I took two classes with Jenny Bowker at Symposium. The first a three day class called Images in Applique. We had to take a photograph and Jenny showed us how to translate it in fabric, here are some of the works in progress from the class. (I’m sorry I didn’t write down whose was who at the time).
This was Marie from Ashburton, you can see the photograph she was working from in the lower left hand corner.
This was my piece, it was from a photograph I took in Monterosso, Italy, through an archway.
Jenny showed us a wee trick that she uses when doing these type of quilts. She took a piece of paper (about A5 size) folded it in half and cut the smallest hole in it. Below that she cut another hole slightly bigger. You then put the small hole over the part of your photograph to get the exact colour you need and place the proposed choice of fabric under the bigger window to see if it really is the right colour. Hard to explain in words but such an effective tool. here is a pic illustrating this.
The top hole is over the part of the photograph I want to match the fabric to and the bottom hole is my fabric. What you think the colour is and what the colour actually is, is quite a surprise.
The second class was Shimmering Triangles and it really challenged me because I am not a mathematical person and it was all working out how and what fitted where!! Not really my cup of tea but I so admire those who make these quilts. Here it is in the beginning stages, using Kaffe Fasset fabrics, yum.
Every two years we have a quilt symposium in New Zealand. In 2013 it was held in Taupo. Quilters from around the country converge on the host city and prepare for a week of exhibitions, classes, lectures, happy hours, and general socialising with each other. I submitted four quilts to the Symposium exhibition an was very fortunate to have all four accepted. This posed a bit of a dilemma for me as I had sold one of the quilts at the COOTs exhibition in April. O NO – so I had to get going and make another one. Of course the second one (in my opinion) was not quite as good as the first one. But still such an honour to have it shown at a National Exhibition.
We arrived and immediately went to view the exhibitions. On the first night of the Symposium, they announce all the award winners and it is always good to see the quilts in person before the winners are announced so you know which ones they are talking about.(they don’t have the awards on the quilts until after they have been announced at the awards evening). At the awards night they do show the quilts up on the big screen but its better to be able to see them in person.
Anyway, I was so surprised and excited to win the Amateur Innovative category which came with prize money!! O my gosh so excited.
Here is a you tube video by one of the tutors Pam Holland which shows some of the sights of Taupo and some of the quilts at the exhibition. ( I see she has my name as Wendy Watson!!!)
Here is another blog showing some further photographs of the exhibition.
Another very talented member of our COOTS group is Amanda Hasselman. Amanda’s background started with various handcrafts and specifically wool felting, she has now moved to fabric and thread as a means to ‘paint’. At the time leading up to our exhibition there was fierce debate going on regarding a proposed tunnel to be constructed between Glenorchy (where Amanda lives) and Milford. These three pieces were in response to that. Here is her blurb from the catalogue: Our iconic World Heritage status at the Head of the Lake is being challenged by a proposal to construct a tunnel between the Routeburn and the Hollyford valleys. Our National Parks are too precious to vandalise; these works are inspired by early tourism posters, which promote a slower pace of travel, with time to smell the beech trees. Recycled blankets have been appliquéd with hand dyed silk and silk velvet and densely stitched.
This piece is ‘thread painted’
Created for WOW but not accepted last year. ‘Kia Kaha’ was the rallying cry of the Christchurch earthquake and for me the kea symbolises strength and native resourcefulness. The dress is our iconic mountain landscape, which is so symbolic of the kiwi ‘can do’ attitude and resilience. The jacket and hat are recycled blankets and the dress is painted canvas that has been heavily machine stitched
Everyone, and especially Amanda was very pleased when consents for the tunnel were turned down.
The following photographs are of the exhibition pieces of another COOTS member, Jenny Tayler, as you can see Jenny loves colour and is not afraid to use it. Jenny’s fibre background is in quilting, although she is a great embroiderer, baker, farmer etc.
