Sunday, 4 October 2015

Sunday Stash #146 - Them Liberties

I've received several Liberty pieces in the mail recently that I've been stashing, waiting to turn into thematic bundles. These tidbits all come from Danielle (IG: collectstitchloveliberty) who is sharing her Liberty subscription with me this year. Crazy, generous, I know!

This first bundle I'm calling Pop Rocks because it reminds me all that fizzy, sugary popping candy that we used to have as kids. I couldn't wait to tear open that black packaging and just dive in! I'd sometimes put the whole package in my mouth at once and just let it explode for ages. Yes, I was a Molli Sparkler even then! The colours in these fabrics give me an acid 80s vibe, and I could see them easily paired with a deep indigo to really pump up the contrast.

I've named this bundle Raspberry Chocolate Milkshake. I know y'all aren't usually footloose and fancy free with your love of brown. However, I still think with the right shade, and the right amount, it can be a tasty treat! Mix this up with some caramel, some latte, some mocha, and swirl it all together with a big dollop of deep, dark and delicious raspberry cream. Mmm, ladies, if you're thirsty raise your hands with me! Delish!

Thursday, 1 October 2015

I Sleep On the Bottom Bunk

This quilt isn't supposed to be cute, but the fact that some think it is sweet is exactly the reaction I was hoping for. Back in June, I wrote a pretty extensive artist statement about the conception of this quilt design and my first foray into text quilts. Now that it is finished (and has been for a few weeks, I've just been a lazy bum getting it on the blog), I absolutely adore its inappropriateness, brashness, and subversiveness. That's a whole lot of -NESS! Gimme me all the -NESS!

This is the first quilt I've free motion quilted. Wow, what a journey from first stitch to the last. I used a  Wonderfil variegated thread that shifted colours from yellow, white, lime, to burnt lemon. I liked the colour way of the thread, but I still prefer me some Aurifil any day of the week. I FMQ-ed in a style I'm calling a "tribal stipple." It's basically lots of continual licking flames and concentric waves, with stitch sizes that let's just say are, um, pretty rough. Variety gives it character!

Before your ask, those squares and HSTs are 1" finished, and I've confirmed my lunacy for actually enjoying working with that size! Show me the confetti! You'll also notice that I didn't FMQ over the letters because I wanted them to protrude out just a bit--I must investigate this trapunto technique to see if that would be beneficial here. I did outline them first before attacking the background, and I found the number of basting pins I used was definitely not enough. Slip and slide, live and learn!

For the back I used some Comma yardage (it is the fabric range that just keeps on giving, I tell you what!), combined with Art Gallery racing stripes to achieve the width I needed. The binding is Notting Hill from Joel Dewberry, which is still my favourite range he's ever done. I think we need a sequel -- someone call Julia and Hugh -- Notting Hill 2?

All through making this quilt, I really wanted it to be used and grungy looking to reflect its textual tone. So once it was finished I immediately threw it in the washing machine to get the crinkle. Hot water and drying on high heat, nothing to lose! I pulled it out to discover that the one batik fabric I used had bled through to the back in several 1" spots. I had not used Colour Catchers -- hush, I know! Faint green squares on the back was not the grungy look I was going for.

Okay, nothing to lose again, let me try a gallon of stain remover on those areas and re-wash. Argh, still there. I don't think that dry heat helped matters, now did it?! Fine, I'll embrace the stains. So I through it back in the washing machine with orange, purple, and red batik scraps to try and purposefully stain the hell out of it more. Are you effing kidding me? They didn't even dent the surface and the front side is still sparkling white. This quilt is impervious! The stains on the backside, well, it just all seems to fit, now doesn't it?

But these photos! I can't even believe my luck in finding the most perfect location for this quilt's photo shoot. It's dirty, cheap lighting, pops of yellow, and white stuff on the floor. It's like a gay bathhouse if I've ever seen one! So wrong on so many levels, I know, which is exactly why it's so riiiiight! Ow! I'm now living with this quilt on my couch, wrapped up in it every night. I originally asked, "If my quilt were a gay man, what would it say?" Well, this is the very first of many things that need to be said! Look out!

