Wednesday, October 25, 2006

This Is The Needlelace Thing I'm Doing Now

Firstly, draw design outline onto sturdy brown paper. Put clear contact over it to make it strong. Brown paper is better than others as it's particularly strong. I can scrunch it up while I'm working and it doesn't split like the one I used last time. Also, that's what my Grandma said they used for such types of things and I like her, so....
Next, couch the outlines with double thickness of the colour you'll be working the lace in. I have used 1 strand of pink for the couching (visible easily on the photo of the back... Note: you can see where I drew it wrongly and that's why it's the back and not the front so don't be confused by the pen marks).

The couching holds the shape in place and the shapes you put there will end up being what you get. Which needs to be considered if you go wonky.

Now, stitch across and back etc., catching the edges at each side. Easy! It truly is.

When you've put the structures in, take the couching off. This takes ages and is really boring!
I have folded over the excess border fabric to get it out of the way.

You don't need to use a fabric border for support. It can simply be a border of lace. I'd probably make it thicker. Look at some books. The library isn't a heap of help but you never know. One of the best ever books for pictures (no instructions) is 'Lace, History and Fashion' by Anne Kraatz, published by Thames and Hudson.
Ask if you want some help, but give it a go, it IS easy. I know I always say that but I'm not kidding.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Beginning Of A Beautiful Thing

For my new to-be grandaughter. I've not long started. Last time, that is, for my darling first ever grandbaby Jaden... I started his Wagga whilst Ruby was pregnant, intending to have it made for his birth (April)... then for his first Christmas, then his first birthday. Finally I gave it to him not long before he turned 6! I'd be desperately ashamed if I didn't know there are more like me out there. Yes?
This one for my newest little blossom (to be) is different than Jadey's in as much as will be a whole cloth blanket rather than a patched one. I havn't taken photo's of Jadey's Wagga yet but will.
The drawing shown is a shonky photograph I have doctored and doctored to make it visible for you. It's from my pocket sketch book, drawn lightly in pencil and faded almost away, but you can see my intention... that is to have a spiral of flowers, bees and butterflies. The flower shown is the central one. I should have cropped it square so you could see the whole design, but then you wouldn't see the butterfly and it's pretty. I copied it (sorry Akira Isogawa whom I love and absolutely admire).
DIRECTIONS: The petals are Ceylon stitch, my favourite. Inside this is a row of parallel Bullions. Inside this are two Detached Buttonhole thingies that stand up. Then a Sticky Up thing with three Bullions on top. It's a bit hard to explain! The Bee is made up with Knots and the wings are Detached Buttonhole. I havn't stitched the Feelie Bits yet, but they'll be in Whipped Backstitch.
Updates pending. Problem is, and I repeat myself... but my Dearest and Nearest is allergic to wool so my stitching time is limited.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I've Always Thought I'd Make Lace In My Old Age...

...but with my eyesight beginning to need assistance, I thought I'd better not leave it any longer.
I met a woman, many years ago now... Jean Goldberg. Jean made lace and taught the same. Her specialty was needlelace, which is the one that appeals to me. I watched her, or rather, saw a piece she was working on, and was able to determine how to about it. I tucked it (the plan and the knowlege) away for another day. She also gave me a magnificent book on the topic, which I pored over and read from cover to cover. Well, from cover until I was a bit over it...
Interesting history, lace. For example, techniques such as Broderie Anglaise and Irish Crochet were developed because it was ILLEGAL for commoners to wear lace! So we, the people, found a way to emulate it without risking whatever the punishment might have been. In one European country (I'd have to look up which one) it was a hangable offence to emmigrate if you were an artisan, and to take your knowlege over the border. Treason, apparently.
The figures are quite traditional. Or, using figures is. Perhaps having conjoined twin bunnies is not traditional, although now that I sit and write about it, many fanciful figures such as mermaids and monsters were common in ancient pieces, so even there I'm inadvertantly following tradition. Ha! Never thought of that.
My one true love doesn't like them at all. It's the fluro yellow thread, which clashes with the soft browns and pinks. And it does clash uncomfortably, but that's what I really wanted to do, clash. And for some reason I had to use that colour. I didn't want it to be right.
Any psychoanalysts out there? Feel free to tell me... I can take it.
He has a point, but they're not finished yet and I can see the vision splendid.
I have another one on the go, and have taken some pics, so I can show you how it's done. Perhaps tomorrow. Have to have something for tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Hello All You People Of The World! Hello!

