Monday, April 10, 2017

FROM THE SHEARING SHED



My mother is leaving, she has terminal cancer.  The saddest part is you suddenly realise that your connection to your distant childhood past is going with her.  Who will you talk to about stories from so long ago.  The night she gathered up the autumn oak leaves from the road in the car headlights, the air bitter and cold.  They magically became a fancy dress piece titled "Autumn" for my school presentation evening.  She has forgotten it now, I tried to tell her the other day it is one of my favourite childhood memories. 
I have been working with rusting fabrics and making wall quilts.  My childhood was spent in the country around Armidale and I used to spend hours in my grandfather's wool shed, I can still see the sunlight on the floor there.  The rusted quilts are all created with my memory of shed walls and rusting tractors and tin rooves. 
So today I am putting this piece up in honour of my mum.  She may have forgotten a lot now but I will always remember.  She is leaving in the Autumn, how odd that I have a favourite memory from that time. 


Sunday, March 5, 2017

SOMETIMES THE SIMPLE THINGS........................

Well the embroidery machine thingy came to nothing.  I did buy the machine, but found I was no longer interested in machine embroidery.  Something was missing, badly.  Yesterday, in complete desperation with my shoulder pain I decided to go back to hand quilting.  Maybe all that machine sewing and quilting was the culprit.  Today I realised how much I had become caught up in the technology of sewing machines.  They are like bright shiny jewels, beckoning us to buy the latest model with all the do da's that we simply cannot live without.




Simplicity is the best by far, however I had forgotten that.  All I really need is Grandmother's treadle for piecing and my quilting frame for the hand quilting.  Hmmmmm.......did I not learn that years ago and then forgot? 




I will say that I do enjoy the quiet space of the quilt frame, the clouds floating past in my view and the rhythm of making stitches.  Very Zen. The quilt is very simple, just leaves and seed pods from my garden. 



Monday, January 16, 2017

NEW YEAR NEW DIRECTION


Having spent many months healing the bursa in my left shoulder I went on a fitness campaign.  A ten minute walk round the garden twice a day to lower my sugars, I have Diabetes Type 2.  Day two of the walking, tripped on the hose and landed on the shoulder that had just healed.  Six months without sewing ordered by the doctor.  Physio said a little sewing maybe.  I miss my local quilt group as I simply cannot sit and hand stitch as I cannot hold things in my left hand for long or the aching goes on for days. I managed to go only three times last year due to shoulder issues.

What to do?  I own a large Janome 11000 embroidery machine that is far too heavy to carry.  I hit on the idea of purchasing a smaller embroidery machine so at least I could go to quilt group and embroider, if  not with own hands at least I could thread a machine up  and talk while it did the work for me.  I found this little baby, a older Brother, in a town a couple of hundreds klms north of where I live and purchased her over the web from a sewing machine shop.  She pulls down into a much smaller machine for portability, weighs only 15 lbs, a huge plus and will arrive here on Wednesday.  She can create motifs to add into wall quilts along with photos on fabric to form pieces with an old fashioned look I developed some time ago. 

Yes, I am no longer treadling however I am creating and we have to adapt as things happen to us and as we grow older.  I am looking forward to my new little friend's arrival and just being able to get out of the house once a week.  We are currently helping to bring up our grandchildren, single Dad and so life has become incredibly busy.  A day with other women in the beautiful church surrounds is going to be a real treat. 


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

TREADLING AGAIN



  • Yes, its true.  The 'urge' to treadle overcame me yesterday.  I had sold all my treadles but one, a gorgeous 1910 Singer in a parlour cabinet that had belonged to my grandmother.  I decided to move her into the window area so I could sit and sew and watch the clouds and the incoming storms, as it is storm season in Brisbane now.  She would not budge and when I tried to move her the carpet had become stuck to her base.  A bit of checking and the awful truth was revealed, the storm the night before had somehow come through the base of the wall and the carpet was wet.  While I am sewing today husband will be digging a drain along the side of the house and cleaning out the weep holes.  It all started with a doiley yesterday, seeing old fashioned quilts online with doilies.  A visit to the second hand store but no doileys.  I did, however find a set of eight coffee cups and saucers with quilt patterns on them for the princely sum of $8.  A ice cream maker for the children and a book on Rhett Butler, the sequel to "Gone With The Wind" and a egg cooker and I left most pleased with myself. 
The wet carpet adventure was the sequel to what I  considered a rather lovely day.  Mind you though, if I had not gone in search of doilies the wet carpet would never have been discovered at all for now and further storms would have meant lots of damage.  Today is another day though, and as you can see the treadling has begun.  I have so missed the rhythm of it.  My back has healed since my last treadling misadventure that prompted the selling of all my machines.  Hmmmm....I have left room for maybe another treadle....or two.....you betcha!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

IN THE GARDEN OF TOMORROW



I found an old song sheet copy online ages ago, called "In The Garden Of Tomorrow", and saved it because I loved the title.  I decided to use it to create a garden themed mixed media piece on canvas yesterday.  Sewing is out at the moment because of a torn ligament in my shoulder.  I used various stencils including some by Rebekah Meier, stamps, cut outs from Kaiser Craft and prints of old paintings and song sheets.  I blended it all with a golden  wash when finished to tone it all together. In a few days when it dries thoroughly I will put a clear acrylic topcoat over it all.   There are benefits to a sore shoulder, exploring this media was enjoyable and I feel my fingers itching to do more.  Size 20 x 24 inches.  

Monday, October 3, 2016

MORE GYPSY PAGES


Another two pages from the gypsy book using the Moda fabrics. 



GYPSY BOOK

Two pages from a Gypsy book I made a little while ago. I wanted a bit of colour with these flamboyant gypsies so chose pieces from a Moda layer cake as the background.  I love the fancy stitches on my sewing machines so added some of those and dyed the cheesecloth and flowers to match the blue in the first gypsy photo on the left.  I did not add too many layers as I wanted the Moda fabrics to show through as I so loved the patterning on them.