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Sunday Stash #145 - Sparkle Up Your Life with Aurifil Brillo

When you're feeling sad and low, we will take you where you gotta go! Smilin' and dancing', every thing is free, all you need is positivity! Colours of the world, sparkle up your life, every boy and every girl, sparkle up your life, people of the world, sparkle up your life!

And that pretty much sums up this week's Sunday Stash #145. So here's the skinny: For my entire Aurifil-ed quilting life, I've been silently wishing and hoping that Aurifil would make a metallic thread. I mean, people, for three years I've been having these secret desires. So guess what. Yeah, Aurifil has been making metallic thread since at least 2009. 

:::face palm::: 

Why did no one tell me?! I'm just gonna sit over here and pretend like none of you knew either, instead of all of you wanting to like, harbour all the shiny goodness for yourself. Yes, because all you need is positivity, people of the world, sparkle up your life! When I recently discovered this (I can't remember if Ms. Midge told me, or I told Ms. Midge and she laughed and laughed [at me]) I knew I had to have some immediately. So to make up for my daftness, Ms. Midge sent me a little care package of these Aurifil Brillo Metallic threads. Slurp!

I've already decided I'm going to use that green and silver on my Jagged Little Pill quilt to take it where it's gotta go! I'll make sure I get appropriate needle-wear and report back on my undoubted success. Until then, people of the world, make sure you go see Ms. Midge to get your own Aurifil thread packs! (And you can stop laughing at me now!) LOL!

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Textile Fibre Forum - All That Sparkles

Sometimes when an opportunity presents itself, you really don’t know whether to grab it, or let the moment pass you by. Thus was the dilemma when approached by Neroli Henderson at the Australasian Quilt Convention in Melbourne a few months ago. She told me she was primed to become the editor of Australian magazine, Textile Fibre Forum, and wanted me on board to write a column for the back page of the magazine. The column needed to be “personal, funny and witty … and pertain in some way to textile arts and artists.” My ego screamed, “Your own column!” My heart embraced those emotional requirements, and then my brain froze at the thought of “textile arts.” 

The feelings of self-doubt swarmed around me. This was a serious magazine about artists creating grown-up artistic content with textiles — beyond my little quilts focusing on pattern and colour. What did I know about the textile arts, and as light-hearted as my column was supposed to read, would my lack of experience disadvantage me to the point of showing me as an imposter in this world of real artists? Indeed, I had given up on being a “real” artist years ago. I was on the verge of letting this opportunity go, and it was only the words of Mr. Sparkles that changed my mind. 

As I described my unease to him, his response was akin to, “Are you crazy? You wrote a masters thesis steeped in fine arts and philosophical theory that I'm afraid to read because I won't understand all the big words. Of course you can write about textile arts. It would actually be good for you, so shut up and do it.” Sometimes you just need a swift kick in the hot pants, don’t you!? 

So I reached back out to Neroli, confirmed acceptance, and sent her about ten article concepts for review. That was all it took and suddenly I had my very own regular column in Textile Fibre Forum called All That Sparkles. Seriously, what!!! That was back in May, and the first issue with moi hit newsagents around the world (yes, hello world!) this month. Now I don’t profess to being a global textile superstar yet, but I am working on it! (wink wink) Column number two which is due for a December release has been submitted, and column three is already under way. As for my doubt surrounding being a textile artist — well, I had to let that go for good. 

If we collectively create art, and I definitely consider quilts art, you, me, we, are all artists. Reading Textile Fibre Forum has actually given me some insight into all of the other fibre artists out in the global art community. It’s shown how they create, inspire, sell, teach and generally continue to kick ass in the face of a public that might not usually consider textiles a large part of the art world. So hopefully my column adds a little bit of sparkle to the collective voice of this magazine, because it has certainly been instrumental in adding to mine.

If you are interested in catching up on all the textile goss, you can find Textile Fibre Forum at all fine news agents and book stores. Textile Fibre Forum is a quarterly, independent Artwear publication distributed by Gordon & Gotch within Australia, and is also available in New Zealand, Canada, and the USA. If you are all up on your digital life, you can even get it worldwide via I'll make sure and let you know about each new release!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Sunday Stash #144 - Green With...

