Twining and stitching with GeeTAG

The September and October meetings of GeeTAG were devoted to twining recycled materials and stitching them into vessels of choice. I used several Op Shop silk shirts, cut into strips and twined before being stitched into a hanging nest and a free form style of basket. I will embellish these further. The nest has some beading added to the hanging cord. The basket is based on the idea of rock pools so there may be a lot more attachments to this one.


October 14, 2019 at 9:32 am Leave a comment

Weekend at Blarney’s

It is school holiday time and though I am super busy still with uni work I snuck in a quick weekend away at Port Fairy to visit Peta Lloyd and Nanette Balchin’s wonderful exhibition at Blarney Books and Art. What an amazing place! If you haven’t visited this quite amazing venue plan a trip. The exhibition is on until Sunday 29th September so if you are down that way on the weekend pop in.

Port Fairy also has a great artist studio trail. I was lucky enough to be able to chat to and view some fantastic pieces by Jill Edwards at the Whalebone Gallery.

There also happened to be a creative art journaling workshop happening on the Saturday so that was fun too. Tamsien West was very generous with her tips and materials for many different styles of journaling and showed some great examples of her own.

September 26, 2019 at 9:29 pm Leave a comment

Art Quilt Australia 2019 at the NWM

As a member of the National Wool Museum I was lucky enough to be invited to the opening and prize winners announcement on Thursday night. Openings at the NWM are always well run and have interesting speakers so Kerrie and I went along for the preview.

After a glass of Hill wine (one of my favourite cellar doors), a welcome to country, and a few speeches the winners of the Expressions: Wool Quilt Prize and OZQN Award of Excellence were announced. Here are a few of my favourites from the night. All the quilts were amazing and very different so do go along and see the exhibition.

The winner of the Award of Excellence was Neroli Henderson with her deceptively simple and very effective quilt Whitewash. Highly commended in the Wool Quilt prize was Alison Withers Change for Earth. Not only is Alison’s execution and skill incredible she also makes very pertinent statements about current issues.

Prize winners

Two other quilts that I loved were Susan Mathews and her use of print effects in Banksia Country 3 and the wonderful composition and texture of Jill Rumble’s Landlines

And another wonderful piece from the entries that appealed to me was Kerryn Taylor’s Flinders Ranges Panorama with a wonderful group of tapestry inserts. I absolutely loved the texture and colour of this art quilt.

This is a must see exhibition for all textile and art quilt lovers.

September 7, 2019 at 10:53 am Leave a comment

FME with KHF

We were extremely lucky to have Kathryn Harmer Fox visit for a three day workshop called ‘Using your sewing machine as a creative tool’.

Kathryn was a great tutor for an experienced group as she didn’t waste time with too much instruction but just let us get on with it. Her teaching philosophy was very open ended in that she would make suggestions occasionally but generally would question us to make us justify our choices.

The photos show how my piece progressed from a photo of a very cute penguin taken at the Melbourne aquarium many years ago, not very clear as it was taken through glass. Firstly the piece was sketched onto the canvas and the bottom of the penguin coloured in Inktense pencils. Small pieces of fabric were added, the background painted and then more fabric added.

Some people used glue to keep the fabric in place while stitching but I hate how it makes the needle sticky so I simply slid the piece under the needle on the machine and held the pieces in place with a chopstick while stitching.

I will be hopefully finishing this off in the next school holidays. Currently sewing 70 small ‘Mirka Mora’ softie sculptures for stuffing and finishing by my Visual Art classes.

August 30, 2019 at 11:19 am Leave a comment

International Postcard swap

At some stage I came across a call out from the Solihull Embroiderer’s Group for a postcard swap. After sharing with the GeeTAG group I decided to use some of the fun experimentation at a recent workshop in Hobart (Stitching & Beyond Group) with Alsyn Midgelow-Marsden to create a mini postcard version of an art piece I am working on for the S&B travelling Challenge Exhibition. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the completed postcard before posting off! However I have received a wonderful postcard in return from Helen in Solihull:

Postcard from Solihull, UK

Also posted off recently has been my contribution to the ATASDA Faces and Flora Suitcase travelling exhibition. I am looking forward to organising the distribution of the travelling suitcase exhibition around Victoria, and perhaps Tasmania if requested-just need a local in Tasmania to organise some venues and groups to host the suitcase. This is the almost finished piece, just before adding a backing and facing:

Aunty Helen Brotherton

I love the effect of the beautiful natural dyed silk velvet from Arlee. The indicative piece of basket weaving is eucalyptus dyed silk tape and the clothing is from an op shop silk shirt. The glasses are a fabric printed from an indigenous artist.

June 19, 2019 at 10:10 pm Leave a comment

Much Arty Fun

This post will be a catch up on how much fun I have been having over this month with making my faces quiltie for the ATASDA Travelling Suitcase Exhibition, Sketchbook Revival- a free crazy full on arts extravaganza, making my Challenge piece for Stitching & Beyond (Tasmania) travelling exhibition, making a postcard to post off to the Solihull embroiderer’s Group for a swap, attending a wonderful workshop-After Mirka Mora with Deb Brearley and another workshop with Carolyn Hawkins at the Bluebird Foundation.

Basket making with Carolyn, a drawing and watercolour from the session with Carla Sonheim and postcard in process:

After Mirka Mora:

After Mirka Mora

And the two travelling pieces in process: some hand stitching needed on the Faces piece to knock back the colour before I back and bind it to send off this week and the base level for Ancient Strata .

In progress

May 26, 2019 at 7:50 pm Leave a comment

Slashing & burning with Alsyn

During the school holidays I had a little trip to Hobart for a 4 day workshop with Alsyn Midgelow-Marsden, organised by the Stitching & Beyond textile art group. Alsyn is from the UK, lives in NZ and is often in Australia to run workshops.

Before slash and burn

Alsyn was also at Ballarat in April this year (where I had a fabulous workshop with Claire Benn last year) however I decided on a change of scenery, Hobart is so easy to get to from Melbourne and I love visiting the city.

S&B are based in Hobart but welcome members from all over. To participate in one of their many excellent workshops you need to be a member (only $20 a year). I booked an Airbnb with a fabulous host in a beautiful old restored home in New Town, next door to the amazing Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens. I arrived a day early for the workshop, dropped my bags, walked along the track to the city, bought a green card from the very helpful Metro Shop and bused down to Kingston Beach to visit the fantastic store Wafu Works. I couldn’t go too crazy as my luggage was already full of paraphernalia for the workshop, however I did purchase a few little bits and pieces including some beautiful paper, a calligraphy brush, some grey boro thread, indigo fabrics and vintage indigo scraps.

Nuno felt on silk

The first two days of our workshop were spent working on techniques and building up samples. Lots of slashing-soldering iron, burning and heating-gas tea light candles, camp stove and blow torch, stitching and felting-needle and wet and colouring silk and metal. The final two days were to TIF (take it further) and develop the elements for a piece of work. Chris (one of the S&B organisers) suggested we may like to create an A3 piece to enter into the S&B Challenge exhibition which will travel around Tasmania (which is my aim). My inspiration for the workshop was this photo of The Bluff:

Barwon Heads Bluff

Thank you to Alsyn for a wonderful 4 days, I now have enough elements to make a series!

Possible elements

Also thank you to Chris and the other S&B members for their wonderful hospitality and organisation. I had a great time and will definitely return.

April 22, 2019 at 11:01 am 2 comments

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