Sunday, 6 September 2009

quilters' inspiration

On the SAQA website (, there was a last minute call for entries for an exhibition of photos taken by quilters for the big quilt show in Houston. As it required no real work and I have lots of photos, I thought I would submit some. These are the images I sent in. It took me ages to select three as I have so many photos taken over the years of things I find interesting. Then there was the small issue of whether I had actually taken the photos as Richard and I share the camera and some of the oldest monster's photos are really good too. In fact, I get really inspired by his use of the camera as he just plays with it and has no inhibitions like the camera should be held still. He does great self portraits too, because what is more fascinating to him than himself. I end up trying to copy some of his techniques to get some interesting effects.

playing with numbers

Maybe it is due to my accountancy background, but I love number sequences. Sad, I know. Even better, the oldest monster is following in my footsteps and really enjoyed learning about binary from his uncle last weekend. He is thrilled to be 111 rather than 7.

So I've been wondering about making a quilt based on the Fibonacci sequence for a while. It does have practical value too as apparently lots of things in nature follow it, like sunflower heads and ammonites (just don't ask me how - I never did practical maths!). Anyway, I'm making this quilt where each square size and number of stripes follow the sequence (1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21 etc - each number is equal to the sum of the previous two).

This is the first sample - I didn't pre-wash the fabric and then washed it after. I liked the shrinkage, but of course, the stripes all frayed in a not good way! The background quilting was wavy lines, but I think it is too distracting, so I won't use it next time. It also made me think of quilted leather handbags, which for some reason I don't like. This bad photo here shows my first attempt of a bigger piece. I've still to quilt it and add the stripes. I'm not sure how it will develop and whether I decide to make it less rectangular.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Festival of Quilts aftermath

I am a bit late writing this post as I intended to write whilst I was at the Festival, enjoying my new technology buy of a dongle (at least I think that is what it is called). As it was, I spent too much time enjoying the quilts to have any time to write and last week has been spent in the normal post Festival of Quilts daze as well as organising my parents' ruby wedding party. This week was spent recovering from the party and having five people to stay, as well as eating all the leftover food. I'm glad we over cooked!
Well, the Festival was great. There were some amazing quilts and exhibitions. I'm always a bit wary of posting images of other people's work without their permission, so the only images are of my samples from Chunghie Lee's workshop.
Her work was great. I loved the thought behind it, about honouring the unknown makers. She also has ideas for a large scale installation, which sound exciting art. I was really pleased to be able to interview her for Popular Patchwork. Her website is worth a visit:
I also got to interview Jenny Bowker, whose work was also fascinating. They were more traditionally quilts in the sense of the three layers, but not traditional in their content. Her pieces were large scale pictorial wall hangings with Middle Eastern subjects. Her website is
The workshop with Chunghie Lee was inspiring. I haven't done so much hand stitching in one day for ages. My stitch size needs some work - they are much too big for a traditional pojagi, but it was really good to learn some new techniques. The concept of wrapping cloths is lovely, so much better than disposable wrapping paper.
So I now have lots of ideas for articles (including some I'm not going to get to write!), and ideas for new work. I've just got to find time to get started.
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