Posts Tagged ‘landscape’

Looking Back a Bit …

Monday, January 22nd, 2018

To rediscover this excellent scan of what is my first intentionally made ‘art quilt’ last week was a thrill (the original is a 2×2 transparency, back in the filing cabinet in Perth – remember those?).  This is ‘Ancient Expressions’, so named because I  thought  that would help it be juried into an exhibition,”Expressions in Quilting”, Barrington IL 1989.  Whether it would have made it without that little push, I don’t know, but it did get in and sold from the exhibition.  If anyone knows who has this quilt I’d love to hear where it is.  I was never informed of the buyer, and didn’t think to press for that detail at the time 🙂

Ancient Expressions I,  1988.      114cm x 102cm

This success really focused me on making my own designs in layered textiles; and further, it led to a series which became the Ancient Expressions series (I- XIV)  Each quilt has an element of landscape in the design, and all celebrate the ancients’ connection with their landscapes, expressed in the patterns they painted or carved on those surfaces. Two or three were OMG flops, but on the whole they are still works I’m proud of.

 

Detail of the hands – it’s not a grainy photo, I sprayed paint over ironed-on freezer paper cut-outs of my own hand shapes. But the paint seeped under the edges in places, and my initial reaction was that my experiment failed, as I had been going to embroider using the hands and paint as kind of templates (which on reflection would have been boring probably) but when a fellow embroiderer said  ‘You could put it in a quilt …’ I looked with fresh eyes and realised its potential, made the quilt and went on exploring the potential of this theme in the series, some of which are  pictured below:

 

Left to Right –   #XII                       # I                          #X                        #IX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Left to Right –    #XII                 #XIV                         #VI                         #II

Updating Record Keeping – New Year Project

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

From a file of old photos not very often visited, here’s a photo of a work I haven’t seen or thought of in some years.  I’m in the middle of a project that is bring a few gems to the surface, and I’ll show another soon including one from the ‘OMG What Was I Thinking? group. This one I always loved – typical of the Ancient Expressions series, exploring landscape’s relationship to the peoples who lived in/on it and some of the marks they left behind.

Ancient Expressions XIII    1992    Approx 125cm x 90cm

Since I began making quilts in 1987, I have always had each photographed with the best technology at the time; I’ve always kept a list of title, date completed, dimensions; kept an index file card for each listing exhibitions it was seen in, where it sold or two whom it sold.  I kept my slides in albums of slide sheets, and kept catalogues or other paper stuff in a filing cabinet.  Time’s moved on and all this is now woefully old tech – and in my case, disorganised, but it’s complicated, and partly because I never expected how long I’d living in this country, so never brought over stuff I would have if we’d actually moved house. Plus I haven’t spent any quality time with my records in Perth for some years.  I’m wondering whether it matters, really, but just in case someone wants to curate a grand retrospective 🙂  I’m compiling a new document that combines basic info plus image(s) of each work.  I’d really forgotten about several of them – a couple I am sure I have physically lost, some older works are here and others never made the journey, but I can’t be 100% sure they’re still rolled up in dust covers on top of the bookshelf in Perth.

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Desert Wind, With Toothpick

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

Left – Desert Wind 1995,  200cm x 200cm.     Right – Toothpick, year unknown

A couple of days ago while showing some visitors a few of my quilts, I unfurled this one,  Someone said ‘There’s a needle in it…’  and we turned it over to find not a needle but a toothpick slightly protruding. It’s not of any kind I’ve ever bought, and I have no idea how it could have got there. The notion of someone stalking around an exhibition opening spearing a quilt with a used toothpick is quite bizarre.  ‘Desert Wind’ (bound edges not visible) is approx 2m x 2m.  It’s big enough for a bedcover – and in the right room in the right house it would be dramatic.  I made it originally to use as an eye catching backdrop for my booth at a contemporary craft show in Australia.  It doesn’t suit our style or anywhere we’re ever likely to live – but anyway it remains in my possession, and I exhibit it from time to time.  In its exhibition history it’s been handled by quite a few people one way and another, and of course, it took many hours of machine piecing, machine quilting and hand quilting.

 

 

 

 

How strange this toothpick has only just come to light!

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! 

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