It's not that I've stopped working on my many embroideries, but I havn't finished anything and... hate to sound egotistical and clandestine, but some of it is top secret!

APART FROM WHICH, Ruby's baby's blanket is in full swing and I've just started taking it to work, and I'm absolutely more than happy to share and I will take some photo's I will I will..

So what if it (the cashmere, the mohair) makes my uniform all fluffy? Who cares if I take up half the lunch room table? Most of the lunch room table. ALL of the lunch room table.

The biggest problem is... well, the biggest problems are: My beloved honey bunch and one true love is allergic to wool and therefore I cannot work on it at home. Not if I want him to be happy, and I do want him to be happy because then I'm happy. And I need to have all of my shortlisted colours available to me to be able to choose the correct shades for each next flower or bee or butterfly. So I must either: Choose in the dark, uninviting, lonely back room at home, safe from sniffling noses and watering eyes, and take the few neccesaries with me to work...

OR... take it all to work and stitch on the train, risking the inflicting of the aforementioned fluffiness or allergicnesses on unsuspecting and beautifully dressed (and deleberately fluff free)office type workers, then stitch some more at work.

Our lunch room is so tiny, I couldn't possibly spread the rug and all of the wools out in order to figure out colours. Besides, there's the shyness and the hating to bring attention to myself, which, being an adult I manage to ignore, uncomfortably... I don't care if my uniform is fluffy but I can't make that decision for everyone else can I? Or can I? Is the quest greater than the risk? More noble?

I could take a sheet to spread out in the changing room where I might lay everything out and choose my colours, thus avioding some of the congestion. OR, I could provide free 'brush-downs' to the staff, myself included, or I could buy my one true love some anti-thingamies...

It's the price we all have to pay for our art. It's not as simple as it seems. Sewing at work means one is the delegated button-sewing-back-on person, which is fine if they don't mind fluro yellow or gentle, pretty, pink gloss-mohair.

Monday, August 07, 2006


To all of my dear friends who have been coming to my classes for a little while or a long (long, long, long) while, thankyou for your friendship, love and loyalty. We've shared a lot over the years and I know I've found my way through thick and thin with your support and the confidence I've found in your company. Hope the earth moved for you too.
Sniff! I'll miss you. I'll think of you while I'm relaxing down the beach or sleeping in and not washing the floor even once a month. And when at last I have the itch that only you can scratch, I'll ring up and start again, with renewed interest and new stuff. I promise!
You are special!
P.S. The Rabbit Cushion if for those who asked. More details here, and the saga is here. For what it's worth.
P.P.S. And I will get back to posting! I WILL!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

These Are My Favourites Of The New Girls

They're a bit wonky and I had to patch them because the gorgeous silk brocade I used in the legs frayed while it was being stuffed, but that adds to they're beauty. I've got a pink thing happening at the moment. I bought some pink Puma shoes which I havn't worn because they're so pink. Summer, I suppose, they'll come out of the closet.
I've never has proper runners before. I had tennis shoes when I was a kid, but never the runners the kids wear. But with my new job I'm sitting all day, so I've started getting off the train at Richmond and walking along the Yarra (river) into Melbourne and wandering around and about along the water until just before 9am. I get into Richmond at about 7.45. So... I thought I'd buy some proper shoes. I got some Reeboks too, on sale as it happened! It's good! My feet have never been happier. And the walk is lovely.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Introducing A New And Improved Abby & Bron Bron Doll!

I've done four new sets of twins... (As seen in today's Age Newspaper!) More photo's coming soon, as soon as I can get a little daylight. This photo is ok in front of the sand blasted container. Check out the Dolls site for more of their happy sisters. All of the girls (and Johnny the Mouse) are for sale, as are patterns to make your own.

