Friday 29 March 2013

spiders and compost

You know when you are pregnant all you seem to see are other pregnant women but normally you hardly see anyone pregnant, well it must be the same with spiders. Since we have had our Orb Web living in then garden all I seem to see are other amazing spiders. This one is living on our deck with a whole family of babies, Isn't she amazing.

While I was outside in the garden this morning playing with my compost heaps, (I just love doing that job). I came across some fabric I had buried over a month ago. It was an old sheet that had got really thin so was no use as a sheet anymore, but look at the cool colours and patterns, so like the new spider! Because we have had so little rain over the summer it had not rotted away, just turned into really great backgrounds for embroidery! Nature is just fantastic!

Monday 25 March 2013

Great Weekend

I have just had a weekend teaching at the Great Escape. It is an embroidery weekend, held once a year in Orewa, just north of Auckland, NZ.
I had a fantastic group of ladies all starting a sketch book. I helped them start sketching things they loved, collecting pictures from mags etc. and then on Sunday they all started to stitch, You could feel the excitement in the air, and hopefully they have all gone home feeling ready to design their own pieces from now on! I really look forward to seeing where this weekend will lead them.

Monday 18 March 2013

A fun weekend

I had a great weekend stitching for me. Not for an exhibition or teaching sample but just for fun and for me. I have half made a wrap to wear over jeans or a skirt. Its from a Amy Butler pattern which I just love, all my skirts are from the same pattern. As you can see the design is from the Golden Orb Web Spider that is living with us at the moment. I used lines of machine stitched metallic thread for the web, needle turn applique for the spider and the letters my sewing machine sews to make the label. I wanted the label to look like a printed tag on a specimen in a museum.

Thursday 14 March 2013

playing with patchwork

I spent yesterday playing with a new patchwork design. I guess someone has done this block before but I don't think I have seen it. I got the idea from a small photo in a magazine of some printed paper. I made a sketch and then started to play with some fabric. This is just using fabric I had to see how it went together, saying that it still took ages to select which fabric went with which.

Wednesday 13 March 2013

Virtual Self

I entered this piece into a contemporary textile show in Nelson. I got through the 1st selection but was not selected for the final show. I feel a bit disappointed but still feel pretty good that I got through the 1st selection. I don't really think my work fitted into a  contemporary textile show. My subjects are often very modern but my technique is still very tradition, and that's what I love. I am still happy with this piece and will save it for another show, I have a few ideas along this theme so I may work towards a small solo show sometime. It is good for all of us to try for exhibitions outside our normal area, you never know what might happen, one of my first quilts got into a quilt show in the USA and that was amazing! It all depends on the selection panel and the total look of the exhibition, also practical things like space. It is much better to select less work and the exhibition look good.

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Kiwi Bloke

I have just started to stitch this new quilt. It will be a bit less than 1metre square when its finished. It is for an exhibition organised by the Nutex who make the fabric and the New Zealand Quilter. At least 50% of the fabric needs to be Kiwiana.

He looks nothing like my Kiwi bloke but there are many who look just like this on the beach all summer!

He is the 2nd quilt in a collection I am slowly making, all will be the same size and just faces or heads. The 1st one is 'I don't like Mondays"

Blue seems so good for faces! who knows why.

Saturday 9 March 2013

Dew Drop Spiders

We now have Dew Drop spiders living in the web of the Golden Orb Web. They are tiny so my camera can't photograph them well. They have a silver bottom that's looks just like a drop of water. They build the most fantastic egg sacs shaped like mushrooms. Dew Drop spiders don't build their own webs, but live in large ones made by other spiders, often Orb Webs.

Not much about embroidery but I will off spiders soon!

Wednesday 6 March 2013

Golden Orbweb spider

I have just confirmed the identity of this visitor to our garden. It is a Golden Orbweb spider. They come from Australia but the babies sometimes get blown here on the wind. I sent a photo to Land Care Research and they sent me the details. They don't think they breed here for some reason which I am pleased about, one in the garden is quite enough! His body is about 2cm long. plus his legs. He sits in his web all day which is good, at least I know where he is. Not sure he is a man but he looks like one to me!