Winter #5 quilt

This year an online quilting group called Australian and New Zealand Art Quilters celebrated 10 years of existence and had a call for entries 10″x10″ that were to be shown at AQC (Australian Quilting Quilting Convention).   For a long while I have been pondering the ‘what if’ I tried to create  a mist effect in my winter series.  So this was the perfect opportunity to try it out.  The piece is called Winter#5 and follows on from the one I created for the SAQA Benefit Auction.


The piece is machine pieced, hand and machine appliquéd, quilted using running stitch and distorted fly stitch.  I did run into quite a few technical difficulties along the way as I needed to find a way to trap the organza overlay whilst having the stitched texture underneath.  It all worked out.  Now the challenge is to start working on some bigger pieces in this series.

Here is the entire collection at AQC.




New year – new beginnings

I have been rather lax with this blog.  This year I have started the year with a bang in that  have been able to focus on studio time.  After Xmas I created the piece Adagio Etude –  the Lost City.  It is created entirely with pieces of eco dyed and printed fabrics.

It is a  collaged abstract landscape referencing the amazing rock structures of the Lost Cities on Savannah Way in the Northern Territory, Australia draws one in to reveal the eco prints of local Snowy Mountain native plant leaves as shadows and textures emerge from incorporation of the running stitch.  I really enjoyed the time sent stitching as it is a slow process yet so contemplative.


James Turrell’s exhibition

Just had a wonderful several days in Canberra.  A lovely mix of social and cultural activities and catching up with family.  Started off with going out with a large group of friends through the Lithuanian community to celebrate the Chinese New Year.  It has become a tradition that we all go out together every year to see the new Chinese New Year in.  Great food, good conversation  – great evening.

The next day back to Cooma for the morning as I had volunteered as a sitter at the local gallery.   Back to Canberra as it was the evening that our quilting friendship group meets.  So lots of shWalk-to-installationow and tell.

Next morning I met with a fellow art quilter from  Jindabyne to visit the National Gallery.  We had booked to go to James Turrell’s retrospective exhibition.  To put myself into the ‘head space’ of the exhibition I decided to visit his installation just outside the gallery before the gallery opened.  I have always enjoyed visiting Turrell’s lighting installation ‘Within Without’.  The trawithin-withoutnquility of the scene    as you walk towards the installation is broken by the sound of running water.

As you enter you are exposed to the angles and accompanying shadows of the construction and eventually as you ascend up the ramp the water comes into view.  As you walk around you reach the open dome and get mesmerised by the light reflections on the wall.  Different times of the day provide different experiences as the light  plays in response to the the angled walls.

The exhibition was very different from other exhibitions at the gallery. ‘My work is about space and the light that inhabits it”.  This statement by the artist greets you as you enter the exhibition space and captures the essence of the exhibition.  It was a very sensory and immersing experience as one travelled trough the exhibition.  It truly blew me away.  Drawings, prints, photographs, video, projections, holograms and a range of light installations took one through such a diversity of lights and perceptions of light.  He had such a logical – mathematical basis for the work but it was much more than that. It delved into the sciences and astronomy.   Truly hard to describe.  We both were enthralled by the so called ‘orange room’.  We went back there twice and had a different experience each time.  We then relived what we had experienced over lunch at the gallery.  After some wonderful family time it was time to go to meet with our Experimentalist group.   It’s a small group of textile artist who meet several times a year to share information and challenge ourselves.  It was again a very invigorating and informative evening.  Many had been to see Turrell’s exhibition.  So the challenge for the next few months is ‘light’.

The following day I dropped into Charlie Wells exhibition ‘Forms of Landscape’.  An exhibition close to my heart.  Eco prints, drawings, collages referencing and using natural pigments together with a range of other mark making tools reveal the artist’s relationship with her environment.  Lastly, I went to see Australia Wide 4 exhibition of small 40x40cm quilts.  Some really lovely and innovative work was on a display here.   I should have taken some notes here but as I was on a tight schedule all I did was look and enjoy.   And then in the car to return safely home.