Check out the links on the side bar to Bobby La's Beautiful Cushions, Bobby La's... er... ah... Cards, Bobby's Crazy Quilt, Drawings & Prints and so on. New Junk & Blather. I havn't been writing on Junk & Blather for a minute or two but I will! It's got some good stuff I've found here and there so have a squiz. Classes are finished for a bit I'm afraid.... need a break to get serious about the stitching and re-organise my beach time and fool around with my darling and do some art (or try).

Contact me at for anything, even nothing in particular... I like new friends!

Don't forget about poor Johnny will you. He's a favourite.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

My Darling Grandson...

...Is going to be a big brother! Yay! In February. Congratulations to me! Oh, and congratulations to my (not so) baby girl and her fella.

This is him all happy and content and ready to drop on Christmas Day last year.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Detail From Anne's Crazy Bag

More details over here, and more to come. This is altered from my own, to fit the space. I must take some more photo's of my bag. Anne's bag is truly beautiful and so cheerful, like her good self.

I Know You've Seen It Before But I'm In Love

Sitting on top of the ex-back of the Wagga...

I sold this Wagga but the buyer didn't like the back so she had it taken off and gave it back, which is cool, because I don't have any Wagga Lilly flour sacks left and I don't plan a trip to Wagga Wagga anytime soon, and I'd embroidered it heavily.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Mr Poonce

I bought this photo od Mr Poonce yesterday from Fiona Dalwood, or Post Loved. My daughter and I went to her house to pick it up and saw lots of her dolls... I wanted to buy a few, and hope at least to buy one which isn't finished yet. Great stuff... Even though sometimes they're a bit wicked or unusual, there's a tenderness there I feel.

The little photo here I want as well.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

More From The One And Only Lotus The Wonderful!

Possum, with Velvet stitch body. It stands out beautifully in the flesh. Lotus worked it firstly in Needle Painting style (Long and Short stitch), but it didn't stand out against the foliage, so she did it again in Fluffiness stitch (Ghiordes Knot or Turkey Knot). It's the cutest, snuggling little possum ever! Its l;ittle nose all snuggled in. It did come from a magazine for the most part, but I'm afraid I don't know which.

I have a book called 'Wildflower Embroidery' by Annette Rich. It's a Milner Craft Series book. Lote used the Waratah method from the book. We grow them up here in the hills. I have a couple outside and I'm sure Lotus has too, she's an avid gardener. Great book! Worth having for those who love Aussie flowers. It's terrific.

That's all of my Lotus photo's now. I'm sure you're as impressed as I am. Thanks Lote! xxx

Monday, June 12, 2006

Lotus's Wagga

Lotus came and did one of my classes years ago, and has plodded along happily, adding the most exquisite flowers. She tries to blame (credit) me for teaching her, but it's all lies. All I've done is give her the initial pattern and a few stitches, the rest is entirely down to her.
I've shown you close-ups of my class flowers and bee, and you can seeone of Lotus's butterflies. I'll give you more photo's tomorrow... right now I have to work out my new Ipod, a birthday oresent from my gorgeous sweetie-pie... wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Sunday, June 04, 2006

'The Offering Of The Heart'

I copied (interpreted) this picture from the cover of 'The Wife Of Martin Guerre'. The book, in turn, had used a small focul detail from the large medieval tapestry called 'The Offering Of The Heart'.

I'd not long seen Kaffe Fassett's book Something 'Inspirations'... what were they all called??? Anyway, he had three photo's side by side... one of an old plate with roses on it, one with the outline of a drawing of the plate's design drawn on canvas, and one with the design half worked in tent stitch. You could tell the whole process from just that page! He was great like that. Maybe he still is? So I enlarged the design you see here on a photocopier and traced the outline onto fine canvas... 14 count, and began to 'colour in'.

What you could see from Kaffe's picture was that he hadn't tried to copy the roses exactly, but had interpreted the design. A revelation!

I made two, so when I ran out of thread on one I picked up the other. I didn't refer to each other, but only to the picture. One I gave to my former brother-in-law and his wife and one I have given to my daughter.

