Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Little Quilt inspired by paisley

My quilt club has a 'little quilt' exchange at our Christmas meeting. This year I was inspired by a paisley design in Christmas colours. I'm not a stack and whack girl, but I do think this fabric would produce some lovely results with that method.

Then I decided to put two block designs together - card trick and Eddyman's Light and it produced this lovely result.

All the gift quilts are wrapped in brown paper, and everyone chooses a parcel. You don't know who you are making for, you don't know what you will receive. It's an exchange encompassed by mystery, excitement and delight.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Super, super COOL!

You're as sweet as a rosebud, as happy as a bee;
You're as kind as friendship, and you dance like the sea.
You are very very funny, you jump up and down,
And then when you feel like it you walk into town.
You are very clever, you are not a fool,
and I think you are, super, super COOL!

Written by Megan Hampton-Davis
25 September 2006

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


What a fabulous destination for a wedding, a holiday, sun and tivaevae & tifaifai. I'm just back from holiday. The photo looks a bit of a cliche but if you stay on the western side of Rarotonga, most evenings you can catch a sundowner like this!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Caught My Eye

Golden Kiwi Fruit - yellow inside, not green ...

These two caught my eye today. There they were, just sitting there in some sort of harmony that made me want to capture them and remember this day. Colours, stainless steel, reflections, shadows, direction, shape, line, suggestion ... the promise of something ...

Today I've been reading blogs belonging to artists in other exotic locations. The majority live there and capture daily almost, the ordinary of their lives which to me seem exotic, different and artistic. It tells me on some deep level that I also live in what will be to others, an exotic location, but so far I have failed to capture and share it for it's difference.

When you can't quilt everyday because you are busy with living, posting seems delayed, until discovering as I have today, that the ordinary is also exotic to others who do not know my landscape.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Vanessa's Poppy's

Patchwork and Quilting have kept me very busy over the last month - I just don't have any photo's to show for my efforts. The club have been busy working on quilts for charity and I've been quilting a top - which is still under the machine. It is similar in colour to Vanessa's poppy's. Last week I helped a friend organise her fabric and her thank you was these beautiful poppy's.

Poppy's always seem 'fairy' like to me. As the petals fall they remind me of the dresses I imagine that fairies might wear, similar to the ball gowns of the 40's and 50's with the soft folds of delicate fabrics like chiffon. I almost can't bear to let go of the petals.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Fabric Dyeing Results

Here are the results from last weekend's class that I liked. The yellow one with more white at the top is the reverse side - it may work better for what I have in mind.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


This weekend I took part in a fabric dyeing workshop. I found the results disappointing, and I wonder why anyone bothers to screen print fabric in the method taught.

The yellow piece was first screened with a resist method - unsuccessfully, then over screened with a leaf print, in fuschia at the tutors suggestion to tone done the fushia on the background piece, after which it totally lost definition so I added the black by hand. The image was taken before washing - so goodness knows what will happen to the colours.

The green one lost definition because the manutex wasn't thick enough, so again I ended up hand painting on it to in an attempt to make it seem less like a blob. No it sort of looks just odd to me.

The third piece is done by painting the top of the screen with thickened dye then when dry, adding manutex through the 'well' to release the pattern on the fabric. The tutor said we'd get at least three good prints, but weakening in strength. I got one - the first one. Again I fixed this up with hand painting and its like a board now, waiting to be washed out.

Last night I unfolded some of the other pieces that had been 'cooking'. Two I'm thrilled with and I've also got a lovely piece of hand painted to use. Will photograph these when dry to show you.

Monday, July 10, 2006


In the post at work today a great piece in Marketing arrived.

A large envelope, clearly marked:


* it might be time for a heart transplant

Inside of course was - advertising. "You don't want a photocopier coronary do you ..."

I record this because it arrived just as I'd finished looking at artists blogs ... perhaps its a sign that I'm going to take my heart from the business world to the art world ... transplant my heart into a new reality to explore.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Inspiring Sydney

Have you ever done something that you had in mind but came away with a complete new perspective on why you were there? I spent this weekend in Sydney - I thought to visit the Quilt and Craft fair and shop, which I did of course, but I came away knowing the real purpose was inspiration for a range of fabric. I woke at 5am on Saturday full of ideas and ran out of hotel supplied paper before I could get all the ideas down. I purchased an A4 size visual diary and a set of coloured pencils and have been scribbling and coloring ideas. Already I have enough for several different ranges. Perhaps in a year or two I'll have my own range of fabrics for sale at the craft fair.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

For the Love of Music

For about four weeks now I haven't been able to get time on my machine to create and express. I get a bit stir crazy when this happens, but I've learned a valuable lesson this time. That getting that creativity inside bottled up, can bring amazing results when the cap is finally released. This piece is my very first - very basic attempt at thread painting. The theme for this postcard for our groups monthly challenge was "For the Love of Music". What better, than the Sydney Opera House - a living piece of architecture, solely, for the love of music.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Time feels like it is slipping away from me this year. I've begun teaching students and have found that instead of getting time to sew, their creations are my quilts at the moment. Its wonderful to watch someone's confidence grow each week with their achievement.

I have been musing the clubs next postcard ... "For the Love of Music" and I only have two weeks left to mull the idea into being. I've had several, but no time to execute anything. I haven't been at the machine since Easter ... I'm going a bit stir crazy as a result ... hopefully I'll get there next weekend.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


This has been written in response to another blog:

In search of my tales of Persphone and Pomegranates, Walking in this World by Julia Cameron (The Artists Way) fell off the shelf and opened upon restelessness. How connected things are – lead me on pomegranate to dabble in the stillness of the subconscious so the expansiveness will pop to the surface.

