I seem to have been doing a million and one things this year and have taken forever to finish some of my projects. I started a post grad certificate in November of 2016 and only finished it in July of this year, which meant that I had nothing finished for the NZ Quilt symposium. However, I have not deserted my ‘shed’ completely and the arrival of a new grand daughter has also kept me busy. Two visits to Australia to make sure that I had my quotas of cuddles and there were plenty of requests for quilts and other sewing. The following photos are some of the projects that actually got completed in 2017:-
In my studio….
Quilt for Nephew’s wedding.
Activity quilt for grand daughter, Zahli
Baby quilt for Amalija
Amalija – recovering from heart surgery
Romper suits . . .
with frilly bottoms. . .
and sun bonnets. . .
with frills . . .
for a baby due this month – I’m ahead of schedule!
Both Mary and I decided to enter the Hoffman Decor Challenge where we had to make a 15″ cushion cover using a specific piece of fabric.
The fabric chosen was a pretty lace like floral on a blue background. Mary will tell her own story but I, of course, procrastinated until it was almost too late. Once I decided to cut the fabric out from the blue background and rearrange it on a different background I was away. I auditioned a couple of background colours before deciding on the peacock blue. I perched a perky little bird on the top to complete the first half of the picture. The second half of the story is told on the reverse, where another bird is preening looking around for a mate. Both sides were heavily quilted with a variegated thread. My brother Mike, names the majority of my quilts and this one is named “It’s a bit lonely at the top”. I was delighted to be awarded second place and received some amazing Hoffman Batiks – thanks a million.
Once again my entry for the Dorothy Collard challenge was left until the last minute as I wrangled with ideas. I always seem to flounder when given a set topic and spend an inordinate amount of time overthinking the whole process. I should just trust my instincts and go for the first images that springs to mind and then build on that! Two of my favourite quotes are “Procrastination is the thief of time” and “I wasted time and now doth time waste me” from Shakespeare’s Richard 11, and after all these years you would think I would heed the advice. These morphed, as my quilts seem to, into a cacophony of phrases, saying and proverbs about time set amidst a range of clocks and gears. No prizes this year but I had a lot of fun making it. I am always amazed at the interpretations of the theme and enjoy admiring other people’s artistry as they convey their thoughts and skills to the wider audience.
I was humbled and a little bit taken back when I was asked to be the profiled quilter in the December edition of the NZ quilter. It’s quite a process ‘putting it out there’ and also a little bit soul searching when you are questioned as to your processes and where your ideas come from. The following is the cover and the pages and photos within.
In July I visited Sisters in Oregon with two of my oldest friends who I had meet in London many years ago, when we were all expecting our first babies. Eventually time and distance had us drifting apart but Facebook reunited us after 30 years and imagine the joy to find out that we all had become quilters in the intervening years. Folktales, by Sue Spargo, had just been released in book form and a finished quilt was on display and I decided that I was going to make this quilt even though my handstitching was at the time limited to chain stitch, stem stitch and the odd wobbly French knot. Armed with Sue’s two books, Folktales and Creative Stitching I embarked on this epic. What was so enjoyable was that the six inch blocks were manageable for evening stitching and, with the end in sight, I decided to finish it in time for the Festival of Quilts hand in. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process and the only machine stitching involved stitching the six inch blocks together – I even hand tied the quilt!
The Auckland Quilt Guild’s themed challenge for the Festival of Quilts 2016, involved using two contrasting prechosen pieces of fabric. The difficulty with these challenges is to create something that the fabric tells you to, or to design something and make the fabric fit your idea. These conundrums already had my brain in overdrive but then it had to fit into the title of the challenge which was ‘Gone to Pieces”. My immediate thoughts were of my scrambled brain and my longing for the empty areas of my brain to be filled with inspiration. I love cubist paintings and used this style to create ‘Frazzled’, using the challenge fabrics, a multi-coloured dot fabric on black as the eye, and the knitted blue, grey fabric as the eyebrows. I was delighted to receive ‘Best Use of Colour’ for this challenge.
Aotearoa Quilters in conjunction with Sew Ezi ran an open competition with the theme of Flight. This was interesting in that each region had a competition that selected two or three entries and these were sent to Wellington. From the quilts that were selected as regional representatives, twenty were chosen for a travelling exhibition. I was fortunate to have my entry chosen for this exhibition.