I Took These Photo's This Morning

I have some of my dolls lined up on the front window sill waving at passing traffic. It looked so grand this morning with the blind still down, I had to share. The crocodile is made from wound grasses and rose thorn teeth. I'm not sure where it's from and my other half is asleep. It came with him you see.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Tribute To Jean Goldberg Whom I MUST Visit

One MVA Coming Up by Jean Goldberg 1983
Jean saw my big crazy quilt whilst it was in half worked bits on the table, and asked me why I was working with a medieval theme. Why wasn't I contemporary? What was my voice? I frowned and narrowed my eyes (on the inside), and took it in, although I love traditional work still. She set me off into the present too though, she and going to art school in 1998. I have to add that she wrote a glowing article about me for 'Textile - Fibre Forum' magazine, and got a photo of the quilt on the front cover.
It's good to begin any artistic career by studying the past, and I'll defend our right to do what we want 'till the cow's come in, no matter where we want to take it. I love the domestic work through the ages. LOTS! And the lovliness of making our environment beautiful.
Jeans work is terrific though, even if she is bossy (I say that very affectionately). She takes a contemporary image and works it in exquisite, traditional needle-lace. Sadly, Glaucoma has taken her vision now, but she leaves a great heritage.
I'm doing some of my own needle-lace at the moment, much to the amusement of people on the train as I go to work.
Go have a squizz at her site. It's fun and interesting, like Jean is herself.
P.S. Incase you non-Aussie's don't know, 'squizz' is rhyming slang, derived from 'look' being like 'crook', and 'Squizzy' Taylor being a famous Australian 'crook'... hence "Go have a squizz". Get it?

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Want To Say Thanks To The Girls...

Thanks to the lovley girls from the classes at Lazy Daisy and Needles and Pins doing the Crazy and the Robbie Burns. It's been really good fun and nice to meet you all. Yes I mean you! I miss you all terribly already!
I promised this to the Warrandyte crew:

"I dream'd I lay where flowers were springing,
Gaily in the sunny beam;
List'ning to the wild birds singing,
By a falling crystal stream:
Straight the sky grew black and daring;
Through the woods the whirlwinds rave;
Trees with aged arms were warring
O'er the swelling, drumlie wave.

Such was my life's deceitful morning,
Such the pleasures I enjoy'd;
But lang ere noon, loud tempests storming
A' my flow'ry bliss destroy'd.
Though fickle fortune has decieved me,
(She promis'd fair, and performed but ill;)
Of mony a joy and hope bereaved me,
I bear a heart support me still."

by Robert Burns

Sorry about the ending girls! Heh Heh Heh!

I Saw This Somewhere And Though It Was Brilliant And Definitely Worth Sharing

I've only just noticed that each patch has the circles in it...


Monday, May 22, 2006

Love Hate Mittens

Found at Boing Boing, of course.

My Lovely Honey Bunch Photographed My Crazy 'Mary Poppins' Bag Today

Go to the article on the Crazy Quilt site for more pictures...

These are some of my favourite details on the bag. I used chunky threads throughout, since it's a bag to throw around. I didn't want to be too precious.

The little bird is an adaptation from an old doyley. You can't see the clouds propery, but they were inspired also from old fancywork designs, or old children's book illustrations. 'Old' referring to my childhood!

The dark brown patch proved difficult to approach, so I ended up not stitching a border as such, but making a feature of it's shape... I like it a lot.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Dog and Happy Tamborine Playing Cherub Details

I got these from a Filet Crochet book, a great source for silhouette cross stitch. The musical Cherub is worked on linen interfacing from one of my Grandma's overcoats. I put a glittery fabric underneath because I was going to make it as a stand alone piece, and have the frayed edges of the glitter showing behind the frayed edges of the linen... but it ended up on the quilt. The coat the interfacing is from is the blue one in the Wagga.
Around the cherub I worked Detached Buttonhole thingy's, which were intended to stand up, but they just curled up into nothing and so I fastened down the points.
And I thought you should know that I bought a bike today. It's a beauty, although the seat is a bit wobbly. Now my one true love and I both have one for when the idea of riding takes both of our fancy's at the same time. I know without you saying that you're all very happy for me, and I know that you don't say it sarcastically.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Crazy Quilt Centrepiece

