Threads

I started the year with a bang by going to summer school in Bathurst run by Fibre Arts Australia to do a workshop with Dionne Swift.  After an amazing informative and instructive workshop I came home thinking a lot about threads.  There is so much to learn about threads.  There is so much variety and colours to choose from.  After I got home I had to face the task of unpacking my threads and putting them back in their drawers.  So how best to organise them?  I used to organise by brand and colour.  After the workshop I rethought my approach and decided to organise by weight and then colour.  It took me all day to sort it all out.  I also found that I favoured blues, greens, earthy colours.  In the process I could all see the gaps in my thread collection.  

Looking at thread weight can be confusing and frustrating as there really is no standard system in place.  There are different systems in place.  The weight standard is one that many quilters and textile people understand.  The higher the number the finer the thread.  The lower the number the thicker the thread.  As well the number refers to how many metres of thread to one gram e.g. 40 metres of 40wt weighs  gram whilst 12 metres of 12wt weighs 1 gram.  Simple and easy to understand.  Apparently the Tex system was supposedly developed to standardise the industry.  In this system the higher the number the thicker the thread.  So whilst sorting my threads I found my Rasant threads were using the Tex system and all my other threads were using the weight standard.  I rang a few suppliers trying to work out what these threads could be equivalent to in the weight standard.  I was told that everyone uses the Tex system what am I on about.  Well I still don’t know whether the Rasant’s are equivalent to a 40wt  or 50wt.  I’m totally confused.  

Then the other consideration is how the thread is wound and plied.  Threads may be single ply or 2 or 3 ply.  How it is wound is important as that dictates how it comes off the spool.  So stacked threads need to be upright on the spool holder and the cross hatched threads need to be horizontal on the spool holder.  When I have had them wrong I can have thread problems whilst sewing.  

There is so much more to learn about threads.  I went through my information folders and pulled all thread info out and put it together to keep with my threads so that I had a quick reference when I needed it.  I also have much more to think about as I stitch either by machine or hand on my art work.

IMPROVISATION #2: Tranquility

improvisation2

I decided to make a piece for the 2017 SAQA Trunk Show. I refer to this abstract piece as an improvisational study.  The guidelines stipulated the size of 10”x7”. I had no idea what I wanted to create so again I decided to let the fabric speak to me and guide me.

I took out my stash of eco printed and naturally dyed fabrics and I auditioned the fabrics. I kept pulling out fabrics, looked at them, fondled them. I let serendipity take over.  It kept changing until finally I just had the little bits that came together and spoke to me. I then continued to play with placement until it felt right. I challenged myself to include a technique I haven’t used for a while so I included a bit of trupunto. I also challenged myself to use more than one hand stitching stitch and to use machine stitching as well.   The stitching then took over. Again I just let the marks on the fabric lead me in my stitching. I didn’t photograph it during the process because I was just so totally engrossed in it.

I called it Improvisation #2: Tranquility.

Why? Because piece to me evokes a sense of calmness and calmness and tranquility was what I felt as I created it. As I looked at it, it also was suggestive of a restive place as it seems to reference trees, shrubs, maybe a pond. Then from a side angle in particular a face appears with a dominant mouth.

I used silk fabric with marks created during natural dyeing and eco printing on fabric process. I collaged the piece and then used very dense machine quilting and handstitched using the stem stitch, chain stitch and running stitch. The printed marks on silk together with collaged pieces and stitching create movement and texture.

improvisation2detail1 improvisation2detail2 improvisation2detail3

I thoroughly enjoyed creating it and it is part of a series I am working on using naturally dyed and ecoprinted fabrics.

 

SAQA Benefit Auction and Monaro Art Group Exhibition.

This week I have been on tenterhook as the 1st section of the SAQA Benefit auction got underway.  My piece: Lost in the Mist was in this section.  I blogged about it earlier.

Improvisation--Lost-in-the-Mist

It sold today.  I let out a big tepee. I’m so glad that it spoke to someone else as well and that they wished to have it.  A great feeling.

 

 

Then yesterday I went to the opening of the Monaro Art Group Exhibition.  My two pieces were highly commended.  I really enjoyed creating my rusted piece on paper with stitch.is-that-the-horse

 

I also entered my winter#5 textile art piece.  It was well received.

Winter5

SAQA Oceania Blog Hop 2016: Improvisation – Lost in the Mist

Welcome to the ongoing SAQA Oceania Blog Hop 2016 featuring 16 of the 12″x 12″ art quilts created by members from the Oceania region – Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Hong Kong and expats. This year 36 Oceania members contributed a piece that can be seen here in the Oceania Dream Collection.  SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) has a Benefit Auction of art quilts every year to promote art quilts and fund raise to support the exposure of art quilts.

Today it is my turn to share the process of making the piece. My quilt is in the first section of quilts to be auctioned between September 19-25 after the auction kicks off on 16 September with Diamond Day when anyone can purchase any quilt in the entire collection for $1,000.   Each week, a different section of quilts will be available for bidding, starting at $750 and further reduced throughout the week.   You can see the first section of quilts here.   To learn how the auction works click here.  This is a beautiful opportunity to acquire beautiful, unique art quilts by some of the finest artists. There is something there for everyone.

My piece is IMPROVISATION: LOST in the MIST

Improvisation: Lost in the mist

 I refer to this abstract piece as an improvisational study.  I had no idea what I wanted to create so I decided to let the fabric speak to me and guide me. I took out my stash of eco printed and naturally dyed fabrics and I auditioned the fabrics. I kept pulling out fabrics, looked at them, fondled them. I let serendipity take over.  It kept changing until finally I just had the little bits that came together and spoke to me.

Improvisation-WIPI then continued to play with placement until it felt right. Even after starting to stitch I kept changing it subtly.  It wasn’t photographed  during the process because I was just so totally engrossed in it and forgot to take any pictures.

Ii is called  Improvisation: Lost in the Mist.  Why? Because the printed marks on cotton together with collaged strips evoke a sense of mystery with suggestive images of trees, or maybe a bird – stork or even a person lost in web of the mist.

Improvisation-Lost-in-the-mist-close-upCotton fabric with marks created when bundling for natural dyeing and eco printed cotton and silk fabric were used in the piece. I collaged the piece and then used very dense machine quilting and handstitched using the stem stitch.

I thoroughly enjoyed creating it and it is part of a series I am working on using naturally dyed and ecoprinted fabrics. This is taking me in a new direction. It is totally different to my winter series piece which I submitted to the SAQA Benefit auction in 2014 that you can see here.

If you missed the earlier blogs click here to see the links.

Don’t forget that coming up next are:

To view all the Benefit Auction quilts click here.  Go and view the dream collections here that members have put together to inspire collectors and to see how they can be put together.  Maybe there is room in your home for one or two of the stunning 437 quilts being auctioned.

Finally, I must put in a plug for SAQA.  If you are an art quilter take some time to consider joining SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates).  It offers so many exhibition, network and mentoring opportunities for its members. By adding the discount code “WKS ” to the form and my name (Rasa Mauragis) in the referral field and you will receive a 10% discount on your first year’s membership fee.  If you live in th Oceania region, as one of two Oceania reps,  I would love to talk to you about the organisation.

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.

Winter5

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.

AQC1 AQC2