Learning to use PSE

This year started with a real bang and has not stopped.  The last 6 weeks I have been busy learning how to use Photoshop Elements.  I enrolled in an on line course with some trepidation.  The Pizieladies are running this course and it has proved to be invaluable.  All I need is time to practice, practice, practice.    I am learning so much and now I need to put it into practice.  Thank you Deb and Kris for such a great course.

New beginnings – 2015

2015 has rolled in with a bang.  I spent the first week at a scout camp near Wiseman’s Ferry.   I had great fun running a t-shirt dyeing activity for all camp participants.  Over 50 people dyed a t-shirt and several of the older girl also dyed a sarong.  Great fun was had by all.  It was quite an experience having everything ready for such a big group.  The results were fabulous.  They wore their t-shirts nearly everyday.  The youngest dyer was 5 years old.







Hexagon Etude quilt

P1520096First day of September and it feels like spring is here.  My Manchurian Pear blossoms are slowly emerging and the jonquils are flowering beautifully.

The last week and a bit I have been very busy.  Or should I say life was hectic.  Our youngest son and family were here for a week’s skiing, I continued with before and after school care every second day with my local grandchildren, squeezed in a trip to Canberra for the 11th anniversary dinner of my quilting friendship group, found out the local gallery wanted a consignment of my naturally dyed scarves and cushions, started packing for our overseas trip this coming week and needed to finish creating my quilt for the Quilter’s Guild of NSW challenge “Hexagon Hype”.  To celebrate their 30th anniversary all members were presented with a hexagon key tag.  The challenge was to make a quilt of any design that included at least one hexagon the same size as the key tag.

I had visualised the quilt I wanted to make as soon as I read about the challenge.  My vision was that just as in music each note has its own unique sound in the context of the composition,  the hexagons, whether the accompaniment/background or the melody/foreground, would each have their own uniqueness.

Everything was coming together well.  I sun dyed the background with some hexagon shapes placed on it.  As it was winter the sun was not hot and was not out for long but I was happy with the effect I got.  I then outlined various hexagon shapes with thread.  I touched up the gold fabric with some slight blueish tinge in places and cut out the trumpet, then painted the shadows.  Then it was time for the hexagon notes to flow out of the trumpet with the ‘finale’ note being the size of the key tag.  Tonight I printed the label cut out the facings and then trimmed the quilt.

Well I trimmed it and it will not be going to the challenge.  I was so concentrated on the final size that I forgot the seam allowances.  I cut it out and started to pin the facings and . . . . realisation hit!!!!!!!  I couldn’t believe what I had done.   Well there will be no entry from me but a quilt was made.  If I had time I may have come up with a solution but even though it is not due till the end of the week  I just haven’t the time to do anything else.  Oh Well.

A bit of this and a bit of that

I have been rather quiet but have been busy.  I have been making cushions with my hand dyed eco prints.  P1520074b P1520076b

Then from 12 August we were involved with a group of skiers from Lithuania.  They had come for the World Lithuanian Ski races that they had organised to be held the following weekend at Guthega. It was  a very busy week but lots of fun as we renewed friendships with several members of the group with whom we had gone to Antarctica two years ago.

I am also working on a small quilt as part of a a challenge by NSW Quilter’s Guild.  One has to use at least one hexagon the size provided to members by the guild.  As soon as I saw the challenge  I knew exactly what I wanted to make.  Took me a while to get to it.  I painted some fabric and  tried to do a sun print of several different sized hexagons.  A pity it is winter and the sun is not that hot but I did get part of a print and am happy with it. P1520095b


So I am now working on the background.  I just hope I have time to finish it on time.

tACTile exhibition

In my last blog I mentioned this amazing exhibition by tACTile.  Well Jenny has blogged on her site and posted pictures of their exhibition on her site.  Check them out here.