I'd carted this cross stitch pattern around for so many years, and it seemed sensible to at last work it. It was in an old McCall's 'Afghan Rug' magazine I'd absconded with from my darling Grandma's house. I had it for at least 15 years before I had my epiphany (the revelation that I ought to use it, that is).
The original Afghan rug was dated 1814 or thereabouts, and had a gorgeous floral border, which I hadn't copied as it seemed like too much work. Funny now huh, considering. The 'Grandmother's Fans' you see around the quilt were originally meant to be repeated to make the whole quilt, and I simply decided to use my scraps to make a cushion with the Horse cross stitch... but... well, it looked good together and one thing led to another... you know how it is. So... I ended up incorporating the Horse into the larger, now changed quilt.
I must add that my intention (with the Grandmother's Fans quilt) was to use all of the borders in Dorothy Bond's little brown 'Crazy Quilt Stitches' book, and to NOT stitch ANY pictures. A plan that obviously fell by the wayside. Fell with a pretty, happy thud.
The rest of the cross stitch sampler motifs you see with the horse were added later.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Kate's Wagga

Kate brought her recently-put-together Wagga to class today. I love the colours! There were four Wagga's here today, and I meant to photograph them all... Maybe next month.
Anyone within cooey, feel free to contact me and come along. Some people are doing Crazy Patchwork, or various of my designs. And then there's Michelle, who was making Christmas decorations already for goodness sake! I might try and get everyone to do something new next time, or at least offer something new, maybe a bit of lace work? Hmmm...
Go here for an excellent article on Wagga's...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


I just found a photograph of where we lived before this. I painted all of the walls with Porter's paint in beautiful, rich colours, with some help from my lovely. From wherever you were in the house, each of the visible rooms complimented any others and it glowed with warmth and lovliness. I miss it sometimes. The garden you can see here was my little section of the garden, but the house was (is) set in 5 acres of an old, old exotic-treed forest up in Olinda (an hour East of Melbourne). I polished all of the floors with my little orbital sander and varnish. We had Lyre-birds down the back, even just behind the house. And wombats, possums of course, and all kinds of LBJ's (Little Brown Jobs or little brown birds). I worked next door at Cloudehill Garden & Nursery so it was heaven and heaven. Absolute visual feasts, both!
Now, Kejoma is called Rangeview, and it's been converted into a B&B. The new owner is lovely, but has renovated (not just superficially) and in doing so has had the house painted in the dullest pale greens (sorry if your house is pale green, yours is probably nice pale green, not insipid, awful pale green like my lovely old jewel cottage). The garden and view to Warburton are the same though, gorgeous. You can see Mt. Baw Baw on a clear day.
So... Kejoma as I knew it is no more. I have many happy and many sad memories there. A place of great comfort, it nestled (snuggled) a brilliant part of my life (6 years).
I thought I'd share as it's so pretty.

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Most Beautiful Tea Cosy In The World

My friend Elizabeth let me borrow this for a month or two a little while ago, just to tease me. I don't think she realises how much it should be mine. Great minds think alike though it's true. It really is special. I had to share and just found the photo...

Sunday, April 30, 2006

P.S. For The Girls I Taught Ceylon Stitch (My Favourite)...

... This is what I was talking about!

It's OK Now. I Have The Crazy Quilt Back...

This detail is within the outer border, and is my humble monogram as you see.

The stitches are Roman Stitch or Roumanian Couching and Detached Buttonhole, mostly. I used an upside down 'W' for the 'M', edited slightly.

If you have a look at CP5 over on the 'Bobby's Cards' link, you'll find where I first did the stitch. The design there is from a reproduction of an old book, 'Encyclopedia of Needlework' by Therese De Dillmont, and I followed it exactly, using my own colours. The book, by the way, is one of those you'd take if you were only able to take one or two books, you know, the old desert island scenario.

Please jump over to the Crazy Quilt site for more Crazy Quilt additions.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Patricia Waller's Knitted Dolls.

Patricia is from Germany I do believe, and her site is worth going into for a look!

I love the fish in the jars! Is the mad scientist transferring the brain of the 'monkey' into the fish? Funny, heh! heh! heh!

