Friday, February 29, 2008

More contemporary thoughts

I went along to patchwork today for a break from Microbiology at work. I took along my latest blocks I have been working on to do some more planning for our contemporary workshop. I asked our resident artist ( now quilter) about contemporary and modern definitions. She reckons that contemporary is more abstract and agreed that my latest blocks were in the contemporary area. I am still getting no responses as to how long is something modern for?

Now I have to keep making a few more to blend them all together. Looks like I still like my narrow strips of colour. I found the idea in an old block collection in a QNM . I narrowed the middle strip so that the 3 pieces were no longer the same size. I have even managed to make 1 mirror image block by accident when I did not think it was possible to do that with such a simple block. I really love the luminosity of my hand dyed fabrics. It was amazing that 3 of us currently share the same favourite block. ( The middle red one).

Monday, February 25, 2008

What is a Contemporary Quilt?

I have been asked to conduct a workshop on contemporary piecing in Jan 2009. I have been mulling over what exactly is their idea of a contemporary quilt. Contemporary the word itself to me means something that is modern and current in todays trends. When does contemporary become something of the past. For instance what was contemporary in 1990 may not be considered contemporary now in 2008. So what do we call the quilts made in 1990 now?

I have taught this group hand dyeing fabric and at present using these types of fabric in quilts gives a very different look to using prints. Bold colours also give a nice bright look to quilts. The free motion quilting style currently preferred by some long armers also gives a different look.

I still dont think that this style of quilting should be called contemporary.

I am thinking of teaching them how to use their traditional blocks in a different manner through their fabrics of course.

Improvisational piecing where they cut loose with their cutters and forget their rulers is also on the agenda. Watch out for the fingers. A slightly blunt blade is helpful.

There is so much scope to " contemporary piecing" where do you actually start?

This is a quilt made during the drought that some of the group wanted to make. To me is suffices their contemporary quilt concept in that it is of a simple design, the fabrics have been constructed by hand , is designed for a wall not a bed ( not really designed for washing too much) and is quilted by machine to have the quilting as a design feature not just to hold the layers together. Am I fulfilling their idea of a contemporary quilt?

Monday, February 18, 2008

More Rain for North Queensland

We have been fortunate to not receive the amounts of rain that other parts of Qld have received. My niece survived the floods at Emerald a few weeks ago. My brother and his family live in Mackay but were lucky to not be flooded in the DELUGE that happened over the weekend. The rain gauge would have been useless that night so luckily my sister in law left the wheelie bin out to be the real rain gauge. It was half full of water. They have never seen so much water fall out of the sky in such a short time. I don't think many Aussies have seen that type of rain before.
Mt Perry could do with some more rain but not quite now. We have 2 tractors still bogged in the pasture waiting for a dry spell so we can drive them out.
Today is tidying up the sewing table day and then maybe some new sewing might eventuate. I have been finishing off the binding on my queen sized log cabin quilt for the farmhouse at Proston.
I have been asked to teach "contemporary piecing" for Yeppoon CWA workshops next year. Is there really a definition of what is contemporary piecing ? I feel this needs a lot of research. Fusing, cutting random strips without a ruler, curved piecing, convergence quilts, using hand dyed fabrics is it contemporary enough. I have already taught them a workshop using my connector technique. I think I might go down the strips and curving them path with this one. Sounds like a challenge doesn't it? More reading and research to be done.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Rain and More Rain and Procrastination.

We have had to wait a bit longer than some other areas but Mt Perry is now receiving some rain at last. Makes the quilter want to stay indoors and make more quilts.

Like some other people I know procrastination seems to be rife amongst us. One colleague is blogging about it lately and it seems to be spreading to me. Seems to me like we always question ourselves as to where are we going with our quiltmaking. Do we want to be a well known quilter and receiving recognition for our work? What do we wish to do with our completed projects? I keep telling my children their pets of the future will have colourful blankets to cover with their fleas and hair? Are our quilts and projects destined to be heirlooms or do we want them to be loved and used and fall apart in a few years. I have been asking myself this lately, I enjoyed teaching my classes at Yeppoon and the students must have enjoyed themselves as well as I have been invited back next year. Do I wish to continue juggling between quilting activities and my work and home life? I think I can enjoy all 3 but how come the focus can be on all 3 activiites at once when sometimes you wish the quiet time in one area matches a busy time in another?

I also have to fund my activities through a part time job and have found out that this is changing to a 0.5FTE ( and increase of 0.3FTE) and will involve more late shifts and night shifts. My life is changing as a result so my social quilting will probably cease. I think I will rely more on the internet for learning and developing as a quilter.

I have tried a new technique yesterday and it is amazing how much you can learn from 1 nine inch block. Mind you I currently have about four unfinished items to work on.

Here is a photo of my first major finished item to show you I can beat the procrastination hurdle.

I made this quilt whilst pregnant with Belinda 16 years ago.

I completed it after she was born. It is machine shadow appliqued and all hand quilted. I still wonder at how I finished it for a show deadline with 3 children under 6 years. Lately it takes me 6 monthes to make a quilt top.