Whew! I finally got all my fabric put away! It was actually quite a grand adventure this week colour sorting it all out, meanwhile petting, stroking, and gleefully smiling at the rediscovery of it all. No matter if your stash is organised to within an inch of your cutting board's life, or it's an explosion of colour catastrophe threatening to take over the house, now is the time to re-examine. Tackling the whole thing at once is a bit daunting, so just grabbing a small pile to put under the lens is more palpable. One of the most interesting things I learned about my stash is that I carry a lot of citron-y greens, and yet, don't really make a lot of green quilts! How does that happen? Am I subconsciously collecting these fabrics to create a giant green masterpiece (undoubtedly) or do I just like the colour green? Complex or simple, who knows, but what I do know is I went to my LQS on Friday and picked up a few more fat quarters! And wouldn't you know it, they were green.

Sea Stripes in Seaweed is a piece from Tula Pink's Saltwater collection, which despite not being a total Tula fangirl, I rather enjoyed. I have the Sea Stripes in coral and aqua already, so I thought why shouldn't I go ahead and add the seaweed?! As we all know, it doesn't take a lot to convince me when it comes to fabric! Are any of you in my current situation of collecting, but never using a particular colour of fabric? And more seriously, what are we going to do about it?!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Moving Back In

"Yay! It's finally done, time to move back into my gorgeous apartment with my newly finished, beautiful hardwood floors! Three cheers! Hip, hip, hoo... Oh wait, what's that over there? Isn't that the stain that was there before? And that area where the veneer was peeled off by the tradesman's paint thinner? Yeah, right there, it's not fixed it either--it actually kinda looks worse. But the paint splatters, surely they're gone, oh, oh, ooooh, ugh. Um, why did I move again?"

That folks, was my inner monologue at 8am this past Saturday as the moving company started to schlep my entire apartment back in to normalcy. Defeat. Frustration. Anger. Then came exhaustion as I spent the entire day with Mr. Sparkles trying to unpack boxes and shove stuff into closet spaces, including the fabric! After meeting with the developer they are all sorts of dumbfounded about what to do (show me the money!), and we are still seeking resolution. I seriously don't think my eyes could roll around my head anymore than they have in the past week!

Fortunately, this has given me the opportunity to reorganise my amazing fabric collection. Who knew I had such gems!? Not bragging, just forgetful! Last night I started breaking up my fat quarter bundles (including the Friedlander!) and putting everything into piles of colour. Greens, teals, and blues are common, purple not so much. Isn't that always the way! At any rate, it is keeping my mind off the frustrating things, and allowing me to find joy in the wonderful fabric I already have. Mr. Sparkles did remark though, "No more fabric!" Ahem.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Sunday Stash #143 - Castle and Forts

Oh my glitteratis. I'm currently inundated with moving boxes and piles of fabric out my perpetual wazoo! While I'm busy building castles and forts in my apartment, head over to Blossom Heart Quilts this week for Sunday Stash. Alyce is saving my patootie by hosting, so while you're there check out all of the amazing Bee Hive blocks that you could (should) be making! I'll catch back up with you next week! -M

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Exciting and Terrifying

Today is both exciting and terrifying. Remember when I unveiled my Mood Ring quilt and told you all about the damaged hardwood floors in my brand new apartment? The ones the builder scratched, stripped and spilled all over, and then claimed they were still in original condition? Yeah, still don't understand that line of thinking, but anyway ... today I'm moving out of my apartment for four days so the floors can finally be rectified! (Exciting!) But it's not just me moving, everything has to be moved out including all the furniture and all the fabric. (There's gonna be a lot of dust!) Thankfully, the builder is paying for the removal including all of the packing, which means I can just stand by and start drinking my martinis a bit early today! But heaven help me if they break my fabrics! I'll be staying in a serviced apartment nearby until the weekend when they load everything back into the apartment, and Mr. Sparkles and I get to unpack everything for a second time in less than a year. (Terrifying!) Suffice it to say, I'm going to be out of blog action for probably the next week while I get my life back in order. Please send me good moving mojo, and I'll see you on the flip side hopefully with lovely new floors!

(This is definitely not all of it).