Canberra Quilt Show and tACTile Exhibition

I spent  wonderful day in Canberra today.  After several years I again went to the Canberra Quilt Show.  I really enjoyed it.  A stand out element of this quilt show is that it is a designed show compared to Sydney Quilt Show.  The groupings of the quilts really show them off to the best advantage.  Jenny Bowker’s quilt won Best of show and was a standout of the show.  To see it go to

As I was in Canberra only for the day and I knew I would miss the tACTile exhibition I had a chance to get a sneak preview.  All I can say is WOW!!!!!!  It blew me away.  A most wonderful exhibition.  It was so professionally put together and the innovative, creative side of the artists – Jenny Bowker,  Dianne Firth, Helen Gray, Beth Miller and the Beth and Trevor Reid partnership was awe inspiring.

When I left early in the morning it was snowing and this week the snow has finally come to the resorts and stayed.

Oceania Collection Blog Hop

Welcome to the Oceania Collection Blog Hop!

SAQA [Studio Art Quilt Associates] has an auction of art quilts every year and this year the Oceania members contributed

Detail Winter #4

Detail Winter #4

32 pieces to the collection.  A full list of participating artists is on the main SAQA Oceania Blog.  I am very happy to share the process for making my contribution  for the SAQA Auction.  I am also very humbled and excited that this quilt is one of a number selected for the live SAQA auction at Houston International Quilt Festival.

Winter#4 is the title of the 12″square quilt I created.  This quilt is the third in a series in response to a postcard and my own experiences of winter in the snow.  Whilst I work on a piece the what if question is my constant companion.  In the case of this series it has been an ongoing nagging question that has stayed with me since completion of Winter#2 and #3.  By now the what if  was focusing on the sky reference in the piece which I had stitched horizontally in Winter#2.  Consequently there was a vertical texture in this section of the piece that keeps niggling me everytime I look at it hanging in my studio.  I had decided to do another piece and then the SAQA auction came up. So I drew up a basic 15″ square orientation sketch for the piece.

sketchI then auditioned fabrics.  It wasn’t coming together until I came across a silver grey serviette.  When I tested it I liked the way it opened up and I liked the way I could use fragments of it, if I needed to, but have not in this piece.  After piecing the background I started stitching the sky reference with running stitch going in a vertical not horizontal direction.  I could not relax with the stitching until I could see the horizontal texture emerge.

P1000284It didn’t feel right as I sewed but I persevered and it worked.  At this point I was so glad that I had started with a 15″square.  I knew that running stitch draws up the fabric, from my previous works, but I had at one stage considered stating a little smaller than 15″ square.

Once the sky reference was stitched it was time to audition the fabrics that were to be added to represent trees.  I started with one element.



Then I added the components of the second  element.  P1000352It was then time to put down some contour lines with running stitch and recheck the placement of the skeletal trees.  P1000355As I worked I was thinking of Antony Gormley’s figures “Inside Australia”‘ that we had seen in our travels in the west.  I realised when working on Winter #2 that my simplification of trees was in a way being influenced by Gormley’s deconstructive approach to the human form.

I then continued with the running stitch until it was all done. All the running stitch was done with DMC threads – mainly variegated  of various shades.  I attached the components of the second element by machine then hand stitched the first element with a loose form of fly stitch.

Having finished the stitching I squared up the quilt and and added a facing rather than a binding to the quilt.  At that stage I had to go back over the notes I had kept from various quilters on how to add a facing.  A sleeve and a printed label put the finishing touches to my piece.


I hope you like my piece Winter #4.  My current what if is pushing me towards trying to make a large quilt building on what I have done so far.  Another side of me is saying move on.  To see my Winter series click here.

I trust you are enjoying the blog hop and please check out Alison Schwabe’s contribution on 5 August and Maggie Gilbert on 7 August.