Textile Art Retrospective – where did this all begin?

7 03 2016

I am in the process of finalising all the content for my first online comprehensive textile art class.  As I build the structure for the material, I find myself thinking back on the journey that bought me here.  Like many of you, I started sewing in my teens, did a lot of traditional hand embroidery and in the early 1990’s, morphed into patchwork when my babies came along.  In 2001, Unique Stitching was launched as a traditional patchwork business.  A number of issues brought me to the art quilt world.  First amongst them was a restlessness that made me want to try different things coupled with a strong sense of independence, demanding that I find my own style.  When I then could not find materials I wanted or if I found them the pricing was outrageous due to monopolies or restrained trade arrangements, I became determined to source and create my own products.

In 2005, I brought in Procion dyes and started dyeing ‘speciality’ fabrics: velvets, wools, silks and a world of different fibres.  At the end of 2005, I created my first sets of creative embroidery packs containing hand dyed velvet, silk jacquard, silk top, cocoons and thread.  I could have kissed the first person to buy one of my packs, such was my relief, at the Brisbane Craft and Quilt show where I launched that range.

In 2007, I launched the Art Quilt Collection (AQC).  This was the first time in Australia, and possibly the world, where there was a monthly mail out of textile art materials.  Each pack had a product, an explanation of that product and how to use it plus a simple project to create. Since that time, many have adapted my idea in different ways.  I had no idea what I had started, but it was clear that my future was definitely more on the art side of the page.  When I launched AQC, I hoped to get about 25 people to sign up.  In 2009, when we peaked at over 2500 participants and I was spending three weeks out of every four preparing the packs, I decided it was time to move on.

Since that time, we have expanded our ranges; I have taught around the world; been published in Quilting Arts Magazine; and been on QATV in the US.  It is a charmed life.  Now I want to spend a bit more time at home and the future for sharing what I know is increasingly teaching: face to face and online.

I hope that you can join me as this year will see lots of exciting online offerings, from me as well as a collective I am part of.  To find out more about my first Textile Art online class, go here:  http://tinyurl.com/z5ewlbg

Tomorrow I will talk about the Fiber Art Connection as it will be my day on our Blog Hop.

In the meantime, I want to share a few pieces of my first Art Quilt series.  This was part of my AQC work and mainly focused on manipulating and distressing fabric, with stress and heat.  This is now only one of many tools I use and each piece is a small, simple example, but it is nice to look back on.  This is not the full series, but gives you a sense.  It has an environmental theme.

AQC1 - Under the Watch of our Ancestors

Under the Watch of our Ancestors

AQC2 - Acid Rain

Acid Rain

AQC3 - Home in a Concrete Jungle

Home in a Concrete Jungle

AQC4 - Through Rose Coloured Glasses

Through Rose Coloured Glasses

AQC7 - Interconnectedness

Interconnectedness

AQC5 - Erosion

Erosion (the lighting on this is not very good, sorry)

AQC6 - Cellular Breakdown

Cellular Breakdown

 

 

 

 

 

 





12 Days of Christmas – Day 12 – Textile Art Kits

17 12 2015

If you are reading this, it is probably no surprise to you that I like to work with lots and lots of different fabrics to get a good mix of texuture and light reflection and refraction.  You can’t go past adding different types of fabrics to change the visual impact of a finished piece.  I have routinely been asked to create kits for some of my more textural quilts.   So, I have started doing that.  For today’s special, I offer 25% off any kits currently listed on the website while stock lasts.  I don’t have huge numbers of any of these kits.  To get the discount, you need to use the discount code Christmas15

Here is the link to Kits on the website:  http://www.uniquestitching.com.au/c/256569/1/kits.html

And here are pictures of the kits I have loaded up

Textured Garden sml

Scattered circles table runner sml

coneflower

Wild women newsletter version





art quilts in the making – it all starts with the backgrounds

5 12 2015

I seldomly have time to take photos when I am teaching. I don’t sit with my IPad or Phone at the ready and often get so absorbed in what I am doing that I get to the end of the day without taking any at all. When I do, I often don’t then do much with them. So I am going to try to rectify that. This post is about a three day class I did in New Zealand at One Tree Point with Kerry from Tulis Textiles.

The venue is fabulous. There is loads of space, inside and out; lots of tables and chairs; a full blown commercial kitchen and an enormous fire place – all of which we used.

