Wednesday, August 21, 2013

SAQA Bloghop -its my turn

Well today is my turn on the SAQA bloghop which is a brief overview of  each artists concepts and /or techniques used to complete their piece for the 20 x20 silent auction on the SAQA site.

My piece follows Robyn Mcgraths blog  at   SAQA Oceania blog
and  Susan Mathews  follows mine on the 24th of August.
For a full listing of the timetable and the artists participating click on the following link
I feel my little quilt is a little different  to most of the others, that I am privileged to be amongst.
I'm a reasonably new quilter, and am still learning quilting skills as I go along. I can thank other artists such as Sue Dennis for showing me techniques such as basic bindings, that many others have learnt through years of quilt making practice. I, on the other hand have come from a 3D soft sculpture and mixed media background. So, I have always used textiles, but find that  most of the quilting  especially traditional quilt making is rather a strange and scary place .
 To date I have created only 11 quilts, but am privileged to have had each exhibited in juried and touring exhibitions. I love doing the tops, but get nervous when putting the quilt together, and talk of the quilt police, perfect backs and precision joining and points, makes me quite fearful -that's why I love art quilting,which has almost unlimited scope in techniques and presentation and allows me the space to play and bring a crossover of  mixed media techniques to my quilts.
I have discovered I am a circular person in a square world!
Journey 0n 1#             2mW x 1.6m L
Curently touring with SOTA13
But now  
    Journey On 2#
When we were asked to  consider creating a piece for the auction, I was unsure what to make.
 But since being ill over the last 31/2 years, most of  my work has focused on the nude female form ,especially  in 3D or high relief, usually in a neutral or limited colour palette.
My period of illness created severe depression, anxieties and other physical and emotional limitations ,that I am still working through. It included a 6-8 month period where I was unable to create anything. Its amazing how extreme pain and fear affects you.
 But now on the other side of  this journey, I am using the emotions, both positive and negative, that were experienced to create art. It is deeply personal but with some of the quilts already exhibited creating ,at times, quite emotional responses from the viewers, it has been very cathartic for me, and gratifying that others can feel with me through my artwork.

 I love sayings, and when I found this one " In order to shine ,you have to get through the darkness first!"  it felt right. This along with a small figurative study sample created for Forward Motion, a larger quilt that was exhibited at the Birmingham Festival of quilts in 2011, was a perfect fit.
Journey on 2# 's needlefelted figure,is naked and exposed,and in a protective stance. She looks at the viewer with sad, fearful and lost eyes, but in the background is a doorway with light shining in. The only problem is the darkness that is surrounding and between the figure and her exit .She needs to move through her fear (the
darkness )to get to the light.
The figure is needle felted from merino wool and backed with felt and multiple layers of wadding ,the face has basic hand stitching to emphasize the features, otherwise I draw with wool to create light and shadow and needlefelt through up to 4 inches of felt and wadding to give depth.

with a black background its not the easiest piece to photograph

The wording was hand painted on and then normally I would machine around it, but it was too hard on this smaller scale
and with the figure in place.
The background was needlefelted black felt. The doorway
 had gold foil applied over vliesofix and then needlefelted
 over with black merino wool tops, to look like shadows
blending into the light.
 I machine embroidered the background and used heavy
 stabiliser-Timtex, to keep the shape of the figure as it was stitched on
Unfortunately I forgot to take many photos during the
 production of this piece, as I was more caught up with the closing date, and I need to learn to do more step by step
 photos. I forget all the time to take pics of even the scarves
and shawls I sell. Its on my 'to do' list., or perhaps I should
say-my " remember to do"list. I hope you enjoyed   reading        
                                                         a little about my quilt.
 To see my donation please go to the 2013 SAQA Benefit Auction at
   My piece is on page 3a but there are loads of lovely eye candy up for auction for you to look at and perhaps purchase..
 To see more of my work and more of my quilts go to

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Long break between blogs!

