Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Making Life on the Reef

I am still so excited to find out that my latest quilt Life on the Reef was chosen to be in the A Matter of Time  exhibition which has been curated by Benda Gael Smith.

As I mentioned in my last post I only had 3 weeks to make this quilt and so I spent every spare minute on it. It did help that I had made a quilt with an underwater theme before so I wasn't starting completely from scratch.

I started by placing some rock fabrics over a suitable water fabric.

I didn't take a lot of progress photos because I had so little time to make the quilt but after I had my rocks in place I started to make the coral using hand embroidery and machine thread painting.

When I thought I had made enough coral I started placing it on the rocks.

I realised that I would have to make a lot more coral to fill the space.

When I had most of the coral in place I started to make the fish but the quilt wasn't working and it took me a couple of days to realise that my fish were too big for the quilt. Reef fish are usually tiny little things flitting in and out of the coral.
The next photo shows you how the big the Blue Tang fish were in the beginning and how much smaller I had to make them.

Here is a photo of how I made the small Blue Tang. I cut out the fish shape in a blue batik and then used a black Fabrico marking pen for the detail.

I stitched around the outside of all the shapes to hold them onto the background and then I had to start adding all the hand embroidery.

You can see what a difference the embroidery makes by comparing the next two photos.

Without embroidery

With Embroidery

At least I did finish the quilt the day before the deadline and cannot wait to see the exhibition when it comes to Melbourne in April. I have seen a few of the other quilts that were selected and they are so different to mine and so creative and there are so many different interpretations of the Time theme.

The A matter of Time exhibition also has a Facebook page and an Instagram page.

Here is a photo of the entire quilt, remember to click on the photo for a larger view.

The quilt measures 40cm x 100cm or 16" x 39".

Bye for now,

Sunday, 24 January 2016

A Great Start to 2016

Well here it is nearly at the end of January and I am finally doing a blog post for 2016. Believe it or not I have not been away on holiday or just putting my feet up doing nothing. I have been working flat out on a new art quilt.

About 18 months ago Brenda Gael Smith announced the theme for her upcoming exhibition and the theme was A Matter of Time- exploring the fourth dimension. As the months went by I thought of all sorts of ideas of quilts I could make that explored the theme. Some ideas were too obvious and others seemed too hard to tackle. I even spent a week working on an idea last October but it didn't work out and certainly didn't look anything like the idea I had in my head. To my disappointment I decided that I would not be making a quilt for the exhibition.

On Christmas Eve I thought of making a quilt about how old the coral reefs were. Bear in mind that this was 3 weeks before the deadline. The only way I could possibly try and get it done on time was because I had made an underwater quilt earlier in the year. I had still kept all my inspirational photos and fabrics in a box on their own. You can read all about my quilt Under the Sea here.

Once the idea took hold I was off and running. The size was the same as my previous quilt but I didn't want to make the same quilt, in fact there were lots of things I didn't like about the first one.

Here is my quilt named Life on the Reef and I finished it the day before the deadline! If you click on the photo it enlarges.

I was so busy trying to get it done that at times I thought I would run out of time, which was ironic seeing as that was the theme.

Here are a couple of detail photos.

The entire time I was making the quilt I was wondering why I put myself under all the pressure, but even though it was a lot of pressure I was also having fun. That's why we do it I suppose, it's because we love it.

Last week I found out that my quilt was selected to be in the exhibition!! I was absolutely thrilled because it is an art quilt exhibition and even though I dabble in art quilts I am known as a traditional quilter. There were 104 quilts entered and only 32 were selected. I have seen some of the quilts that were not accepted and they are fantastic. Brenda must have had such a difficult job to choose the quilts that went together to make a cohesive display.

You can see the other people who were selected by clicking onto Brenda's A Matter of Time Blog, she also has a dedicated Facebook and Instagram page for the exhibition.

The quilts will first be displayed at the Stitches and Craft Show in Sydney and Brisbane and then they will come to the Quilt Convention in Melbourne (AQC) before travelling to other locations. I can't wait to see the exhibition.

Bye for now,