Wednesday 27 February 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday 17 February 2013

Peter the Platypus

May I introduce you to my new friend? I made him this weekend - isn't he gorgeous?

The pattern is from Funky Friends Factory, a Brisbane-based Etsy shop. I discovered it a while ago and just had to buy it and make a platypus! Now I will have to get their Koala pattern as well, I think...

Today I happily spent most of my time making the baby quilt for our new little niece in the Netherlands. Half of the top is finished, I hope to do the rest tomorrow. I won't show it here until the quilt has arrived in the Netherlands, as I do want it to be a surprise. But so far it's looking very good!

Thursday 14 February 2013

New calligrams!

It's been on my to-do list for a very long time: draw some new calligrams. And finally I did, and had them made into thermofax screens. They arrived this afternoon, just when I had to go and pick up the kids :-(. When their homework was done and they were playing on the Wii I couldn't resist making a few quick prints. I'm very happy with the seahorse and the platypus, that fascinating Australian animal!

The mouse was a request from a friend. I love his tail ;-).

What do you think of the crocodile?

I also had this drawing made into a thermofax screen:

I can see so many possibilities with this one!

All these designs are also available on Spoonflower, for printing on fabric, wallpaper or as a wall decal. There is also a Shark Calligram design, that I haven't had made into a thermofax screen (yet):

The World Map design is available in six colourways.

Last but not least: Happy Valentine's Day! It's almost over here in Oz, and we (hubby and me) don't 'do' V-day anyway... but here is something you might like to pass on to your Valentine:

Copy and paste the following on Google:

(sqrt(cos(x))*cos(300x)+sqrt(abs(x))-0.7)*(4-x*x)^0.01, sqrt(6-x^2), -sqrt(6-x^2) from -4.5 to 4.5


Monday 11 February 2013

Burlap Pincushion

These days I post my new burlap creations (made from upcycled Hessian coffee sacks) mostly on my Blue Jacaranda blog, but I am making an exception for the latest one: a Burlap Pincushion! Relevant for quilters too, right? ;-) I stenciled the words PLEASE ENTER YOUR PIN on the fabric using a hand-cut stencil. The back is made from a scrap of black fabric and the cushion is filled with left-over bits of bamboo batting (cut into very small pieces), so it is truly a recycled object. (I have decided not to buy any new fabric this year to use in my quilts or other projects - there is still so much in my stash)

I am also trying to come up with as many ideas to use the Hessian coffee bag fabric as I can - last week I made some zippered pencil cases:

The next thing to try will be a Kindle case...

I hope to have some exciting quilting news soon, so stay tuned!

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Monday 4 February 2013

The Tentmakers of Cairo

The text in this posting is copied with her permission from an email by Jenny Bowker and the gorgeous photos are taken from her Pinterest board. Please read this and if you can, help!

The Tentmakers are a group of men in Cairo who make spectacular applique. Nowadays most of what they make is intended for the walls of houses or on beds, but in Pharaonic, early Islamic, and Ottoman times it was intended for the inside walls of tents. With canvas behind it which formed the outside wall, the rich appliqué glowed with light on it, and was intended to amaze visitors to a leader's tent. Did you know that Cairo was originally called Fustat - which means the big tent? In Pharaonic times the tents were appliqued leather, now all the work is cotton.

You can read more text about them here.
You can see a short video made by Bonnie McCaffrey for Luana Rubin here and a longer one made by Bonnie as one of her wonderful vidcasts here.
And if you go to my Pinterest board on the Tentmakers you will see a lot of current work - and some that is much older and also some of the truly old tents so you can see how they were used.

The art has been slowly dying. Big pieces of cheap, badly registered, printed fabric made in China have poured into Cairo and people buy this rather than the real appliquéd pieces. On top of that disaster - tourism has stopped with unrest for the last two years. Without the work sold in exhibitions that I have been arranging in other countries they would all be gone by now - instead - stitchers who left are coming back and young ones are learning again. I am thrilled with the progress we have made and very happy with the AQS who committed to them for three years. But - it is still hardly documented at all. There is not one piece in the Cairo Museum or even in the Cairo textile museum. The best article I have ever found is in the Uncoverings magazine and there are no books. Older stitchers are dying and no history has been written.

Kim Beamish is an Australian who is making a film about the Tentmakers in these difficult times. He has given most of five days a week for the last seven months - or more. He has paid his own way to shows in England, and has had to pay for three more that have not even happened yet in France and two in America. He has become part of the street and the men are used to him and his camera.

The movie will not be made without funding for the essentials - the long and boring stages when the filming is done and the hard work starts. Editing, top level translation and the rest has to be done by experts and paid for. Please help. Even a little bit from a lot of people will add up to a lot - that is what crowd funding means. The link is now open and working. If he does not get to his total he gets nothing. Kim will spend the month hovering over the site and biting his fingernails.

The work is really special and the film is essential. Kim Beamish has a Facebook page for the film where he is putting up new images constantly, and there is a lot lot of historical input as well.

This is the link to support the Film - The Tentmakers of Chareh el Khiamiah. If Kim Beamish does not get this money the film cannot be made. Even tiny donations will help and big donations will help more. Please.

If you use PayPal it will ask you to preauthorise. It sounds odd but it simply means that when the total is reached the money will then be taken from people's accounts so it has to be done this way. Kim gets nothing if he does not reach his total and that is the way that Pozible works.

I am hoping a lot of people will have read this far and be willing now to help us. PLEASE send this on to as wide an audience as you can reach. The moment the total is reached the project will be assured. Until then it looks as if it might be dead in the water.

Thank you
Jenny Bowker