Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Blah Days

Well, I may be at home all day but I'm certainly not doing much. At least my brain seems to have recovered from all the anaesthetic and doesn't feel like mush this week.

Like Teri, I decided to put this quiz on my blog:

***You Are a Newborn Soul***
You are tolerant, accepting, and willing to give anyone a chance.On the flip side, you're easy to read and easily influenced by others.You have a fresh perspective on life, and you can be very creative.Noconformist and nontraditional, you've never met anyone who's like you.
Inventive and artistic, you like to be a trendsetter.You have an upbeat spirit and you like almost everything.You make friends easily and often have long standing friendships.Implusive and trusting, you fall in love a little too easily.
Souls you are most compatible with: Bright Star Soul and Dreaming Soul
What Kind of Soul Are You?http://www.blogthings.com/whatkindofsoulareyouquiz/

Well, that's me! Awwww, doesn't "newborn" make you feel young?

Sunday, January 29, 2006

At a standstill....

Here's the cause, and here are the culprits. Early last Monday morning, the dogs bowled me over at speed while we were walking up on Cape Wanbrow. The result was a dislocation and compound fracture of my right ankle. My friend Kathryn has kindly minded my pets, watered the plants and helped out while I was in hospital.

I've had to shelve the quilts I had planned to complete this week as I can't sew. Officially, I'm unable to work for 4 weeks (leg to be elevated for 2 weeks, and no weight-bearing at all for 6 weeks). Sooooooo......this is going to have to be a planning and designing time for me that I hadn't counted on.

Also, I'm going to spend some of this down time knitting.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Moa in Boots

Incidentally, the Maori language has no "s", so moa, kiwi and so on are both singular and plural. This whimsical piece started life as "Moa Crossing" and was my version of Robbi Joy Ecklow's "Guitars" and still life pieces. I thought moa were lots more fun. Annnnnyway, my friend Kathryn kept calling it "Moa In Boots" because of the way their feet were emphasised by the design, so I've renamed it. Clearly not a quilt to take seriously - the jury will either love it or hate it - I suspect the latter. But I'm going to submit it anyway. Each moa is quilted witha different design. I haven't quite decided how to the backgrounds yet. I am using good ol' NZ wool batting - that's what we have 40 million sheep for here - and only 4 million people. That's altogether. In the whole country. One third of them live in Auckland so I don't. But my children do.

Off to hang some fabric on my clothesline and pour dye all over it - fun! And put my sourdough bread mix to ferment for a while. Cos it's Sunday which is breadmaking day.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Blowsy and decadent!

No, not me! I was having trouble quilting "Moa in Boots" so I thought I'd free my mind up by making a start on this one (as yet unnnamed). I decided that, because of the severe symmetry and straight lines of the background, I wanted to quilt something that shamelessly draped itself across the quilt like a drunken "D" list celebrity. Something blowsy and decadent that slurred "Look at me!". I hope you can see the design in this photo - it's meant to be a hibiscus flower.

Oh by the way, I've decided to leave this horizontal - I'll make some more in this style and do them vertically.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

"To sample is human, to actually gather up my courage and quilt the damn pieces is divine"

Ok, here is the latest sample. I think I'm comfortable that I have enough control over the machine (down, you beast!) to actually start on the actual quilts. Enough mucking around! (BTW, I just roughly divided the piece up with a marker pen in case you're wondering what the black lines are).

As well, I've found out how to do close-ups with my digital camera. I couldn't find the instruction book for ages, but it turned up when I was sorting my stuff out prior to shifting. So now I can be more competent with it.

"She has a studio like a palace....

..I don't have one so I am jalace" (apologies to Roald Dahl). Here's what my current sewing & drawing & cutting space looks like:
Of course, I DO have another table that I even occasionally eat off. Mostly I use that to keep all the things I need to do in one place so they don't get overlooked, and I also dye and paint on it (it's not an antique piece, I might add).

