Work in Progress

Portfolio 2007

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The Journal Quilts - 2007

My Journal Quilts feature the images, colours and memories of Australia. The early quilts are inspired by photos from my daughter Rebecca, a marine biologist based in Queensland, and later quilts from my own travels; sailing in the Whitsundays, snorkeling on the coral reef, exploring the rainforest and the sights of Sydney.
Within this theme I have sought to explore different techniques and materials. The Journal habit is challenging in scale (all the quilts are A4 in size) but addictive: - I pin them on the wall in different order and consider the potential for future, larger, projects.

A selection of Journal Quilts, from the Contemporary Quilt Group (part of the Quilters' Guild), is going to be exhibited at various venues in 2008, including 'Sewing for Pleasure' at the NEC March 13 -16 2008 and the National Patchwork Show at Sandown In June.
January: Becks Down Under / AUSTRALIA (above)
Returned from the 'Long Goodbye' at the airport to find a card thanking us for 22 yrs of support & suggesting we start saving for our flights!; kangaroos feature on this and some real ones are soon posted on her blog. For this sample I created the same font style to stencil, used some commercial fabrics, hand & machine applique and a traditional binding.


February: Magnetic Island
The fabulous colours and textures of the Great Barrier Reef. I used snippets of silks and abaca tissue, densely stitched on dissolveable film to create this and the border of the photo transfer on the reverse side. This allowed a really textured raw edge that is practical and functional.
March: Stripey Yellow Fish (lutjanus carponatus)
I created the fish from silk fibres, using curly throwsters for the yellow bits, so quite abstract. I layered three layers of 'salt effect' dyed silk organza, applied the fish and then bonded two more layers of 'coral' cut organza. Metallic quilting through all these layers; edges raw.
April: Floods in Townsville

(Really happened in February!) I printed out a hazy pixellated version of the view from under an umbrella surveying the route to university. (Umbrella has not survived the prolonged storms).
I made this on the day my mother gave up on life and closed her eyes........ so a few tears intermingled with the raindrops. So this is  also to remember Betty May Hilton (ne.Rogers); 29 May 1920 - 2 May 2007.
I can't decide which is the best side. Over a chiffon scarf I laid & pieced two different colours of organdie. Coloured 'spots' were applied and cut back. A further two layers, one of spotty plastic and finally net were added; free quilting and some more cutting back. The edge created by a machine pattern, cut raw edge.

May: Becks Runs Away!
Clever photos from Rebecca taken of herself on a spit of land near the harbour in Townsville. I worked on this while on holiday in Australia. Torn strips of dyed organza add tonal contrast and quilting by hand included little knots to represent the tiny shells and crushed corals found on the beaches.
June: Peely Postboxes
A piece of waxed and dyed silk represents the peeling paint surfaces of sun-weathered wood; the postboxes are a subtle interpretation with a shadow of dyed organza applied and 'sketchy 'free stitching.
July: Dugong Beach
We walked here from our anchor on Sawmill Bay. I have worked this with fabrics dyed with tea bags and ferrous oxide. Manipulated chiffon creates texture at the water's edge; the 'sequins' were tiny shell structures with perfect holes found on the beach; collecting them became quite addictive. I mounted this on foamboard.
August: Whitsunday Coastlines
I sketched continuous coastlines in my journal, from flying up the coast to Proserpine and while sailing round the Whitsundays; always a new interest around the next bay; an enticing view leaving an overnight mooring; the long and unbelievably white sand of Whitehaven beach; snorkelling at Chalkies bay the high spot. Wax resist lines, silk paint and machine quilting.
September: Rainforest
Everywhere the lush, green, vegetation; the fern house on Mt Coot-tha, a spectacular viewpoint tracing the river down to Brisbane; huge palms in the botanic gardens; the quirky row of palms on the harbour wall leaving Hamilton Island; our cabin in the forest on Magnetic Island and the sheer scale and density of the Daintree and Kuranda forests. Mosaic, bonded applique.
October: Coastline, Sydney
We took the Manly ferry across the harbour and found a different view from the peninsular. We followed the path from the end of the beach up through the vegetation and soon became quite 'lost' with an inadequate map; but an element of curiosity and adventure kept us going till we were rewarded by fine views looking back to the city. Painted silk, collaged textures, mounted over foamboard.
November: Underwater
I have used marbling to explore the movement and drama that is underwater, though I have not included the fantastic colours of fish and coral. Quilted with silk wadding.
December: Turtle

"Diving in turtle soup" Rebecca writes today. time to master a lino cut, an effect that is reminiscent of the bark paintings on display in the Maritime Museum in Sydney. These are full of aboriginal dreamtime stories featuring animals and fish. Liquitex acrylic on a background painted with helazarin pigments. I planned this to be doubled sided with a collection of 'sketches', but then decided that the two together would be too thick. So now I have 13!.............

Traced these from different pages in my sketchbook with 'fabrico' iron fixed pens. Quilted waves to secure and add pattern.

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