The SAQA Online Auction Begins Tomorrow!

September 14th, 2017

“Whirlwind”,  2017.    12″ x 12″ ,  30.5cm x 30.5cm

Tomorrow, September 15th, is the first day of the annual SAQA Online Benefit Auction.  This year, for the first time, this first day is Diamond Day, on which every quilt offered for auction this is for sale at $1000 per piece – a wonderful opportunity for one of my collectors to secure this piece, “Whirlwind”!  Diamond Day opens at 2.00pm Eastern Time USA, tomorrow, September 15th – which is 22 hours from now as I write.

If it’s unsold on Diamond Day, my quilt will be offered 18-24 September in Section 1  (scroll to row 3) There are some wonderful pieces in this section, so as it’s a reverse auction, don’t linger indecisively too long! Anyone, anywhere, can participate.  For more information on how to purchase a quilt in the auction go to Bidding guidelines and FAQs

Art Quilting In Uruguay

August 9th, 2017

I’ll be speaking on this topic a couple of times over the next few weeks – in Colorado on monday 21st August, at the monthly meeting of the Front Range Contemporary Quilters, (a fabulous group I belonged to when we lived in CO) and to the delegates at the Ozquilt Conference dinner in Launceston Tasmania, on saturday September 9th.

I will be showing and commenting on work of talented Uruguayan mixed media textile artists such as Lilian Madfes who unfortunately does not have her own website.  However you can start here and search for other references to her online.   From an exhibition of Lilian’s work in 2011, this piece, about 75cm sq, really fits within the definition of an ‘art quilt’ – at least two layers of fabric or something that serves as a fabric, held together by stitching or something that functions as stitch.  Not here, but in the US, I have seen layers of fabric held together with stapling and even pinned with dresssmaking pins; in each case very pertinent to the theme of the work of art in which they were used.

 

A Sample In Time …

July 25th, 2017

Browsing in some old photo files this morning I found this group relating to a project in which I was involved and wrote about in a 2009 post.  I remember being really thrilled at receiving a large group of images quilter photographer Gloria Currie emailed that week, although I had seen some of them before on paper.  This pic shows the letter side of the 36 double-sided quilts, each letter forming part of the entry signage to the Australian touring bicentenary exhibition of 1988. Each quilt was designed and produced in major regional centres around the country, with a designated letter on one side and the reverse side of each depicting something typical of that particular region.  It was all wonderfully coordinated by someone or other in Canberra, home of the Bicentennial Authority of the day.

Entrance to Australia’s  Bicentinary travelling exhibition of 1988

The main centre of the huge gold mining industry in Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields is the City of Kalgoorlie Boulder.  Gold is still produced there today, even after more than 120 years of continuous gold mining.  In such a place the obvious choice for our quilt’s reverse side was something to do with gold and its history there.  Members of Goldfingers Embroiderers and the Patchwork Pollies formed a group to carry out the big project, led by quilter Margery Goodall.  With a desert landscape colour scheme throughout, our assigned letter was H, for which we chose traditional crazy patchwork, seen here with Margery standing in front. For the other side we settled on a traditional medallion-style design featuring a soft sculpture of the most fabulous gold nuggets ever found in Australia –  the legendary Golden Eagle Nugget with yours truly standing in front of that, just the day before we were to leave the Goldfields for USA in 1987.

Margery Goodall and Alison Schwabe in front of the sides of the quilted banner.

I was happy to sign up to do some free machine embroidery depicting landscape, mining buildings and headframes on the surrounding red-brown fabric, which was easy enough for someone with my experience of fme.  When it was suggested perhaps I could do a gold nugget for the centre ? I blithely agreed, having no real idea and knew there would be no pattern source.  I’m an experienced procrastinator with a finely tuned sense of just when I need to cut it out and get on with it 🙂  So, after weeks of procrastinating and agonising over the folly of offering to make such a thing, and faced then with a fast approaching deadline, I finally got down to experimenting with samples, naturally.  I probably had possiblities turning over in my mind for weeks, but once I focused under pressure, the Golden Eagle Nugget took me about a day to figure out and make.  I cut the shape from gold lame, toned it down in places with brown paint, layered that with batting and free machine quilted it to give the lumpy surface texture.  I then backed that and stuffed between those layers with cushion filler and sewed it up like a little pillow.  Phew! I was hugely relieved and just a bit proud of the result.  Below the eagle is a little pic of the main street water fountain statue of the prospector Paddy Hannan whose discovery of gold nearby led to one of the most fabulous gold rushes the world has ever seen.  What a joy to wander back in time through these photos, enjoying the memories and reminder of the proven value of making samples whenever entering uncharted territory! 

Following A Trail – aka Making Samples

July 22nd, 2017

Earlier this week I had a studio visit from local textile artist Lilian Madfes, and while she was here I gave her a demo/lesson in the basics of freehand patchwork piecing   Next week I will go to her studio for her demo of the basics of silk painting, at which she is a master in a very creative way.  When I had given her plenty to use to explore the technique if she wishes to, I talked about the dome-like shapes I often use in my designs and showed her how I do one.  Sewing it up therefore made it a sample – and my readers know I’m keen on samples for trying out any new ideas and materials!

That first one is on the RH end of this pic.  I liked it, so made more, and love where this is apparently going.

Fabric Stash Archeology

June 26th, 2017
Detail showing animal print background, Ebb&Flow 17, 2009

My fabric stash is very small by most standards, so how could I have forgotten I had still have 2m of the background animal print above?  I thought I’d used it all leaving only small bits in the scrap bag.  But last week, in a downsizing and passing-on mood I was thrilled and rather surprised to find I still had 2m.  Though I’ve handed on a good sized bag of fabric, not all fabric is equal, and this was special to me the moment I saw it.  I remember I was inspired to buy the remainder of the bolt at the time, and will carefully plan how I use this unexpected windfall soon.

 

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