Sunday, October 24, 2010


Mercedes thought it the right name (I had nothing to say on the subject). This is from Mimi Kirchner's pattern. I used old chennile bedding so it's lovely and soft for my Sadie to cuddle. Actually we made it together, as in, I made it and Sadie stuffed a leg for about five or ten minutes then thought I could finish it. She did choose all colours though. I want her to have the experience of making stuff though, so it was still good.

I bought the felt through Felt Craft Studio at Etsy. Pure wool felt. Yum.

Friday, October 15, 2010

SOLD! The Money Is In The Bank This Time!

Crazy Quilt With Grandmother's Fans
Made from 1992 - 1996

2 metres square, minus a smidge. Only handstitching by myself.
Cenrtal horse panel worked on 10 stitches to the inch linen.

WELL, after much patience, much stubbornness and many years, the Crazy Quilt With Grandmother's Fans that I completed in 1996 is SOLD. $70,000 is in the bank! No kidding at all! There are more photo's over here (as well as people's work from my classes).

(I want someone to contract me to write a book of patterns and blether about the quilt or my style of doing things... somehow. Got any suggestions?)

P.S. The money's gone straight into the mortgage.

MUCH LATER..............
I thought, perhaps, that I ought to say more. So, in reply to a forum discussion, I wrote this:

"It's true!I'd post a photo of the cheque but that would just be silly (I admit that I took a photo of it)!

The quilt took me 3,000 hours, at a conservative guess. I worked on it furiously over four years and tried and developed many techniques over the time. It's been displayed around Melbourne over the years and I taught the various stitches and design skills I had accumulated, using it as my prop, from when it was a babe in pieces.

I first displayed it at a show in 1996, just after it was finished, and the manager insisted that I name a price. Of course, fresh off the needle, I had no intention of ever selling it, but I arrived at a price that, with very modest wages for the day, reflected the time involved. In fact I originally had a tag of $80,000.

I wanted people who saw it to look again and maybe understand what they were looking at in terms of committment and effort etc. The show was primarily a woodworking show, with an arts and crafts section. I ended up planning and organising that section and so could push my own agenda, which was to bring needlework to the general public (blokey wookworking types and tourists who may never go to a craft show).

The buyer has been interested since about 2001 or therabouts and I have taught her in her home over many years, on and off. She has the money and I would rather keep it than give away my heart and soul. It would have been soul destroying to give it away cheaply and I couldn't do it. Her father was one of Australia's major art collectors and Melbourne's Modern Art Gallery at Federation Squaure now houses his donated collection as a permanent gift to the state (The Ian Potter Gallery). The Joseph Brown Collection.

I really did put a lot of effort into it and have always been an advocate for asking a realistic price for our work. WE know how much we put in and how many generations of women (usually women) have made their homes beautiful and warm and developed amazing art and skill, without recognition from the wider community. We deserve it.

I did a visual art course in 1998 and taught in the evenings (once or twice a week). NO-ONE in the art world knew anything about how BIG and HUGE the craft industry was and saw it all as doileys and knitted coat-hangers, and I say I LOVE knitted coat hangers and add that generations have grown up being influenced, by osmosis, in homes surrounded with these domestic, creative, joyous touches.

I'd better stop. I sound like a fanatic!

It's amazing to find a buyer, it's true. But she has phoned me almost daily to express her delight and belief that it was worth the money. In turn it has alleviated my stress about my mortgage and now I can see a futute where I get to retire! Or work part-time at SOME stage in the not too distant future!Thanks for all of you good wishes too. I feel like it's a flag for all of us.

Oh, and no-one at art school really looked down their noses at all, but neither did they realise how big and excellent our stitchy world is."

Cherub is worked on some old linen interfacing from my Grandmother's overcoat.