Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Catching Up - or displacement activity?

I'm clearly not very good at keeping up with things - I can't believe it is eight months since I last posted. Anyway, I'm engaging in some displacement activity during a very boring day at work and using the lunch break to catch up.

We moved house last summer. Twice in my case - first out of my house and into his, then (after a fire and total redecoration, living out of boxes and planning lessons in the garden) into our new house. And, despite the fact that I now have a sewing room, and bought a new sewing machine at FoQ last year, it has taken me till now to get things organised and my brain into gear - that's my excuse and I'm sticking firmly to it!

I haven't been doing absolutely nothing - I find that preparing weekly lessons for our C&G courses, particularly organising teaching samples, reading around subjects and trying out new ideas, takes a lot of time, but I wonder whether this too doesn't fall into the category of displacement activity. Editing Southern Star also takes up a lot of time - it has been quite a steep learning curve but I've finally got it how I want it (still open to suggestions and comments though). More displacement activity as I learn how to use photoshop to crop backgrounds off quilts with irregular edges, edit pdfs and match font colours precisely to the cover photo.

The Stitch Witches are planning their next exhibition (called Moving On) at Farnham Maltings in November, and I have loads of quilting to do! My lack of organisation and 'brain-in-gearness' has extended to sewing too, and so the others are beginning to get worried!

However, boosted by a sunny Spanish holiday and a flying visit to Barcelona (15 year-olds and Gaudi don't mix - 'Muuum - why do you have to spend so much time looking at architecture!?!'), and fired with inspiration from a trip to the Festival of Quilts (thrilling to see someone I know winning the Miniature Quilt category - with an art quilt - well done Mai-Britt!), I stopped procrastinating and started stitching on Sunday, and seem to be making good progress. Thank goodness I am queen of the last minute - very good at working to deadlines - usually at 3 in the morning! Don't tell my students!

And because I am a quilter (honest!) here are pictures of my quilt that won 1st prize in the Art Quilts category at The National Quilt Championships in Sandown last year (2008) just to be going on with! These are details of A Journey - it was made for the Stitch Witch Recycled challenge, and is a recycled map, painted with gesso, Neocolour and Brusho, bonded to scrim for strength and hand quilted onto a recycled felted blanket backing. It reflects on life’s journey, and the influences and choices that can have such a great impact on it. We are lucky if (like me) we get a second chance at getting it right. It is not in my usual style - both the technique (except the big-stitch hand quilting) or the subject matter, but obviously there was something right about it!
My current work is inspired by the sea and by Gaudi's use of pattern and shape. There is not much of it yet, but I'll share it as it happens - I've finally got lots of ideas - and that's a good place to be.

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