Thursday, December 29, 2005

Oh frabjous day!

Today I received my contract from the committee of Quilt Symposium 2007 (for non-Kiwis, this is THE 2-yearly quilting event in New Zealand). In January 2007, it'll be held over 5 days in Palmerston North in the North Island. I had been advised that I was selected as a tutor, but didn't know what class they wanted me to teach. I discovered that I have been asked to teach 5 days of classes, provided these classes are filled of course. Wow! I never expected that. I'll be teaching the following:
- Basic Dyeing (1 day)
- Beyond the Basics (1 day)
- Surface Design (2 days); and the only class involving sewing:
- Reverberations (1 day). This has expanded shapes appliqued onto a checkerboard background.

I'm so excited! And a bit scared too, as my teaching has been mainly informal to date (well, this sort of teaching) but at least I have 12 months to get it sorted.

Here's a picture of the sample for Reverberations. It's called "Cosmic Refraction".

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

My first blog! (OK, not a very original heading....)

It's 2 months today since I left my day job in the bank to become a fulltime fibre artist/dyer/craftsperson - I'm not quite sure what to call myself. This coincided with my move to Oamaru on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand. I had been living for the past 3 years at Lyttelton, about 3 hours' drive north. Why the move? In order to do what I wanted, I needed to be debt-free, and in Oamaru, I could have a freehold home ( a little modernised stone cottage around 100 years old, with fabulous sea and coast views) with the equity from my Lyttelton home. I've planted fruit trees and put in a vegetable garden and started to put roots down. I only knew one person here (another quilter), so it was a big move to make.

Oamaru is a small town of around 13,000 people, famous for its Oamaru stone (limestone), huge number of historic buildings (more than any other place in NZ), and the celebration of its Victorian heritage. It's part of Otago, which is well-know throughout NZ for its artists, artisans and craftspeople. Of course, I still have to run my dye business (Tillia Dyes - as well as my quilting, to bring in the bread and butter income. So far, it's been working well, and I've been able to make use of the quiet period over Christmas to make a start on a set of art quilts that I'll be submitting to the "Southern Women, Southern Quilts" exhibition early next year. I'll post some photos of work in progress as I go along. In the meantime, here's me in costume as I appeared in the Victorian Festival in late November each year.