This blog is a bit of a ramble through my life. There's a lot about quilting and textile arts, a sprinkle of my family life and some of my thoughts and ponderings. We currently live aboard an old wooden 1945 Navy boat, called MV Cerego, so you'll find me writing about that too. Welcome aboard!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Podcast - Spring Update on The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady

It's been a while folks, but here's a podcast for your listening pleasure.  I have a few interviews lined up for the months ahead, but today's episode it all about me.  I give you an update on living aboard - do you know it's been a year since we moved onto this boat?  Opua Arts Studio and Gallery gets a mention and I manage to fill in about 50 minutes of airwaves with general quilty goodness.

Here's one of the heron quilts I mention.  This one is an in-progress quilt hanging on my design wall. I'm falling more and more in love with using silk organza in my art quilts.

Instagram gets a mention.  I hang out there as madquiltlady and post frequently (I try and make it everyday) with the hashtag #dyealittleeveryday to show my dyeing projects.  Above is a linen wrap I just finished and hung on the wall in the gallery.  Linen is so lovely to work with.

My embroidery skills, or lack thereof, are discussed.  I've made a couple of little hanging pieces to show my hand dyed threads.  This is the bird silhouette I talk about, I'm not sure the variegation works with the filling in - or maybe I just need more practice with how to work it.

And last, but not least, here's a poster advertising the upcoming Auckland Festival of Quilts.  Can't wait!

Download this episode (right click and save)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The green in the GREEN

I promised you I'd show you how I was going to rectify the little problem I had of white and cream quilts for a green colour challenge.

I stitched around the edges of each piece, made up three slightly different dye baths, soaked the pieces in soda ash and then in they went.

And now they are GREEN! 

The silk moth didn't take as much of the black (the dye bath was mostly yellow and black) and is quite yellow.  Interesting, especially as you do get an occasional yellow Puriri Moth as a variation of the species.

This one needed a little tuck in it along the trunk as all the different fabrics shrunk a little bit differently, but that's ok and the beauty of improv.  This moth I expected to be much lighter as the shirt it was made from (my husband's wedding shirt!) was 30% polyester and shouldn't have taken up the dye as well as it did.  The Puriri Moth is also known as the Ghost Moth....

And the furry texture of the moth made of batting delights me!  I've since added another 'ghost' moth to this was some discharge paste.

Now it's time for quilting.  I think a wood grain would suit, seeing as they eat trees.

Monday, August 31, 2015

12 x 12 inch colour challenge - GREEN

I'm making some 12" x 12" quilts to enter in the Aotearoa Quilters colour challenge.  These will all be exhibited together at a couple of different venues and when they are all in the wall together they look fabulous.

This time around the colour is green.  

My chosen subject is the Puriri moth.  A huge native moth, whose catapillar stage burrows into and eats the Puriri tree.

The moth is the most amazing green colour (the catapillar is a bit icky grub-like so we won't dwell on it).

I had fun declaring a ruler-free day and making these backgrounds out of linen, cotton, vintage cloths, white on white prints and anything else interesting I could lay my hands on.

But you may have noticed they aren't GREEN!  And you're right.  That bit comes next.  Stay tuned. And you'll see what I'm going to do about that.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

New Exhibition Opening at Opua Arts

It's so exciting hanging an exhibition.  When you see your plan coming together, the artworks complementing each other and the space filling with beautiful and interesting things.

I spent Friday hanging (with the help of a few buddies - thanks guys!) and by Friday evening I was ready for a glass of wine and to stand back and admire.

Now I get to work in this space and absorb the art for another six weeks or so.  And then it's time to do it all again.

The artists are: Malcolm Inglis (painter), Brownwyn Harford (weaver), Jane Shaw (ceramicist), Andy Cogar (wood and photography), Ingrid McLennan (thread painting), Adrienne Barrie (fibre artisan) and myself - textile artist.

The bonus of being the gallerist is that I get to fill any empty spaces with a piece of my own work! 

I also have a more 'whimsical' corner this time.

My hand dyed fabrics and threads fit in nicely here with all the colours.  

So now it's back to work for me.  I'm within cooee of finishing the quilting on my heron reflection quilt from a couple of posts ago.

Happy Sunday everyone, and if you're up this way come visit me in the gallery.  I'm on the Opua Wharf, you can't miss me, and I'll even make you a cuppa.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Who do you want as a podcast guest?

I've been podcasting for more than a year now.  I started with just talking about myself and my quilting journey.  Then as I warmed into it and became more confident I began interviewing others - my patient friends were my first guinea pigs!

The people I've been interviewing have all been face to face, but I've finally got around to figuring out how to record Skype calls with a quality satisfactory enough to put on the podcast.  So now I want to hear from you!

Photo by Olu Eletu via Unsplash

I want to know - who would you like me to interview?  I'm particularly interested in Southern Hemisphere quilters, textile artists, makers and stitchers, but I'm open to any suggestions you come up with.

Please have a think and give me a name or two - and pass this along to your friends for their ideas too.