I’m sorry about the lighting in the photographs, the gallery lighting does not make it conducive to taking great photos
This lovely quilt created by one of our COOTS members, Alison Naylor, was stolen whilst it was on exhibit as part of our COOTS exhibition: ‘Up Stream of the Herd’. Here is a local newspaper article about it. This caused quite a stir and a lot of people came to the exhibition as a consequence of this exposure. It was a good talking point. Alison wasn’t too perturbed by the theft and thought the lady must have really loved it. Ultimately she was caught and paid for the quilt, although the Police never found the quilt. Other travellers have told us that she had probably posted it by the time the Police found her.
Here is a link to a blog by another talented COOTs member Angela Meecham who talks about this as well as shows some of her pieces in the exhibition.
This is the blurb we had in the front of our catalogue about our group:
COOTS is a group of fibre related, mixed media artists who strive to create gallery quality, original works of art which are exhibited biennially.
COOTS is made up of 11 individuals who meet regularly to share ideas and skills, critique each others work, share resources, have workshops and generally embrace textiles.
More recently we have chosen to meet for longer periods less often and now attend 4-day retreats to stimulate and encourage each other. This makes our time together as artists more valuable.
Each alternate year a group challenge is issued to encourage us to extend our skills and try new techniques. The challenge displayed here is THE WOODPILE.
This “UPSTREAM OF THE HERD” exhibition showcases how each of the members has developed their chosen media by producing this outstanding exhibition of fibre related art. As mentioned above, we have a challenge for each exhibition and this one was called Woodpile. One member gave everyone a photograph and we were to interpret it in our own way.
This was the photograph, and here is the blurb in the catalogue about this challenge.
Wood, in all its forms, has always been a friend of man and, for a fibre artist, bark, old tree trunks, driftwood and cut logs create wonderful textures and shapes.
On the practical side, maintaining a healthy woodpile is a necessity for most Central Otago dwellers and this is even more important in the colder climates of Europe. We in New Zealand tend to be fairly prosaic about our woodpiles. Not so the Austrians. Their stacks are works of art, almost too beautiful to burn.
This woodpile was found in Liechtenstein, which shares a border with Austria and was probably never meant to be burnt – but it did beg to be photographed and came home to form the subject of our biennial group project.
The challenge was to use the photograph as a starting point and create a work of art that interpreted the woodpile as we each saw fit with no limits on colour, shape, size or kind of material that could be included. Here are some of the pieces members created to answer the challenge.
I may have mentioned previously that I am a member of a group called COOTS (Central Otago Outside The Square), not old coots as my children have called it!! We have 12 members from around the Central Otago district and we get together 4-5 times a year. We have two 3-4 day retreats one in May and one in Sept/Oct each year, the other times we get together are at Christmas and then in February and sometimes during August. One of our retreats is to work on our own projects and one is to have a tutor and educate ourselves further. We have an exhibition every two years around March. The following few posts will be of our last Exhibition in March 2013. These four pieces are part of a series of mine called ‘I am from…’ based on a poem of the same name written about where I grew up and incorporates family traits, sayings and traditions.
‘I am From … I’
I hand dyed the fabrics to get the colours I needed. The yellow is the same colour as road signs here in New Zealand. The letters are all appliqued. These are some of the streets I have lived on. (not all – the quilt would have been huge if I had included all of them).
I am from … II
In this quilt I printed out street maps of the area where I lived onto fabric and joined them together and then cut it out in the shape of me as a toddler. The background of this quilt has the words of the poem machine embroidered into the back ground. It took aaaages.
I am from … III
I was reading a book by Jill Berry called Personal Geographies about making personal maps and wondering how I could incorporate a map into my series. I was staring at the map of New Zealand and suddenly saw the South Island as a dress, so I had a high resolution image printed onto fabric by Spoonflower I used text fabric as the flesh and, of course, she has to have sun glasses on (as I always wear sun glasses).
I am from …. IV
This quilt is an abstract street map of the part of town I grew up in. It is made using a technique for ‘skinny piecing’ I learned in a class with Rosalie Dace