Hello Everyone, I'm Back! Did You Miss Me?

It's just that I've been either working, or training for my new job every day and it's not over yet! I slept for over two hours just now and feel a bit refreshed and a bit vague too.

Tomorrow is only a half day of gardening work and should have the effect of shaking out a few cobwebs, rather than be too hard...

Feel free to feel sorry for me with my busy schedule. It doesn't matter if you're the same, we can both be poor things.

I picked up my 'Crazy Quilt With Grandmother's Fans' today from Lazy Daisy, so will be able to begin my BIG plan of sharing bits and pieces with you. Tomorrow, when there is some light, I'll start photographing.

Today I wanted to show you this 'Tank Cosy'. We found it on Boing Boing. It's so gorgeous.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Breif history of the Wagga

The story of 'Wagga's' is simply that in the early days a mill called the Murrumbidgee Flour Mill, situated in the town of Wagga Wagga in the state of New South Wales printed 'Wagga Lilly' as a brand on its flour and wheat sacks. As thrift blankets were often made utilising these bags, either covered or sewn together for use as blankets themselves, the term'Wagga' was adapted to describe not only these rugs, but all rugs made of scraps, old jumpers, coats or tailors scraps and samples. A utility rug. Every country has the same history of utility, but here the name 'Wagga' caught on and it is known here and there right across Australia.

When my Grandma died I collected her coats to make my own. I can't remember where I'd heard the term, but that's what I'd known them as too. In my classes, people say either that they've never heard the term, or that their Grandma had Wagga's too, or someone did... seems to be both known and not known everywhere.

I made Rob's after I'd finished the crazy quilt (which is not long after Grandma died) and incorporated the same stitches in flowers all over the blanket, using 8ply wools (double knit) instead of fine silks and cottons etc., so that was my personal addition to the traditional blankets. The old Wagga's were generally unadorned, being utility blankets and not for show, and were notoriously heavy, but extra warm.

As with the American 'Depression' quilts, people were often embarrased by such a show of poverty and put them away or threw something nicer over the top.

Ironically, my intention was never to deliberately perpetuate these traditions, but the classes have, and throughout Melbourne at least the name is well revived, which is great.

I didn't sit and think to make 'A Traditional Wagga', nostalgically as it were, I just wanted to make some Wagga's from my darling Grandma's clothes... she was so special to me. Then, probably because I'd just made a Crazy Quilt, I put Feather Stitch on all of the seams.

As it happened, there was a competition for Wagga's which some friends had organised through our now defunct(?) 'Meat Market', to increase the profile of this uniquely Australian name, as they told me about it... actually they entered me into it and Rob's Wagga won. Much to my surprise. Talk about Zeitgeist!

I'll still contact thoise two ladies to enquire of their research into the genre, and round off this chit chat...

Just Back From A Little Holiday

And what a lovely couple of days we had. We have a caravan down near Wilson's Prom, and spent one day walking at Tidal River, another walking to Red Bluff and a third doing nothing at all. Well, when I say nothing, I sewed and my honey bunch drew.

This is a shocking photo (the only one I have) of a Wagga I made to demonstrate this 'building' method of construction at Geelong College a couple of years ago. I worked as Artist in Residence for their Art Week, where we had to entice the kids to join in lunch time activities. We had the greatest following, and a few amazing pieces were made. Hopefully a spark was lit in some creative minds? I had fun that's for sure.

The school motto was 'Reach For the Stars', and the Dave Graney song ''The Stars Baby, the Stars' kept going around in my head, so I stitched that on the front. Seeing that, many of the girls started embroidering things on theirs too, it was great!

I thought I'd compile a history of Wagga's to post here soon. It will require a little bit of research but I'll cobble something together. I realised that I have a little bit of authority on the matter, since I've been teaching the class for so long and have heard many stories, but I'll need to talk to a couple of key people first before I feel confirmed.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Because It's a Beautiful Day...

