Being present

Spring returned today having made a show 2 weeks ago and then hiding behind the clouds and rain. It was good to get out and enjoy the  sun, the sound of the sea and the smell of the sea and salt. Having had a couple of days in Melbourne and with a pretty tight schedule as well as some interesting challenges leading up to  the meetings it was good to stop this weekend and amid the domesticity find some time to create.  I wanted to sew and something I could complete in a day. the perfect project – Mega Churn Dash from Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession . You can see a clip from Kathy, recorded for Creativebug ( a crafting creative web site with loads of classes) here. I have had the fabric for this for a while and its part of the Parson Gray fabric line in a decorator weight. The pattern is in Kathy’s Adding Layers book

centring down

The quilt is about 80″ square. In Kathy’s quilt the centre is the same white/neutral  but I wanted a focus – a centre to draw the eye in. the quilt will be buond in the same orange colourway.

I had to hang it outside to get a good picture – good job the sun was shining

 

 

outside

 

 

I think it turned out well and was very therapeutic. I want to try and find a woollen blanket form Salvos for the wadding as I want to have minimal quilting and its big to do a lot of detailed machine quilting with my machine. but was thinking just stripes if I cannot get a blanket. I will probably put a border on the quilt of the dark fabric.

 

I have used the Parson fray on my curious circles quilt that I put into the NSW quilters guild show, which I hand quilted

Curious circles      curious circles - detail        Curious circle - hand quilted

 

One of the best things about the week was the Father’s day gift from my son, Peter. It has to be one of the best gifts. It is a coffee filter – A Chemex filter.

chemex

Well I was not convinced how this would make a good coffee and images of drip coffee form student days. Well,  I am sold. It has great filter papers that you have to fold and then after you add your coffee you have pour over your water.

There are a couple of things that I think are great – the flavour to start with , it is really smooth and not bitter (just like it says! – a product that lives up to its claims, truly amazing) and the look is amazing – perfect for my den/studio. Love the aesthetics of it, the glass, wood and leather are amazing but the best thing is that in order to make the coffee you actually have to be present.

You have to stop, there has to be an intention to make the coffee, no turn it on , walk away and  come back. there is a process and it required you to be fully present, and I love it.

To stop, be fully present in the moment and really no distractions is becoming part of my daily routine, and now is part of making coffee. Great.

Part of ‘We Make the Road’ this week focussed on seeing the meaning in the world around us, being present and seeking a a new logos or logic, and challenge the logic/logos of the world around us, and see the logos  in the life of Christ, in love. To find a new centre.

To quote Brian McLaren:

     So here we are, alive and paying attention. we discern patterns in life. We interpret those patterns and we open ourselves to the possibility of a creative logos of love, and wisdom runs thorough the Universe like a current and can play in our lives like a song

So things come together. a centre, being present, and finding the pattern and meaning.

Gifted

So a week of more rain! the spring came and the very rapidly disappeared behind a cloud again. The end of the week was punctuated with a meal with friends and then a significant birthday for another. To celebrate the occasion I knitted eagle twist for Jane, in madeline tosh pashmina, a wonderful squishy yarn that is soft , has a sheen and a great drape.

Eagle twist

Eagle twist

Eagle twist

Eagle twist

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As well as finishing the scarf I have also completed the central panels of this quilt by Liza Lucy Prior from Kaffe Fassett’s ‘Quilting Grandeur‘. I have not worked a ‘value’ quilt before where the colours and tones are so close, it also has appliqué and paper piecing of the hexagons

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There are two more borders to go and it ends up about queen size or 2mx 2m (84″ square).

It was also time to start a new project – some knitting. I have fallen in love with Swan’s Island yarn, you can read about it here. It is so soft and has almost 25% greater yardage than other worsted yarns, I am using the indigo colour and it is naturally dyed so as you knit you have blue hands as the indigo rubs off. I have started a top down crew neck sweater form Ann Budd’s book,  ‘The Knitter’s Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters: Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes and Gauges’

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in reading ‘We Make the Road by Walking’, the focus was again on creation but this time on the trees, which reminded me of one of the early Nooma videos by RobBell , which talks of us being between two trees, and living in that paradigm,

I will leave you to think on that one…

Let’s start again

Lets start again….big bang

Yes it’s actually almost a year since I put up my first , and only post. Well good intentions at least but then a new job came along that is based in Melbourne so time shrank however it is time to start again.

