January 30, 2012

Cuttin it up

Yesterday a crafting friend loaned me the very inspiring Prints Charming book. It's full of ideas for very simple screen printed motifs, often combined in projects with plain fabrics, like natural linen.

It's a very modern look we've come to expect from craft these days but because the screen printing has its own roughnesses and slubs, it doesn't fall over into being too clinical and cold. It looks hand made, and that, with simplicity, is its charm.

 One of the motifs from the book - done by stencil, not by screen

I haven't got any screens for printing, so I got out my trusty stash of freezer paper so kindly sent to me by Jennifer years ago, whipped the safety catch off my scalpel (i.e. removed the piece of cardboard I keep over the pointy end) and got carving.

Tonight I have heat-set the paint and they look finished. I wonder what I will use them for?

My own idea - trying to blend orange and yellow in the poppy petals. The faint grey line is for stitching a quilted circle around the motif in several colours of thread. Next project!

January 25, 2012


Grey but happy, I love this quilt!

See how there are patches of flowers and writing in the trucks and cars? I wonder if each vehicle was hand-appliqued or created on foundation paper and then applied.

Gorgeous. Fun but not hokey. Just right.

Another bit of gorgeousness from Luana Rubin's photos of quilts from the 
Tokyo International Quilt Festival. One of these days I've got to go!

January 22, 2012

Turquoise green

More inspiration from summer holiday thinking.

I'd love to make a quilt with these colours, or to try to paint this vase.

Photo by Luana Rubin courtesy of her Flickr Japanese Textiles and Flea Markets collection.

I love the shape and how you know it would just be the right heaviness in your hands. Also, the mottled surface in each colour - it's old, perhaps not top quality. (The photo was taken in a flea market in Japan.) I even love the rectilinear lines at the bottom that at first read like Greek key designs (you know, square maze trails) but turn out to be irregular compartments.

I think most of all, I want to watercolour paint this image with wet swirly colours bleeding into each other. An inspiration - and a challenge!

January 19, 2012


Last post was golden, this is a soft shade of cool lilac.

On a hot day before Christmas, off we went to Castlemaine to visit the excellent art gallery. I've been there before but like all of the best museum galleries, the Castlemaine gallery seems to reveal something new every time.

This is, if I recall correctly, a WW2 era bridesmaid's dress. I wonder, was fabric in shortage when it was made? If yes, then those bias-cut panels on the bodice must have been even more stunning: extravagance added to elegance.

Or maybe it was a refashioning of a pre-war dress? Something about the bias cut makes me think twenties, even teens - but not the colour. Maybe an old dress was reshaped, dyed, made new.

And as for the colour, that lovely cold shade of lilac. Summer skies and spring grass, tiny flowers and cool mornings.

I love to wonder about the hopes and thoughts of whoever made and wore it. I hope it was a magical wedding.

I can't decide whether I like the cut more, or the colour. They're both so fantastic, you just want to wear a dress like this and twirl and twirl and twirl...