Monday, May 25, 2009

Rubbish Quilts 6

I've missed a few days blogging - new job and a head cold being the reason. The seasons are changing here and we are having lots of log fires and woollen jersey days, along with rain. Always rain in our temperate climate. At least there is quilting to cheer us up.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Two days off!

I've accepted a part-time job working 3 days a week. This will give me two days to quilt! I've begun with two days off and today, got down to the next step on a Christmas Quilt that I began in 2008 - laying out the pieces to see what's next - more peicing is the answer. I have the diagonal strips sewn in - now for the sides.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hand Quilting

In 2008 I went to a hand quilting class where we were practising on a 60cm square of calico with wool batting. I liked the organic flower shape so much that I continued the piece, then used shiva paintstiks to colour and finished it off as a round table centrepiece.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

So long as you have flowers to celebrate the abundance and beauty of life - you will always be happy. Here's my mum - she taught me to always help others, now she's telling me not to do so much. You can see she doesn't like being photographed.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Sketchbooks 1

Over Easter 2009 I attended the National Quilt Symposium and did a two day class with Sandra Meech. What fun! We were learning a bunch of techniques that are covered in her book, Creative Quilts . Here are some of the pages I've done on the theme of 'Stone'. I haven't even got to stitching pages yet and I'm still having fun. More pic's to follow in subsequent posts. Cheers of Joy for Sketchbooks.

The image above is a black and white photocopy of a photo I took of stone sculpture on the Christchurch (NZ) cathedral.

I can see a bit of working coming out of the series of photo's I took of this work.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Gravestone Quilts

I spent one sunny Sunday afternoon in the cemetary with fabric, masking tape and paintstiks. I had done rubbings with crayon on paper before the advent of a suitable paint medium of this grave of my 5th Great Grandmother. The first woman in my family to emigrate to New Zealand in 1841 with 10 of her 12 brothers and sisters. They arrived in New Plymouth as part of the early settlement of the country, which had been devised by Edward Gibbon Wakefield while he was a guest of Her Majesty's prison in England. It was in prison that he conceived the idea of The New Zealand Company, then put his plans into action once released.

Her name was Christianna OLD, the daughter of Richard and Jane OLD - who lied about their ages to be accepted for the scheme. She had her 10th birthday on the ship they sailed to New Zealand on. The date on her headstone is incorrect and I altered it on one of the quilts with the paint and then forgot to do it on the other one! She seems to want to remain a woman with hidden qualities about her life.

My family had lost all its verbal history of her, and its been a paper trail to find her. I was not expecting to find her in Waikumete Cemetary but followed a whim and then found a headstone. Now she will at least be remembered visually by whoever in the family holds the quilts.

These have become the first two in what I think will be a series of three. Depicting what its like a month after we've departed when the mourning flowers have died in "Dearly Beloved" (the black quilt); and the point in time at which I found her - forgotten to successive generations in "Dearly Beloved Now Forgotten". The inspirations so far for the third quilt have been about her life before death and the gradual encroachment of the inevitable end. I'm still at the point of collecting fabrics for this work.
The brown quilt was part of New Zealand's national quilt symposium in 2009.

Rubbish Quilts

In 2008 I was inspired by an Art Quilt article on making quilts from rubbish and a challenge to make a 5"x5" quilt from rubbish. On Saturdays I work at Quilters Dream in New Zealand, so I decided to collect the rubbish from the classroom rubbish bins to make my first quilt. It turned into a year long project, at the end of which I exhibited 105 Rubbish Quilts.

Rubbish collected, was sorted into different groups; threads, snippets, scraps, strings, strips, patches, negative shapes, paper & card, support textiles and metals. Sometimes the pieces are about patchwork; some reflect the tools of our craft; others the methods and techniques available to quilters; a few depict our lifestyles and habits; some recall the classes that have been taught or those who have attended or used the classroom; all carry the joy of creativity.

In each case I have tried as much as possible to preserve the integrity of the rubbish, to not alter it very much from how I found it. Shapes have stayed the same, small triangles and pieces have been pieced together to form a new fabric, allowing each piece of rubbish to speak for itself.