The class was a three day class where we explored a huge range of surface design techniques with paint, foils, photo transfers, paper lamination, and so much more. We also looked at a range of what I call meltables: tyvek, lutradur, angelina, kunin felt etc. It was a lovely three days with the nicest people. I had a great time and ate way too much. I only seem to have taken photos on one day, but here are some photos of that days work.  You can click on them to make them bigger.

one tree 7  one tree 6  one tree 5  one tree 4

one tree 3  one tree 2  one tree 1  one tree 8





Cyclone Tracey Quilt Challenge through the Darwin Patchwork and Quilters

15 10 2014

Gosh, it is incredible to think that Cyclone Tracey was 40 years ago.  I was a child then, living in Mount Isa.  I remember very clearly the events that followed.  We had, for varying lengths of time, three seperate and very different family groups of Tracey refugees camped in our lounge and dining room while they transited through or waited for permission to return home.  It was my first exposure to people in crisis and the sometimes irrational behaviours that follows. One family had nothing to thank us with other than a boot full of canned foods, looted from a destroyed supermarket which they wanted to share with us.  Another family gave my sister and I a late Christmas gift, both costumes I think.  Mine was an Islander grass skirt and top.  Plenty of fodder there for a little quilt.  How would you commemorate this life changing and nation shaping event?

40 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
QUILT CHALLENGE
On Christmas Eve 1974, Darwin was destroyed by Cyclone Tracy.
The effect on people who lived through the cyclone was, and still is profound.
We invite you, the Quilters of Australia to make a quilt that reflects your depiction/memories of that time and Cyclone Tracy. You need not have lived in Darwin at the time, or experienced the cyclone, but remember it through different media/personal stories.
First Prize:
Second Prize:
Third Prize:
Viewer’s Choice Prize:
$250.00 $150.00 $100.00 $200.00
The quilt size is A4 (29.5 x 21 cm) and in portrait profile. The quilt must comprise of three layers and must be quilted. Any technique or combinations of techniques can be used to make the quilt. The finished quilt must have hanging sleeves on the top and bottom of the back of the quilt.
The quilts will become the property of Darwin Patchworkers & Quilters Inc. who will join the quilts together to create a community art piece.
Entries Close on the 1st December 2014. Entries should be posted or delivered to:
Cyclone Tracy Challenge
Darwin Patchworkers & Quilters Inc
PO Box 36945
Winnellie NT 0821
For further information please contact: Jan Cashion 0418 894 131 or
Pam Hamill 0412 213 600.





Painted Fabric transformed?

6 10 2014

In a couple of weeks, while I am teaching in Houston, I am have been invited to take part in the Open Studios programme.  I am doing two, two hour sessions.  One is on developing dimension, depth, movement etc with painted fabric backgrounds and the second is about creating and using monoprinted fabric in your projects.  I decided that I need some new samples.  I started with the first session, so have painted up half a dozen fat quarters of homespun with Dye Na Flow paint.  Now I am working into turning them into something.  The focus is, of course, the painted backgrounds, but it is about how they set a great framework for art quilts and other projects.

Here is the fabric I started with:

bird on the wire 1

I then auditioned some fabrics to go with it.  I started with a black fabric that I had gelli printed with golds and copper Lumiere Paint, added some rich, rust, hand dyed velvet and slate silk georgette.

bird on the wire 2

I stitched the power poles onto the background surface, put some gold/orange novelty yarn into the bobbin to ‘couch’ the electrical wires, created a focal point bird silhouette on the ground and three, ephemeral, transparent birds flying in the top right corner.  Basic quilting carries the eye along the line of the power poles.

bird on the wire 3

I am tempted to put two more silk georgette birds in the top left, but am resisting that for now.





See me in Australian Patchwork and Quilting.

5 08 2013

It has been a long time since I have had a quilt published in a magazine.  As a general rule, I don’t have time to make, write up and submit magazine articles.  However, I have set some new goals, one of which is about increasing my contributions here and overseas.  This is the first.  Australian Patchwork and Quilting Vol 22 No 11, page 106.

??????????

What do you think?





Quilting Arts is on the web and I have added my Jan/Feb news

28 01 2012

I got the new Quilting Arts a couple of days ago, but it has taken me a bit to get it on the web and the subscriptions out.  I love this edition.  Some of my favourite people are in it: Jane DaVila, Judy Coates Perez, Jane LaFazio, Susan Brubaker Knapp, and Kathy York.  Not to mention a fabulous article on the 12 by 12 quilts with Brenda Gail Smith.  Love it.

And this is the news that will be going in mail orders for the rest of this month and February.  I thought you might like to have a look.  I will start loading these on the blog as I prepare them.  News from Unique Stitching January