Monday, 1 December 2008

Two Years On

Although these photos are from this past summer, I finally remembered to ask my friend Gabrielle for a copy. So, now you get a chance to have a look ,too!

Two years ago I was a winner for my entry in the Student Category at the Festival of Quilts. It was an A2 design board showing a skirt design called
"Distressed and Deconstructed" made of rust dyed fabric to suit the theme Environment: Erosion and Decay. Last year, I made this up and entered it into the Quilts Creations category, which includes 3D and wearables. Following that, I was given the privilege of having a gallery booth at this years show. You can see photos and read about it

Although I have been working on many different things in the past 2 years, I decided to concentrate on things connected with the ideas I was exploring at the time I won the award. The techniques included rust dyeing, twin needle cording and channel cording, and hand stitch embellishment. In the photos above, you see experiments with cording on fancy fabrics, including a gown created by draping on the stand, a quilt, and photos of the 2007 Bernina Gown "Epic Quest of the Last Dragoness". There are also examples of twin needle cording on printed bamboo look fabric and striped fabric, as well as calico and muslin. there are 2 child size corsets of the Tudor style. You can also see some of the textile art with rust dyed fabrics.

It was a wonderful chance to connect with so many people!I really appreciate the opportunity Andrew Salmon and Twisted Threads gave me.

I wanted to mention what I did to plan the layout. First of all I looked through my work to see what fit into those categories of what I was exploring at the time. Then I thought about one or two things I had intended to explore but hadn't. I spent a day or so laying out possible pieces which to cover those areas.

Next, I made a simple scale drawing using graph paper to visualise the size of the gallery booth better. Then I cut little rectangles of graph paper to represent each of the pieces I had and some for the ones I hoped to make. I coloured them slightly so I could see at a glance what they represented and also get a feel for pieces might work well together. I started to stick them to the scale drawing with blue tack, trying this and repositioning that. I wanted people to be drawn in by something as they approached from either side of the opening and then to be able to follow the thought process. On the back wall, I tried to have pieces that led from the rustic looking work to the more fancy work. As I did this, I also took note of any gaps I might need to fill. One main one being a fancy piece that represented my fashion work "in the flesh" so to speak. This is because the 2007 Bernina Garment is still on tour.

After planning, I went to work to make up the ideas pieces and the fancy piece...the draped gown. In the final days, I typed up labels to go with the work for people to discover the meaning if all they wanted to do was view. My son helped me to set up the booth, and at first, I was rather intimidated, as I hadn't been able to visualise the 3D size aspect still even with the 2D plan. However, once we got started, it really worked well. Everything ended up in the same general place as the plan, only slight adjustments to distance, etc.

The experience at the show was fabulous. I talked nearly non-stop...mostly to people wanting to know about rust dyeing. My friend had suggested I have a leaflet with instructions for how I do the rust dyeing. So I had done about 150 and ran out on the Sunday morning. some visitors were bringing friends back to have me go throught the spiel again! I also demonstrated twin-needle cording to visitors who were more attracted to traditional types of quilting. I was also asked about doing workshops for quilt groups, which is why I have been working on developing talks and workshops, hopefully for the coming year.

If you know of any group that is interested. Do let me know!

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