Back to the design wall

I’ve started work again on the large Drunkard’s Path blocks.  I’ve played around a bit with design ideas and I’m still not sure of the end design.  I’m using really large blocks, each quarter circle ends up as a 12 block so the end size will probably be a 72″ square quilt.


At this stage I’m just cutting up some of the fabric and playing with layout ideas before I stitch the blocks in case I change my mind!


It will be big and bold, showcasing Alison Glass’s beautiful fabrics, whatever I end up with as the design.

My design assistant Cosmo was taking his job very seriously!




Crocheting for a cause

The power of the creative mind never ceases to amaze me.  This recent news article is just one example.  A group of women in Darwin (in northern Australia) are busy working on a conservation project with Territory Wildlife Park to turn yarn into coral and sea creatures to highlight the devastation of coral bleaching caused by warmer ocean temperatures.   Expected for completion in mid-2016, the vision for the resulting Territory Wildlife Park installation is a three-pylon piece that mimics a jetty.

It reminded me of the work of a brilliant  Australian scientist Margaret Wertheim, now residing and working in the USA.  Her project in collaboration with her sister Christine, began in 2005 was The Crochet Coral Reef , a woolly celebration of the intersection of higher geometry and feminine handicraft, and a testimony to the disappearing wonders of the marine world.

The images of this work are just stunning! They are copyright so check them out here.

This project seemed to inspire a range of patterns for crocheting marine life, so if you feel inspired to make your own reef there are plenty of resources such as this and these available.

Coral Reef This image is from one such project  some years ago by Lyn Berry of Fun with Fibre


Amazing creativity

When I had some leisure time over the Christmas break I went to see the  Grayson  Perry – My Pretty Little Art Career exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art.  Perry is an internationally renowned artist and Turner Prize recipient and the exhibition is the first major survey exhibition in the Southern hemisphere of his work.

As the catalogue says “… Perry is one of the best known British artists of his generation, acclaimed for his ceramics, sculptures, drawings, prints and tapestries. With a keen eye for detail and a love of the popular and vernacular, Perry infuses his artworks with a sly humour and reflection on society past and present.”

I was particularly interested in seeing the huge tapestries  (check this link for some images to get an idea of the scale) which he designs and then has mechanically woven.  I found an interesting Education information pack online via Google about an exhibition of The Vanity of Small Differences which outlines the creative and production process.

I was also enthralled by his other works. The range of his creativity and artistry is quite amazing. Everything from ceramics, sculpture, paintings, sketches and tapestries is imbued with an astonishing array of imagery which ranges from the highly personal to the political.  Nothing seems to be sacred!


Perry also has an alter ego in the form of “Claire” and his childhood teddy bear Alan Measles is regularly featured in his work, you can see him in the above pot.  Gotta love a man who loves his teddy bear!




He also endeared himself to me when I discovered that he had included a sewing machine in this sculpture called Mother.

His work is certainly provocative,  but never dull, and astonishing in its breadth of creative talent.


Getting organised

I’ve decided to keep on with my goal of simplifying life this year following some moderate success in 2015.  I certainly have fewer books and less clothes that I did this time last year.

My focus words for 2016 are Waste Less – whether it be time, money, food or emotional energy – all in all to be more mindful of how I live.

Part of this involves being more organised.  For those of you who have been following me for a while know that I learnt how to do English Paper Piecing (EPP) last year and have found it to be quite addictive in a meditative way.  Yesterday I bought myself a small carry case to organise my EPP tools and supplies and spent a happy hour or so last night organising them.

My tool box.image

Inside layer containing clips, thimbles, needles, business cards, pin cushion, ruler etc.


Next layer with Crazy Cat Lady pencil case (couldn’t resist it, especially as the cats look like patchwork) for pens and glue for basting and small hexie bag for various threads.


The bottom layer for paper pieces and template plastic.  Now I’m good to go when the mood takes me.


These are a couple of stars I did on Saturday night. I’m waiting for some fabric to test for the background before I do any more.


I hope you are having a stress-free start to the year.

WIP Stars update

Hope you are having a great start to the year.

I tried a rough layout of my stars quilt over the Christmas break and discovered that I already have too many stars and that some just don’t play well with others!  I originally started with a specific design design in mind which used quite large diamond templates (1.3/4″), however I changed my design idea along the way which now means that I have to make a large quilt in order to achieve the organic look that I want.


It was difficult to get a decent photo because of the size of the layout. This is taken in the foyer of my apartment building with the layout on the floor.

I’ve now sorted the stars into colourways and have decided that I will applique them to the background fabric so that I can achieve the free flowing design that I want.

I’m now concentrating on adding a few in specific colours, such as the pink/orange ones below.  I also need a couple more blues.  I will not use about 10-15 of the stars that I have already made as they just don’t flow with the idea I have in mind. Some are really pretty but they just don’t feel right in the layout.

Now I am focusing on finding the right background fabric so that I can start to make a grid of the layout ideas. I’m currently thinking of a charcoal grey background, perhaps tone on tone, but I’m not committed as yet. Any ideas are welcome!

I had a new layout thought today which I am keen to try. More soon …