Well it's been a long break between blogs- one of those gunna' do it tasks. I seem to get further away from my electronic gadgetry these days, when I keep being told I need to do more of it.
But anyway I have a blog hop with SAQA Oceania groups relating to my piece that's currently a part of the silent auction at   
I need to get back into swing of it so thought I'd post some of my dyeing I did today.
I'm going through a silk velvet phase at the moment and did my first Devore in years the other day. 
I had  forgotten how much fun it is watching the image appear after you've ironed it and washed it off.I dyed it peacock green after. It's not perfect but its a start. Here are some of the dyed bits and bobs! 
It never ceases to amaze me how the same dye bath can give such varying shades depending if its wool,silk, linen, cotton etc . So far I've I've done black, navy, peacock green and sky blue is next- which reminds me I have a dye bath on the boil and havnt checked it- oops!         Gotta run!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Jet lag city

After arriving home I was a little unsure how I felt , as jet lag and zombiedom set in , after 30 or more hours without sleep, and 12 movies under my belt. I realized that I was actually home and the trip was already seeming like a lifetime away. It's been a week now and my body clock is still waking at 5 am wanting to sleep around 6 pm and eat at all manner of hours. But I'm sure that will pass- hopefully soon! I didn't think that jet lag would wipe me out so much! But then real life is harder to settle back into than I had imagined.

Home today!!!!!!!

It was the day of Halloween and I was busy sorting out my transport to Heathrow from Stansted. I caught a bus to Golders Green. To be picked up by felt artist Sue Pearl and be reunited with my extra luggage. We had some lunch and then headed to Heathrow. Golders Green was a lovely township filed with my images of what a traditional English village looked like, very different compared to the city part of London. I think having been bought up on a diet of BBC productions and images of Tudor villages- reality is harder to take. But Golders Green came close to what was in my head.
Once I was at Heathrow, Singapore airlines, decided to put me on an earlier flight - so much for the change of clothes and rearranging the suitcase. It was rush off to get a new lock for the second bag, run to get through passport control and customs, and then a short wait to board the flight for the 12 hour stint to Singapore.
Sadly my excitement of an earlier flight meaning I get home quicker, was quashed when on getting to Singapore i discovered that I had an 8 hour wait for the flight to Oz. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!my ankles were cankels and throbbing, the only saving grace was free wifi and elevation of my ankles.

Last day

The time had gone so fast and we flew out late that night , so today was our last chance to utilise Jan and Jean to finish off work, and pack up. I was exhausted and decided that I needed to have a slack day and use my last chance to explore the landscape and actually look at what was around the masseria. So with camera in hand I headed off to the no of small stone lane ways that lead away from the masseria. On my adventures I discovered an old truli and wonderful aged doors, as well as multiple images of my favourite aged and twisted tree in the middle of a local field. I spent a lovely few hours walking down lane ways and taking hundreds of photos from landscapes, foliage, fields , trees and rusty wire. Even a mangled old chandelier thrown in the grass.
We spent our last few hours having an early dinner and savouring the last few hours of Mediterranean weather, before heading to the airport , and the dreaded Ryanair, and then on to Stansted airport, London. It was a very late night , and sadly because of the passport control, once I got through to the outer airport everyone had left, so I missed out on saying goodbye. And sadly headed to the Raddison Blue and a nights hopeful rest.

Day 4

Today we spent the day finishing our samples, playing with the embellisher, and free machining using layers of sticky wash away and Romeo to layout threads and create imagery , then hand stitching back into them to create textural effects. We utilised the whole day and well into the night to maximise our time and getting samples finished. Everyone's work was so different. Jan and Jean were very giving in their instruction, happy to help out without overwhelming your creativity but not hesitant to give a critical eye when needed, or advice on work that needed a lift etc.

Day three!

Today we worked in the morning and then we drove to lunch in a local township of Polignano del Mare. On the coastline . It was a nice lunch in a seafood restaurant that I had steak in , to avoid my seafood allergies. Mmmmmm!! First steak in months- not quite Aussie beef but a welcome meal!
Then we had a few hours to wander around the very old township , with the mission of finding ancient crumbling walls, peeling paint and other textures , we could translate into stitch. It is also an interesting place, built on cliffs I that are being slowly eroded by the violent seas , leaving interesting caves and rock walls. This area is renowned for the seafood that is freshly caught daily in the region. Sadly I couldn't eat most of it but it looked and small nice.
This towns architecture looked like its had a much more Spanish influence in the architecture, with Spanish style bell towers everywhere .