Looking for a new book to read I tripped over the latest Brian McLaren book, “We Make the Road by Walking” and it seemed like a good idea…

McLaren_WeMakeTheRoadByWalking_sm

 

You can click here or on the book  above to read more. It is designed to be read over 52 weeks and is divided into 4 sections that run along side the liturgical year and it starts at the beginning of September – perfect and a coincidence? There are weekly readings and then a It is also designed to be read and chewed over in a group setting, a faith community but it can be done alone but it would be great to have discussions with someone out there, and maybe a virtual faith community!

But heh, I’ll kick off. Appropriately it starts with the creation story (pertinent since a recent family debate centred on the evolution debate…)and being alive in that creation. What stuck a chord was the line, ‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him” (Genesis 1:27). This strikes a deep chord, I realised an age ago that I was created in the image of a creator and as such I created to create and if I am not then I am restless, a deep restlessness that is actually difficult to put into words, and so I create. My song. That which makes me come alive.

And so as I walkthrough this year and wander through the book I will endeavour to blog the journey and share the creative journey.

So this year has seen things made and i will post some of them here. One creative highlight was a workshop the Kathy at Material Obsession held and hosted Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably. It was a great day and I learnt  a lot. We started on Kaffe’s big bang quilt. in our own colour ways. I started thinking yellow but then it emerged into yellows, blues and greens. I love it, but I’m biased!

So it was a good day and the cutting and sewing  fit in with other projects including the knitting.

I will post some of those projects in the next few days and weeks as well as what is being worked out as I read and reflect

And one last creation – stars flung into space.

the milky way over Samoa taken on my canon G16

 

 

 

Screen Printing Workshop

 

What better way to start the blog than a weekend creating.

I was lucky enough to be on a two day screen printing worshop with Saffron Craig organised by Michelle of the Naturaloom.

Saturday was about learning the techniques and then getting down to business. I chose a paisley design

My paisley design

My paisley design

 

I wanted a design that could be used on a quilt/throw and with colours to match the new decor of our living area.

So after drawing up the image and hand cutting it out the stencil was ready. I have to say I was impressed with the result and the clarity. So one screen down and then off to cover the whole piece of linen/cotton blend (something in my stash from Material Obsession) . I was on a roll…

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Then I chose to add a layer of images in green, trying to match the colours of some fabric we have chosen.

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I had in mind to make a quilt, though was not sure of the design but I wanted something to contrast the organic shapes and introduce some grey into the colour scheme, the stripes were so easy – masking tape directly on the screen and there it is, I did three strips of the grey stripes. This was the end product at close of business on Saturday.

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Sunday and the challenge was to make a quilt in a day, 5 hours to design, cut and sew a quilt, well I was up for the challenge. I only wanted to use the fabric I had made  and the cotton/linen base fabric I had printed it on. I was limited by the amount I had printed as well. I thought about bordered panels, cutting the paisley into nine panels or do a big ‘churn’ style quilt  but I decided I wanted to keep the fabric in as big a piece as possible to show case the paisley fabric. So I headed into the murky depths of the maths of a star quilt and half square triangles and work a way of bordering the star.

Here is a link to the work in progress on Saffron’s Instagram page as well as a glimpse of some of the other creations and works in progress form the two days.

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So here is the finished quilt. I am really pleased with the way the quilt has turned out. It measures 70″ square, i think I git some of the maths wrong for the large half squares that form the’V’ in the edges as they do not quite match up but I think that will get lost in the binding but not bad for 5 hours work from design to finished quilt top.

 

 

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And here is some detail. There is enough of the stripes left to bind it

I plan to back it in some grey and green  Parson Gray fabric that is a wonderful soft linen to contrast the linen/cotton quilt top.

 

 

And there it is, a great weekend full of creative stuff and a quilt made by me form fabric printed by me. Not forgetting all I learned in the workshop – from  template design and the elements needed for a strong design, how to make and then print a screen, and make the fabric and overlay and also how to border a star quilt (though this is my worked out method though I am sure there are tutorials out there.)

A great weekend…