I've decided to put my cards on special... or is that...
So, go have a squizz over there ->>> if you want to. It's up to you.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

My Op-Shop Wagga

So called by my honey-bunch. It's made using Grandma's crocheted cardigan, a jacket she knitted for my son which I said I'd finish and never did, er.. ah.. bits and pieces of jacket collars and other stuff. Some houndstooth woollen fabrics from Wagga Wagga! Huh! The Wagga is 2 metres square. I backed the piece with a whole lot of 'Wagga Lilly' flour sacks from an old produce store in Wagga Wagga.
It's sold now, and I miss it a little bit.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Ruby's Kitten

I thought this picture was so manic and graphically terrific, it was worth sharing. I think I'll somehow work it up in embroidery. I love that look they get in their eyes when they're winding up their little elastic bands ready to pounce or run really really fast around the room.

You could even do this as an applique, with no consideration to anything excepting the outline and eyes, plus a couple of splintches for the nose and mouth. And perhaps some straight stitches poking out to insinuate the startled looking fur.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

At Last I've Started Putting Stuff on my Crazy Quilt Site

It's only the beginning, but go see -> -> ->
Follow the Link on the side bar -> to Robyne Melia's Crazy Quilt for even further updates.
I'll get my big quilt soon, and post details.

Monday, April 03, 2006

I'm so Proud of my One True Love!

You must have a look. Go see the other Varporium sites too. They're in the side bar.

He's my fella, and I've got a shiny patch on my shoulder from reflected glory.
Teri put me onto Gee's Bend Quilts, and what a compliment! Thanks Teri. You are my new best friend!
I've always loved the raw, the utility, the scrap. I've seen African American quilts before and been hugely impressed by their vitality. Early Australian Wagga's can be a bit similar, though usually sombre in colour on account of the fabric (often) being tailor's samples or suiting scraps. Once again, it's the 'building' of a piece that gives a certain directness to the outcome. Evolved rather than planned or orchestrated.
Go have a look at the Wrapping Cloths from the Chohan Dynasty in Korea for a similar though world's apart sense of movement and dynamo hum. I've scanned Google for an appropriate link, but can't find much. I have a book called 'Rapt in Colour' which is worth buying sight unseen, it's packed with wonders to change your perception. It changed mine anyway... or the exhibition did. It really did totally change my method of working, and whilst you mightn't recognise my work as being of the genre, it stems from the exhibition and the overwhelming sense of discovery in engendered. I could say that these Wrapping Cloths are as incredible and important as the Amish quilts. As modern. I think the Choson dynasty was around about our Victorian era...?
I was going to put a link to the Australian Quilt Register's Wagga info page too, but I disagree with their synopsis of the history so I'm not! I've been teaching and listening to stories about Wagga's for a very long time, and believe the origin and perpetuation of the name to be broader than their story.
I've just got a good photo of my earlier Wagga's from Robyn Jacobs which I'll scan and post . Soon. They were heavily embroidered, and I still teach the method, though I have changed my own approach.
It's all good fun isn't it? This sewing caper? We love it don't we.

Friday, March 24, 2006

I have finished making our very dear friends' wedding present, a Wagga. The best yet I reckon.
The back is just as nice as the front even if I do say so myself. I'm not bragging because it's the beauty of the fabric and the lovely colours that makes it so gorgeous. I have come to feel that the back needs almost as much attention as the front, which makes for more work, but also more satisfaction. Something that compliments and accentuates the front, rather than just 'matches'. This orange wool,and the grey blankets have a bluish cast over them, and so the fabrics that looked best out of my vintage collection were browns and blues.

This is my absolute favourite Wagga to date. The current project always is though. I kept saying "I love doing this", and it was true. I enjoy 'building' the pieces much more than planning from the beginning. My fella and I thought we should keep it, but then if I didn't think that, I wouldn't consider it a good gift. It's a paradox... if it's no good I don't want to give it away/sell it, but if it's great I really want to keep it. I'll have to make another for us, and then of course it will supercede A&Y's to own the top, best, favourite position.
It'd be great to teach the method, but I'd need a lot of room. At Geelong College a couple of years ago, I did teach the students this way of building in a huge hall where we could spread out, it was brilliant. The fun of it was infectious and we had the most popular group in the 'Art Week' pavillion. Hopefully some of those kids will take the idea into their future somehow.