Thanks to everyone who took the trouble to comment on my work in progress. I have it pinned and ready to quilt, but have not made the final decision about a quiting design yet.

Since my last post, I've set up the Dyers Webring, and joined the new Surface Design Webring. I've ordered some gel medium (thanks, Jane, on HeArt Cloth Quarterly) to have a play with. I'm still dithering about the quilting on my exhibition pieces, as this I feel is my weakest area. They are all sandwiched and ready to go, however. First I'm going to do some more samples to increase my confidence about free-motioning within a restricted space. Also I want to experiment with some designs I've thought of to see how they translate into thread.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The hills, the sea, and work in progress

Today I went to visit an area about 60km away where there are lots of fossils of toothed whales and giant penguins, as well as Maori rock drawings. It's inland, close to the lovely Waitaki River, one of the South Island's wonderful braided river. You can just see it in the photo, with the rugged Otago hills behind.

It was lovely then but at home, there's a very strong easterly. You can see in the other photo (this is the view from my back deck) how rough the water is out in the bay. I can't even have the back door open because it's blowing my stuff around.

Now I have a confession to make....I like having a zizzz after lunch. Not because I'm getting elderly (what my children think) but because if I lie down and relax, I get all sorts of good ideas. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! Today I 'saw" this design in these colours so have got stuck in and made it. Originally, I planned to have it horizontal (left hand photo) but I saw it the other way (right hand photo) and decided I liked the vertical view better.

What do YOU think? Please post your opinion.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Controlling the beast!

I haven't done any free motion quilting for months, so I wanted to do some practice before completing my quilts for Otago. Here's the sampler I've worked on today. Some of it's a bit shaky but generally, I'm happy with the result. I'm not used to quilting a single design within a confined space (these fabric pieces are quite small) so it was a good exercise in control.

More dyeing...will I ever get to sew?

Well, yes, I will because I HAVE to. There are only about 3 weeks left before I need to submit photos of my latest art quilts, and my daughter will be here in 2 weeks so I need to get going. It's on The Plan for today. I also want to get to the Trade Aid store where they've kindly got in some Indian stamps for me, wooden and metal, no obligation. I'll post some photos of these and what they do when I get some more. Anyway, here's the result of one of the lengths I dyed yesterday for a quilting shop - but it's sooooo nice that I think I'll keep it. The gold just glows.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Playing with Shibori

I have just acquired a couple of seminal works on Shibori and I've been hankering to play with this a bit more. Supposedly it was back to work today, but hard to get into the rhythm after a couple of weeks of indolence. However, I did send a few orders out, but also produced these subtle small pieces (each around 13 x 22 inches). They're subtle because, as a dyer, I prefer not to have hard white space on my cloth (and let's not mention how tight you have to pull up thread and bind in order to get it!)

Also, while doing research on the net (not frittering away time seeing what other dyers and fiber artists are doing, you understand), I joined Paula Burch's dyeing forum. Paula is the Dyeing Doyenne, with a wonderful informative website. I'm not sure if there's a dyeing webring but I'll go look.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Dyeing day

Today my friend Kathryn and I had a dyeing day. I wanted to make some multicoloured metre lengths, so we did some in two different ways. These photos were just taken with the fabric lying on the living room floor, so aren't superb quality. The first four photos were dyed outside (it was a beautiful 27 degrees Celsius day) and these came out quite differently. I really liked the effect.

The next photos show the ones done the way I usually dye - scrunched into trays to give a crackle effect.

There are more but those are some of the best.

2006 Resolutions

Usually I have a list of these, but this year, with my brother and sister-in-law staying, I didn't even think to make any. However, there's the perennial "Must lose weight", so that can go on the list for 2006; also my discarded plan to walk the dogs every day. While I'm a morning person, there are some mornings where I just don't want to have to go out. However, it's all about health. My pets are all in great condition, no weight problems at all so it's just me who is struggling with avoirdupois.

I'm longing to get some fabric into the dyepot so will post some shots of the results.