Sunday, 28 July 2013

Grandmother’s Choice–An Update

Grandmother's Choice_thumb[1] IMG_1556_thumb1 IMG_0949_thumb[1] 100_2154_thumb[9] IMG_1097 (2)_thumb[1] IMG_1564_thumb1 IMG_1563_thumb1
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15         IMG_1567_thumb1 grandmother's choice 2
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36 Week 37_thumb[1] Week 38._thumb[1] b_thumb[1] 40 Art Square    
    GRANDMOTHER'S CHOICE 1 Grandmother's Choice - Barrister's Block      

So I’m more than a little bit behind with these blocks, considering the last few are being posted now on the website.  It’s my aim this week to catch up a little.  I’ll be doing them with triple sashing, in green and red homespun, unless it looks horrible.  And if that happens, I don’t know what I’ll do with it.  I’m going to make 56 blocks (seven rows by eight rows). 

This past week has been fairly hectic.  I’m hoping to have some time up my sleeve this week to make a dent in my quilting room.  I’ve got so many projects started and I feel very disjointed and unsettled.  I think by finishing a few of them I might start to feel a bit more inspired. 

We shall see.


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Gloria Loughman Class… or how I made my first art quilt part two

So, after being visually ker-blammed by Gloria’s lovely quilts, it was our turn to have a go.

I admit.  I was so far out of my comfort zone it wasn’t funny.  I have never, ever made anything arty in my life.

I told her too.  I said ‘Gloria, I may be your dumbest student ever!’.  She was very gracious and told me ‘it’s EASY….’

I don’t want to tell you the intricacies of her technique, because that wouldn’t be fair.  And you should totally buy her book.  But I don’t think she’ll mind if I share a few photos.

First of all, you had to start with a photo of a forest.  This is mine.


In a nutshell, Gloria’s technique is tiles, lots and lots of tiles.  We picked out our fabrics.  I had lots of fabrics, as I own more fabrics than anyone else on earth.  I also brought more for the class.

The general idea was to do the background.  I had to ignore all the noise in the front of the picture, and just concentrate on the background.

When we had sorted that out, we ironed on some fusible webbing and cut out 2957349203895756 tiles.

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Then, you really quickly lay them in place.  This takes about ten minutes.

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Oh har har.  It doesn’t take ten minutes.  It takes All… Jolly…..Afternoon….

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When everything is as you like it, you press them all down, hoping that none move or get stuck on the iron.

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After two eight hour days, I only got to this step.  Others were so far ahead of me, it wasn’t funny.  I told them they were showing off.  I decided I talk too much.

Most of the class on the second day involved painting trees, appliqueing foliage – all of those sorts of things.  I took mental note, on the off chance I actually got this finished, how to paint them.  I didn’t take any photos of this step – I didn’t want to be rude.  I encourage you to buy her books, or take her classes – she makes it all very, very easy.

So at the end of our two day course, this is what I have to show you:

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I did manage to stitch down two rows. 

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My photos don’t come up as good as I would have hoped – in reality my colours blend beautifully from one to the next.  Much more free flowing.  Trust me.

And here are some photos of the others in our class.  All in various stages of finishing.

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And as she was working next to me, I got more photos of Mum’s.  She’s an overachiever also, managing to applique some foreground before the end of the day.

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So – all in all, a very pleasant way to spend the afternoon.  I totally understood all I was doing at the time, but now it’s all gone slightly blurry and I’m not sure I’m confident enough in my arty abilities to finish it. 

Time will tell.

See you soon!


Saturday, 13 July 2013

Gloria Loughman Class…or how I made my very first art quilt Part One

I made mention last week how I was about to embark on my very first art quilt class.  Finally, I have five spare minutes to update you!

Our quilting group tries hard to bring tutors of note to pass on their knowledge.  We live in the country and it’s harder to get them here than it is in the city – travel costs are higher, accommodation costs are more – you know the drill. 

We usually go for the fairly well known in Australia but not internationally renowned tutors.  There are many wonderful teachers out there and our group has tried lots of them over the years, learning lots of wonderful new techniques.

But it’s not often we get the really ‘good’ teachers (no disrespect to any other tutors out there!).  By ‘good’ I mean those who travel regularly overseas to teach – those with book deals, those who you have to book years, not months in advance.  Those who have really made their name on the teaching circuit.

We were lucky enough to secure the talents of Gloria Loughman this weekend.  Our group booked this class years ago. For those of you unfamiliar with her quilts, google her and you’ll find many. 

I’ve never taken a class with anyone really, much less for an art quilt.  So to jump in the deep end with a ‘arty’ quilter was really scary for me.

I needn’t have worried.  She was lovely.  Full of enthusiasm and so giving of everything she knew.  We were very lucky.

I took photos.

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She spoke about each quilt as she showed us.  Each one has a story (don’t they all?).  The technique was called mosaic tiling or piecing or something, and all of the techniques are found in her book ‘Radiant Landscapes’.  I’ll write more on the class tomorrow, but just thought for now, you may like to look at her quilts ‘up close’.

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Loved the leaves on this quilt.  Loved the trees.  She showed us how to paint a tree and it was so easy!  Of course, I am no artist so I am not optimistic my tree will look anything like it shows here, but I am game!

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The leaves were so simply done, and so simply embroidered and look how effective they are!


This is another one of her beautiful quilts – not one that she taught us but I loved the intricate detail of her leaves.  She uses a combination of applique and stitching to give the finished result. 


This is the bigger picture of the quilt.  I got the order mixed up.  How calm is this quilt?


More wonderful leaves.  Again – simple shapes with simple stitching makes such a realistic looking leaf.


These palm leaves are cut out and stitched well over the top.  She made a point of explaining how much art stitching she does with each quilt – she made it all sound very easy and plausible.

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Another beautiful landscape quilt.  So different from her others, but you can see the techniques she uses and how they follow through on all her quilts.

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This was the big deal quilt. This is the one that we all adored.  It had thousands of little pieces all individually appliqued on, and it was simply stunning.

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A close up.  Again – simple leaves, simple stitching.  The detail on the tree trunk is all different stitches, different threads.  All so effective.

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One last close up for you.  I love every inch of this quilt.  It all looks perfect.

So that’s today’s update.  In my next post I’ll show you how I went about my quilt. 

Happy quilting!