few weeks ago. I crocheted the little flowers with cotton and a large hook to make the open loopy look.

2. On the long-arm quilter: I have been working on this quilt for a client. She chose an all-over pattern for this small quilt. Only in the early stages yet so I can’t show much!

3. I have been enrolled in an online class through the Quilt University (www.quiltuniversity.com ) called Inspired to Design. I have done quite a few classes this way, and it does open you up to new ideas and inspiration. This particular class is run over about 5- 6 weeks, and is offered by Elizabeth Barton, herself a great quilter. I particularly love the quilts she has made of cityscapes and buildings. You can see her work here: elizabethbarton.blogspot.com.au

This course I’m doing at the moment is all about designing our own art quilt; learning the basics, working on designs, learning to recognise what makes an art quilt, and so on. So far, we have been sketching and playing around with shapes, line and texture. This photo just shows one of my earlier sketches where I tried to play around with spirit people shapes. I don’t know where this will go yet.
This course has actually been hard work, because this is a new area for me. The brain cells are rustily turning!

4. I have been doing some more work on the grandbaby quilt a group of us are making for a friend’s first grandchild. I finished quilting it and started on the binding. While sitting and hand-sewing down the binding, I contemplated about the merits of hand-sewing the binding as in the traditional way,

or machine-sewing binding, which I have done on a few quilts. This photo below shows one I recently did- you sew the binding down first to the wrong side, turn it over to the front and then top-stitch it down, with the sewing showing on the back along the edge of the binding join.
front side
bottom side
I think a lot of quilters wouldn’t dream of using this method, but it is a lot faster and in the end does it really matter? I did think about whether to fully machine sew this binding but was reluctant to do so. I haven’t even worked out why I decide to do it one way or another on any quilt yet!
5. TCB- taking care of business. Why does it feel good when you get a few jobs out of the way or get caught up on appointments and check-ups etc? I have been to the tax accountant to get our tax returns done and got some advice on what I need to do for my own business. Sorting through papers and receipts for that takes up lots of time away from sewing. Our little dog Haley has been to the Vet to be spayed and has recovered well, so she and Chloe are nice and healthy and up to date with all that is needed for them.
Here is another one of my postcards to show you:

This one was created to the theme of ‘scraps’. I randomly sewed lots of fabric scraps on top of some pellon, just slivers and scraps of mainly smaller sizes. I then free-hand ‘drew’ with the sewing machine an outline of a city skyline in a black thread to resemble a penline. I named it “Scraps in the City” Ha!
So, once again I don’t know where the week went, but I was busy. It’s all good.

Postcard play

At our recent textile art exhibition, we had a section devoted to our Postcard Challenge. Each member of the Art Quilt group took part in the Challenge where we created a textile postcard to a different theme each month. It was an excellent way of experimenting with various techniques in surface design, quilting and embellishment. By only having a small size to deal with, it meant that we could experiment without worrying over the effect on the final appearance of a large quilt; great for trying out lots of “What if…..” ideas. At the end of the Challenge, we all stuck the postcards onto a black art canvas for some cohesion within the exhibition. The photo above is of my postcard collection.
I thought I might occasionally show here on the blog each of the postcards that I created. You’ll probably note that with these art pieces I tend to like finishes that are not completely neat and tidy- my cards often have threads dangling off them, raw edges, I don’t colour within the lines, etc. I like to embrace the ‘wabi sabi’ aesthetic of beauty within imperfection. That’s not to say I don’t and can’t create with precision and exactness where required; I just like the handmade look on some of my own things.
I made this postcard in response to the theme of “Found”.

I started with some dark fabric and painted it with gold fabric paint. It was then quilted in a grid pattern. I hand-embellished with lots of objects I found- found on one of my walks, found while looking on the ground for discarded bits and pieces or even found in the cupboards or drawers of my sewing room. They were each sewn down with a variety of threads.
At a recent meeting of Gatton Quilters, we had some more of our fractured pictures on show. Not all of the participants had brought in their piece so we didn’t have any completed pictures but here are some of the installments. This also is another way for us to practise different methods so once again I have been trying to vary the techniques I use.
Below is Lyn’s piece, beautifully done and it looks better than the original picture slice which is on the left:

Three other pieces of a different picture (you can see the theme this month was buildings):

(L to R: Trish, me, Shirley)
This month I coloured in the building with Inktense watercolour pencils and then free-motion sewed with black thread around all the outlines to give the appearance of a hand-drawn line.
The original photo:

I have to end with a photo of our little dogs today: Hayley the cheeky puppy on the right recovering well from her little operation this week and (annoying) playing with Chloe .