In the language of flowers the Pomegranate fruit represents foolishness while the flower is the symbol of elegance and maturity. In the Tarot the fruit symbolises fertility, passivity, and receptivity. The veil, between the consciousness and the inner self, the world and the underworld, shown behind the High Priestess is laden with Pomegranate fruit. We must pass through the veil for the inner mind to be opened and awakened to the invisible realms. Pay attention, a facet of yourself as yet unknown is trying to make itself known to you. Inspiration will be a direct experience.

It is Autumn, Persephone is about to return to Pluto the God of the underworld. She returns to the underworld to create with Pluto the underground powers that prepare the earth for the fertility of spring. The Pomegranate is the symbol of the union between the seed and the earth; the union between Pluto and Persephone. The inspiration of the next spring of creativity is the facet about to be revealed to you if you dip behind the veil and enter the realm of receptivity.

(Ref: Greek Mythology and Religion by Maria Mavromataki, Pub: Haitalis, Athens;Walking in This World, Julia Cameron, Pub: Rider Books)

Monday, April 24, 2006

Hand Quilting & Beading

I've had another four day weekend, but have felt totally wiped out, lacking energy and motivation. I got inspired by a beading class on Saturday afternoon and now have even more ideas floating through my brain - looking for ways to manifest and be made real in the world. The piece is a bracelet made from pink mussell shell and a variety of beads in the colours pink, green and amethyst. I love the result - after about five hours of easy hand sewing to complete. It's not a quiet piece as it makes its own music when my arm moves.

I stayed with hand quilting which is a quiet meditative thing to do. There are always any number of hand quilting projects on the go in my life - two at the top at the moment are a NZ souviner fabric's piece with ferns and a 'cheat style' Baltimore. It seems to be a new idea manufacturers have for getting us to buy even more fabric, make a pattern up and give it away free on the internet and sell the fabric in the stores. Of course me being me, I didn't stick to the pattern, but invented my own in a very similar style. Ha ha! trick for the unwary- the block print (the flower baskets and garlands) was a half inch bigger than the border print - and I didn't know that when I was designing this quilt in the store in my mind - hence when I came to put it together I had to add a half inch border strip around the centre. On getting this home I gave myself a total fright as I realised that the young women at the turn of the century made Baltimore style quilts for their wedding boxes - virtually as an advertisement that they are available for marriage. How will this work in this day and age - easy in a small community where everyone can see and know what you are up to ... so it seems I'm making my wedding quilt with no beau present in my life. Well I will continue and see what the Universe presents and how ?????

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Chinese Whispers

Chinese Whispers

Hidden, veiled, complex, secret.
confusing, muddled, mixed.

One thing leads to another I've found. My friend Carol intrigued by the thought: "what colour is a whisper?" posed 'Chinese whispers'.

I had half an hour above the clouds this week and pondered this proposition. One thought was that a piece would have to include chinese characters. Landed on the ground and following a meeting I walked into a fabric store for fabric to make a fern scarf for a quilting event in NZ in July - possibly organza or something ... and there it was confronting me; a bright red and gold satin with woven chinese characters - not at all what I had gone in to the store for! I did come out with a scarf fabric which is now a WIP and will appear as soon as completed. I also came out with a remnant of organza which has ended up in Chinese whispers, along with cotton, thread, silk and shiva paintsticks.

I've spent my four days of Easter holidays focussed on my fern scarf, hand quilting a baltimore that I want finished for Christmas, and reading.

Reading seems to be not getting as much devotion as it should so I decided to read "The Swallows of Kabul" by Yasmina Khadra - a non de plume of the algerian Army officer, Mohammed Moulessehoul. He took a feminine pseudonym to avoid subitting his manuscripts for approval by the army. In my opinion he should give up the army, but I know the life of an artist can be a hard one to follow. It's a long time since I've read anything so rich in imagery.

"Her silence is fraught, like a cloud full of storms. He is like a munitions expert, defusing a bomb, fully aware that his future is hanging by a thread."

"... languid elephants ..."

It is a sad, beautifully written story, about four individuals, two couples, who have lost their souls in the emotional havoc of war torn Afghanistan under Taliban control.

To loose your soul and not know the road back ... now that's a thought that most will never have to contemplate.

Monday, April 10, 2006


The abstract nature of a 'whisper' whirls about me and distracts me; impatiently calls me to investigate it's qualities, so that I might simplify them into form.

What colour is a whisper?
Does the colour depend on the content?
How is it perceived in silence?
How is it received amongst noise?
What is being said?
What does it look like head on?

The piece uses florists paper wrap, organza and silk.

In the end the result came from several dreams of colour and form.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


In the textile world there are always so many new areas of discovery. Arena's constantly present themselves for investigation and there is far too little time. Oh how I wish I could devote myself to this art full time and walk a daily journey producing work. I must craft a journey, a path to that place for myself.

Abstractism, a word suggested by a fellow quilter is my current inspiration. In the realm of thinking you realise that you know little about what this means and how to translate it into your particular art form. But I am encouraged and delighted to discover that abstractism is the ability to leave the consciousness elsewhere and stir within myself the artist, and the viewer, the inner feelings as a response to the work.

I am today inspired to create a 'whisper' in abstract textile form and the nature of a whisper whirls about me and distracts me; impatiently calls me to investigate its qualities, so that I might simplify them into form. It will be the weekend before I can place hand to fabric so this idea can take its form ... days before a visual can be born into the world. We are gestating at the moment, this idea and me.

In this abstractism journey I discovered a quote from Jackson Pollock an abstract expressionism artist. When asked:

"How do you know when you're finished?"

Jackson Pollock responded:

"How do you know when you're finished making love?"

Ah, so I am just beginning ... impatience be gone ... you'll know when you're finished.