Posts Tagged ‘free machine quilting’

Another Discovery

Saturday, October 27th, 2018

 Mirage 1, 2005.    75 x 100cm                     Oscuro, 2002.   122cm  x 100cm.

 

These two small wall quilts date from early 2002.   Looking through archived images this morning I found the one on the right, and though I remembered it, and occasionally come across it in the deepest recesses of my storage area.  For a while I couldn’t remember what on earth I called it, but eventually I did, and I now believe the illustrated catalogue to be complete.  The key word is ‘believe’, leaving some wiggle room for another discovery.

Mirage 1 was really just a sample to see how fine I could go with a wavy line approach, and gently waving lines like these have characterised my technique ever since.  It’s no great art work, but a little piece I love and usually take to any technical workshop that includes freehand piecing.  I had just been inspired by the new appearance of very finely pieced works by well known Australian artist and friend, Margery Goodall, which has since become a signature element in her textile art.  The title reflects the shimmering quality of a mirage.

Oscuro also has little artistic merit, but is another piece I needed to make.  The arcs of colour which began appearing in my work several years before seemed appropriate for those unforgettable images of rolling, falling, clouds of smoke, ash, all manner of debris, that filled our minds following New York’s Twin Towers attack in 2001.  The barely visible machine quilted pattern is of same-colour grey arcs over the entire quilt.  Oscuro is spanish for dark.

Ancient History in Sheer Layers

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

This Egypt themed work has never been ‘lost’ because I bump into it every now and then.  I don’t  remember giving it any name, it isn’t listed in my catalogue but I will rectify that, I’ve never shown it, nor did it lead on to a new body of work that I thought at the time it would; though I knew I didn’t want to make a set of ‘Egypt’ quilts.  I think it is an expression of awe I felt the whole time we were visiting a place that had fascinated me since I was a young child, and having put that into fabric, I left it.

 

We visited the country about ten years ago, before the Arab Spring upheavals, and of course layers and layers of human activity and history confront at every turn, carved and painted onto thousands of mural walls, monument bases, stelae and temple columns, and used to decorate all manner of objects both useful and not so useful for sale to the throngs of tourists who have not yet gone back to the pre-revolutionary numbers.  I’m certain this layers of history thing prompted my choice to use nylon organza to give a blurry sense of the passage of distant times – check the left side of the photo below.  Some pyramids, the sphinx and Tutankhamun’s iconic headdress are lurex fabrics cut to shape with marker pen details added.

Recently someone asked what fellow artists recommended for stabilising some kind of organiza for free machine quilting.  My sheer Egypt piece came to mind, and I recommended that maintain the sheer quality and avoid slippage between the layers, that she might hand baste and then freely quilt/embroider without either foot or hoop.  It’s a decade since I made this work, and so I think that’s how I handled it!  but it’s hard to tell from the photo or the actual (crumpled) work pulled from the cupboard.  As I often do, I found it a bit wondrous to see something I’ve not paid any real attention to for ages.  There’s a lot about this work I really like.

My regular readers know I’ve recently been thinking about influences from landscape in my work, the tracks left by Man, and natural patterns of all kinds in landscape.  Here’s a great pic, taken in the Black Desert SSW of Cairo, showing a network of tracks in the ancient desert landscape.

Purnululu #7 in Melbourne, Australia

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

My much-travelled quilt Purnululu #7 will be appearing at the Into Craft Handmade Expo, Melbourne, Australia, in just three weeks’ time, from November 24 – 27.  If you’re going to that event, look for it in the SAQA exhibition “My Corner of The World”

Alison Schwabe, Purnululu #7,  2015

 

A Sample In Time …

Tuesday, 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! 

The Inspiration of Landscape Forming Processes

Saturday, July 25th, 2015

Many years ago, I found inspiration in volcanic activity which resulted in two quilts with design lines reflecting the ballooning and layering of molten lava emerging under the sea, and both  carrying the title ‘Pahoehoe’  as this particular resulting landform is known by earth scientists.  (with apologies for the quality of 20-year old  technology photos)

Pahoehoe

Pahoehoe  #1,   1995,  80cm H x 70cm W  is irregular shaped and photographed against a black background.

Pahoehoe 2

Pahoehoe #2  1997  is 12cmH x 13cm W and hangs against a sand coloured wall in our home in Australia.  I do need to photoshop this pic and remove the blue-ish background, because those patches of blue in the middle of the quilt are actually faced holes, openings.  I should have named it ‘Tricky’, perhaps.

Browsing around Pinterest,  as one is want to do with saturday morning coffee, I was thrilled to find this beautiful silk wall hanging on the artist Petra Voegle’s blog site   It was interesting to see that we’d found inspiration in the same natural force process.

Pele by Petra Vogle  blog

Titled “Pele” (from her Hawaiian Symbols series)  48″ x 17″  (c) Petra Voegtle.    She writes about the significance of Pele, the god, not the soccer playing legend – so click the link and go visit this lovely site. (which has lain dormant for some time, however)  There are some intriguing detail shots if you follow the link below the pic on her page.  She calls her process ‘silk carving’  but from her description, for my quilter readers she’s talking about a whole cloth quilt.  It’s stunning, perfectly capturing the drag and flow of the lava’s movement out across the landscape.

Translate »
%d bloggers like this: